Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fatty Fatty Two by Four

I have quite a few things for baby updates. First things first, decorating. My Mom finished the dust ruffle for the crib, and its so cute, I love it. Here it is below, laying on our crib that has not been put together yet. She has also finished the bumper pads, and part of the quilt, and it all looks so cute together. I can't wait to have it all set up!

With the help of my Mom, I also finished painting the baby's room. I was a little nervous when I was first painting it, cause it kinda looked like baby blue, which I didn't want. But after it was all finished and dried, I decided I love it. It's hard to tell the exact color from these pictures, but its sort of a very light, soothing, aqua blue.
And I also completed refinishing and painting an old desk into what will be my dresser and possibly changing table (still haven't decided). This was my first time working on a piece of furniture, so I'm proud of myself.
Next agenda item: my growing belly. I haven't been too huge, that is, up until the last week or so. She must have had a growth spurt, cause I am getting bigger every day! Before the last few days, I had people tell me I was really small for how far along I am. I don't think I'll be getting much more of those comments.
I returned from Spring Break to work yesterday, and today some of my kids saw me in class. They go, "Woah! Mrs. Cottle, you're huge!!!" I was also told, "Wow, you have a really big belly. But I can totally tell you're pregnant, you don't look just, ya know, fat." That was a nice reassurance. I am starting to experience what I've heard women talk about, with the painful bending over to pick things up off the ground, the waddling, the hurt feet, and just the heavy weight you're carrying around all day. I worked in my yard last week one day and I was completely wiped out! I can no longer pretend that I can still do everything I used to, which is a good thing I know. Being bigger makes me more and more excited for her arrival. Part of it is because I'm anxious to see her, and the other part is, I can't wait to have this pressure on my bladder relieved! Not to mention, I may have a few more items of clothing to wear.

Last item: health stuff.

I have been very frustrated and confused with this whole cholestasis thing. I am still itching like a mad woman, and the meds my doc gave me to help me sleep don't seem to help quite as much anymore. My blood work was indicating a lot of confusing results, and so I have had no idea what has been going on with my body. I take two tests to indicate cholestasis. One is a liver enzyme test and the other is a bile acid test. My liver enzymes are high, and have been going up and down. But my bile acid was within normal range. In the doctor's office yesterday, my OB kept saying the words, "I don't know." I was so frustrated I started to cry (and was then extremely embarrassed because I know I looked like a crazy, hormonal pregnant woman). I am doing monitoring for the baby still twice a week and labs once a week. The baby has been healthy, but I just felt like there was so much unanswered: when I would deliver, what exactly was causing my itching, and how I could try to relieve it.
Luckily, I was able to get an appointment with a perinatologist in Portland, who is supposed to be a specialist that can help give me some information. I wasn't extremely hopeful, because, quite frankly, I find that a lot of doctors haven't helped me before. But it was the most relieving day I've had in the last 3 1/2 weeks. He helped explain that I do, in fact, have Obscetric Cholestasis, and that the bile acid test is really only one part of it, because its not only bile that spills into my blood, but all kinds of things that could make me itch. We're going to not only continue monitoring and blood work, but he also gave me drugs to help lower liver enzymes that will hopefully help me stop itching! Yeah!!! He informed that I can absolutely not go past 38 weeks. If my itching and lab work doesn't improve, than they will take the baby between 36 - 37 weeks. That's really soon, like 3 weeks! But the medication is supposed to help lower the levels from my blood work, so I'm hopeful that I'll make it to 38.
We also had an ultrasound today as well up at the specialists' office, and it was a family affair: my Mom, Dad, Nick, and I were all there. It was a little bit harder to see her than my last ultrasound cause she's so squished in there, but it was still exciting. Her favorite movement was to stretch out and head butt me (which yes I feel all day long). The technician confirmed for Nick a final, 100%, that yes, it is a girl. Sorry Nick, 5th ultrasound, I think its set in stone. We also found out her weight . . . and she's a big girl!!! She's already 5 pounds, 6 ounces. Apparently, its the 67th percentile, but it seems bigger than that. If I carried her full term, she could end up being a 9 pounder. So maybe its a good thing I'm going to get induced. My Dad has decided now that her name will be big Bertha. Grandpa Mike (a.k.a. Pa), will be able to sing his favorite song to her, "Fatty Fatty two by four . . ." She is perfectly healthy in there, nothing wrong. And now, more than ever, I can't wait to meet my cute chubby little girl.

Her profile. It's a little hard to see, cause she actually has a hand up by her face.

One of her feet.

Sorry this post is so long, but thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. I can't tell you how overwhelmed I have been with how sweet people are; its extremely humbling. I don't feel like I deserve such kindness, but I appreciate it more than you know.

Visit with Friends

This last weekend, Michael, Kristi, and Will Papworth, and Shaun, Janelle, and Preston Edwards were all in Oregon. Michael and Sean were working with Nick on their Oregon Pre-Lay Run. But it was fun to hang out a little bit, and see how much their little boys have grown.

Will and Preston playing with the help of Kristi.
Shaun being a poser.

Will was definitely getting the hang of posing for the camera. Either that, or he was happy after just eating some dessert. He's such a cute little boy! My favorite thing he does is he'll go halfway to give somebody a kiss, and then stop. It's so funny. Oh and his fake cough is pretty cute too.

Janelle is a really good photographer, so Preston wasn't fazed by the camera at all. He is such a smart little boy; I don't think I've ever heard a boy his age talk so much. He knows a ton of words. And man, he has an arm!


For Spring Break, I decided I needed sun. As much as I like being out of the snow, the clouds can be slightly wearing, particularly when Spring is supposed to be happening. Nick and I were going to go to Monterey for Spring Break, but apparently, he has to be a grown up and had some business stuff he had to do. So my Mom and I went. We first went to San Jose to visit Grandpa Ainge and Grandma Pam. We got to go to church with them and to the San Jose Country Club for some good eatin'. Then they were so nice to let us stay at their condo in Monterey for a few days after. I wish I would have taken pictures of the condo, because it is SO nice. I now know who to go to when I need decorating tips (that is, whenever I have enough money to decorate). Their beds are so comfortable, and they have gorgeous views of the beach.

It was absolutely perfect weather: low 60's, completely sunny with a little breeze. I loved being in the sun, but not super super hot (because as a pregnant woman, that would have been miserable, not to mention make the itching worse). We had a relaxing time with a lot of sleep, reading, walking, and more.

A view of the Monterey Coast at Sunset on the drive in.

We did the 17 mile drive along Pebble Beach, Spyglass, and all of the other amazing golf courses.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love flowers. When we were shopping in Carmel, there were the most beautiful flowers and hanging baskets!

We also played tennis in which I think I played a little too hard (and slightly peed my pants). We went to the Farmer's Market, where the fruit looked like it was on steroids. I was in heaven eating all of the samples of strawberries. I can't get enough fruit! I went swimming, which was also amazing, because I didn't feel pregnant. It was my first time going swimming since being pregnant, and I'm sad that I haven't had the chance to do it more.

We were also able to drive through Morgan Hill and San Martin, looking at our old town and house. It was fun to see how the town has changed and go through some memories.

My Mom was a good sport for traveling with an itchy, irritable pregnant woman.

Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for letting us come bug you for a little while. I hope I get to see you soon.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Belated B-day post

I realized after I downloaded all of these photos that I probably should have just done a slide show thingy, but I'm WAY too tired, so this will have to suffice for now.

These are very old pictures that I should have posted a while ago, but my parents don't know how to upload pictures off of their camera onto their computer, so I did it while at their house this weekend. These are pics of my Mom's 50th b-day party. I will, however, remember it as the day that I had a terrible flu and the day before the infamous itching began.

My Mom and Aunt Sharyl. Sharyl gave my Mom a massage for her b-day I was very jealous. Nick, you're wonderful at little foot massages, but you don't have the hands of steel.

Dad and his friend, Larry Mussallem, trying to sing to Rock Band. My Dad is gonna love this picture.

Nick and my Mom doing Rockband.

The drums were a disaster for almost everybody that tried. After bragging about my skills, I was put to the test and then embarrassed, cause I too sucked. I kept blaming it on the game, which I of course was booed for. But then I came to find out, the timing was off. Hah!

My Dad had told everybody to bring funny cards for my Mom. He's reading one of them . . . probably his own. He got my Mom a card with a toilet on wheels, saying that it was the most appropriate form of transportation for her age. For anyone who knows my Mom, they know this is true. She pees all the time! I even think that, and I'm almost 8 months pregnant!

Nick enjoying some of the wonderful Baja Fresh food. I wish I wouldn't have been sick, because I know it was good.

I generally don't put myself in pictures, as I enjoy being behind the camera and because I am sorta big. I could hardly open my eyes in this picture because I felt like such crap. But I mean, come on, it was a momentous occassion. This was me three weeks ago, and I have gotten quite a bit bigger. I have since enjoyed the freakiness of seeing my baby move from one side of my stomach to the other, and it looks completely lobsided. Its weird when I see her roll over like that! It reminds me of Alien. But I love it :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


So here is an update on the pregnancy:

Yesterday I was a mess. I was having a hard time sleeping (because of the itching and because of worrying). At work, I could hardly talk about it with people, because I would start crying.

But I did go to the doctor and was able to monitor the baby. I got hooked up to a fetal monitoring system and heard her heartbeat for a good 20 minutes, and also checked her movement. Everything was healthy, and my doctor answered my questions. The good news is she said that she has dealt with a couple of these cases a year and its never affected the baby. She said that I will almost for sure be able to go until 37, 38 weeks. If something negative does happen to the baby, the decline would be really gradual, so I would know for a while and wouldn't have to deliver the baby right away. We are going to keep monitoring her twice a week and having a few ultrasounds before the due date, but those are just precautionary.

As soon as I heard that she would most likely be okay, I took a huge sigh. I have a lot of other little things that are unknown, like job stuff, insurance stuff, my itching . . . but compared to her health, it doesn't seem that big of a deal. I also now feel like I have a few weeks to get my shiz together.

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Answer

I'm sorry that my posts have been so serious lately. I feel like they have been, and sorta boring. But my life has pretty much been consisting of working like crazy (work has been really busy), itching like crazy, and well, worrying.

I finally got some answers this morning as to why my body is freaking out, and it is what I had sort of suspected: I have what is called obscetric cholestasis, where my liver does not function properly because of the hormones that come towards the end of pregnancy. The bile acids spill over into my blood, causing my skin to itch severely. The really scary part is that the bile acids also can cross the placenta and affect my baby. There is an increased risk for stillbirth and other complications to the baby.

Obviously, I'm a little scared and nervous. I am going to be going into the doctor twice a week to monitor the baby and make sure she's doing okay. And if at any point, they believe that she's not doing well, than I will have to deliver early. So really starting next week, I am not sure when I am going to have her. I am really scared about her health and just making sure she's alright. But then there comes a whole other host of problems: that I don't really have any of the baby stuff that I need, that it will affect my maternity leave and possibly insurance . . . and so I'm starting to stress a little bit.

Sorry for using this post as a place to vent, but its a scary thing to go through. My mind starts to wander, which isn't always good and I start to think of scenarios that are, well, worrisome. Funny how, now, my itching is the last concern I have.

Please keep Nick and I and our little girl in your prayers. Best case scenario, it doesn't affect her at all and I can deliver as late as possible. And somehow, the itching goes away!!! (However, I'm not really expecting that miracle any time soon).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It is 4:30 in the morning and I'm awake. I haven't been able to sleep more than 3 hours in a night since Friday because I have severe itching going on all over my body (tonight I slept two). I am exhausted and desperate. I have heard a lot of women say that they itched while they were pregnant, particularly their belly, but its everywhere, although my hands and feet are the worst. I have no marks or rashes or anything. And the itching is uncontrollable!

I've tried a lot of different remedies, including, but not limited to: oatmeal bath, baking soda bath, cold shower and bath, coconut butter, calamine lotion, benadryl, ice packs, but I'm out of ideas. Anyone know anything that can help?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Baby Stuff

First of all, congratulations to Seth and Whitney, my brother and sister in law. They are having twins beginning of August (although it will probably be more like July). And they found out Friday they've having twin girls!!! AH!!! There are going to be three little girls running around, and knowing the combo of genes between our families, its going to be a loud and active household when our three girls are together. I'm excited that our little girl will have girl cousins so close in age. I think Pa and Grandma Cottle may be regretting all of that volunteering for babysitting!!! You had no idea what you were getting yourselves into.

Second, I FINALLY started getting the baby's room together this weekend. I spent most of Saturday sanding, priming, painting, taping, you name it. And my back is definitely feelin' it now. I can't be quite as OCD as normal and get stuff done once my mind decides to, because my body can't handle it. But its fun getting started all the same. My colors for her room are a tiffany blue, brown, white, and a green accent. My bedding is freakin' adorable if I don't say so myself. I can't take credit, however, because my Mom has the good eye. And she's the one sewing all of it. I will post pictures as soon as I get them. I'm painting my walls blue, and for a pretty blah decorator, its a little scary for me. Here are some pics of my eventful Saturday.

Nick was taking pictures of me and I wasn't too happy about it. That look is, "Nick! Stop it!"

I got tired of squatting and kneeling, so here I am attempting to save me back while I "prime up" the dresser.

This is an old desk that I am refinishing to use as a dresser/possible changing table. Before picture.

The color I'm painting the nursery. The fabric on the bed is one that I'm using for a sheet. What do you think? I'm a little nervous it may be too bright.


I don't normally enjoy posting serious things, but this week I have been reminded of many things that I am extremely grateful for.

The first thing is my Mom. She had a big b-day this week. The big 5-0! I know how much she loves me posting about it, but its a big deal! Being around my parents on Thursday, I was reminded how great they really are. My Dad threw my Mom a party for her b-day with some friends and family, and it was evident how many people love and value my Mom for the great person she is. She is extremely generous and selfless. And she will laugh at anything, particularly if it has to do with anything related to a toilet or falling. She is a fun person and she values her relationships with her family and friends more than anything. She will do anything for her kids, and I know that is pretty much what sums up her happiness or sadness: how her kids are. Plus, she's making all of my baby bedding!!! Perhaps my favorite part of the night was waching my Dad get her party together. He did it pretty much all by himself, and I hope that Nick is as thoughtful when we've been maried that long (hint! hint!).

*I don't have any pictures from the night because I took them all with my Dad's camera. I'm not sure if I'll ever see them because neither of my parents know how to upload the pictures (I didn't say they were perfect!)

I am grateful for my health. This week I had the flu and I was miserable! I know Nick thinks I'm kind of a wimp, but being sick when you're pregnant is like ten times worse! I couldn't eat hardly anything, my WHOLE body and my belly in particular hurt, I could hardly walk, I had a fever and a migraine. Its even worse working and being sick. All of the kids at school were making fun of me for waddling so slowly down the halls. But it made me realize how easy my pregnancy has been. I feel like the luckiest pregnant woman in the world because I have felt really good the whole time. Everything about it has pretty much been great. I don't get the regular migraines I normally get, I can eat pretty much everything that I want, and its made me eat even healthier. And I'm still not that big, I can do most things. I feel so lucky.

I am grateful for the gospel. The last couple of weeks I was able to attend two baptisms: one was a young woman in our ward who is a convert and another was my 8 year old cousin Jaxon. I was touched and reminded by the simple act and covenant. How lucky I am to have the truth of the gospel. I take it for granted almost every day, but it is everything. And I am so overwhelmed with the love that Heavenly Father has for me to give me guidance and tools to make good decisions.


I am grateful for my baby girl. I know she hasn't come yet, and technically she's a fetus :) But I feel like I already know her. A very sad thing happened at my school this week: another teacher who is due a week before me lost her baby. She passed away because of heart complications and she had to deliver her stillborn. They said she had a head full of dark hair and cute pouty lips. I was reminded that my baby looks like she's going to look, she's just getting bigger and fatter. And I was reminded of what it was like trying to get pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant, I truly felt like it was a miracle. I think a lot of times once you get past a certain point, you feel like you're home free, but I know that that isn't always true. I am grateful for the experiences I've had being pregnant so far. There is nothing more amazing than feeling her kick and move inside me (which she still does a lot!!!). I'm getting excited to meet her and I don't ever want to take her for granted.