Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy birthday Daddy!

Today was daddy's birthday and boy did we have fun.

First, we made daddy a very special birthday card!

I had a lot of fun coloring my card for daddy. He was very surprised! I even let Aidan sign his name to my card, because I'm such a good big sister!

Then, it was time to make daddy's birthday cake. Grandma and grandpa made me a learning tower for Christmas and mommy finally let me use it!

I had just gotten up from my nap so I wasn't very happy yet. I wake up slowly, like my mommy and daddy.

I got to help mommy pour:

And mix:

Brother Aidan got in the action and watched from his special play mat.

Of course mommy and daddy had to teach me all the bad cook habits and we licked the beaters and bowl clean. Yummmmmmy!

And then, we cleaned!

Now it's time for daddy's birthday dinner and then, we eat CAKE!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

8 years later

8 years ago today, we were preparing to start a new journey.

We didn't know where it would take us. We didn't know what was in store for us, we just knew we wanted to meet it all together.

We are a product of internet dating. Yup, you probably didn't know that did you? We agreed to meet for a first date at Lent services at my church ( place, we both were to drive separately, etc.) But the day before that first "date" I came down with what turned out to be a serious muscle spasm in my back. My dad insisted on taking me to the ER after a friend found me curled up in a ball in a room at church bawling my eyes out my back was hurting so badly. I was determined to make it on my date the next day though, so I didn't take the pain medication prescribed to me and ventured into work that morning. Bad idea. My boss called my parents when I was doubled over my desk in so much pain and home I went. And decided first impressions are never good when you are drugged on pain medications and muscle relaxers. So I called Andrew to reschedule, but told him he could still go to church and the dinner if he wanted. Told him who to ask for as my parents would be there and gave my parents instructions to watch out for him. To my surprise, he actually showed. And then began the next stage in my life.

(side note on the ER visit. Andrew, to this day, teases me that I just wanted to get out of the date because I was scared to meet him lol. There really was an ER visit...I have the bills to prove it.)

Married that same year, we forged ahead with making our new life together. It hasn't been without it's up and downs. Graduate school, infertility and pregnancy loss, job loss, job changes, death of family members, the unexpected, out of town and premature delivery of our first.








How life has changed over the last years. We've doubled the size of our family and seen many things through out the journey. We look forward to many more years.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

There is something about December

I'm not sure what it is, but there just is something about December for me. If it's the wonder of Christmas, and all that it entails. The celebration of the birth of Christ, the wonderful family memories that are always built around this time. The gathering of families, kids running around and playing. Celebration. A chill in the air. If I'm lucky, snow. I can just hear in my head "Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!"

Everything seems to happen in December for me. My wedding, my daughter being released from the hospital and both of us finally returning home after 10 long weeks. The birth of my son (which it's cliche but does really add meaning to this season) and my husbands birthday.

I love December. I always have. The close of one year and the anticipation of the new.

This year was rather laid back, however. And it was nice to just take things easy. Elisa and Aidan both were spoiled. So was I for that matter. Spoiled with carbs. :)

Next year, I want to make a bigger deal out of things. Elisa will be three and should really understand the excitement.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Confessions of a sort of first time mom

I did not go into this with my eyes closed.

I knew it'd be hard.

I knew it'd have it's challenges.

But I must confess, I did not expect it to show me my limitations.

Balancing a newborn, with it being my first born and even one that needed a little bit more care than your typical newborns, with life, was a piece of cake.

Balancing a two year old, a newborn, a family, outside activities, household, Christmas and all while sleep deprived and feeling too guilty to sleep during the day has led me to the wall.

That proverbial wall that says ok. I'm done.

Not literally. I am tired. I'm in pain, tons. Post partum has been hell this time. Between a knot of sutures causing me pain when I breathe, bells palsy making me feel like some sort of circus freak, a child who literally once he smells me insists on food. A two year old who is refusing to nap, and who's boundless energy makes me want to cry.

And now? Being told my youngest is not gaining FAST enough.

Seriously? I thought I left these "weight" issues behind. Weight checks? Pumping?

Do not, and I repeat do NOT get onto a preemie momma about her full term child's weight gain. You will get an unexpected result.

He's gaining. He's fine. I refuse to get caught up in the whole numbers game again. Find another momma to play that game with.

By the way, he put on 5 oz. it was the "minimum" they want to see with the goal of being back to birth weight at two weeks. He's two ounces off.

Get over it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Italy vs. Holland

As promised in my earlier blog, here is the poem regarding Italy and Holland.

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

* * *

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley

Now, I've seen both. Holland was and still is a beauty of its own and I look forward to seeing what else Holland will show to me as the years go forward. Italy, is also beautiful. Can I choose one over the other? Moving forward, sure. But, I just can't regret having seen Holland.

My first time holding Elisa at one day old.

The first time holding Aidan, maybe an hour old.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One week later

Well, really, a bit more than that but who is counting?

I'm still sitting in very much a state of shock. It's weird. I knew a baby was coming. And yet, I look at him and think, he's really here. And not only is he really here but he's a HE. There was always a 50% chance he would be but deep down I think I expected another girl. I keep slipping and referring to him as her sometimes. Good thing he's still too small to know the difference!

There is a common "phrase" among preemie parents. It has to do with this poem (that I'll have to post for you at some point.) that basically tells the story of someone setting out on a trip to Italy, but find themselves in Holland. "Italy" to preemie parents is that elusive term birth with the take home baby. Holland is the preemie birth.

So here I am in Italy. And, truly, it's with very mixed feelings. I feel so lost. This is my second child. I should be a "pro" at this right? And not only is this my second child but I got a crash course in childhood development thanks to Elisa. You would think I'd be well equipped to handle a newborn again.

But it dawns on me almost everyday. I've never HAD a newborn before. Elisa was always somewhere in between. I was handed this 6 week old infant who had a well formed eat, sleep, wake schedule. Who had already lost her umbilical cord. Who had been trained to eat in a certain "way.". And burped. I had been trained in the most efficient way to change a diaper.

So here I am, thrust this infant that not only doesn't require all the special "ways" of doing things but is also a BOY. And I don't know what to do with boys. Changing his diaper is, well, interesting. After seeing Elisa with all the wires, ivs, etc for so long, you would think something like a circumcision would be a walk in the park. Instead it freaks me out. And his poor umbilical cord. And what does a proper breastfed poopy diaper look like?! Elisa was always on a mix of breast milk and formula. And seeing a hint of jaundice the other day, normal, but still I went what do I do? (his numbers were borderline high but doc wanted to give it a week to see with the milk coming in if it resolved itself.)

Baby blues? Maybe. I'm sure it will all fall into place. It HAS only been a week.

On top of this, Elisa has been a little bit of a challenge. Not really bad, but up understandably shook up. She's not wanting to go to sleep at bedtime anymore. She's absolutely demanding attention. Like get up in your face you'd better pay attention to me now attention. She demands my iPad for Elmo and when she doesn't get it, we are met with a succession of "Elmo please! More Elmo please!"

On the other hand, she does love her baby brother. She's already referred to him as "her" baby. She doesn't like it when he cries and comes right over to pat his back and tell him "it's ok baby!". She brings him toys and sometimes covers him with blankets. She gets so excited when he's on the floor that she becomes a flailing mass of arms and legs bouncing around and giving her parents heart attacks as she comes within inches of stomping on his head. Please tell me spatial awareness develops soon and I don't have to worry for much longer about her inadvertently using Aidan as a dance mat?

Because I'm tired and don't feel like formatting, I'll just leave you with this glimpse of life as a family of four with an end to this post with a bunch of pictures. Enjoy.

Oh and the last photo is of the proud papa on delivery day, getting ready to accompany me to the delivery room and giving me that day I dreamed of since I first found out we were pregnant again. So glad I was finally able to have that moment.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

37? Say what?


All of my children like to make somewhat grand entrances to this world.

The latest was no exception.

The day started out as any other. Rejoicing in actually making that term date. Didn't seem real. Preparing for my weekly ob appointment, which didn't seem complete without a p17 shot.

Much to my surprise, the nurse takes my blood pressure and gets quiet. Not a peep. Never a good sign. I watch as she goes over to my charts and writes down 138/102.

Huh? From my preemie moms with pre-e, I knew anything over 80 on that bottom number was a problem.

So they wanted me to come back today for another blood pressure check since I wasn't spilling proteins. Since I had been having fairly regular but inconsistently patterned contractions, I asked that they check my cervix, knowing also that any contractions that were productive needed to be kept an eye on due to my classic cut.

Boy did I about fall off the table when that came back at 3-4 cm dilated.

And yet they sent me home, with instructions to call if I started developing signs of pregnancy induced hypertension or more regular contractions. So Andrew and I shipped Elisa off to grandmas as we had intended to have one last date night before the arrival.

Didn't happen.

Shrimp had other plans. By 5:30, as we were preparing to leave for dinner, I developed new pregnancy induced hypertension (pih) symptoms. A quick check of my blood pressure with our nifty home monitor showed it to be 143/103.

Yeah. Not cool.

Off to l&d we go. Packed bag and all, as I knew I wasn't coming back home that night. Along with the increased pih symptoms, I was having fairly painful contractions. If I was dilated to 4-5, Shrimp was coming that night.

2 hours later, multiple cervix and blood pressure checks, doctor was on her way in to prepare me for my c-section.

It was surreal. To be honest, even though I knew I was term. Even though I knew this was the date they originally wanted to deliver, I was almost disappointed. Even just making that 37 and "term" number is a huge victory over prematurity. But part of me had a hard time letting go of the idea that I just barely made it. Added to that the flashbacks that over took me at I opportune times. I couldn't see anything but Elisa's rushed and early section. I was terrified and traumatized more than I was excited.

Poor Andrew got the brunt of it in the delivery room. He kept worrying I was in pain since I kept gripping and squeezing his hand. I was so glad he was able to be there this time. He was too cute, peeking over the curtain, comparing the surgery to like something you'd see on CSI. Finally shrimp is out and the look of boyish joy on his face when he peeks around and exclaims "it's a boy!"

THIS is what it was supposed to be like. That awesome cry, loud and fiery. He did swallow a bit of amniotic fluid that caused some problems but now, my big 8 lb 1 oz 20 inch 37 week "termite", is amazing.

So. Meet Aidan Michael. 12/08/11 9:57 pm.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meet Kinsler

*disclaimer! Shrimp is still baking away, so don't think that this is shrimp! I wanted to introduce you to a very special little boy.*

This is Kinsler. You may remember me mentioning a friends baby who has had a tough ride and his ride has gotten even harder. I wanted to tell you more about Kinsler. All preemies are amazing, but Kinsler, he's truly amazing.

Born this February, about 14 weeks early. His mom developed pre-eclampsia, and the only way to save his and his mothers life was to deliver him so early. He spent 6 long months in the NICU, battling lung and eating issues.

You'd think this would be enough, right? No, Kinsler is once again in the hospital after suffering sudden respiratory and cardiac failure. Why? We don't know yet.

But Kinsler, oh how he fights. And how he continues to fight. He has come back enough from his respiratory failure and is now on a conventional ventilator. They are weaning him from some of his medications for his breathing. He will always be on steroids as his adrenal gland doesn't function properly and he tends to get sick easier. They hope to come home after the first of the year.

Please pray for this family. Added to the incredible stress of being in the hospital, Kinsler is in the hospital an hour and a half from his home. This little one has spent more holidays in the hospital than he has home! Even more of his short life has been in the hospital than sleeping in his bed.

I pray every night that he will soon come home to his family, who loves him Immensely. Even his preemie family.

Keep fighting Kinsler! This is how we want to see you again, very soon!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


"A person that loses a partner is called a widow. A child who loses a parent is called an orphan. But there is no word to describe a parent who loses a child, because that loss is like no other. So will you put this as your status for just 1 hour, I'm pretty sure I know the ones that will. Think of someone you know or love whose lost a baby or child, & take a few minutes to remember & honor their beautiful angels. "

Tonight, I am filled with conflicting emotions.

On the one hand I am excited. I'm 36 weeks. One week from term. My section is officially on the books for Dec 22. Since my regular ob is also pregnant but a week ahead of me, she won't be delivering me, so I saw the ob who will today. And she is not opposed to the plan we had worked out. I received my last p17. It is so hard to believe that at the most, three weeks from today, this little one will be here. I've reached milestone after milestone. 9 months pregnant. One week from term. And it seems I'll be getting that 39 weeker.

Every pregnancy is different, they say. But this one is the polar opposite of Elisa's.

At 36 weeks:

Your baby is gaining about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy hair that covered her body, as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Next week, your baby will be considered full-term. Most likely she's in a head-down position, but if she isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version, where she'll try to turn your baby by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

Imagine that. A child of mine actually arriving in the month it was due. Now...this baby will officially have a December birthday. Amazing.

But I said I was filled with conflicting emotions. And that is because I am also surrounded by unspeakable tragedy and worry for some friends. One, who went for her 20 week regular appointment only to find out her baby had no heartbeat. Another, who fought for 6 months for her premature baby, to get him home, only to have him back in the hospital 4 short months later in respiratory failure.

And I'm struck, again, about how unfair life is. Bad things happen to good people all the time. And I'm at a loss as to how to explain it. I've had my fair share, but I've been blessed to be able to keep moving forward and trust that God has this under control too. I can only pray for my friends that they have the same comfort.

So I sit here. Rejoicing at how far I've come. Rejoicing in the excruciating pain in my ribs (that the doctor thinks is actually a rib that's popping out of place thanks to said critter) because it means he/she is STILL there. Rejoicing in my two year old who is making life ever more interesting as we enter this growing independent stage and not wanting mommy and daddy to have any say. Rejoicing in her tantrums. Because it means she is HERE and healthy and normal. No apparent long term effects from her prematurity.

And praying. Praying for my friends.

And if you pray, please pray for them. They need the prayers more than I do at the moment.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Sometimes you just have to wonder why.

Why me? Why now?

Not many of us ever find the answer to that question.

We've all witnessed a miracle, whether we've been aware that what we were experiencing was one. Some can point to truly significant events with no question and know a miracle took place. We've all heard of the person who survived a deadly accident with barely a scratch. Or who overcame a chronic illness, such as cancer. Or defied all odds and survived with a normal life when all medical knowledge had given up on them. Those with faith in God chalk it up to answered prayer. Sometimes even those with no faith in God can see Him in those actions.

So sometimes, when we are faced with insurmountable events in our lives, we look to God and beg Him to fix it. And what happens when He doesn't?

I mean, let's be honest here. This is GOD. He can do anything. There is nothing beyond His ability to control. To fix.

So, why didn't He fix me?

Regardless of where you are in your faith journey, this question can break you.

Why didn't you fix me?

I've said that many times over. I cried, prayed, begged for Him to fix me in that hospital. To save my little girl for the trial about to come her way.

I don't think there is anyone who has sat on the outside of an incubator holding your infant, who should still be in your belly and NOT asked that question.

But maybe the question is not why did you let this happen to me, but where do I go from here?

I've seen people in traumatic situations, whether it be having a preemie, losing a child, be involved in a life changing accident that left them somehow "less" than what they were, or whatever that trauma may be, handle things in a few different ways. It seems like they either sink into the "why me's" and simply can't move beyond it. The event so defines their life that it then becomes their life.

Or they shrug their shoulders, look up and keep moving forward. As if it never happened. As it it never touched their lives.

Or, they move forward and DO something with the trauma.

I think I'm done with the why me's. I think I've been done for a while. It seems I've found a purpose from this experience. Preemies, and preemie families feel like my purpose. In supporting others through this somehow.

I've become involved with both the March of Dimes and a local NICU. And I've never felt so fulfilled.

So maybe


It's not about what happens to you but about what you do with what happens to you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

35 weeks...a bit late

Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete – he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Yeah I'm a bit late on posting this update. But, well, I've been busy. Hopefully I didn't worry you.

Still going. Baby is already larger than indicated above. C section should be scheduled for the 22nd of December, I've just yet to receive official confirmation. Should get that next week.

Any way, here's a 35 week belly. Hard to imagine 4 more weeks...

Friday, November 18, 2011


My church is wanting to know what YOU think about church. Would you be willing to take this completely anonymous survey and help us out?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Think 39

Did you know that 51.7% of women in a recent poll believe that it's "safe" to deliver a baby between 34 and 36 weeks? And that for every week before 39 weeks that a baby is born, the risk to them of death doubles with each week?

Or how about that term was determined to be at 37 weeks, not by any scientific research, but just because the World Health Organization decided that date was "term."

Wow, really?

These are just a few of the things that I learned by attending my local Prematurity Awareness Conference today. And what a fitting way to spend this World Prematurity Awareness day.

Sporting purple for my preemie and all preemies. One day, hopefully, we will never see another premature delivery.

Even for one being very aware of prematurity and the issues and problems it causes, this was an eye opening day. HUGE strides have been made in raising awareness. I've seen this just here in my local home town. Prematurity is getting much more "play" in the local media. Maybe because of stories like Mighty Melody, or the MOD is just getting better at getting their message out there in more prominent ways.

Whatever the ways, there still needs to be even MORE awareness made. That first statistic, that half of women believe that it would be safe (?!) to deliver at 34-36 weeks? Really? And that this isn't just a problem of the public, but even OB's, who should know better, are giving in to inducing. Mainly because the #1 reason they are sued is for failing to induce. Even though there was no medically necessary reason present.

And that even with lung maturity tests coming back mature, does not necessarily mean that baby is "ready" to enter this world?

The main focus of this guys particular talk was on reducing the amount of elective c-sections and inductions prior to week 39. I know I have a limited view point on this because my only experience is a 29 week preemie, and to me, getting to 39 weeks would be a HUGE blessing. In fact, when my OB initially told me that with this pregnancy she would do an amnio at 36 weeks and perform a c-section at that point, I was crushed. But I fought back. I originally got her to agree to 37 weeks at least, and with more research, convinced her to let me go to 39 weeks, as long as I was not laboring.

Why was I so insistent on 39 weeks? Lets take a look at this photo:

Or what about this one:

Would my baby be capable of surviving outside the womb had I agreed to that 36 week delivery? Yes. But, looking at this, why would I want to allow that? Am I taking somewhat of a risk? Yes, but I know I'll be watched closely and at the first sign of a uterine rupture I will not argue with taking this baby out immediately.

I don't know, I guess it's a huge shock to me to learn just how many think it's ok to deliver at 34 weeks. And that many women do not consider a c-section a major surgery.

I would do anything to get to 39 weeks. And avoid a c-section.

Unfortunately for the first pregnancy, both choices were taken from me. And on this, so far only the 2nd choice has been taken from me.

I'm 34 weeks today and begging for 5 more. Yes, begging. Am I uncomfortable? Very. My ribs hurt, my hips hurt, heck sometimes even my legs hurt. I'm EXHAUSTED. I can't breathe. I can't eat what I want. Sometimes, yes, I even think I can't take it anymore! But the one thing I never think is I want this baby now. I just want it to be December now. I want to be 39 weeks now. But I will fight tooth and nail for that 39 weeks until I am out of options. I fought tooth and nail for that 29 weeks.

I'm not going to post my 34 week update today, mainly because it contradicts a lot of my emotions of today and confirms where the misconception comes from that it's "safe" to deliver now. I am 34 weeks, and by all accounts should make 39. Even my OB told me yesterday she thinks it's very likely. I had my first NST for the diabetes as well as a growth scan. Shrimp performed well and even my "pre-term" contractor of a uterus behaved. Shrimp measured 36 weeks by ultrasound thanks to the GD, but that doesn't change anything in my care plan.

Chubby cheeks and a big grin. A far cry from this:

I don't know if I've made any sense or any point in this. I just hope, that as I grow and learn more about it that hopefully I'll be able to, in some way, spread awareness about why it is SO important to wait if you can at all do so. Not everyone can. But if you can...fight for that 39.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

33 weeks and still counting!

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

Yeah. Really in disbelief to tell you the truth. I can't believe, as we are going through this prematurity awareness month, that I am sitting here just 4 short weeks away from term. And that really even if things did spiral out of control I could still get that take home baby in just 2-3 more weeks. Of course I have absolutely no desire for that to be the case, I really want at a minimum of 37 weeks. Even if I am miserable with a baby who insists on being transverse and sticking its bum out my right side and using my ribs as a foot stool and stretching tool.

I go back and forth on if I really will make it. I've been having more and more of those signs that my body is preparing for delivery, but nothing indicative of true ptl. Just, what I'm assuming, are normal aches, pains and cramps for being 33 weeks pregnant. I still have the vistaril that I take whenever I feel more contractions than I'm comfortable with. And I'll be honest...that line is not a very big line lol! Give me something like 3 in a row and I'll down one just to keep any more from coming. Are contractions and bh normal at this point? Yes, and I know that. But psychologically, contractions are my worst enemy and I experience nothing but panic when I feel them. So if I can keep them from being too often, I will.

And I guess the biggest clue and indicator of how far I am is the fact that my maternity shirts are starting not to fit. They no longer cover the bottom of my belly and people can get glimpses of the lovely elastic waistband of my maternity pants. I won't even go into what the scale says right now. Let's just say I hope to never see that number outside of a pregnancy. Even though judging from my arms, legs and other areas all of that weight must be baby as I don't see any changes there.

And here's a 33 week belly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The adventures of Elmo

Once there was a little girl named Elisa.

She wanted nothing more than to take a bath with her best pal, Elmo.

Unfortunately, Elmo was not compatible with water, and poor Elisa thought her friend was lost forever.

But her hero (aka daddy) came to the rescue and was able to save Elmo!

And all was right in Elisa's world again.

***Side note...bear with me on my posts for a little bit and the odd way they may look. I am learning how to effectively blog through my early Christmas present of an iPad and I'm behind in the learning curve! :)***

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Confidence and disbelief

You are probably wondering what those two words have in common. At the surface they are two very different emotions...but they are all swirled into one in my heart at the moment.

To start, I sit here and I have these blinding moments of disbelief. Am I really here, 32 weeks pregnant? Am I really this far? Am I REALLY going to have a baby in a little over a month?

I remember when we began our journey into parenthood, and all the trouble we had to even get pregnant. And now I sit here with a swollen belly, watching the leaves turn and feeling my stomach churn. Feeling the excitement course through my veins as I watch the leaves turn and know, just know that I'm going to make it.

I feel so confident in fact that I went out today and bought take home outfits.

Yes, take home outfits. I'm actually contemplating packing a hospital bag. And having it ready just in case. As much as I would love to make it to that 39 week mark, I'd also love to have that "oh my gosh, the baby's coming NOW!" a good way. Because I'm term and this baby decided now was the time to come.

I had a hospital tour. I looked at pediatricians and had to choose one that visits that hospital, since my current one doesn't. I'm making lists of things I want to accomplish on my leave, which starts in just 2.5 short weeks.

Is this really my life? It couldn't be. Things don't go right for me. In fact, it usually feels like I'm the one clinging to the rim of that deep pit for dear life and wondering when it will be my turn. I'm usually the one sitting back, watching everyone else with the perfect life get everything they ever dreamed of while I claw my way to even realize just the smallest of my dreams.

And yet, here I am, on the brink of a dream come true.

Could this really happen to me?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

32 weeks

...What if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
Laura Story "Blessings"

I was listening to this song the other day on the way to receive one of the final p17 shots of this pregnancy. And during it, I could actually envision and HEAR the cry of my newborn child. Hear it. Oh to just go through a delivery and actually hear that first cry as my child breaths in it's first breath in this world would be heaven.

And it dawned on me a little bit. "What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?" Would I appreciate that sound as much if I had the honor of hearing it when Elisa was born? And the reality is, even if I do go here pretty soon, 32 weeks is lung maturity so the likelihood of hearing that first cry from this point out is pretty high.

I wanted to just bawl. Darn hormones, but I did. The idea of hearing that first cry is so amazing to me. Everything we went through with Elisa, maybe it makes me all that much more grateful for the milestones I am now reaching with this one.

Not that I'll love this one any more than I do Elisa. In fact, Elisa will always ALWAYS have a special place in my heart just because of how hard we fought for her.

But I love that I am now 32 weeks pregnant with this one. That this now means lung maturity. That this now means only 2 weeks until even suck, swallow, breathe is developed. And then, all that's left is all of the brain development and weight. It seems the further I get, the more I can believe I'll make it. Even if I always have that door open in the back of my mind that says ANYTHING could happen at anytime. Honestly, I'd be naive to think it couldn't. Even if I didn't have a previous pre-term delivery, it could still happen at anytime. 9 months of pregnancy is not a given for anyone.

"By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth."

Tuesday was our hospital pre-delivery tour and I'm so glad I went. I did get all those questions answered that I needed to know. Like, baby will stay with me in recovery! May spend an hour or so in the nursery but basically I'll have baby in recovery. I'll be able to receive guests once I'm in the post-partum room. And again, baby stays with me. Wow, what a concept. They did tell me that they normally keep c-sections bed bound for 24 hours post op and I just laughed. I told her I was up 5 hours after Elisa was born and walking laps around the nurses station. Since that's what I had to do to go see her. So I'll probably do the same this time around. They also now know NOT to give me vicodin or hydrocodone. I will refuse it adamantly.

So, here we are. 5 weeks from that blessed term date.