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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

5 Things NOT to Do on Your Honeymoon

Originally posted on The Writing Prompts Crew

As the summer wedding season kicks off, so do summer honeymoons. If you’re counting down the days until your honeymoon or know someone who is, here are some quick tips to make sure your special week is a success. Purely hypothetical advice, of course. Not in any way drawn from personal experience. :)

Our Wedding 7 Years Ago

1. Use the Do Not Disturb Sign
Sure, growing up you saw that little white thing with a door knob hole punched in it as just a useless piece of paper. Trust me, it’s not. Use it. Or perhaps the evening of your wedding you thought, oh I’ll wake up early and hang that up in the morning.
Procrastination, a mortal flaw.
On the bright side, you will only make this mistake once. Ever. In your entire life.
2. Trust Reviews
If a hotel’s reviews say ‘lovely place, but not good for honeymooners,’ don’t think oh they meant other people, not us. We are adventurers. This will be a wonderful hotel for a honeymoon. The reviewers could know something you don’t, such as the hotel staff is entirely INSANE.
Speaking of crazy hotel staff . . .
3. Do Not Cook Microwave Popcorn
I love popcorn. I wanted to introduce my new husband to this passion of mine, so I made a bag of microwave popcorn. Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the microwave timer. The popcorn burned.
No biggie. I threw it away.
A half hour later, the crazy hotel staff rushed our room. Not just one of them, hordes of them. The lady in charge glowered at me. “I smelled smoke. Are you burning down our hotel?” She gave me the evil eye, as if to say, I’ve been warned of terrorists like you.
“Uh. We made microwave popcorn. It smoked.”
“I see smoke marks on the shower.” She glared at me.
Really? From one bag of popcorn? “I’ll scrub them off.”
The hotel staff ripped open the microwave door as their gazes flicked around the room, looking for evidence of other nefarious deeds we might have done in their absence. “Look at this! Popcorn stains on our microwave. You’re replacing that entire microwave for our hotel.”
“I’ll scrub the microwave. I’ve cleaned burned popcorn from a microwave before.” Besides, most of the yellow scum in the microwave wasn’t even from me.
“No, you can’t.”
“Yes, I really can.”
The entire horde of hotel staff crossed their arms. “We’ll believe it when we see it.”
“Alright.” Cue several hours scrubbing a microwave of not only my popcorn, but every previous tenant’s popcorn. Just how we wanted to spend our honeymoon.
Learn your lesson here. Don’t cook microwave popcorn on your honeymoon. Maybe just don’t cook anything. Your brain’s probably not fully functioning this week anyway.
4. Sunscreen EVERYWHERE
And I mean everywhere. You know that adorable bathing suit you bought just for your honeymoon? Skin that’s never seen the sun before burns easily–really easily. You don’t want burnt skin on your honeymoon. You really don’t. Don’t be like me. Use sunscreen.
5. Imagine Two Screaming Babies
No matter what delays and less than perfect planning interrupts your honeymoon, you will instantly have an entire new appreciation for these days of your life if you try this simple exercise.
a. Walk into the shower. Close the door. 
Did someone scream? Did someone twist the handle? Did someone pound on the door and yell “Mama, Dada, I’m lonely!”
No? You’re having a great honeymoon.
b. Put food on your plate. Lift your fork.
Did someone scream? Did someone throw peas on the floor? Did someone jump out of their chair and start sticking their fingers into electrical sockets?
No? You’re having a fabulous honeymoon.
c. Sit down. Put your feet up. 
Did someone scream “Mama, Dada, I fill in bodily function a toddler needs cleaned up“? Look down at your shirt? Is there any kind of small child’s bodily function on it?
No? You’re having a wonderful honeymoon.
Enjoy your honeymoon. It will end all too soon.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Baby Chip: The Last 4 Weeks Inside

The next four weeks all revolve around Chip's middle cerebral artery (MCA). The bloodflow through that artery is the standard to see to what degree my blood is attacking Baby Chip's blood and making him anemic by killing off his red blood cells.

Joe-Joe at one week old


Just like water flows through a hose faster than a Wendy's frosty, so too anemic blood is less viscous than regular blood, so flows faster. At least that's my understanding. If a baby's blood is flowing too fast through his brain, then the doctors suspect anemia. The only way to know exactly how anemic a baby is though is to stick a needle into his umbilical cord and draw out some blood. Baby Chip's blood is flowing too fast through his brain and I almost got sent for a transfusion today. But in the end, his blood wasn't flowing significantly faster than last week so the doctors are holding off a few more days.

The other thing the bloodflow through the middle cerebral artery can show is a CPR score. This score is related to Baby Chip being so small, under the 1%, and shows if a baby is in distress at all. Apparently, the CPR bloodflow number will start showing signs of wear and tear even before the baby's umbilical bloodflow starts deteriorating. It got a little worse from last week, but not enough to necessitate a delivery. Today, Baby Chip's umbilical cord bloodflow was awesome, once again practically normal. The doctors are still waiting for it to get worse since it was so terrible at 24 weeks (absent flow) and still very much less bloodflow than what should be up to about 30 weeks. The Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist running Baby Chip's research study, who pioneered the use of sonogram to diagnose specialty things in-utero,  is examining sonograms of my placenta this week to see if he can come up with an explanation for why the bloodflow got so much better.

He also did some extra measurements for the study today. He looked at Baby Chip's brain through the hole in his skull that all babies have and sent off videos of his heart to another specialist. Apparently, IUGR babies (babies less than the 10%) are at risk for heart issues such as hypertension and their brain can show changes due to oxygen deprivation, not life-altering brain damage or anything, but enough to affect say a child's SAT score.

So that's Baby Chip. I have seven more scheduled doctor appointments (2x a week) until the doctors absolutely will bring him out to the open air. Whether he's allowed inside me the next four weeks  or not is entirely up to him. Praying he can keep chugging and we can eke things out until 37 weeks. Oh and Baby Chip gained weight. Up 11 oz in the last week to 3lb 6oz. :) Now to make it to four pounds. #growbabygrow

And the sonogram shows Baby Chip has hair. Any guesses whether he'll inherit black or blonde hair?