Tuesday, November 30, 2010

damn grief

I think I'll always be surprised at how it catches me off-guard and takes my breath away.

And hormones don't make it any easier.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

daddy's first book

Paul read his first book to baby tonight. Before he started, he said, "I've never read a book to a baby before." It was so sweet. We were trying to get some good kicks out of baby, but silly baby was being shy. I like family time. :) The book Paul chose:

Papa, please get the moon for me by Eric Carle

The first time I read to baby:

The Sonnets of Shakespeare

Sunday, November 21, 2010

one of those days

As I sit here, my eyes are swollen and red from crying. Just because my mind starts wandering.

I had to set aside my Pregnancy After Loss book, which I normally love, because it made me sad. I hadn't yet made it to the third trimester section, and in real life, I'm almost there! But it's overwhelming. Thoughts about setting up baby's room or not, depending on what we may have done in previous pregnancies. Whatever feels right is right. We didn't do anything for baby's room before or even make many purchases. Now we are. The crib came on Friday. I have a drawer full of clothes. Wall art half purchased. And we're excited about it all. But tonight, realizing that we have these things that mean baby is coming and wondering if we'll be one of those couples who has the room all set up and doesn't get to bring a baby home, I am terrified. That almost makes me not want to do it.

Yet I say over and again that I will live in hope and not in fear.

Would guarding my heart be easier? I've definitely lived in that realm. Not necessarily. If something were to happen, it will hurt beyond anything I can imagine. More than anything, I just want to be in my excitement, but it's really hard some days.

So that started the uneasy feelings. Then I really got upset when reading about potential danger signs, one of which is not gaining a pound per week. I'm not. This whole pregnancy, I've played with five pounds lower than my starting weight. I'd go up and down within those five pounds. And I'm still down two pounds from my starting weight. My tummy is definitely growing, and baby has always measured right on track. My tummy even measured large at the last appointment. I wouldn't be worried if I felt I were eating well. But it's hard to eat when you have no appetite. At all. I don't get sick when I eat, but nothing ever sounds good. Lest you worry, I do eat (mostly) healthy food each day. For some reason it just set me off tonight. Poor Paul was opening all the cupboards trying to suggest things while I cried. I think he would have made me anything I wanted. I decided I wanted toast and chicken strips.

But that's not all. I feel like my parents aren't excited about baby, and that bothers me. I think they are, but my mom has said it's hard for her to be excited this time. She always asks how the pregnancy is going (to the point she adds my appointments to her planner), but she never talks about baby. No one in my family does. Baby only enters conversation if I bring it up.

I guess I don't know what I'm expecting. It just bothers me a bit that they gave us a "congratulations on your pregnancy" card with the first two and not this one. The second baby also got a little Winnie the Pooh blanket. Nothing for this baby. (Actually, we didn't receive any congratulations cards from anyone this time. I have to admit, it hurts a bit. Like this baby might not make it so it's not worth their time. This baby deserves to be celebrated, too.) It's not about material things, but maybe I equate that with excitement and planning. My mother-in-law can't stop buying things, even little things. A glider rocker for my Christmas gift, an ultrasound frame, layettes, a quilt, and that's just what she's given us. My friend's mom picks up stuff for her baby girl all the time, who will make her entrance the same time as my baby. Why doesn't my mom?

Paul says she's probably just being cautious, and I get that. It just feels like yet again, I'm missing out on some of those "normal" pregnancy things that others get to enjoy.

And of course my mind spins. Baby showers. Lovely friends are hosting two for us in January. One is at work, and the other is a friends couples shower. I mentioned them to my mom, since she'll be invited along with my mother-in-law, and there was no reaction. I just really want my mom at my shower, and she makes the drive for many other reasons (we live about four hours from them).

All of this just made me cry. Pregnancy hormones certainly don't help. I don't know what to expect, yet I am frustrated that things aren't "normal." This pregnancy after loss thing is hard. Really hard.
Friday, November 19, 2010

daddy got a kick

Last night Paul felt baby move for the first time! Baby has been super active in the evenings, and last night while we were lying in bed, I asked Paul to tell baby about his night. (He feels less awkward when he talks about something specific, so last night baby heard about the plans for brewing a big batch of Scottish ale with the homebrew club.) Baby started wiggling even more and gave two really big kicks. Paul was so excited! After that, he started to feel the subtle kicks, too.

It was so fun! He was so happy to feel it for himself; he's been trying for at least the last eight weeks. These bonding moments are amazing. I have a feeling I'll have a hand on my belly even more often now. :)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

dreams, please go away

They were right when they said dreams during pregnancy can be intense. (I can't identify they; I just know I've read about this in more than one place.) Good grief. I can accept losing sleep over being uncomfortable, but these dreams are a little harder to accept.

My dreams aren't necessarily bad and definitely not scary. But they are stressful. SO stressful. Like trying to find my car in the Mall of American parking ramps late at night after someone else parked it and didn't tell me where. Or needing to pack up my boss's hotel room (and the belongings of two others staying with her, unbeknownst to me), deal with the hotel people, and then drive their stuff cross-country from Washington, D.C., by way of several metropolitan areas. Or finding an overweight beagle in my apartment building and not knowing who his owners are but wanting to take care of him for a bit despite his presence stressing out my cats. These dreams were from Monday night. And I fully woke up between each of them.

Last night I enjoyed dream-free, uninterrupted sleep thanks to Ambien, as recommended by my OB for when I need it. I'll take it when it works, but I'd rather not come to rely on it. However, I do need to make it through the day, and baby and I both feel better when adequately rested. I know sleep deprivation will come on another whole level when baby is born, but that's just not comforting at the moment.

The dreams need to settle down or I might be ordering who knows what from middle-of-the night infomercials in my sleep-deprived state.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

24 weeks and thankful

Sunday marked 24 weeks of baking for this baby! One of the things I was excited to do was to update the checklist below. In true obsessive list-maker fashion, I had to add a couple of lines, mostly to have more things to cross off.

milestone checklist

see heartbeat
finish progesterone
14 weeks - scary date #1
18 weeks - scary date #2
20 weeks  - halfway!
24 weeks - viability
28 weeks - next ultrasound; start biweekly appointments
32 weeks - start weekly appointments
36 weeks - start heparin
37 weeks - full term
39 weeks - baby in my arms

On Monday we had our first OB appointment in four weeks. I realize that four weeks is a normal length of time between visits for most people, but I, like many of you, am not most people. But we made it! Anxiety is certainly calmed by the movement this baby shares with me all day every day, and some of those jabs are starting to take my breath away. I'm incubating a hockey-playing space heater!

Everything is perfect. I don't use perfect often or lightly, but really, this pregnancy has been perfect. I enjoy being pregnant (which is something I never imagined saying), and I'm sure it has much to do with the thankfulness I relish in each day. Every day is another day I thank God that I have been given this baby to love and to carry.

Here are a few updates from my appointment:
  • excellent blood pressure again
  • weight gain of -2 pounds
  • baby is measuring a bit ahead
  • baby still gives Dr. B a hard time finding the heartbeat, but it is very strong and steady
  • plan for 27 weeks - repeat 3-hour glucose (I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm at risk); Rhogam shot; hemoglobin workup
  • plan for 28 weeks - ultrasound and OB appointment
We are almost definitely meeting baby in a planned event, as Dr. B likes to put it. It sounds friendlier than induction. More than anything she wants to plan and control the environment given my anticoagulants, even though I'll take the last does 24-48 before the induction. She - and I - would rather have fewer interventions, which includes medication to reverse heparin effects and/or responding to potential hemorrhaging. And maybe we can schedule for a day Dr. B is on call! The more we talk about it, the more I get used to the idea. And I really do like controlling my environment to the extent I'm able. (Can one become even more type-A with age?) I am doing my best to have very few expectations surrounding labor and birth by educating myself, keeping open-minded, and remembering that nothing is more important than bringing baby here safely. My desires go out the window when I remind myself of that.

I am so very thankful and my heart is full. Most of all, I'm thankful for this little one and all of the babies who are making healthy entrances into the world.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a new nephew to love

We are so excited that baby Gabriel is here! After a long night, he came at 8.52am yesterday...the exact same time as his sister Sophia. A meaningful time. My sister-in-law and baby are doing well. They're testing Gabe for group b strep today, and if all is good, he won't need antibiotics and they'll likely go home tomorrow!

After Sophia died at three weeks from meningitis caused by GBS - and doctors don't know how she got it - taking chances isn't worth it. Right now, they're keeping visitors to family only and being diligent about hand-washing. Other than doctor appointments, he'll be kept at home for a couple months with few visitors.

I just can't wait to snuggle him! Paul is going to his parents' for deer hunting, and I might go with...mostly because Gabe and family live only 30 minutes away. :) It will be fun to see the big brothers, too. I just love my nephews and niece, and there's another nephew on the way!

When my baby comes, there will be three new babies within three months. These cousins are going to have so much fun together!

It is interesting symmetry, though. Our family lost three babies in 2009. Sophia was the third child in her family. Three often represents the trinity of body, mind and spirit. We all felt weakness here. Three represents divine perfection. All of these babies are perfect because they are created by God. Growing a baby is divided into trimesters. And three represents the triune God. A perfect God. The Holy Spirit, which has comforted me so during this time, joins God the creator and Jesus our deliverer to complete the fullness of the Godhead. Google "symbolism of three," and you'll find all sorts of interesting things.

There is just so much to be thankful for. These babies are the hope that we've clung to. Now I pray for the safe and healthy arrival and infancy for them all.