Friday, July 31, 2009

29 weeks 1 day

Sorry the picture is kind of blurry. I was standing on my tip toes and was kinda shaky!

Next week I should have something other than baby to write about. Tomorrow night, Token and I are going to a musical production of Hair with some of his co-workers. Apparently the dialogue is all in Italian, but the songs are in English. Should be quite comical... :p

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My first visit to the Maternal Ward....

Had some 'issues' (umm... spotting and cramping, eek! Sorry for the TMI!) this morning that freaked me out. I called the hospital and they had me come in to the OB ward at the hospital for a non-stress test. Everything's a-ok, and I hope that's the last time I have to go there...

We did get a nice little walk-through of where I'll be for recovery and stuff, so that's pretty cool. The rooms look really nice and are huge!! The doctor also confirmed for the fourth time that this baby is a girl, so that's good! My boss's wife just had a baby on Saturday and they thought all along she was having a girl and actually had a boy, so Token's kind of been on edge. ;)

I'll update tomorrow with a 29 week picture. 29 weeks!!!! Oh my gosh!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doctor's Appointment in Italy...

Or, a more suitable title might be 'How long will the Americans be kept waiting before they complain?'

When I heard that there was a doctor's office out in town that offered 3D ultrasounds, I jumped at the chance to get one done. The appointment was set up through the Navy hospital's referral system, since the doctor's office didn't speak any English and we aren't good enough at Italian to make an appointment on our own. The appointment was set for 5:30 p.m. last night. I got directions, loaded them into our Garmin, and we hit the road with plenty of time to spare to allow for getting lost and traffic.

We amazingly didn't get lost, but had to walk up and down the street a few times to find the small, nondescript building that housed the doctor's office. My eagle eye vision spotted the 1/A and we headed up some dirty, dimly lit steps that were littered with cigarette butts and entered what can only be described as an old, rundown, "am I in a third world country?" doctor's office.

The air was stale, the A/C shut off, and pregnant women and what seemed to be their entire extended families lingered all around, fanning themselves with magazines to circulate some air. Token and I are so obviously American, so everyone stared at us, probably wondering what in the world we were doing there.

The office didn't have a reception desk, so we didn't know where to go and who to check in with, so we just grabbed a seat on one of the old lime green couches and waited to see what would happen.

About 10 minutes later, a short Italian woman, dressed in a white nurse's outfit (for real... down to the posturepedic shoes), who was at LEAST in her mid- to late-70s, came into the room with a Post-It note pad. She talked to one family of about seven (including, mom, dad, grandma, friend, other kids, aunt, etc.), and then headed over in our direction.

She asked us our name and Token wrote it down on her paper, and then she started barreling questions at us as we stared blankly, trying to string together the words "3D ultrasound, seven months pregnant, appointment at 5:30." The room at this point had fallen silent, as everyone strained to hear our attempt at Italian and figure out just who we were and what we were doing there. Either we satisfied the nurse's questioning or she gave up, because she gave us a flip of her hand and walked away.

We waited and waited.... and waited some more as people who had come in after us were whisked away to see the doctor. We concluded that seeing the doctor in Italy is the same as waiting in line here; whoever is the pushiest goes first, regardless of appointment times.

So, after waiting 1.5 hours, I made Token get pushy. His Italian co-worker knows everyone. Seriously. He's like the Mayor of Catania. Token got him on the phone and explained what was going on and was about to hand the phone to the nurse for what was probably going to be a great ass-chewing, when the nurse said something to us that Token translated was 'we're next.' But just to make sure, we stood smack in front of the door to the doctor's office, prepared to defend our place in "line."

Finally, the nurse escorted us into the office, and we kind of, somewhat talked to the doctor, although we thought he asked what we were there for and instead he was asking when I was due, so I think he was confused when Token wrote 3D Ultrasound on his piece of paper. Haha! He also seemed confused when Token wrote 15 October on his piece of paper, because he looked at me, then at my stomach and shook his head. Hm.

He ushered us over to the ultrasound machine and let me just say, I wasn't prepared for just how much I had to pull my pants down. At the Navy Hospital, you can still be somewhat modest, because really, all they need to see is your stomach. But here? Oh no. I might as well have taken my pants off completely. The doctor was also a whole heck of a lot rougher with the ultrasound wand thing than the U.S. doctors. With the U.S. doctors, it was all, "I'm going to apply a little pressure," which amounted to not much pressure at all. With the Italian doctor, to get the baby to move, he was shake my whole entire stomach violently. It wasn't pleasant. He showed us different body parts (it was like Italian 101! Eye = occhio, feet = piedi, brain = cervello, etc.) and printed out a bunch of pictures. Here are a few!

This picture makes me sad, because it looks like she's crying. Can babies cry in the womb? :::heads to Google to search for the answer::: Why, yes, it looks like they can cry! Interesting. Poor little girl. :(

I'll just pretend that she's rocking out to her own little song, because here's a shot of her hand, in a classic "rocker" pose. (and yes, she does have all fingers; we saw them)

The doctor liked the picture above in particular. You see, the 'hook 'em horns' hand gesture is extremely offensive in Italy. It's way worse than throwing someone the middle finger and I think it means something equivalent to 'your wife is cheating on you' or something like that.

The doctor spent about 30 minutes with us, and then the nurse violently wiped away the gel from my stomach (with scratchy paper towel - ouch!), we paid some Euro, and headed on our way. The whole process took 2.5 hours.

The whole thing is definitely a fun memory and a good story for the baby book, that's for sure!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sorta, kinda, maybe a cherry festival

A couple weekends ago, I (Token... yes I actually take pictures & write) went to a cherry festival with some friends. It was a blistering 95+-ish that day. Tracie wisely decided to stay home and veg out in our pseudo-air conditioning and nap the day away with Nikko and Baby girl :)

This is a very interesting cathedral in the town of Milo... you would never guess how beautiful it is inside. The cherry festival (of a whole 5 booths) was across the piazza from here and it was a dud :( The cherries that we bought were incredible, though. So, with the festival being a bust the gang headed out for some more Mt. Etna region fun.

The highlight of the cherry festival for me was this cheese and meat booth... good local flavors, but dang there sure was some stinky cheese in there. I had the unfortunate experience of buying some of this cheese and stunk up everything around me... Sorry Matt & Christine. I hope the car has all the funk out of it now!!!

Here we are... the Milo cherry festival crowd!!!

Neat front door of the cathedral in Milo. The sets of doors depict the key moments in the town's saints lives and miracles.

So, this little truck/veggie stand by the 100 Horse Chestnut Tree was pretty neat... lots of great local flavors to taste. The tree that we stopped to see is the largest & oldest chestnut tree in Europe... kind of a neat thing to enjoy the shade under on a hot day!

Seriously... SNOW on the peak of active Mt. Etna on a 95+ degree day! Crazy weather this summer in Sicily... as you can see, though, the vineyards are right on track.

The fields all around Etna are filled with grapes and other seasonal goodies that are sure to please in the very near future!

Road kill tourist style... actually there were much better Rob pix from this trip but those are saved for more appropriate times when black mail and good embarrassment merit :)

Lunch... can you go wrong with spaghetti carbonara in Italy anywhere? This plate was made at an amazing little restaurant on the side of the road on the edge of a small town on Mt. Etna. Meals like this make me love living in Sicily!

Anyone else notice that there are no pictures of cherries? Interesting... but the trip was more about being with good friends on a beautiful day in Sicily! Tracie was very well rested when I got home and Nikko was ready to roam the yard for geckos and whatever made the mistake of entering his domain!

Friday, July 10, 2009

26 weeks 1 day

Here ya go! Please pay no attention to my nasty hair. Read a couple posts below to find out why it looks like crap. When it gets up to 90 degrees in my office during the day, there's no way I'm going to blow-dry my hair in the morning. It's just not happenin'!

Token - 1, Deer- none

Token got the film developed from his run-in with Bambi in Utah a few weeks ago, and oh my gosh! Check them out!!

(Jeremy, you should rest assured that your Saturn Ion should be able to take the brunt of deer hitting your car while you're driving at least 70 mph. Though I don't recommend testing this theory.)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The woes of working

I haven't mentioned this on the blog, but my office is a furnace. The guys from Public Works (PW) can't figure out why the air conditioning isn't working, but it's currently 89.4 in here at 1:30 p.m. I have called, emailed, stalked, and harassed everyone I know who works at PW for a month now and nothing has been fixed.

Today I put a call in to the local Human Resources Office to find out what would happen if I didn't come in to work, or if I left early, citing 'unsafe work conditions.' I wanted to know if I'd be charged leave. I just got a call back from someone at HR and she basically told me that I would be charged leave because it's a "personal decision and personal discomfort." I asked her if the same would ring true if I had a doctor's note (hello, 6.5 months pregnant here!) and she said yes. She said that the only thing that I can do is request for my boss to find a vacant office on base to move me to. Yeah, that's not happening.

My next step is to file a complaint with the Base Safety Office. From there, who knows. I just can't take this anymore. When I get home from work, I literally have no energy, no appetite, and just want to sleep. The only good thing to come from this is that I easily drink a gallon of cold water a day, but the relief only lasts for a bit.

Anyone have any advice on what I can do short of quitting?