March 30, 2004

Waking Up?

For her first few weeks, Dorothy mostly just Ate, Slept, and Pooped. Within the last couple of days, though, things have been changing. Well, she's always been changing (it is surprising to see how things change almost every day), but this was a larger-scale change. In the last day or two, she's been spending hours awake, looking around, and making her noises, but not really fussing.

Oh, about those noises: she's making cute little noises almost constantly, even when asleep. There are some "ahhh"s and some grunts and some pseudo-cries and all sorts of sounds, and new ones appear every couple of days. It's really sort of funny, especially when she's asleep, to watch her squirm and make these silly noises. When she's awake, at first glance it might seem like she's upset, because her limbs are all moving and she's making noises. But she truly doesn't seem to be stressed. She's just looking out at the world, making her noises, and thrashing around a bit, but not crying. We've heard a bit of crying, and that's a very different state. :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2004

Change in photo album

I've unprotected the baby photo albums, so you no longer need to login in order to see them. I'd put the login protection up when I first set up the photo gallery, because we hadn't talked about our concerns over search engines etc. We've talked about it, and can't think of any good reasons to keep the search engines at bay. So now you can browse the photos without dealing with the (sometimes erratic) login system. Oh, and I re-organized the old photos into a tighter hierarchy, to make searching a bit easier.

In related news, I just uploaded a fresh batch of photos! Many of them were taken by Elizabeth's Mom, who's now out here helping us out and enjoying her newest granddaughter, so you can't blame the large number of pictures solely on me. :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:50 PM | Comments (2)

March 25, 2004

Space to walk on

The advice that's given in new baby books is completely true -- you should accept all offers of help from friends and family. :-) Having friends come over to help clean and bring over meals has been great. Also, my parents left yesterday after visiting for 4+ days, and while here they helped us organize a few rooms. All this help means there's now space on the floor to easily walk around the rooms without tripping. It's amazing!

The latest batch of photos has been posted, including a number containing Dorothy's paternal grandparents (i.e., my parents). (As always, login with username "guests" and password "dottie".)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2004

Weight history

We have been meaning to write down the history to date of Dorothy's weight progress, and this is as good a place as any.

Date Weight Comment
3/6/04 7 lbs 15.4 oz birth
3/9/04 7 lbs 4.6 oz leave hospital
3/11/04 6 lbs 14 oz home visit by nurse
3/15/04 7 lbs 4.5 oz 1-week weight check
3/19/04 7lbs 7.9 oz 2-week check-up
Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:50 PM | Comments (1)

Bumping the Wall?

At Dorothy's two-week check-up on Friday, the doctor asked if we had hit the wall yet. She was referring to lack of sleep, stress of a new baby, etc. While we don't feel that we've hit it, I'm starting to feel like we're bumping up against the wall.

The first week with Dorothy went pretty well. This last week (yesterday was her 2-week 'birthday' already!) has been a bit tougher, especially for Elizabeth, because Dorothy has been eating a lot more frequently, and hence waking up more often. Friends have been helping out, and my parents just arrived, so things aren't as bad as they could be. And I couldn't imagine how we'd be doing if only one of us were able to stay home. But still, we're starting to feel a bit frayed. Of course, it's all worth it for this beautiful baby girl.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 05:28 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2004

Even more photos!

More photos. In general, you can go to the main gallery page and click login (use the username of "guests" and the password of "dottie") to see the various albums. This is one well-photographed baby!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:06 PM | Comments (2)

March 17, 2004

Center of Attention

Want to be very near the center of attention anywhere you go? Just have a baby! It's really amusing (at least when you're as easily entertained as I am) to see how people react to babies, when you're the one with the baby.

First, as we were leaving the hospital last week, the wheelchair trip from Elizabeth's room down to the front door was like being around a celebrity that people weren't expecting to see. Heads turned, and people generally focused on that beautiful baby girl in Elizabeth's arms. And that's not even counting the time Dorothy got stopped by security and we had to wait in one place for things to get straightened out.

Then, today, before Elizabeth's two week check-up, we stopped by her office (her OB's office is downtown, by her office) to let people meet Dorothy. (Hi everyone at Elizabeth's office!) Once the baby had arrived, word spread like wildfire! :-) We just had to sit in one spot, and people came from all over to see the baby.

Later, when we were commenting to each other on being near (but not directly in) the center of attention, Elizabeth pointed out that Dorothy, the real center of attention, was focused on her mommy. So Eliz gets to feel extra special (which she is!).

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2004

Solution to photo gallery problem

I just figured out why many people are having trouble with logging in to the photo gallery. For some stupid reason, whether or not the login 'catches' depends on whether or not the URL has "www" at the beginning. So you should go to (note that there is no "www" at the beginning) and click on 'login' and then it should work fine.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2004

More pictures

I put another dozen pictures of our cutie online just now. Enjoy!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

1 down, 938 to go

Yesterday was Dorothy's one week birthday. They even announced it (and wished her a happy new life!) on WERS' The Playground radio show. So, the way I figure it, that's one week down, and 938 to go until Dorothy is 18 years old and of legal age. Of course, we'll still be worrying about her probably forever, but if we look at the physical child-care aspect only, we have a reasonable guess as to how many more sleepless nights we can expect. ;-) (We might get a break from sleepless nights starting around week ~200 or so, but then they might reappear occasionally sometime around week ~700.)

And for those of you who may be thinking of having children soon: Make sure you have a washer & dryer in the house before you do so! I can't believe the number of loads of laundry I've done in just the last few days. Some of it has been catching up from the laundry I didn't do while Elizabeth was in the hospital, but there's been a good amount of baby laundry too.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:11 PM | Comments (2)

March 12, 2004

Minor Scare

Well, we had our first (probably of very many) minor scare today. I was holding Dorothy in my lap in the late afternoon, and at some point noticed that her hands felt cold. Earlier in the afternoon the bottoms of her feet had been looking a bit purplish again (her hands and feet had been quite purple when she was born, but turned pink within a couple of days). I felt her cheeks, which were also a bit coolish. Normally she feels pretty warm, so we dug out the thermometer to check her temperature under the armpit, and it was 97.0 degrees. The "Portable Pediatrician" book says you should be concerned about anything under 98 degrees, so we went and changed her diaper and checked her temperature rectally. It was 96.4. That was definitely not good, so we called the pediatrician's office.

The nurse on duty told us to bundle her up, put her hat on, etc. and see if she warmed up. We did so, putting more clothes on her than she'd had on since coming home from the hospital. About an hour later, we checked her temp again. Although she was looking less purplish in the feet and redder elsewhere, the temp was still around 97 degrees. The thing that was really concerning us was that she was asleep and did not want to wake up. To be fair, there had been times in the hospital when she didn't want to wake up for a feeding. But here, she seemed particularly non-responsive to stimuli. She wasn't completely limp, but her level of response was low compared to normal for her. We called the pediatrician again, and spoke to a doctor. She said that 97 degrees wasn't much to be concerned about, especially with a premature newborn. She told us to keep an eye on her activity and behavior, see if she turned purple again, etc. and if things looked worse, to then take her temperature.

Well, the next 60 or 90 minutes were still concerning, because she seemed to stay non-responsive. I turned the thermostat up a few degrees, and we kept a close eye on her. Finally, around 7:30pm or so she really started acting herself again. Over the course of 15 minutes, she started getting more fussy and squirmy, and even started to demand some food.

We'll likely never know what caused the funny behavior in the first place. But for now, Dorothy is looking good again. She's just been helping her parents get some practice at worrying over her.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:34 PM | Comments (2)

Eat, Sleep, Poop

"Eat, Sleep, Poop" pretty much describes the life of a newborn, or at least of our newborn. Although there are sometimes when Dorothy will be in a state described as "quiet alertness" where she's very calmly laying there, with her big eyes wide open, just looking around and trying to figure out this whole world thing. She's particularly enchanting to look at when she's in such a state. I even got some good long direct eye-contact time yesterday, too.

I think we must be doing something wrong. The reason I say that is because not only have both of us managed to take showers on two consecutive days, but we also managed to get almost 8 hours of sleep last night. Although admittedly, it was broken up into 2-hour segments. :-) But today, 6 days after she was born, I'm not feeling as completely overwhelmed as at the start of this week. And doesn't everyone say that you're supposed to be sleep-deprived for months? Of course, I shouldn't extrapolate good times ahead just because of one good night...

Oh, and one more tidbit: Elizabeth's milk came in yesterday. Holy milk production, Batman!! The monsters we're referring to as "Boobzilla" have switched from colostrum to regular milk; Elizabeth is feeling a bit uncomfortable. And it's probably a good thing that Dorothy can't see too well yet -- I'd be terrified if I had to eat from something bigger than my head! :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:35 PM | Comments (4)

March 10, 2004

Photo Update

At the prodding of some pushy grandparents ;-) I've uploaded some more photos from Dorothy's first few days.

Some people have been having trouble logging into the photos. I'm not sure why the Gallery software isn't quite working properly, but here's how to deal with it: Click on 'login' using the username "guests" and the password "dottie". If the main page doesn't reload with the 'protected' albums, and instead the login window stays open and looks as if it wants you to try again (but it does not say there's an error), then simply close the login window, click on the single visible photo album, then click on "Gallery" near the top right corner, which should now bring you back to the main page where you'll be able to see all the albums.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 04:07 PM | Comments (3)

March 09, 2004

We're home!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we're home! Elizabeth and Dorothy were discharged this afternoon. The hospital let us take home this tiny, fragile human being without giving us an owner's manual! And there's no 'call' button to bring a nurse to our room in 15 seconds. It's a bit scary, but things are going OK so far (i.e., for the first 3 or so hours). The cats think we're crazy to have brought home this weird thing, but they're also very interested in how she smells. :-) The cats will be kept out of the bedroom for a while, just to be safe.

We're going to be settling in for a few days at least, but I should be able to get more pictures up soon. She's so cute, we can't stop taking pictures. :)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:29 PM | Comments (1)

Words Are Not Enough

I'm sitting here in the hospital room, with Dorothy swaddled on a pillow in my lap as I type this entry (and Elizabeth is getting some much needed sleep). Sometimes (like this sentence) I have to type with one hand because Dorothy is sucking on a finger of mine. She certainly has some good suction for breastfeeding -- I've been telling people that she's going to give me a hickey on my finger-tip.

This blog entry is mostly just to put down some thoughts I've had over the last two days.

First off, all the eloquence in the world can't properly describe the feelings I have for Dorothy. When I had some time to speak with my parents after the birth, nearly the first thing my Dad said to me was "Now you know how I felt when you were born." And he's probably right. And we just can't describe it. As good a description as any is that it's amazingly cool.

Speaking of cool, have you ever just stared at something for a long, long time (at least when you're not on drugs)? Since she was born, both Elizabeth and I have at times sat, holding Dorothy, and just stared and stared at her, without getting bored.

Time has become ridiculously warped. During labor, Elizabeth thought that 2 hours' worth of labor felt like it was only maybe 25 minutes. Since the birth, our estimates of the length of each feeding have disagreed with each other. And I suspect that time is now generally going to fly even faster than usual.

I went home again earlier today (sorry, I didn't take time to upload new pictures) to take care of the cats, get a couple things to bring back to the hospital, etc. I was gone for roughly 7 hours. When I got back, it felt like it had been forever since I'd seen her. To be fair, it was 15% of her time so far since the birth. But I'm so glad I'm back. I didn't really notice how I missed her until I saw her again upon my return.

Well, like I said above, words just can't express all the feelings I'm having since we got on this roller coaster ride. But I do know that I'm enjoying the ride immensely!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 01:16 AM | Comments (4)

March 07, 2004

Baby photos!

We know you've all been waiting for baby photos, and we now have some online! Go to and click "login" in the upper right corner. Use the username "guests" and the password "dottie" to see the 'hidden' photo album (called "Dorothy's Birthday"). I'm protecting these new photos behind a login for now, just because we haven't thought at all yet about web search engines automatically archiving personal photos.

As Elizabeth posted last night, Dorothy is doing great. (BTW, I prefer the nickname "Dottie" and Elizabeth prefers to use "Dorrie" or maybe it's "Dory" - the same as the no-short-term-memory fish in "Finding Nemo.") She needs some supplements at the moment, because of the concerns with her initially low glucose levels, but Elizabeth is working on breastfeeding, and once her milk comes in we hope to be able to wean her from the formula supplements.

I could probably write a book about everything that's happened in the last few days, and especially about how wonderful Dorothy is. But instead, I'm going to go back to the hospital to get even more time with both my beauties. Thanks again to everyone for your great support, and we'll post more updates as we get the time.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:57 AM | Comments (6)

March 06, 2004

Dorothy Maia Nugent

She's here! I'll probably write up and post a more detailed birth story in the next few days, but here's the (longish) summary:

On Thursday, my platelet count went down, and the doctors decided that I needed to be induced. In the afternoon, I got two doses (spaced four and a half hours apart) of prostaglandin gel, trying to ripen my cervix. They helped a little bit, but not much. The doctors decide to let me get a good night's sleep, and then to induce me with Pitocin early Friday morning.

We ran the Pitocin pretty much all day Friday, and I had a lot of contractions, but I could scarcely feel them, even when they got the Pitocin up to 80% of the maximum they are allowed to use. My cervix softened a tiny bit during this, but not all that much. We decided to continue until 10:00 PM, and then to turn off the Pitocin and let me sleep before trying again the next day.

That plan went awry when my water broke at about 8:30 Friday evening. At that point, I was committed to staying in labor and delivery until I had a baby. They had to turn the Pitocin way down, as the contractions suddenly hurt a lot once the baby was not cushioned in amniotic fluid. I labored for several hours without pain medication, but eventually the contractions (which tend to be much stronger with Pitocin) got to be too much for me, and I asked for an epidural. That made me comfortable enough that Tom and I were able to nap for a few hours, even with the Pitocin on. When we woke up, they cranked up the Pitocin further, so I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes.

By late morning today (Saturday), I was dilated enough to start pushing. I pushed for about four and a half hours, but the baby was still getting stuck. The doctors decided that she was not coming out, and that I needed a Caesarian section. At 4:02 PM, Dorothy Maia Nugent was born. They showed her to me briefly, but the neonatal doctors had to take her to the warming table right away to check her, since she was premature. Tom followed the pediatricians and told me what was going on, in between cooing at her and telling her what a good baby she was. Once the pediatricians were done with her for a bit, he was able to bring her over to me so I could see her and give her a kiss. Then she had to go to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for antibiotics and to have her blood sugar tested. Tom went with her there, and my doula stayed with me. The baby is out of NICU now, and is staying in my postpartum room. Normally we'll probably keep her in here with us all the time, but she's going to stay in the nursery tonight, because we're both too tired to care for her properly, after 30+ hours of labor.

None of the pediatricians could believe that she was only 35 weeks old. The consensus was that she looks about 37 weeks. She was 7 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces, and about 19.5 inches long. She has black hair, about half an inch long, and a very cute round face. Tom has already taken about 50 pictures of her, but we don't have the equipment here to transfer them to my computer, so we'll have to post pictures later.

Both Dorothy and I are seeming very healthy. My blood pressure never got out of control during labor, so they didn't give me anticonvulsive medication. My incision is a bit sore, but not too bad yet. Dorothy was a bit blue right as they lifted her out, but she turned pink right away, and cried and moved immediately. (Her Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes were 8 and 9 out of 10, respectively). She's not fussy at all so far. Tom was completely smitten in the first five minutes, and is wonderful with her. All of us are very happy.

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 11:04 PM | Comments (10)

March 05, 2004

March 5, 6pm update

The induction is going along, though slowly. They put Elizabeth on Pitocin starting around 11:30 this morning. They started her at 2 milliunits/minute (that's what the pump says, I think it's equivalent to 2 mL/hr), and brought it up in increments of 2 milliunits/minute. Right now (around 5:45pm), she's at 30, and the maximum they can raise it to is 40. The monitors say that she's been having contractions pretty regularly; the average seems to be 30-45 seconds every 2-3 minutes. The monitor isn't so good at judging intensity, but when she's having one, her entire front feels pretty tight. Everyone seems surprised, though, that she barely feels the contractions. Until recently, she didn't feel them at all, except by feeling the tummy tautness with her hand. Lately she's been feeling a little bit.

They'll probably keep increasing the dosage for a while. Depending on how she's doing later tonight, they might take her off the Pitocin and give her another application of prostaglandin gel, to help her progress more overnight. We'll probably find out around 7pm how her cervix is progressing.

Elizabeth has spent most of the afternoon reading (Vernor Vinge's "Deepness in the Sky"), laying in bed. I've spent the time hanging out, helping re-adjust her when necessary, getting water, etc., and I took a nap.

I'm almost certain that I'm not going home tonight, even if they do take her off the Pitocin. But if things are still slow in the morning tomorrow, I'll try to post an update.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 05:54 PM | Comments (4)

March 5 morning update

It turns out I don't have to rush out the door this morning to get to the hospital. Elizabeth called me around 6:30am to tell me that apparently Labor & Delivery is pretty busy right now, and therefore they're delaying induction patients. So she won't be started on the Pitocin at 7:30am, but we don't know when she will be started.

In any case, I'm going to head to the hospital there pretty soon, but I don't have to rush out the door. Elizabeth says she got a good night's sleep last night, which is good -- it means she'll have more energy for the work she'll have to do today (unless they actually postpone until tomorrow!).

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday -- her platelet count went up to 146,000 in the afternoon, and her blood pressure went back down to a reasonable level. So the 'signs' of pre-eclampsia are turning around, which is encouraging.

Not much else to report other than that. If I come home again without a baby, I think I might just flip. :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 07:03 AM | Comments (4)

March 04, 2004

Just push 'Pause'

Guess what? I'm at home tonight. "What?!" you may be wondering. "How can you go home when your wife is in labor?!?"

Answer: She's not in labor (well, she wasn't when I left around 10:15pm).

They gave her a dose of prostaglandin gel at 1pm Thursday. Not much had happened by 5pm, so they gave her a second dose at 6pm. Around 8:30pm, the doctor examined her and said her cervix was still only around 1cm or so, and it was long, so it hadn't effaced much yet. While it had softened a bit, there's still a lot of work to do. Given that she didn't get much good sleep last night, they decided that, rather than start her on the Pitocin tonight, they'd let her get a good night's sleep and then start her on the Pitocin early in the morning. Basically, because she hasn't entered active labor yet, they're just going to pause in the progression of events, and give her the night off.

Since the fold-out chair in her overnight room is not very easy to sleep in, we decided I should go home, get some good sleep myself, and re-supply the cats. And in the morning, I'll remember to bring some toiletries with me to the hospital (that's the one thing I didn't think to bring when I ran out the door this morning).

So I'm home, but I'll probably be heading back to the hospital by 7am. I'd like to say that the next time I post to this blog, we'll have our baby girl, but given how frequently this whole process has been on-again/off-again, I'm not making any promises! :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

This Time, It's for Real

We have a few quiet moments here in the hospital during Elizabeth's induction, so I'm writing this update while Elizabeth rests and reads. (BTW, having a net connection while in the hospital, even if it is dial-up, seriously rocks.)

This morning was a bit stressful for Elizabeth. First she was woken up around 5:30am to have some blood drawn. Then she was woken up around 6:30am to get weighed and have her blood pressure taken. Finally she was woken up at 8:45am for her non-stress test. She was wheeled down for the NST, then left waiting for an hour. They then took her in for an ultrasound, which hadn't been ordered. She found out it hadn't been ordered when the doctor on call found her, and took her for the NST. The blood results had come back, and her platelet level had dropped from a normal-ish level, (anything above 150,000) down to 127,000, which is of concern. Since she was already borderline with the blood pressure and proteinuria, they decided that the platelet level was enough of an additional 'signal' that it was time to induce. They left her in the NST room while finding a room for her. She got wheeled down to Labor & Delivery, although the lady bringing her there got lost on the way. Once they made it to L&D, they started monitoring her again. She didn't have her cell phone with her through all of this, and it wasn't until she was finally put into a room in L&D that she was able to call me. I went "yikes!" and sprang into action. Then, despite running around frantically, I actually was able to remember to feed the cats, clean their litterbox, grab the newly-printed birth preferences she'd written, plus a few other items, and posted a brief notice on the blog, before I ran out the door. On the way to the hospital, I phoned our doula, Kelly, and both our moms to update them all on the situation.

I arrived at the hospital around 12:15pm. They hadn't yet started the induction, thankfully. After the stress of the morning, Elizabeth was glad to see a familiar face (it was probably even better that it was her husband's). The doctor inserted the prostaglandin gel around 1pm, and she was continuously monitored for 2 hours. Things seemed to be going OK, and she's been allowed to sit up and move about a tiny bit since then. The doctor should be back around 5pm to check on her (they usually give the prostaglandins 4 hours to work) and decide whether to progress with Pitocin to start labor or to give her another application of prostaglandin gel.

We can't promise any more updates until after the baby arrives, but if we get a chance, we'll post another update.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 04:53 PM | Comments (1)

Inducing now!?!

I just got a call from Elizabeth. Her platelet count was way down, so they said they want to induce her. I'm running out the door now, and will try to post something when I learn more. But it might be a day or two. Wish us luck!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:18 AM | Comments (6)

March 03, 2004

Induction date is set

I spoke with the doctor on rounds this morning, and I now have an induction scheduled for Wednesday, March 10. So we can expect to have a baby by the 11th or 12th, at least, depending on how hard it is to start labor and how long it lasts. There is still the possibility that either my labs will get worse or I will go into labor spontaneously, in which case she might be born earlier.

I get another set of blood tests tomorrow, so they'll know more about how my kidneys and liver are holding up. So far, everything is pretty stable, though.

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 06:04 PM | Comments (3)

March 02, 2004

Designing a Democracy

There's an interesting article on elections from the MIT News Office. Go read it. The research highlighted compares elections to the baseball World Series, and notes that elections could be improved by taking a lesson from poker.

After the 2000 election fiasco, some elements of the popular press were complaining about the Electoral College, saying it should be eliminated. But democracy is a system, and the types of outcomes that are possible are governed by the rules of the system. The point made in the news-bit that "raw voting" republics (as opposed to those with a system like the Electoral College in the US) have not lasted for long highlights the fact that the design of the system is crucial to its stability and success.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:11 PM | Comments (1)

The Pregnant Lady

As requested by Elizabeth's mom, here is a picture of the pregnant lady from earlier today:


Given that the baby is in the 100th percentile of weight (8lbs 5oz at only 34 weeks and 5 days) and they say that there's more fluid in the amniotic sac than usual, it's not surprising that Elizabeth looks about ready to pop!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:36 PM | Comments (3)

Progress (or lack thereof)

Every doctor and nurse seems to have a different opinion on how "sick" I am and what we ought to do next, but I think a consensus is developing. Fortunately or unfortunately, the consensus is "we're not going to do anything until something changes." So far, my blood pressures and proteinuria are pretty stable at values just below the critical values that tend to make them spring into action, and I don't have any of the side effects like blurred vision or headaches that suggest that my nervous system is being strongly affected. The baby is moving a lot and seems to be in very good shape, so the main concern at this point is my health, not hers.

I'm not showing any particular signs of going into labor on my own, although no one has checked my cervix for a couple of days to confirm that (they try to minimize internal exams to avoid the possibility of infection). I was having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions when I was being monitored last night, which may change the induction strategy if they do decide to induce me. If I were not having contractions, they would probably use a prostaglandin gel to try to soften my cervix before starting me on Pitocin (which is a synthetic form of oxytocin, the hormone that triggers labor) by IV. However, if I'm already having contractions, they worry that the gel may cause hyperstimulation. If I get hyperstimulated from Pitocin, they can turn it off, but there's no way to "undo" the gel. The downside of going straight to Pitocin is that it may make the labor longer and harder.

Everyone seems to agree that after I reach 36 weeks (March 10), there won't be any point in waiting longer, so if my condition hasn't deteriorated before then, I can expect to be induced right around then. Depending on induction method and how the baby and I are doing, I could be in labor for a couple of days after they induce me, or it could be much faster. (If it's the longer period, it shouldn't be "active" labor the whole time).

In the mean time, I'm just lying on my side and hanging out in bed. I'm allowed to get up to go to the bathroom or to take a quick shower, but other than that, I'm here for the duration. The hospital food is actually not bad at all, and now that Tom has brought me books and my computer and set up a dialup connection for me, I'm doing pretty well here.

A couple of people have asked about visiting. Visiting hours are 1-8, and I'd be happy to have visitors to break up my day. Drop me an email or call my cell phone beforehand, though, in case I'm off having an ultrasound or suddenly end up going into labor.

Thank you all very much for all the support and well wishes. It really helps to know that you all are thinking of us.

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 09:01 PM | Comments (1)

March 01, 2004

Here We Go!...or not

Well, today's been an exciting day. We went to Elizabeth's normal twice-weekly exam this morning (and I even got on-street, non-metered parking in Post Office Square!), after a weekend of reasonable blood pressures, rest, etc. They said that her spot-urine protein test was high, and a related test they'd done on Friday came back as not good, and her blood pressure was high (150/90, I think), so they wanted her to go to the hospital to be induced! We certainly weren't expecting that to happen this morning, by a long shot. In fact, we were not expecting it to such a degree that Elizabeth hadn't brought a book to read, and we hadn't packed the suitcase, or anything. Silly us.

Our hearts were racing a bit, and we were feeling dumb for having not packed the suitcase etc. We went straight to Brigham & Women's hospital and got set up in maternity triage. They put her on the non-stress test (NST) and collected some urine. Soon after they drew some blood for more tests. The NST looked good, the spot-urine looked better than the earlier one, and when the lab (blood) tests came back, they also looked not bad. So the doctors on duty decided to not induce Elizabeth. Instead, they wanted to admit her to the hospital. We relaxed at that point; it sounds like baby Dorothy will not be delivered 24 hours from now, but things could change.

So then we waited around for hours so that the ultrasound department to have an opening so that they could get Elizabeth in (oddly enough, a woman who's not even in labor yet is lower priority than people who might be dying). The ultrasound went great -- the baby is really kicking around and has good blood flow through the placenta. But boy is she HUGE! They said that her weight is 8 pounds 5 ounces, which is literally off the scales for a baby who's not quite 35 weeks yet. She's in the 100th percentile of weight. Now, the silly thing about reporting a weight that accurately is that we were told by one of the doctors last week that ultrasounds are only accurate to about 20%, so all these weight measurements they've been telling us are, in reality, only rough ballparks. But in any case, this is one big baby!

Finally, after the 9:30am medical office visit, the 11am trip to the hospital, and the ~5pm ultrasound, Elizabeth got checked in to a regular antenatal room around 7pm, so this has been a much longer day than expected. The doctors said that Elizabeth is probably not going home until she has a baby, but that might be in a couple of days, or it might be a couple of weeks. We'll see. But for now, I have to go pack a suitcase and get some sleep so I can go back to the hospital in the morning. We'll try to keep the details flowing to this blog as often as we can!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:25 PM | Comments (6)