35 Weeks!


Well it’s a relief to make it to this point. Wednesday marked 35 weeks of the pregnancy that I thought would be smooth compared to the others. This was an adventurous week – a hospital visit for premature contractions, maternity photos, and husband out of the country.

On Monday, I saw the perinatologist. On the plus side, my amniotic fluid decreased below the polyhydramnios levels to 23.5. On the negative side, my insulin resistance seems to be getting worse (so they increased my glyburide intake to 7.5mg 2x a day), baby no. 3 is still on the big side (39 week abdomen size), the NST test was pretty unreactive, as usual, my blood pressure is creeping up, and I have trace amounts of protein in my urine, and to top it off, I gained 4 lbs in four days (potentially due to getting nearer to Pre-eclampsia).

I had a non-resting day and took an adventure to see some maternity pics at photographer’s studio. When I got back at night, contractions started at 6pm, with 14 the first hour, 16 the second hour, and 15 the next hour – this after only resting, and taking Procardia. Finally I called the Doctor on call. When I heard the Dr. from the last visit was on call, I knew he would send me to the hospital before he even called me back.

On a side note, Michael was leaving for Hong Kong the next day at 7AM. I was hoping not to have a repeat of the last visit, where the aforementioned doctor kept me overnight. By the time they released me, we had an hour to get Michael on the way to the airport. I think that there is something psychological going on. My husband is headed out of town for 7-10 days on both trips and the night before, I have contractions every 2-4 minutes. I think it’s my head asking my body to act up so that I can be reassured that everything is going to be fine. By the way, my mom has been here on both trips, which has helped immensely.

Anyway, at the hospital, contractions were still pretty close, so they gave me a shot of terbutaline (my third this pregnancy), and when the contractions slowed down, they sent me home. This visit lasted less than 3 hours, whew.

On Thursday, my visit to the OB/GYN went very well! Blood pressure was great. NST was reactive in 10 minutes (one one visit I was there for 2 hours waiting for the baby to react!), and cervix remains closed.

In the meantime, I’m mostly still resting (well physically) for the contractions and the blood pressure (lots of headaches now). I managed to do a lot of filing, taxes, and worked on our architectural projects. I revamped three websites, foxlin.com, this one, and biomimetic-architecture.com. The week before I redid our portfolio. The kids and I have been having a lot of fun with sticker books and origami, as well as discovering some great phonics apps for our screen time devices.

Women in Architecture – Please sign petition for Denise Scott Brown

The Pritzker Architecture Prize Committee: Recognize Denise Scott Brown for her work in Robert Venturi’s 1991 Prize



Women of Architecture

I  just signed this petition - https://www.change.org/petitions/the-pritzker-architecture-prize-committee-recognize-denise-scott-brown-for-her-work-in-robert-venturi-s-1991-prize#share. Hope you will consider signing it. I know we will never receive a Pritzker, but if we received any architectural accolade, I would be quite disappointed if it just included my husband /partner and left me in the dust.

I found out about the petition after reading this interesting Architectural Record article.

Gestational Diabetes – Trying to make the most of it

JL-Blog-GDFood-01So, it took three pregnancies, but I’m finally getting a hang of the GD diet. I was recently moved back from strict bed rest to modified bed rest, so I am happy to spend some time in the kitchen, not much mind you. I never like to cook anything that takes longer than 10 minutes. My lunch today was perfect. There was no change in blood sugar after one hour. Using Dreamfields or wheat pasta will improve the numbers even more. The trick is to have the noodles be less than 1/4 of the ingredients, just pile veg and meat to make it look like more. We have also been making fried rice like this (extra eggs, veg, and meat) and have managed to stay within allowed blood sugar levels (140 mg/dL after meals).

So here is what went into it:

  1. cooked noodles stored in tupperware (cook a box and keep it for fast meals)
  2. left over rotisserie chicken from Costco (another great bed rest meal – send hubbie out to get it though)
  3. whatever veggies you have (I have used spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and broccoli)
  4. pine nuts would be great, but I didn’t have any
  5. two cloves of garlic
  6. half and half
  7. real Parmesan cheese (shredded/grated, etc.)
  8. 4-cheese or any cheese really

Throw them all in the frying pan with some olive oil on high heat until it looks ready. Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes. It was delicious to cook  for myself after two weeks of eating what is around or what people make for me. The process is less than 10 minutes to make and basically is heating food you have lying around.

Alas, a bump pic

Finally, a bump pic for Juintow …


Weekly Chinese Lesson – Lion = 狮子

狮子 is pronounced Shīzi (pinyin)  and means lion. This face painting was done at the Festival of Whales in Dana Point.


Premature contractions, timers, and diet coke


Since my premature contractions started this time at 27 weeks, the craziest day is when I ignored my doctors’s advice and went to the beach. I was mostly reclined but I was in the sun, and likely got dehydrated. I got home that night and had contractions that were eerily consistent, like every 2 minutes and 45 seconds apart, and gradually getting closer. I had taken one Procardia pill around 5:30PM and took another at 9:00PM. I now know it’s not recommended to do have them more than 4-6 hours apart as it drastically reduces your blood pressure. Well, finally after 30-40 minutes, the contractions got farther apart, and I didn’t have to make my 4th visit to the hospital for this pregnancy. On the downside, my diastolic blood pressure value was down to 54…

On another note, I’ve been on bedrest for two weeks and haven’t been able to get to the store to stock up on a lot of our staples. In the last week or so, I’ve noticed a decrease in my contractions. Last night and today, they seem to be on a slight increase, but still no where close to what they were. In thinking of what’s changed and hasn’t over the last week… bed rest has more or less been consistent, medication reduced, and I ran out of diet code several days ago. So… I just googled diet coke and pre-term labor, and found a couple of articles suggesting that drinking 4 or more diet sodas can increase likelihood of preterm labor by around 70%.

JL-Pregnancy-Preterm-01I don’t know if there is anything to this, but just in case, I’m cutting back on all artificial sweeteners. The other reasons that I can come up for my issues are related to having too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios, mine is ranging from 22-25 so a little high) or irritable uterus. I have made efforts to reduce my sugar numbers to reduce the amniotic fluid, so perhaps that is another reason for improvements.

On another note, this is about the best contraction timer there is - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jamesots.android.contractiontimer&hl=en. This one is for Android. I have others for my Surface Pro and Ipad but this is my favorite.



Pregnant and Bed rest at 39

So pregnancy for me is typically a breeze, until the third trimester…


Now that I’m in the third tri, all of the issues start cropping up. For Juneau (born when I was 35), I had pre-eclampsia (PIH) at 36 weeks and was induced at 37 weeks because my blood pressure was high. At least I had been somewhat dilated, so I don’t think I would have been much farther beyond that. For Orinoco (born when I was 37), I didn’t have high blood pressure. However, at 32 weeks, I was sitting in my midterm review one day before my last day of teaching and I had like 50 contractions. I went to the Dr. that night and was put on bedrest and procardia until week 36, because of a positive fetal fibronectin test. I came off of all of that and made it to 38 weeks and 3 days, when my water broke. She was born that night. With this one, I started the contractions at week 27.  However, these proved to be doing nothing, just a nuisance, but contracting every 2-5 minutes on a regular basis. They told me to take it easy, then advised pelvic rest, modified bed rest, and then at week 31, I was in the hospital for all the contractions, and despite having repeated negative fetal fibronectin tests, a long cervix (4-5cm) etc., they want to treat me for pre-term labor. So I was sent home on strict bedrest and told to take procardia 4x a day. This was later modified to as needed, and I’m taking it 1-2 x a day, when I have contractions more than 6 in an hour. It’s all very annoying of course. Bed rest is very difficult, especially when all the science seems to indicate that there is no proof that it works. I asked my perinatologist about this, and he said that all the Doctors still use it, and that it appears to be working. This in fact is true. Instead of having contractions very frequently, I probably have less than 10 a day. I do  have a hospital table, and am using my computer pretty regularly. But it’s physically tiring to being in the same position all day all day long. Luckily I got a new Windows Surface Pro to keep me busy.


So I mentioned pregnancy is a breeze, but that’s if you don’t count gestational diabetes as a problem. I have had it with all three pregnancies, last time starting treatment at 8 weeks, and this time at 12 weeks. This was really hard the first time, but frankly I’m getting used to it at this point and will certainly try to stay to this diet after birth (the best laid plans). This time I’m on glyburide 12.5mg. The first time I managed with diet, and the second time I was on insulin, which was very hard. I gained a lot of weight, and was always hungry and struggling with low blood sugar.

Two Expecting Moms


It has been ages since I’ve posted anything.  Things have been busier than ever with our practice, and I have always blogged about pregnancy, but on my private blog. In any case, the news is that ……..Jean and I are both pregnant. I’m due May 15, and she’s due May 19. The Renz-Oeis were visiting last November, and over dinner, Jean mentioned that they were pregnant. We see each other at best every few years so this is the kind of news to deliver in person (we were the first friends they told). After a very excited congratulations, and after hearing the baby was due in May, we couldn’t keep our news a secret a second longer.  We let our families know over Thanksgiving, so for a while the news was private between the designing mom families. It’s been great fun to have a friend to compare notes with.  I’ll add a good bump picture when I get one.


Jean, Asa, and baby.


Weekly Chinese Lesson – Dog = 狗

The dog is aptly called man’s best friend – we are amazed how well they have co-existed with man for so long. In Chinese, dog is 狗 (go, pronounced with a down and then up tone), and more affectionately known as 狗狗 (go go).



RIP Niko the Dog (1998-2014)

Niko the Dog

Our  Alaska Malamute of 14 years passed away in his sleep last week – he was the most magnificent dog in the world. To celebrate his life, we gathered some of his favorite things, and flower/plants from his local walks, dug a hole, buried the items, and planted an apple tree above. Juneau says he will think of Niko every time he eats an apple. JL-Family-Niko-01 JL-Family-Niko-02 JL-Family-Niko-03 JL-Family-Niko-06 JL-Family-Niko-07 JL-Family-Niko-08