Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the magnificat

I've had this version of the Magnificat on my mind lately. The text is from Luke 1 when Mary visits Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist, and sings this song.

The setting is from Marty Haugen's evening vespers, Holden Evening Prayer. I've always thought it was a beautiful setting, and I love to accompany services where it is sung. My church uses Holden for weekly Lenten services, and I look forward to it each year. Now, in this advent season of anticipation, and anticipating the arrival of my own baby, I hear it in a different way.

The text and a beautiful prayer:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Monday, December 6, 2010

28 weeks...and first trip to labor & delivery

It's been a baby-action packed few days and this is long. I'm exhausted, and providing a good home to a bunch of cold germs doesn't make it any easier!

First, we had our 28 week appointment on Friday! I managed to schedule labs, ultrasound and OB for the same day, so I just took the day off work. I repeated the three-hour glucose and didn't pass this time. Or rather, I was borderline, but she chose not to pass me. My fasting glucose is excellent, but my body is a bit sluggish to process that sugar after an hour. I'm waiting for the nurse to call to set me up with a nutritionist appointment.

And I'm okay with this. I more or less knew this is where we were heading, giving my strong family history and marginal passing results last time. I am much more emotionally equipped than had I needed to start the regimen at 18 weeks. And I will do ANYTHING in my power to ensure a healthy baby arriving safely. I'm down 2.5 pounds from four weeks ago which leaves me with a net loss of 5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. At this rate, Dr. B. wants me to put on 10 pounds in the next 10-11 weeks. My weight has definitely been redistributing!

Hemoglobin was on the low side of normal but fine, and the RH antibodies test came back negative so I was able to get the Rhogam shot later that afternoon. After three hours sitting in the lab, I had a good length scarf knit!

The ultrasound was great. Baby is BIG, measuring about two weeks ahead. We're going to check growth again in four weeks, but my OB isn't concerned about the size-GD correlation at this point because babies long bones were measuring ahead, too. We saw baby's mouth opening, the most perfect leg profile (all the better to kick with), and legs crossed tightly at the knees. We don't want to know the sex, and baby made sure we couldn't accidentally find out. Baby's heart rate is consistently around 150.

The only downside to the day (other than the GD stuff) was that we had to wait to hours to see Dr. B. It was her on-call day, and I knew that. But we weren't complaining. We've never really had to wait before, and who knows what she was handling that day. I'm sure I've caused her to run behind before!

Yesterday was my SIL's baby shower about an hour drive away. After a quick breakfast with my parents and shopping with my mom - she wanted to buy me a Christmas outfit! - we were on the road. I don't normally feel baby move when I'm in the car, so I didn't think too much about a lack of movement until we were back home. After an hour, only four movements. After three hours, two big glasses of juice, one piece of bunt cake and three trips to the bathroom, only six movements. So I called the nurse line in the birth center, and they suggested I come in for some monitoring.

So off we went. I was crying because I thought that if the nurse said to come in versus telling me to do something at home, maybe there was something wrong. I was 95 percent sure everything was fine, but that last 5 percent nagged at me. Now there is a different kind of fear...knowing that baby has a good outlook if born now (though I fully intend to bake him or her longer), makes me scared that I'll miss a warning sign and the chance to get baby out safely. *sigh* Always something.

I love my hospital and the nurses. Our nurse was SO WONDERFUL and she made me feel like we did the right thing. Absolutely no indication that we overreacted. After a good 20 minutes on the monitors, with baby's steady heart rate averaging around 150 with good accels and decels, we were cleared to go home. And of course baby decided to show off once hooked up because I got all sorts of good kicks and movements. No contractions and LOTS of movement noted on the strip. Just perfect. But there was nothing better than just listening to baby and trying to pick out the movement and when my coughing changed up the heart beat.

So today we both took a sick day. After the late night and bodies coursing with adrenaline, combined with an aching back and ribs from coughing for me, we needed to relax and decompress. Baby enjoyed the day at home too; moving ALL day for mommy.

The updated 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
*first trip to labor and delivery - 28w
32 weeks - next ultrasound; start weekly appointments
36 weeks - start heparin
37 weeks - full term
39 weeks - baby in my arms

*added to the list, but not planned.
Friday, December 3, 2010

another anniversary

So one year ago today we learned at 14 weeks our second baby no longer had a heartbeat. By date, it's tomorrow, but by day of the week, today. I managed to mostly hold it together at my marathon day at the clinic (next post), including ultrasound. Until I told my doctor it had been one year.

The college where I work has a BIG Christmas concert each year, and I've missed very few in the last ten years. We even went last year with baby in my belly but no longer dancing. I just couldn't do it tonight. Not when I cried the whole time last year. I just need this weekend to be different.

Again, the anticipation was worse than the day. The last week has been up and down. But it's the last of the firsts I've been anticipating. I've passed miscarriage dates (on Monday, the surgery date) and due dates.

Paul reminded me tonight that there are more firsts than we can begin to anticipate...starting with the birth of this baby.