Rufus

Frequently Asked Questions

(including "Who is Rufus?")

March 16, 2003

The Rufus page is now closed! Head on over to the Hadley page !

January 20, 2003

(Today's installment written by Molly)

Hello, again and Happy MLK Day if you are celebrating.

We just got back from what I would consider to be our best appointment to date. Ok, maybe the second best, following the one where we actually saw Rufus for the first time...

That is all for now. Be sure to enter your guess into the Rufus pool and sign up for babypressconference.com.

January 11, 2003

(Today's installment written by Molly)

This is an update for all of you who have been begging for me to put a picture of my expanding gut up on the page. It's not pretty, but here you are.

Honestly, the picture doesn't do justice to how large I actually feel.

So now you can all write to me and tell me what you think I am having according to all of the Old Wives Tales you know. Better yet, submit to the Rufus pool!

There will be another update next week as we are having another sonogram to see how large Rufus is at this point and what his/her position is. Please send "flip vibes" as he/she is still breech.

January 6, 2003

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

Just a quick note today...

The Rufus Pool has not been working. We've heard from more than a few people that they had trouble registering.

Therefore, instead of going over to that other site, just send Jamie an e-mail with your entry.

Enter the Pool!

See other entries.

Rules: guess the date and sex and we will update the table with your bet.

Again, there will be a prize. TBD.

December 22, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

Once again, it's been quite a while since our last update, so here is a summary of the events over the past month.

So, as you can, see we have a lot of ground to cover. Make yourself comfortable.

Third Trimester

We have just entered the third trimester! This means that Rufus is gearing up for being born. He weighs about 2 and a half pounds and is about 14 inches long. This trimester is more about growth than development. Rufus's organs are all pretty much in place (the lungs are still developing, but they are theoretically functional now), so he spends these last three months just plain growing. For more on the third trimester, check the following:

Glucose Test

A few weeks ago, Molly took her glucose test, which checks for gestational diabetes.To take the test, you chug a can of super-sweet soda, wait for an hour and then have your blood tested for glucose levels.

Molly passed the test, which is good news. Apparently, though, the problems associated with gestational diabetes are very manageable now, so even if she had not passed it would not be the end of the world.

Rufus is Hogging all the Iron

On the other hand, we've just learned that Rufus is hogging all the iron in Molly's body, so she has become anemic.

As you know, Molly's body puts Rufus's well-being before her own, and iron resources are no exception. As a result, Molly has found herself with too little iron in her blood, so she has been feeling fatigued and even a little light headed. Iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women is not at all uncommon, and there is a great deal of information available on it.

She is now taking iron supplements to beef up her own iron reserves, so everything will be fine on that front.

Molly's anemia is not likely to affect Rufus in any significant way. As we mentioned, her body does everything it can to make sure Rufus gets what he needs, so there is little risk that he has suffered any ill effects.

Rufus's Room

And now, some more fun news.

With valuable assistance from Mike and Anna (and moral support from Jo and Scott, who were not able to help on the painting front), we just finished painting the extra room. Once the paint dried, we also opened up the crib and changing table/bureau and put them in place. As a result, Rufus has a room!

Here are some pictures, taken by Mike:

It's a little hard to tell the color from these, but it's sort of like this:



But not quite

Rufus is Rightside Up

We've learned that Rufus is rightside up (i.e., his head is up, his feet are down). Normally, that would be a good thing. Under the circumstances, though, we are looking forward to him turning over.

What are we talking about? Read on.

As you probably know, when babies are born, they come out head first. In order to come out head first, the baby has to be positioned head down in the uterus. If the head is not positioned down, then it's called a breech presentation.

So, we are at about 29 weeks, and Rufus is in a breech presentation. If he does not turn over, then it means we will have to go through a Cesarean section procedure, which has some disadvantages (longer recovery time after birth, plus the risks that are always present for major operations). If you are curious, here is a presentation on the history of the Cesarean section.

Now, here is the important part: there is every reason to think that Rufus will turn himself around in plenty of time to be born. But don't take our word for it: here's an expert answering this question for someone else. Babies usually turn to the correct position between weeks 28 and 32, and can go as late as week 36, so we still have plenty of time.

If you want to know more about breech babies, here is some very useful information.

Due Date Back to March 11

In our November 11th installment, we reported that the due date had changed from March 11th to March 9th. This change was based on the measurements made during the November 7th sonogram (the 20 week session).

We are changing it back, and Jamie thinks it's interesting why we're doing so, so he's going to explain it to you.

Due dates are calculated based on measurements of various features on the fetus (length, width of skull, etc.) compared against fetal development tables. Turns out, the predictions made early in the pregnancy are much more accurate than those made later on, which makes an awful lot of sense if you think about it.

Babies vary in size when they are born, as everyone knows. That means that the babies develop at different rates when they are in the womb. A bigger-than-average baby at birth will also be bigger than average at 20 weeks. Way back at 10 weeks, though, there hasn't yet been time for the baby to develop at a vastly different rate from all other babies. As a result, the development tables are much more accurate predictors in early stages than they are in later ones. Neat, eh?

The Rufus Pool

Finally, we have created a pool for placing bets on Rufus birthday and birth weight. Here is a link to the pool (the name of the game is "RufusTalbot"). The bad news is that you have to register for their site to place a bet. The good news is that they actually know what they are doing, so we don't have to learn PERL or Java or something to make it work in a useful way.

There will be a prize of some sort. TBA.

FWIW, Jamie started to try to build our own pool, and got as far as this before realizing that he did not know what to do with your selections once you made them. If anyone knows how to create and manage a database (or even a simple datafile), feel free to offer your assistance.

November 13, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

Ok, so it turns out a lot of you could not quite see the profile in the last picture. Sorry about that. We've looked at so many sonograms over the past few months that we've gotten pretty good at recognizing things.

In an effort to help those of you who've had trouble, Jamie made his first-ever excursion into the world of Photoshop to try to show you what is what.

Here is what he managed to do (please don't laugh...he couldn't figure out how to make straight lines):

(Insert Monday Night Football joke here)

Now look again at the unedited version below. Is it any clearer?

November 11, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

Last week we had our follow-up sonogram appointment at Lenox Hill hospital with the goal of getting a good look at Rufus's profile.

Mission accomplished!

(The "HI MOM AND DAD" was added by a well-intentioned sonogram technician. It's a bit cheesy, but we appreciated the effort.)

Ok, so that is Rufus's profile. Forehead to the left, chin to the right, then dipping down to the neck and up again to the chest. Just above the tip of his nose, you can see his hand.

Based on the measurements from the 20-week sonogram and the November 7th sonogram, we technically have a new due date: March 9th. This does not really mean much, though, since all due dates are very rough estimates. We are still well within the proverbial bell curve.

In other news, poor Molly has been having a heck of a time with her sciatica. Her back and hip get very sore, especially after a day at school. On the other hand, she's started getting Braxton Hicks contractions. No, she is not going into labor, and no, they do not hurt. They are perfectly normal (in fact, the uterus randomly contracts from time to time even when the woman is not pregnant -- pregnancy just makes them more noticeable).

The current vital statistics: as of last Thursday, Rufus is 1 pound, 3 ounces, and roughly 11 inches long (head to toe). Molly feels him moving regularly and Jamie has managed to catch a few thumps as well. He even gets hiccups (poor thing).

Scary fact: within the next few weeks, Rufus will become viable, meaning that he could survive outside the womb if necessary. Of course, we hope he stays in for at least a few more months.

October 21, 2002

(Today's installment written by Molly)

We went for our 20 week ultrasound today. This ultrasound is considered "the Big One" because it is a "level 2" ultrasound where they measure all of the nooks and crannies of the baby. We have to keep in mind that we are very lucky to have had 3 other ultrasounds in our 4 months. For many couples the 20 week ultrasound is the one and only one they have the whole pregnancy.

We had our appointment at Lenox Hill Hospital, where we believe we have decided to have the baby. It is about 45 minutes to an hour away from us but is a very nice hospital and has a lot of the amenities that the Brooklyn hospital close by doesn't have, including an opportunity for a live web chat (with a live video feed) the day after Rufus is born. More on that later. On a later date, we mean.

After waiting 50 minutes we were brought into a dark room and immediately started on our way...

At this point we'd like to take a moment to say that we believe there should be some law against the freezing cold goo that they put on your stomach. We know they have warmers out there, folks, they make them for a reason. Use them! But we digress...

The technician went right to work: she measured all of the bones, the cranium and the baby's torso. We got to see the stomach, the diaphragm, the 4 chambers of the heart, the eyes, nose and mouth, the legs and feet and arms and hands (10 fingers and 10 toes!). Pretty amazing to see those toes...

We were able to record the whole appointment on videotape. We're hoping to get some stills for the website. We have a follow-up in two weeks because we couldn't get a good look at the baby's profile (We know what it looks like, we should have just sent the doctors to our website!). Next Monday the 28th we have another appointment and will hopefully have better pictures to show you guys. Until then...

A quick technical note from Jamie:

Sometime during the next week, we will try to get some screen captures from the videocassette. From what we hear, though, these tend not to come out very well, so don't get your hopes up.

September 30, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

We have two major items to report today.

First, we "passed" the Triple Screen Test, which tests the risk of various potential problems, such as spina bifida and Down syndrome.

Actually, saying we "passed" is a little misleading, since it's not so much a test as it is a risk analysis. That is, if we'd failed, it wouldn't mean Rufus had a problem, just that there was a greater risk of there being a problem. Conversely, the fact that we passed doesn't mean that Rufus does not have a problem, it's just less likely. In fact, the test will "detect" 85% of spina bifida cases and only approximately 60% of babies with Down syndrome.

Don't get us wrong: this is very good news, but it's not a guarantee of health.

Second (and this is potentially much bigger news), Molly thinks (that's thinks) that she felt Rufus move twice yesterday! She felt something like a little gas bubble (most women mistake the first movements for exactly that) and, at the risk of being....indelicate....she has no reason to think it was gas.

We've just entered our 17th week so, if it was Rufus moving, we're right on schedule. Jamie won't be able to feel anything for a few more weeks, so he is a little jealous to be missing out on the excitement...

The current statistics: Rufus is about 4.5-5 inches long (crown to rump) and weighs about 4-6 ounces. All the organs are pretty much in place (but still developing) and he's covered in light fur (really!). Legs are disproportionately long, but the rest will catch up soon. He's also started "breathing" amniotic fluid. At least, he is pulling it in and out of his lungs. When we find out why, we'll let you know.

September 18, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

We had another appointment with Dr. Brennan today. Jamie went this time to make sure he didn't miss any more surprise sonograms, and he wasn't disappointed -- we've got new pictures!

You can't really tell from these pictures, but you can now see arms, legs and even (Jamie thinks) fingers (you can definitely see the bones at least). It looked like Rufus was sucking his thumb, which was sort of sweet to see.

The sonogram also clearly showed his spine and ribcage (you can see some of the spine below). It's important to see a clearly developed spine because, as you might expect, the spine is a fairly critical piece of the skeleton. Or group of pieces. You get the idea.

By far the most amazing thing for Jamie (only slightly less so for Molly, and that only because she's seen it before) was seeing Rufus actually move. And we're not talking about a fluttering heart this time (which we saw and heard again), we're talking actual movement. We saw him kind of push off of the edge of the womb with his legs and lurch forward, and we definitely saw him move his arms around. Seeing your baby move for the first time is...well...you can probably imagine.

And now, without further ado:

This is the "wide" view. You can see the spine fairly clearly, but we got much better looks at the whole thing when we were in the examining room. You may think there's a gap in the middle, but there isn't (thank goodness). You can also clearly see the legs over to the left.

This is a close-up, but unfortunately we happened to capture a blurry moment, so you can't see very much. You can see a bit of the spine again, though.

But do notice that Rufus has changed position. Instead of head to the left looking "up," now he's flipped forward so his head is on the right looking "down."

It's the little things that count.

The current statistics: Rufus is now approximately 10cm from head to rump (12.5cm total) and weighs about 80 grams.

August 26, 2002

(Today's installment written by Molly)

Today I had an appointment with Dr. Brennan. I am officially 12w1d [Ed. note: 12 weeks 1 day], starting my second trimester. This should mean that the fatigue will start to subside, however, I have heard stories to the contrary.

So, I've gained one pound since this whole science experiment started. I feel like I've at least gained 10. My clothes are getting to be very tight and very uncomfortable. I never in my life thought I would love elastic waist. I am trying to get through the last of the summer with rubber bands through the loopholes and around the buttons of all of my shorts and pants. I will be wearing a lot of dresses in the first weeks of school so that I won't feel uncomfortable.

Unexpectedly I was given a sonogram again. It was a nice surprise and I was amazed at how much Rufus had changed in a month. (S)he was moving around (I won't feel that until between 16-22 weeks), literally rolling around. I got to see it's profile, arms flailing around and it's crossed legs. It was extremely cool.

Jamie wasn't able to make the appointment because I didn't think it was anything more than just a blood pressure/weight check. He will be there for all that follow so he won't miss anything again. Our next appointment is September 18th for a bunch of blood tests.

Here are the newest pictures of Rufus. One is a close-up of the other. I think you can clearly see the head (left) and even a bit of the profile if you don't look too closely.

August 25, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie...Molly really will write some of these)

We've now entered the second trimester! According to the info we have, Rufus now is about 2 and 1/2 inches long, has a face with a human profile and a prominent chin. Rufus also now has genitals, but we don't know which kind. He also has fingernails and visible intestines.

I have seen web sites claiming Rufus now has a fully formed brain and vocal cords, and that he sometimes cries. They also say he can feel pain. This all may be true, but, since each of these sites is also anti-abortion and they seem to be following a script (each says something like "your child can and does sometimes cry (silently)!"), I'm taking their statements with a grain of salt, as they clearly have an interest in making Rufus seem as developed as possible.

At any rate, what it clear is that Rufus is starting to look more and more like a little person.

As for Molly, she's starting to have trouble fitting in her clothes (it's ok, I cleared that revelation with her before writing it) and is very snacky.

Here are some pictures of 12 week fetuses (feti?). (None of these are of Rufus)

Finally, for those of you who did not get here using the special announcement page, here's your chance.

August 18, 2002

We're pregnant!

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

As of August 18, 2002, Molly is 11 weeks pregnant. The picture above is almost 4 weeks old. When we have newer and better pictures to show you (the really big sonogram session is at 20 weeks), we will post them here.

Needless to say, we're thrilled and are incredibly relieved to finally start telling people! We've known since just after the 4th of July, so if you've noticed either of us acting strangely since then (or at least more strangely than usual), that's probably why.

(If you are of the McQuillan clan, please don't tell Pop-Pop. Molly intends to tell him this week.)

July 26, 2002

(Today's installment written by Jamie)

We went to see Dr. Brennan today and had two major events:

Both were incredibly cool. Molly cried. I stood there reading full limbs into vague blotches. When you look at the screen and see this little fluttery motion in the middle of Rufus as you hear the heartbeat over the speaker... well, it's something to experience.

Here are the pictures:

(We think that's the best picture of the bunch. You can really see some detail)

(This is a close-up, plus it has lots of useful information, such as the current size (12.5mm) and due date (March 11, 2003))

(The lines on the right are the heartbeat)

When you look at the pictures at first, you don't see very much. Here's a close-up of the first picture:

You see, that's Rufus, curled up sort of like a shrimp. Look at the upper part - that's the head. Now, in the bottom part of the head, there's a black smudge - we think that's an eye. Then look at the bright white line leading down to the left from the eye - we think that's an arm. Finally, look down and to the right of the arm - that parallel smudge we think is a leg.

(When Jamie learns Photoshop, this will be much easier)

We're probably reading more into these than there actually is, but for now we are happy in our delusions.

We're going to be parents!



July 9, 2002

Shhhhhhh.

Molly's pregnant.

Don't tell anyone....

(and no, "Rufus" is not going to be his/her name)




Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Rufus?

Rufus is our pet name for the baby until he/she is born. We needed a name, and it was the first thing that popped into Jamie's head.

When is the due date?

The due date has officially changed back from March 9th to March 11th. It will not change again, but it also does not mean Rufus will be born on that date. It's probably going to happen sometime during the first couple of weeks in March.

Is it a boy or a girl?

We don't know, and we don't plan to find out until sometime in March. If you think you can tell from the pictures, please keep it to yourself.

So why does Jamie keep referring to the baby as a "he"?

Only because the temporary name is Rufus. Referring to Rufus as a "she" just wouldn't feel right.

How is Molly feeling?

Molly's general response to this question is that she is feeling pretty good, but she is very tired, so she has been forced to improve her napping skills. Her back also gets very sore as the day progresses. And this is just the beginning....

Have you decided on names?

We're working on that. We think we're pretty close to having a girl name, but are a little stumped on boy names. If you have a suggestion, please put it in the Guestbook.

How long have you known?

We've known since just after the 4th of July. We found out while visiting Molly's parents on Cape Cod. As you can probably imagine, during the interval between then and August 17th when we sent out our announcement, we had a very difficult time keeping the secret.

Didn't I see Molly drinking at [name of function]? What kind of irresponsible parents-to-be are you??

If it was after July 5th, you did not see Molly drinking anything with alcohol in it. Here's our secret: ginger ale in a champagne glass looks enough like actual champagne to pass the casual glance. Crafty, eh? Molly's idea.


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