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“Bigger than average”

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We had a biophysical profile ultrasound today. Fluids are good, blood flow is good and he is head down and in an anterior position. Yay.

The tech started the ultrasound by saying, “Oh wow, you don’t have much fluid in there.” and of course my stomach dropped out of my body. Then she poked around and, ya know, actually measured the fluid while I tried not to cry or panic. She then said there was a lot more fluid in there than she thought.

So thanks for the heart attack. Jerk.

Wesley was super stubborn and despite making my stomach jump and bounce all over the place in the waiting room he decided to take a snooze during the actual ultrasound. One of the things they have to look at is movement so she was poking him and shaking him and he would. not. move. I finally asked Joel to talk to him and sure enough, he kicked a few times. Baby boy loves his daddy’s voice.

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One thing he would not do was move was his hand away from his face though. So we got a little glimpse of his nose and mouth but that’s it. Every single ultrasound his hands have been up by his head. It’s kind of adorable but I really hope he moves those little hands for the delivery because, no matter how tiny his hands are, I don’t want them to try to fit through me with his head. Ugh.

Also, they estimate he’s 8lbs 2oz. In the words of the doctor he’s “a little bigger than average.”

And yeah, I know the measurements are not generally all that accurate but I’m still kind of freaking my freak over here. Because the measurements can be wrong the other way too. As in, he might be bigger than 8lbs. And he is not coming out yet. And he’s just getting bigger every minute he stays in me.

Excuse me while I faint.

It’s probably a good thing for my sanity that I go to such a laid back OB/midwife practice. Seriously, one visit to a high risk office where they tell me “He’s going to come out all dried out and wrinkled” and, when I tell them I haven’t been contracting much and the ones I have aren’t really uncomfortable, they say “well that’s not going to do anything at all” and it spirals me into an emotional hole.

Yesterday I was all zen. Today I spent most of the day ugly crying and terrified of pushing out a giant baby with a nuchal hand. It was not pretty.

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I had a bit of an epiphany earlier this evening and realized why all the advice for starting labor was getting to me so much. I know that the people who give it are trying to be nice and helpful. I’m definitely not mad at anyone for trying to help. It’s just, when people say “try x or y” it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough to get this baby out. Like, if I would have drank more tea or taken more supplements or walked further or had more sex or… or… or… he’d be here already. If I could just find the thing to do or do the thing enough I’d be holding my baby. Every moment I spend lying on the couch feels like I’m failing, even if the reason I’m lying down is because I feel like my pelvis is going to rip in half if I take one more step.

You would think that hearing that my baby is healthy and there are no issues would put me in a great mood. And yet somehow I left that appointment feeling completely terrified, defeated and like a failure. I’m really thankful for my friends on Facebook because they helped talk me down from my hysterics. I’m also thankful for my husband because he really does his best to stay calm and take my roller coaster of emotions in stride.

I know it’s not my fault he’s not here yet. Now if only I could get what I know and what I feel to match.

“Bigger than average”

Wesley-40-Weeks-Plus-5-Days-Photos-6

We had a biophysical profile ultrasound today. Fluids are good, blood flow is good and he is head down and in an anterior position. Yay.

The tech started the ultrasound by saying, “Oh wow, you don’t have much fluid in there.” and of course my stomach dropped out of my body. Then she poked around and, ya know, actually measured the fluid while I tried not to cry or panic. She then said there was a lot more fluid in there than she thought.

So thanks for the heart attack. Jerk.

Wesley was super stubborn and despite making my stomach jump and bounce all over the place in the waiting room he decided to take a snooze during the actual ultrasound. One of the things they have to look at is movement so she was poking him and shaking him and he would. not. move. I finally asked Joel to talk to him and sure enough, he kicked a few times. Baby boy loves his daddy’s voice.

Wesley-40-Weeks-Plus-5-Days-Photos-2

One thing he would not do was move was his hand away from his face though. So we got a little glimpse of his nose and mouth but that’s it. Every single ultrasound his hands have been up by his head. It’s kind of adorable but I really hope he moves those little hands for the delivery because, no matter how tiny his hands are, I don’t want them to try to fit through me with his head. Ugh.

Also, they estimate he’s 8lbs 2oz. In the words of the doctor he’s “a little bigger than average.”

And yeah, I know the measurements are not generally all that accurate but I’m still kind of freaking my freak over here. Because the measurements can be wrong the other way too. As in, he might be bigger than 8lbs. And he is not coming out yet. And he’s just getting bigger every minute he stays in me.

Excuse me while I faint.

It’s probably a good thing for my sanity that I go to such a laid back OB/midwife practice. Seriously, one visit to a high risk office where they tell me “He’s going to come out all dried out and wrinkled” and, when I tell them I haven’t been contracting much and the ones I have aren’t really uncomfortable, they say “well that’s not going to do anything at all” and it spirals me into an emotional hole.

Yesterday I was all zen. Today I spent most of the day ugly crying and terrified of pushing out a giant baby with a nuchal hand. It was not pretty.

Wesley-40-Weeks-Plus-5-Days-Photos-4

I had a bit of an epiphany earlier this evening and realized why all the advice for starting labor was getting to me so much. I know that the people who give it are trying to be nice and helpful. I’m definitely not mad at anyone for trying to help. It’s just, when people say “try x or y” it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough to get this baby out. Like, if I would have drank more tea or taken more supplements or walked further or had more sex or… or… or… he’d be here already. If I could just find the thing to do or do the thing enough I’d be holding my baby. Every moment I spend lying on the couch feels like I’m failing, even if the reason I’m lying down is because I feel like my pelvis is going to rip in half if I take one more step.

You would think that hearing that my baby is healthy and there are no issues would put me in a great mood. And yet somehow I left that appointment feeling completely terrified, defeated and like a failure. I’m really thankful for my friends on Facebook because they helped talk me down from my hysterics. I’m also thankful for my husband because he really does his best to stay calm and take my roller coaster of emotions in stride.

I know it’s not my fault he’s not here yet. Now if only I could get what I know and what I feel to match.

Overdue

Mallwalking

And I’m surprisingly okay with it.

Now yesterday? I was decidedly not okay with it. I also reserve the right to not be okay with this whole overdue thing at any point in the future.

However I woke up this morning feeling really zen about the whole thing. Here is why:

I’m waited on hand and foot– Joel treats me like a queen. More than usual even. This is mostly due to the fact that moving is freaking difficult anymore. If he’s not there to help me off the couch chances are, unless it’s an emergency, I just won’t get up. It’s that much of an effort. He knows that and really doesn’t mind grabbing me a glass of water or tea or helping me yank off my shoes. It’s kind of awesome really. Once this kid is out I’ll have a couple more weeks of guilt free queen-dom and then I’ll have to go back to actually doing things for myself. Why rush it?

I eat what I want – Seriously. At this point I’ve only gained about 25 pounds which is the low end of what I’m supposed to gain. So I eat whatever sounds delicious. And sure, I struggle with nausea still which is really frustrating but, when that eases up, I stuff my face with popcorn and nutella and brownies and ice cream and pizza and…. well you get the point. Once this kid is out I’m going to want to start thinking about losing the baby weight. Who really wants to rush to eat less dessert? Not me.

Everyone smiles at me – It’s something I’ve noticed lately. Everywhere I go people look at me and grin. I’m assuming it’s because I’m just such an adorable pregnant lady and not because I spilled something down the front of me. Although there are plenty of times when the spilling thing is true too. Plus, the look on people’s faces when they ask me when I’m due and I say “last Thursday” cracks me up.

My house is SO clean – I’m generally a messy person. However, the idea of bringing a brand new baby into a messy house makes me insane so my house has never been and stayed so clean for so long. I have a feeling I won’t be as concerned about messiness when I’m battling the newborn haze so I’m enjoying this while it lasts.

It’s not like I’m going to sleep better – I get frustrated with the pregnancy insomnia and the waking up every couple of hours to pee. But I’m well aware of the fact that newborns take sleep deprivation to a whole new level so there’s no point in rushing that. I enjoy the sleep that I can get while I’m getting it.

I love my bump – Sure it makes standing up, rolling over in bed or any movement all at really tricky but seriously I love it. I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin. I will miss this big old bump (and the kicks I feel in it) more than anything else about pregnancy.

Everything is healthy – and really I’m only 4 days late. That’s not that late, although it does kind of feel like an eternity.  Wesley has passed two non stress tests with flying colors. The contractions that I’m having I either can’t feel at all or aren’t really that uncomfortable. My body has dilated and effaced some already so that bodes well for when I go into active labor. We get to see him on an ultrasound tomorrow morning to make sure his fluids and movements and all that are good.

My midwife says boys are 8 days late on average. I asked if there was a limit for how long I could go and she said no. She doesn’t like to set an arbitrary induction date because, as long as everything is healthy, an induction date just puts pressure on the whole situation. I love that so much. She did say we could induce any time I wanted “today even” and I’m not going to lie I considered it for a fraction of a second. But really, my body is doing it’s thing, Wesley seems healthy and comfortable and I hear pitocin is a real bitch. No reason to stress him or my uterus unless it looks like he or I aren’t doing well anymore.

NST2

So yeah, as of this moment I’m fine with being pregnant forever. We’re still doing all the things (tea, pineapple, primrose oil, walking, sex (I’m thinking Joel is secretly okay with me going awhile yet because of this one) bouncing on an exercise ball, spicy foods…. and some I’m forgetting. Really, all the things) to get things going. If you’d like to give me advice on something else to try let me refer you to number 5 on this post… and then please don’t. I appreciate the thought but it makes me want to rage quit the internet.

I’m okay with being late. Really.

One year later

Last March was the worst month of my life.

The whole month of February was spent in blissful naiveté. Then March 1st it felt like my world fell apart.

I feel the sting in little reminders. Like yesterday, I went to get a prenatal massage and in filling out the form I had a tiny little punch to the gut.

2nd pregnancy 1st birth

Then I had to talk about it to the massage therapist. She was chatty.

I also keep thinking about that first ultrasound. There was nothing to see except my empty uterus and yet I cannot stop thinking about the picture that automatically printed. My mind replays my doctor ripping it off the machine, crumpling it up and throwing it in the trash over and over. I didn’t ask for it. I wish I had although I don’t know why exactly. There are many moments that replay from that day but that one stands out the most. Such a stupid little thing.

After that ultrasound we spent 12 days in torturous limbo and then I took what little control I could of the whole horrible situation and opted to have a D&C.

That was one year ago today.

For me personally it was the best decision I could have made. As weird as it feels to say it, the actual procedure was a very positive experience. A large part of that was the wonderful hospital staff and the other part was just the fact that I was taking control of a situation that I was completely out of control of otherwise. When it feels like your world is completely spinning out of control any grasp of control can make that spinning feel slightly less overwhelming.

While that day started the healing process, it was a long, hard road to feeling like myself again. Although saying “myself” doesn’t feel quite accurate. I’m not the same person I was before all this happened.

I think that’s a good thing.

It has taken a year’s worth of time to gain perspective because in the moment and aftermath I could not fathom how anything good could come out of losing my first pregnancy.

I know Joel and I are so much closer than we ever were. Tragedies can make or break a relationship. Thankfully it made us. We had several marriage struggles in the years before our first pregnancy. I blame the fact that we were practically babies when we got married. I was only 20 and Joel was just 24. Babies. Somehow we made it through those and then, instead of letting the blinding pain of losing a pregnancy rip us apart, we relied on each other in a much deeper way than we ever did before. I wish I could give more insight into how we did that but I either do not have enough distance from that time or there is no answer. Either way, I have never felt happier with our relationship or more in love with the man I call my husband.

Another good thing that came out of this was my ability to share my experience. I hate that anyone else in the world has to lose a pregnancy. But at least now I can offer my empathy instead of just my sympathy. Everyone’s journey is different but when I was in the middle of my worst pain other people rallied around me and it help me so much. Now I can be one who rallies around others. If sharing my experience helps even one other person that is a positive thing.

I also get my Wesley out of this. Sure, part of me has struggled with the mixed feeling of missing my other almost baby and being happy about this current one. Now that I’m thisclose to holding our Wesley in my arms though I have a hard time imagining I’d change anything. I love the little boy inside of me. My rainbow baby. My little lucky charm. My Wesley. I wouldn’t have him if it weren’t for my other loss.

I’m glad this year is over because it was freaking hard. I will never forget my loss, it has forever changed me. Change is not always bad though and I anticipate beautiful things in my future both in spite and because of my loss. And the change I look forward to the most is my son. You’re welcome any time, little guy.

Maternity Photos (part 1)

Finally! Sorry it took so long but I hope you’ll agree it was totally worth the wait.

We found Rebecca Reichman through our doctor’s office actually. Her gorgeous work is hanging everywhere and I knew we had to check her out for her newborn photography. We then found out that by booking a newborn session we also got a maternity session. So, thanks to a generous birthday gift from my mom and a little bit of a technical error (explained at the end of this post), we found ourselves with dozens of gorgeous maternity photos.

Here are my favorites.

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Interjecting here to say I adore this picture. My belly looks so perfect. Loooove.

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This last one is my very, very favorite. She captured the glow of our love for this baby perfectly. I can’t wait to see how the newborn photos come out.

Friday will be part 2 which is the shoot we did with my sister. They are equally amazing and worth the wait. Trust me.

Maternity Photos (part 1)

Finally! Sorry it took so long but I hope you’ll agree it was totally worth the wait.

We found Rebecca Reichman through our doctor’s office actually. Her gorgeous work is hanging everywhere and I knew we had to check her out for her newborn photography. We then found out that by booking a newborn session we also got a maternity session. So, thanks to a generous birthday gift from my mom and a little bit of a technical error (explained at the end of this post), we found ourselves with dozens of gorgeous maternity photos.

Here are my favorites.

DSC_9319 watermark

DSC_9321 watermark

DSC_9322 watermark

DSC_9329 watermark

Interjecting here to say I adore this picture. My belly looks so perfect. Loooove.

DSC_9330 watermark

DSC_9344 watermark

DSC_9354 watermark

DSC_9369 watermark

DSC_9387watermark

DSC_9392 watermark

DSC_9405 watermark

This last one is my very, very favorite. She captured the glow of our love for this baby perfectly. I can’t wait to see how the newborn photos come out.

Friday will be part 2 which is the shoot we did with my sister. They are equally amazing and worth the wait. Trust me.

Why we waited

ultrasound 6w4dswI wrote this post awhile ago but couldn’t seem to find the right time to hit publish. I hope by publishing it now it might help someone else who is struggling after a loss.

The first time we got pregnant we shared with the world right away. The day I peed on a stick we excitedly drove literal hours to be able to tell our family in person and not long after that we started posting about it.

And then we lost the pregnancy.

The support and love I got from everyone in my life, including virtual strangers was overwhelming. I honestly am not sure how I would have gotten through it without the unbelievable outpouring of support. I have absolutely zero regrets about sharing as early as we did because otherwise we would have had to walk through that dark time alone.

I honestly didn’t expect to do anything different this time around.

Then I got that positive test. And instead of joy and excitement I felt complete terror. The only person in the world I told that day was Joel, and since he had left for an out-of-town business trip I told him via text. Over the next few days I told a few members of my immediate family but just over the phone, trying to sound happy but choking back tears the entire time. Their excitement almost startled me.

It was not the happy time I felt like it should have been. Instead I felt depressed and scared. I sobbed into my pillow at night. It was so confusing. There was a tiny part of my that was cautiously hopeful. I wanted to be excited. I just could. not. get there.*

My doctor was so understanding and ordered blood work immediately to check that all my levels were where they were supposed to be. I passed with flying colors. You’d think that would have encouraged me but since I didn’t get blood work done the last time I didn’t know if it was truly a good sign or not. For all I knew my hormones were perfect then too. Or not. Who knows.

Joel seemed less apprehensive than me, but still he always phrased his excitement in mights” and ifs.”

I’m so excited that I might be a dad…

If this baby is born…

I hated those mights and ifs. They stung. I can’t blame him though, I talked the same way.

The three weeks from the positive test to when I could finally get an ultrasound seemed like an eternity. Still, only my very immediate family knew. There was a part of me that wanted to share with others but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The pregnancy did not feel real to me. I could not let myself get attached. I couldn’t let myself feel any real excitement.

That was why I stayed so quiet, why I didn’t share with the world. I could not bear to hear excited congratulations when I couldn’t muster up any excitement myself. I felt enough guilt over not being over the moon about my (potential) future child. I couldn’t imagine faking giddiness for someone else.

I refused to let strangers be more excited about my pregnancy than I was.

That first ultrasound I nearly crawled out of my own skin sitting on that table. When the ultrasound finally began I strained to see anything in that round black blob on the screen. It wasn’t empty. Or at least it didn’t look empty to my inexpert eye. Of course my doctor took what felt like years to say anything and when he did he began with the exact same Well…. in the exact same tone that started the bad news last time. But this time that well ended in “…there’s the heartbeat.

I stared at that tiny, flickering blob through tear filled eyes and finally felt the first surge of attachment. Hope. Excitement even.

It would still take me awhile to feel excited enough to share with my extended family and even longer to share with you wonderful internet people. I’m eternally grateful this pregnancy has turned out to be healthy so far because I definitely would not have wanted to walk through another loss alone. But I needed to always feel that I was the most excited about this pregnancy, no matter how little that was. I couldn’t rush the excitement. I’m glad I didn’t rush it.

Because trust me, now? There is no one more ecstatic and in love with this baby than me. I’m glad that’s the way it always was.

*The post I linked to was something I wrote anonymously on Band Back Together just after I got the positive pregnancy test. It is an incredibly raw look at how I was feeling at the time. I’m so grateful that I had that resource to voice my feelings and receive some support, even though I couldn’t thank those people at the time since I wanted to remain anonymous. It really is an invaluable resource.

The road trip that was more road than trip

The day before New Years Eve Joel and I were sitting around the house. We had talked on and off about going to Denver to see our favorite band Five Iron Frenzy play with Project 86 and Showbread. Normally getting to Denver is a piece of cake as it’s only a free, three hour flight thanks to my benefits. The issue with my benefits is the free ticket is standby. Trying to fly standby around the holidays is a giant, stressful, ridiculous headache at best and completely impossible at worst. It just wasn’t an option. Then, when we calculated the cost of gas, car rental and hotels for the several days we’d need to stay to make the drive worth it we really couldn’t afford the trip.

Except Sunday rolled around and Joel kept sighing and commenting about how Project 86 was filming a music video and how it would have been so cool to go. Sigh. Mope. Sigh.

(I may be exaggerating the sighing. A tad.)

And then I’d had it. I could tell he was super bummed about not going so I just said screw it. We can take our own car. We only have to get a hotel for one night. AND my mom had given us a gas card for Christmas. Plus, we’ve done last minute, crazy trips before (hello, flying to Australia to see a movie) and never once have we regretted it. In fact, those are always our favorite memories.

It took a few hours of back and forth, should we shouldn’t we, convincing before I got Joel on board. And then we threw a few things in a suitcase and walked out the door.

After dropping the dog off at puppy Disneyland Joel’s mom’s house we were on the road by about 8pm.

And by 8:40pm I was sound asleep. In theory I was going to take a quick nap so I could keep him up when he was tired later but other than bathroom breaks I basically slept through until 10am.

Sleeping

Road trip companion fail.

Well rested and perky I took over driving for about 2 hours and Joel dozed for about 30 minutes. I try not to take the fact that he can’t sleep while I drive personally. *side eye*

We finally rolled into town around 2:30pm and crashed in our amazingly comfortable king sized bed in the suite we paid $8 for (thank you Hotels.com credit!) in as much time as it took us to rip off our gross travel clothes.

Two hours later we were up and at the show, me quite well rested after a billion hours of sleep plus a nap and Joel… well he had lots of caffeine.

Joel Red Bull

The show was fantastic.

FIF NYE

Joel and me NYE

It’s a bit weird for me going to concerts pregnant since I have to hang back. Normal me is right down front in the crowd rocking out but pregnant me has to worry about accidentally getting bumped wrong and speaker volume. I still had a lot of fun and everyone at our table had the bonus of someone to watch their phones and coats while they jumped around. They even bought me a drink to thank me.

drink

And by drink I mean water in a Bud Light cup. But sipping on it with my big belly amused me.

Since Joel has worked with Five Iron I’ve gotten to know the band members and they are just such genuine, amazing people. I’m so glad I can consider them not just a great band but also friends.

Leanor and me

We finally got back to the hotel around 2:30am, immediately requested a late check out and passed. out.

The drive back I was a much better travel companion. I also discovered that driving through Iowa and Nebraska is only fun if you’re unconscious. Barely any phone signal, lousy radio… luckily Joel bought me Adventures in Odyssey CDs for Christmas and between that and conversation we kept each other pretty well entertained.

roadtrip Joel and me

Seven months pregnant, 23 hours in Denver, 39.5 hours of traveling, 2,000 miles, 8 gazillion potty breaks.

Worth it.

When we were debating going I posted about it on Facebook and lots of people said to go because soon you’ll have a baby and you’ll never do fun things ever again.

Or maybe they were slightly less dramatic but that was the idea.

I know that is the case for some people but we are lucky enough to have some role models in our lives that have shown us that our life does not have to be over just because we reproduced. Obviously I expect our life will change. I’m not completely naive. However, when Baby Boy is a bit older I plan to go back to flying full time. I also plan to have Joel and Baby Boy come with me as often as possible.

Life is as much of an adventure as you make it. I want to raise my son to love adventure and plan to show him the world his whole life. It’s a big world, it’ll take awhile, so I’ll need to start early.

28 Weeks

28 weeks belly

This belly is at least 25% turkey I’m pretty sure.

We’ve officially reached the third trimester. *Muppet flail*

I finally managed to take my glucose tolerance test which was a bit of an annoying ordeal. I mean, more than the usual annoyance of drinking a gross drink and sitting around a lab. When I was told they were scheduling me for the test I asked what I needed to know and they just told me to go to the lab. Of course when I went the first thing they asked was whether I had been fasting. Apparently I was scheduled for some weird 2 hour version of the test. Blah. Put me in a bit of a foul mood, not to mention I had to go back in on a Saturday morning. I’ll find out tomorrow at my doctor’s appointment whether I passed the test or not. Cross your fingers for me.

Speaking of the doctors, I’m dreading what the scale might say. On the off chance I fail my GD test I considered it my last hurrah and ate All The Things these last couple of days. Well, except weirdly pie. I KNOW. The actual food was so amazingly good at both Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner that none of us ever got around to actually eating pie. I’m investigating body snatching and other such phenomenon as we speak, don’t worry.

familychristmas

It really was a wonderful Christmas. Full of love, good food, laughter and family which is exactly how I wanted it. I’m even more excited that we’ll be celebrating next Christmas with our little boy.

 

 

Today was my due date

Phoebe gets worried about me when I cry

I should have been in labor today.

Or I should have been big as a house and wishing I was in labor.

Or maybe I’d already be working on getting the hang of nursing and diaper changes and sleep deprivation.

Seventeen is a special number to me. It’s the date of Joel’s (November) and my (January) birthdays and it’s the date of our anniversary (April). When we found out the due date it just seemed meant to be.

It wasn’t.

I’m happy that I have been able to go on and have a healthy pregnancy so soon after my loss. I’m lucky, I know I’m so lucky. But today, just for today, I wish we would have waited. Because today all I am is sad that I’m not holding a full term baby.

This day has hung like a cloud over me ever since March when we found out there was nothing growing in my uterus anymore. Fittingly today it’s thunder storming. I’m allowing myself today to just be in the storm. I’m going to cry, and remember the baby I never had. Later tonight Joel and I will light a candle on a cupcake in honor of the birthday that will never be.

Dear almost baby,

I miss you. I wish I was meeting you today. I dreamed last night that I went to Alaska. I’d like to think that was your way of telling me you’re in heaven with your uncle. I hope you’re safe and happy. I hope you know how much I wish I was getting to know you right now. I hope you know how much your daddy and I love you. You’ll always be in our hearts even though you were never in our arms.

All my love, Mommy

 

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