30 September, 2009

up-side-down...

well, mr. mason, you are still breech in there. many people are saying not to worry, that you will turn when you are ready, even if it is right before we start labor.

but you know your mommy. she still worries.

actually, i am pretty proud of myself because i am not really worried. i am only trying to explore all options and make sure that i do everything i can to get you into this world the way you are meant to enter it.

although in the end, i do believe that it's pretty much your karma to be born the way you will be. and mine. and daddy's.

here's what i've done to try to help you turn if you want to --

chiropractic
moxibustion (that's when daddy burns that stinky cigar like thing down near my pinky toes)
maya abdominal massage
inversions (that's when i am hanging off the couch upside down or laying on my back in a tilt)
swimming with somersaults and handstands included
ice packs on your head
whale sounds and baby mozart at my pelvis
daddy talks to you down low through a paper towel roll
walking our fingers from your head to my pelvic bone
trying to massage you in the right direction
continuing my yoga
crawling on the floor on my hands and knees
visualization/pictures of head-down babies around the house
talking to myself and to you
and i think there has to be more...i'm sure your dad will help me remember...

so we are going with meredith to the OB today to discuss the options of you decide not to turn or if you just can't. i'm trying to listen to you, baby boy, to see what you need. i love you and either way, we are just so excited to meet you and hold you and squeeze you and love you.

24 September, 2009

update

nicole asked me last week why i haven't updated my blog lately. it's partly because i can't type, but it's also partly because i'm not angry or scared too much anymore. and that's a good thing.

so here are a few things i need to update you on...

little mason is in the breech position. if he stays there, we will have to have him in the hospital via c-section. and what a rip-off that will be. i will be so disappointed to have the docs be the first to hold him. i know that in the end, all that matters is that he is healthy and he is here, but i just want his entry into this world to be perfect. for him and for me. we (josh, meredith and i) are all going to see dr. salvatore on wednesday to come up with a back-up plan.

his room is all finished, as you know. however, it keeps on looking like a bomb dropped in there. we keep receiveing gifts! it's amazing. we have clothes for him for the next three years of his life. i've done so many loads of laundry and there are still crates of clothes in the attic that will need washing. we are so thankful to everyone.

my belly is HUGE. and bigger every second, it seems. mason is moving around all the time. i mean all the time. i wonder if he will be as active when he is out in the real world with the rest of us.

josh is going to take three weeks off when the baby arrives. it's going to be a wonderful time for all of us to bond.

nicole got a job. we miss her. chris was laid off. he loves it, but we are all hoping he will get a new job at lowe's very soon. he and nicole are tlaking about getting an apartment together. funny that nicole and i were roomies for so long and now she may be a roomie with my brother. i love it!

other than that, my body is just getting ready to release this little one into the world. i hardly sleep. my allergies are out of control. this cough is still here and has gotten bad again. but soon, very soon, possibly any day now, we will have a baby to kiss and love.

16 September, 2009

baby shower!!!

it's been a while and i do apologize...it's just so hard to type with my numb fingers. i do want to update a few things, even though it means going back nearly three weeks!

so aunt cole threw us the best baby shower ever! it was here at our house and everything was perfect. she had lucky bamboo for decorations and TONS of yummy food. grandmom helped, too. aunt cole had a clothes line with so many cute outfits for you -- including baby legs, which i cannot wait to see you wear with your onesies! all of our friends were here to celebrate you -- and they all brought us everything we need for you. they all brought books, too, so you have a nice big bookcase filled with lots of great books! she did everything just the way i wanted it -- no gift wrap so no opening of presents in front of everyone! it was awesome. i was so tired at the end of the day, though.

so a big huge thank you to aunt cole to all of her hard work making the day perfect for us!

02 September, 2009

more lessons

the placenta has moved, so one of our hurdles has been jumped.

however, little boy, you are NOT in the head down position. your head is up near my heart. maybe that's because we are just so connected and you feel comfortable there. but i need you to move down so we can have the birth experience we have been dreaming about. i know that either way, in the end, a you being born healthy is all that matters, but i will feel such a loss if i have to go to the hospital for a c-section. i want so badly for you to come into this world in a peaceful way, the way you deserve. with nice lighting and calming scents, and people who love and care about you.

i love you. please feel safe to move your head down.

26 August, 2009

33 weeks with the midwife

we had our 33-week check-up on monday. it went well, but meredith thinks you are upside down. well, really right side up, but we need you to have your head down. you still have plenty of time to flip. we are going to go see you on the ultrasound machine to make sure. if you are the wrong way, we are going to try everything we can to help you get into the right position for our home delivery. i hope you cooperate. trust your mommy, it will be so much better to be born here than in the hospital.

24 August, 2009

what's daddy been up to?

well, last week your daddy fell off of his motorcycle. it was about 8:00 and he was coming home early from work at the pool. i was happy that he would be home early. but right after he hung up, it started to rain. hard. and there was a lot of crazy wind. it was bad. i was so worried. lincoln and i were staring out the window waiting for him to get home safe. but he called and said that he wrecked. i ran out of the house in the rain with no shoes and in my pjs to go get him. he was right up the street. it was so scary. he was worried that because i was upset you would come early. but you know better than that! he is ok. he has a lot of scratches and scrapes, but we were very lucky. his bike needs some fixing up, but nothing too bad. your mom was never so scared in her life...i hope that we never have to be that scared for daddy again.

but on a happier note, daddy has been working hard on your bedroom...even though you probably won't be in there too much! he has torn down the paneling on the walls, spackled and painted, hung a chair rail, baseboard, and crown molding. he is now laying the floor and will hang the valances. (i've also been having him do tons of other stuff like paint the bathroom, work on outside stuff, etc. he has been so awesome about it all.) he loves that he is able to make your room for you! you will love it when you see it! here's what it looks like so far...

the big scare

last thursday night was a terrible night. i was contracting pretty much every 4 minutes or so. i also had a random pain in my upper abdomen. we called meredith at about midnight. she said relax, take a bath, and if they didn't stop -- go to the hospital for a scan. after about two more hours of "let's go...let's wait...let's go...let's wait" i finally decided to try to close my eyes and calm myself down. i fell asleep and in the morning, i was fine. i think maybe i didn't drink enough. no worries since then, though.

doc visit

so last monday at the doc's, we waited. of course we waited. we waited about an hour. it's been worse. dr. salvatore was great, though. she was not concerned at all about the bloodwork, even though my iron was pretyt low. she even gave dietary suggestions about how to get the iron levels up -- instead of the standard "take an iron pill" recommendation. she guessed that the baby is in a head down position. we left feeling relaxed and very positive...but still both of us confirmed that we would not have done this any other way. without a midwife, i mean. i will never go back to the medical model of care. i lvoe my midwife!

20 August, 2009

fingers

please forgive me if my spelling is off. my fingers are numb and have been for weeks now. it's mostly the thumbs, pointers, and middles -- which are exactly the fingers i use for typing (yes, people, i failed keyboarding in high school). so that's that.

15 August, 2009

blood work results

the blood work came back "still weird". i love my midwife (have i mentioned that?) she has been consulting with dr. salvatore (remember the supportive OB who is so supportive of homebirth? they both think the blood work is weird. i have to go in on monday to the (yes) doctor's office. i am so dreading that -- waiting and waiting. but i plan to make the most of that waiting and take up as much time as possible once i get some time with the doc. the whole thing is that i could have some form of anemia -- but not the typical anemia. of course. why would anything be typical? i am just hoping and praying that it is something that can be fixed and that the birth at home will not be affected. i cannot imagine having this baby boy anywhere but at home.

on another note, he is rolling around in there like crazy. i don;t really feel kicks and punches too often, but i do feel a ton of rolling and it seems that my belly is constantly making waves. i love this boy.

also, we've received a few baby gifts -- closet organizer from grandma and grandpa e, baby's name in beautifully painted letters from aunt erica, and DIAPERS! yes, i was that excited when i opened the package from nina and tammy. they are so damn cute and look so big. this boy is gonna have a chunky looking butt!

11 August, 2009

blood in the street

friday we met with meredith. it was a great appointment. they (she and the midwife's apprentice -- i love saying that) felt around my belly trying to see which way the boy was hanging out in there. his head was down near my pelvis and he was kind of slung in there on a diagonal.

my blood pressure is good. baby's heart rate is good. my water level is great. conversation was good. couch was comfy. it was, as always, a great hour spent.

she took my blood to check iron levels. and then she called me yesterday evening to say she wanted to re-draw my blood because the results came back "weird". that's not really a concern for me right now, so if the second draw comes back showing anything negative, i will post about that. but for now, the good story is this.

meredith's partner (her midwifery business partner) is currently having her baby. as of friday, she was 42 weeks pregnant. so as of today, she is 42 weeks and 4 days. the baby is coming, but it has been long and slow. so because of this, meredith needed me to swing by christy's house so she could re-draw. and obviously we weren't going inside, so there we were, camped out on a curb in south philly, filling a vial with blood. it was fabulous.

10 August, 2009

an education in childbirth

i decided to become certified to teach other people about all of the wonderful ways they can give birth to their babies. since my experience with your brother at the hospital with all of those doctors who seemed so impersonal and to know know what i (or cooper) needed, i have been reading and exploring and learning about all of the ways babies can come into this world.

that's why you will be born here at home. it is safer for you because the only germs here are our germs -- germs you are already used to. mommy will feel safer, too. i can play the music i like and make the lights how i want them, and be where i want to be. i will be able to walk around. to get into the shower. or the tub. i can labor on the toilet. i can eat and drink. daddy will be able to catch you. we will leave your cord attached until you no longer need it. and we won't have to sleep in the hospital. we will already be home where we are comfortable. and we won't have to leave. not until we want to leave.

i feel so sad for people (including the old me) who think that a hospital birth is their only choice. who think that the standard of care they get from their OB is normal and the only option.

so i want to be able to empower women to make the choices that are right for them. and yes, some will still go to their OB and have their baby at the hospital, and that's ok for them. but i want them to know that they are in charge of the births of their babies. that they, in fact, know how to give birth to their babies better than the doctors do -- even the female ones. because we all give birth differently. we all know how to do it. but we have been convinced that we need help.

so i spent the weekend with five other miraculous women. each one has a different story and a different birthing experience to share. i learned so much and can't wait to learn more. it will take some time -- i have a lot of work to do before becoming certified as a childbirth educator, but it will be such an exciting journey.

and i know so much more now, after this weekend, that i feel so much more prepared and excited for your arrival into this world. it's so close. two months away or so. i feel you moving around in there so often, hopefully you will be getting comfortable with your head down pretty soon. right now, it's down there. but you are on a diagonal line across my belly. but i know you will get to where you need to be. we won't force you to do anything.

we love you.

02 August, 2009

observations

as we were going through our grief over the loss of your brother and then our struggles with trying to conceive again, i swore i would NEVER complain about being pregnant. so let me clarify -- these are not complaints. as i keep telling your dad, i am simply reporting out observations of what is happening to my body. i tend to observe and report out on the good, the bad, and the ugly. so here it goes...

the good

my baby belly
seeing myself naked
feeling you move around in there
practicing yoga with you, my angel, inside
your daddy reading to my tummy
your daddy kissing you through my belly
all of the things your daddy does for me
your grandparents are so excited
our friends are so excited
your cousins and your aunt cole are so excited
taking a shower with my big belly in the way of my feet
imagining what you look like
day dreaming about your arrival
thinking about all of the things we will do as a family
imagining carrying you around in a sling
dreaming about you
picturing your daddy holding you and kissing you
looking forward to my prenatal photo session
(i guess this list could go on forever)

the bad

i cannot sleep
my hands are always falling asleep
indigestion
stress about whether or not i am eating well enough
swollen feet (only sometimes)
my lower back hurts
(not as bad as i thought)

the ugly

i am still jealous and angry about other people's pregnancies and little babies
(not sure if this one will ever go away)

so that's that. it's down in writing. and i don't feel as guilty about mentioning observations i may be making while on this journey towards mommy-hood.

26 July, 2009

we've all come a long way, baby

29 weeks tomorrow. i can't even believe it. that means only 11 more weeks until you are to term. and only 9 until we are safely able to welcome you into the world here at home. it seems like we were only 9 weeks pregnant just yesterday. and then 12. it is really going by so fast. i only have to have 8 more shots of progesterone in my bum (i am using much nicer words these days in my blog because i am writing them to you, little boy).

side track -- i'm not sure if i mentioned that we know your name. we have known it from way back when we found out you were for sure a boy. so i guess we settled on it somewhere in either week 13 or 14. we had thought about naming your brother that name, but grandpop didn't like it at the time. he does now, so we won't mention it!

anyway, what i am trying to say about all of this is that we are almost there. this very long journey towards holding you in our arms has almost ended. it started so long ago. your dad and i have both grown so much through all of it. through dealing with the loss of your brother, through months of trying unsuccessfully, through the IUIs, through IVF and through a very scary first half of this pregnancy. but now you are almost here. and now the things i am thinking about are if i have enough on my registries (aunt cole says i do not), what to call your dad's parents, since grandmom and grandpop are already taken, who will your pediatrician be, and fun things like that.

your dad is making your room better every day. he has torn off that ugly paneling that was in there. he ripped out the carpet. he took away the molding. he spackled the holes in the wall and painted the primer on. and now, your room is painted -- white up top and bright orange on the bottom. we have had your adorable bedding for so long, about a year now i guess. i can't wait to see what your room looks like in the end. i want you to know that this is all new for your daddy. he was very brave in taking on this project. he never knew how to do anything around the house before, but he has tried and done a great job so far. he still has to put up the molding and lay the floors, and paint the window frames, (and all within the next month!) but i am sure it will get done and that in the end it will be perfect. he has put all of his love into making your room a nice place for you to grow and play. (your cousins helped, too!)















and then there is aunt cole, she got to feel you move yesterday. she saw my belly thump out and ran right over to introduce herself. now i am sure that you are already very familiar with her voice, but wait until you meet her in person. she is going to love you so much and as she says, torture you. and she will...she will want to bite you and suck on your lip and all sorts of strange things. but don't be scared, she loves you already.

aunt cole and i have been through a lot together. we were friends in high school, but it wasn't until we were out of school that we became really good friends. we had lots of fun together and maybe when you are grown up we will tell you about some of those times. we lived together for a long time -- in three different homes. she is like my sister, so that's why she is your aunt.

and cole has a baby boy named nicolas who is with your brother somewhere. he was born a few months before cooper. she and i weren't talking then because mommy was stupid and she let some stupid guy before she met your wonderful daddy influence her thinking. so aunt cole had her feelings hurt and we didn't talk for a while. your mom missed her while she was gone, but we didn't see each other until mommy was in the hospital with pneumonia when i was 10 weeks pregnant with your brother. she was worried about me and your brother so she came to see me. it was brave of her.

it was only a few weeks before that that i had learned that she lost nicolas the way she did. i should have called, but i didn't think she would want to hear from me. plus, i didn't even really understand what had happened to her. i was one of those stupid people that i get so angry with these days. you know? the ones i have cursed about throughout my blog writing. the ones who get pregnant so easily and have their babies with no problems and who are oblivious to the fact that bad things can happen and that babies can die. that was me. and that's why i get so angry.

so anyhow, we started to talk again. mostly through email. we were supposed to get together on february 2, 2008 for coffee in the morning. i was going to go over to her apartment and see her and spend some time with her little boy, noah (who you will spend lots of time with). but on january 31, when my water broke i called her right after i called your daddy. she came to be with me right away. she came to be with us the next day, too, and was there when your brother was born. it was a very sad day for all of us.

so you can see why she matters so much to me. i'm sure i don't show it the way i should, but she really is one of the most special people in the world to me. she will be there when you are born, too. and your daddy and me and aunt cole will all be so happy when we get to hold you and hear you cry. and i know we will all be crying with you.

23 July, 2009

eating, sleeping, pooping

and no i am not talking about you. i am talking about me.

eating is stressing me out. i am not really hungry anymore. i mean, i get hungry, but earlier on, until about a month ago, i was famished. all. the. time. it seemed that from the minute your little embryo was implanted into my uterus, i was hungry. i ate all day long. and sometimes, i even ate during the night. i couldn't get enough food. and that lasted until about week 24 or so, i was starving. (maybe that's why i have already gained about 35 pounds and i still have 12 weeks to go.) but now, not so much. and so i forget to eat as much as i should. then i worry. i worry about your brain. i worry about you. all. the. time. but i guess that's normal. that's what mommies do.

i can't sleep. i cannot get comfortable. i even bought one of those giant stupid rip off maternity pillows. it may help a little, but i still can't sleep. now i am not a good sleeper as it is. i seem to have overcome my light-sleeping, but now i am waking up every hour or so either to pee or just because i am completely uncomfortable.

i will keep this short, in case anyone other than your dad and aunt cole ever read this -- my poop is so weird. anyone who knows me knows that i am obsessed with poop anyway, so it wouldn't really be surprising to know that i am writing about it. but every day it is different. a different color. different texture. different amount. different smell. so weird.

these are just some of the ways you have changed my life so far. other than that, i don't wear deodorant anymore (i don't want to poison you with the aluminum in there and the natural stuff makes me smell worse than i do on my own), my favorite thing to do is take a shower with your daddy so that he can talk to you and hold you in my belly. then we get into bed and he reads you a book. i could spend the rest of my life that way. i drink OJ every day. i never used to because of the sugar, but i figure you probably like the sweet taste, and plus it gives us calcium and vitamin c. oh yes, the vitamins -- prenatals, fish oil, femdophilus (twice per day), vitamin c, vitamin e, and i eat everything orange so that you will have plenty of vitamin a (beta carotene) because it is supposed to make that bag of water that you are floating in really strong. i live for every movement in my belly and i am already wondering how sad i will be when you are not in there anymore. i am so excited to meet you and hold you, but i love that we have all of this time together. i love looking at myself naked. never in my life have i said that. but i love seeing my big belly with you inside. you have changed me in so many ways already. i can't imagine what it will be like once you are here.

18 July, 2009

just when i'd forgotten

so just when i thought things were rolling along nice and easy, we got a letter from the fertility center yesterday reminding me that we are not so normal, after all. they want to know what we are going to do with our three frozen embryos...our popsicle babies. these are your possible future brothers and sisters. they would allow us to try again without your dad having to give your mom so many shots. you all would have the same date of conception! but all different birthdays. how crazy would that be?

but the other side is that we have to pay $270 per every six months of "storage", or shall i say babysitting. that means that by the time we have all of our babies, we could have spent thousands. what to do...what to do??? it sounds heartless to talk about money when i've just described these little frozen things as your future brothers and sisters.

but what if in the future we can make a baby on our own without having to go to the doctor all the time, and without having my blood drawn all the time, and without thinking so much about it? what if we store those embryos and we try again and it doesn't work -- there is a lower success rate with frozen embies than with fresh ones, like you.

we have a couple of months to decide. but i'd rather just focus on you, so i'd like to make the decision pretty quickly.

17 July, 2009

it's getting closer and closer

we had our appointment with meredith yesterday. there was a midwife's apprentice there, too. love that.

as usual, we went right in, plopped down on the comfy couch (although it was hot as you know what in there and they had only the fan on the a/c unknowingly until your dad fixed that problem. i was so hot -- which doesn't usually bother me, but i guess being nearly SEVEN MONTHS pregnant makes the temp feel a little different than usual) and talked for about 45 minutes about how i am feeling and what is going on. we talked about you moving around in there and the fact that a whole month has gone by without me having any issues. not even any fears. i've sure come a long way. even since your brother was in my belly. it always seemed like something was going wrong. but not now. now we are having some smooth sailing.

we talked mostly about the day you will be born. i can't believe this is really happening. and pretty soon. we went through the details about who will be there and for how long. we talked about how to make sure i get my rest afterwards. oh and about where the tub might be. daddy suggests having it in your room and then you can be born in your own bedroom. i think that is a very nice idea.

we also talked about finding you a pediatrician. and about circumcision. we are not going to do that to you. i think you will be pretty happy about that. your daddy has never said that we would, he is just worried that you will be teased. i think you will be strong enough to take it and that mostly no one will ever really know or care. i just don't want to inflict pain on you like that. there's no reason for it. see what you get when you have a hippie sort of mommy.

we listened to your little heart beating away with a fetoscope. daddy couldn't hear it, but he will next time because it is getting bigger and bigger. you actually kicked right into it and bumped it into meredith's head. it was pretty funny. you seem to be tempermental. so unlike your brother. he was always so calm and quiet in there. now of course, he didn't get to be as big as you are, but still, i always had the feeling that he was a peacemaker, he wasn't a fighter. you, on the other hand, i think you are a feisty one. i welcome that. i'm pretty feisty, myself.

oh yes, we also felt around and grabbed your head. sorry about that!

16 July, 2009

daddy to be

we went to visit your friend jonathan last night and he sure is a cutie. he is still so tiny and fragile, so your mom was still nervous about holding him. and it really does seem that babies know how uncomfortable and nervous i am because they always always cry when they are in my arms. i won't be nervous with you, though. holding you for the first time will be the most wonderful moment of my life.

your daddy, on the other hand, is so comfortable with babies. he knows just what to do to make them happy. you are so lucky to have him as your dad. well, i guess you already know that since you picked him. i am looking so forward to seeing him holding you and to seeing you look back at him.

12 July, 2009

inner strength


yesterday we went to a beautiful rose garden to watch our friends amy and anthony get married. everything is so much happier this year. you must have enjoyed the music because on the long ride home you were really thumping away at my insides. i felt you pushing against me so i placed my hand there and you really let me have it. so i made your daddy do the same and you whacked at him, too. you must be getting so big and so strong in there. we love you so much and are so proud of all the growing you are doing.

10 July, 2009

movin' right along

it's been a while since my last post. things are still quiet. which is nice. really really nice.

my belly is getting bigger. you seem to already have less room because i am not noticing as much bumping in the fluttery sort of way that i used to. now i feel a random kick or a punch. i used to be able to stare at my belly for minutes at a time and watch you dance around inside, but now it's just a periodic movement and i stare and i stare to no avail.

it's been 3 weeks and 1 day since our last appointment with meredith. and 3 weeks since our last appointment with anyone. that's the longest we've gone without seeing you or hearing your heartbeat. i miss hearing that sound. but it is nice that i haven't even had to call or text or email meredith about anything since we last saw her. i feel so normal again.

things are moving along nicely. your room is torn apart awaiting primer. and molding. and base board. and a chair rail. then paint. then the floor. then furniture. than the closet, which, pathetic as it may sound, i am most excited about. then all of your things -- and you already have lots of things. then we will add the most exciting thing of all. you. daddy suggested that you be born in your room. i think that sounds like a great idea.

grandmom has already bought you so many clothes, little one. she is so excited, as we all are, to have you as part of our family. your daddy's dad (we haven't decided what you will call him yet, as you will be his first grandchild) is super excited, too. he talks about you a lot. every one is so excited to meet you and to love you. it's going to be very hard for mommy to share you with all of these people. aunt cole will kill me, but i even think it will be hard to share you with her (sorry, aunt cole! love you!) i just feel like we have waited so long to hold you in our arms, i will never want to give you up.

it really has been a long time. daddy and i started to talk about raising little souls together when we first kissed. that was almost three years ago. since then, it has been quite a challenge. your brother was created a little less than a year after your daddy and i first kissed. then he was born. after he left us, it took us such a long time to create you. so much longer than we had thought it would have taken. and here we are. 26 weeks and 4 days pregnant with you. a whole month more pregnant than we ever were with your brother. we only have about 3 months left until we meet you. and we already love you so much.

02 July, 2009

all quiet on the baby front

i almost hate to say it. i hate to whisper it. i hate to think it. but all is well. and it has been well, aside from the upper respiratory infection and the cough that is still here after a month and those three separate yeast infections at weeks 17, 20 and 22. i believe that somehow the 20 and 22 infections related to the ATU visit and the internal cervical exam. at 24 i refused the internal and no infection. it could be coincidence, but so far, so good.

i am feeling the little boy moving in there pretty regularly. he is getting bigger and stronger every day. it really is the most amazing feeling in the world to know that there is a little baby human playing around in your womb.

30 June, 2009

baptism and bris

this week, little man, you attended two important events in your friends lives.

on sunday, your friend brielle had her baptism. she wore a beautiful and big white dress and seemed to be pretty clueless the whole time about what was going on. you heard people singing and praying and even though i don't believe in any of it, i am happy that you were there to hear the songs and to be amongst all of that positive energy.

and today you just got back from your friend jonathan's house. jonathan has two big sisters who died a few months after your brother did. we have a lot in common with his mommy and daddy and i hope that the two of you will be good friends. his dog is even named cooper, just like your brother! but aside from all of that, he became a part of his own tribe today, just like brielle was welcomed by hers on sunday. however, jonathan's experience was a little different. like brielle's baptism, it was a symbolic ceremony filled with prayer and song. again, i love that you are feeling all of this while you are inside of me. however, as part of the ceremony, jonathan had his circumcision done in front of all of his family and some of his friends. he screamed and cried and most of the people in the room were crying, too. his daddy was. his mommy was. all of his grandparents were. you know i was. you were kicking or punching or hiccuping. as soon as the mohel took little jonathan to the snipping table (there must be a name for it, but mommy doesn't know it), you started to wiggle. did you know what was about to happen to your very little friend?

the whole time it was happening i was imagining putting you through that and i even told your daddy right in the middle of the ceremony (loudly -- but you should get used to that in me) that i am not doing that to you. this is something you will have to help me decide. do you want it done so that you can match the boys in the locker room and so that you can look like your daddy down there? or should we just leave you alone because there really is no other reason for the snipping? i have been thinking on this for months, ever since we knew you were a boy and i think even before that, but i can;t seem to be sure of my circumcision decision. i don't want to do it. i know that. but do you want us to?

but as far as the religious ceremonies go...you will not have either of them. my hope is to have a blessing ceremony for you so that all of your friends and family can welcome you and share with you their positive vibrations. flossie will perform it. and you won't cry. and you won't wear a silky white suit. but we will be so happy and proud to introduce you to our community of people who love us and who love you.

29 June, 2009

dear baby boy

i am 25 weeks today, little one. i have decided that instead of writing to some random person in blogspace who doesn't know me, or you, or your daddy, i will write some of my letters to you. i'm going to do that today.

today i had to go buy a dress to wear to our friend anthony's wedding. i have been so excited to be able to show off my belly in a fancy party dress. when i was pregnant with your brother, i wasn't going to be able to go to any weddings. in fact, i was going to miss two weddings because he would have been a newborn. i ended up being able to go in the end, but there was a sadness about each of the days. but anyway, you will be attending a wedding next saturday. it's going to be outside in a garden, so i think we will love it.

your little friend jonathan arrived last week. he decided to come early. not as early as his twin sisters did, or as early as your brother, thank goodness, but he was early. it made your mom a little nervous. it was a reminder that you could decide to do the same. but i am just going to keep reminding you that you are to stay in my belly as long as you can. you are due to arrive on october 12, but i am shooting for the 19th, which would keep you in there 'til week 41, which is just fine with me. i just love you swimming around there in my belly and we have the rest of forever to spend together after that.

your aunt cole has been busy planning the party that will celebrate your arrival. the party will be here at our house, which is so exciting. so many people will be here to celebrate you and me. just think of all of that positive, womanly energy here in our house. it will still be here when you arrive, waiting to snuggle you in love. your mom usually hates showers. i hate to have all of the attention on me. but this time, it's all about you and i am so excited for it. i am looking forward to everyone patting my belly, imagining that they are patting you.

your cousins, christopher and dominic, are getting more excited every day to meet you. especially christopher. he always asks questions about you...about what you are doing in there. he has talked to you a few times and i hope that you will recognize his voice when you come out. your grandmom and grandpop are looking so forward to snuggling and kissing you. grandmom usually tries to hide her excitement about anything, but she has let it slip a few times.

it's summertime and your mom is feeling hot. normally, i love to be hot and sweaty, but this summer seems like it might be a little different. the a/c still hasn't gone on because i am waiting for your dad to get the leaky cracks filled around the house. but i think dad is right -- that rule is going to hurt me worse than anyone else.

speaking of your daddy...he is so excited every day to hear about you moving around in my belly. he feels you as often as he can, although it seems like sometimes you are playing tricks on him. as soon as i tell him where to put his hands, you often stop moving. almost like you are playing hide and seek.

so now i am going to go be lazy on the couch. we will be taking our yoga class with flossie tonight. i am excited to spend that time with you.

we love you so much, baby boy.

22 June, 2009

baby kicks

i can't believe how exciting it is to feel this baby move around inside of me. by far, every time he moves and i feel it, that is the highlight of my day. i imagine what he looks like in there. what he is feeling. i wake up at night and feel him moving around and i just smile uncontrollably, even in a half sleep. it is not only reassuring to know he is ok, but i feel so connected to him.

i started to feel the flutters early -- not even at 13 weeks. i continued to doubt myself, but as time went on, josh encouraged me to believe that it really was him moving around in there. then at 21 and 6, that's when i knew it was really him. and i just realized that it came at the perfect week.

i love it. i love having this little angel grow inside of my belly.

19 June, 2009

an exciting few days

we had our last appointment at the ATU today. before i had a chance to tell dr. l that i didn't t want to come back, he said i didn't have to! god, that felt great. my placenta has moved far enough away from the cervix that they feel comfortable that it will move the rest of the way by the end. the boy looks good -- size is all normal and he is just so cute. i think he looks like me -- he has my nose. (sorry, daddy.)

we took my dad with us. i actually had to force him because he is so nervous about everything. he loved it, though, just like i knew he would. it was so cute. he couldn't wait to talk to my mom about it. he was barely out of the car before he was telling her how big he is right now. go grandpop.

we went to see meredith yesterday. i just love her. no waiting again. i weigh 152...so excited! that's already 30 lbs. more than i was when i started. i have no idea where it is, unless i have reverse image disorder. all the sites say at this point i should have gained 15 lbs. but how cool is it that meredith said nothing? heartbeat was good. she heard it with a stethoscope. i tried but i couldn't...maybe next time. we chatted for an hour about diet and exercise and how my body has been feeling. when we left i saw christy and another parents-t0-be-pair and we all chatted and christy felt my belly. it's so so nice...nothing can compare to it. i hope i never have to go back to an OB. this has already been the best three grand i have ever spent. (thanks, daddy!)

my good friend at work is trying to make a baby right now. i am hoping that she is pregnant as i write this and that all goes well for her. my other good friend mb just told me today that she is 11 weeks. erica is 35 weeks and melis is 3 behind us. and i thought this baby boy wouldn't have any little friends to hang with.

and my students threw me a shower. i cannot believe the amount of gifts that they gave me. tons of clothes. toys. blankets. and a $160 gift card. amazing. they totally surprised me and planned it all on their own . there were balloons, cake, snacks, and music. it was so sweet. i just love those kids.

life is good.

17 June, 2009

17p

on tuesday of my 17th week, i started my injections of 17p -- alphahydroxy progesterone. i am now 23 weeks and josh shot me in the butt again yesterday. i have to have it injected weekly until week 36. the first week, we had it done at the docs. i think i wrote about it on here. and it was fine. it didn't hurt at all. the next couple of weeks it was fine. but the past few weeks, it has been a real pain in the ass -- literally. yesterday, the burning stuck around. it's actually still burning. typically, the process begins with some stress and aggravation on both josh's and my part. josh has to fill the vial, which takes forever because he is so careful not to make any bubbles. then we both get nervous because we are never exactly sure where to inject. every week, it's the same thing over again. once we settle on a spot, it's time for me to take a deep breath. as i said, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it stings, sometime it doesn't bother me at all. then, josh gets super worried because some of the oil leaks out. he presses on it and then applies a band-aid. i ask if it's bleeding. he usually says '"no", but there is always blood on the band-aid when i take it off in the morning. it's a load of fun, trust me. and the worst part is -- i probably don't even need them. they are used to prevent preterm labor, which typically starts with contractions. that didn't happen to me. but, i figure it's better to be safe than sorrowful.

15 June, 2009

sitting waiting worrying

i sit. and i wait. the number of minutes i have logged while staring at my belly over the past week is just ridiculous. i just sit and stare and wait for a ripple to move across my belly. some days, he is in there moving around all day long, it seems. and all night. it seems like every time i ask him to kick me, he responds. then a couple of days go by with barely any movement. seriously. almost all day and all night i wait -- and nothing. even when i beg. even when i jump up and down. even when i drink a huge glass of cold OJ then rest on my left side for an hour waiting. nothing.

then i worry.

shit -- can i just get a day -- just ONE DAMN DAY -- without worry? without an itchy crotch? without a terrible pain in the leg? or in the shoulder? or without a cough? or a sore throat? an aching uterus? a stiff neck? runny poop (or should i say "loose stool")?

it isn't the pain that bothers me. pain that i understand and can get a hold of is just fine. i welcome it because it means that i am having a baby.

no, it's all of the fears that come along with each pain that i wish to do without. see, this is how the brain of a woman who is pregnant after a terrible loss goes through the aches and pains of life while pregnant. a woman who has read to much and listened to too many sad stories. here's how my obsessive, worrisome, hypochondriacal brain works:

the itchy crotch -- the amniotic fluid could get infected and my water could break!
the leg pain -- a blood clot!
shoulder pain -- preeclampsia!
cough -- i'm going to pop the amniotic sac!
sore throat -- it could become bronchitis and then pneumonia and i could end up in the hospital and catch some infection there and the baby could come early because of it!
an aching uterus -- my placenta is separating from the uterine wall!
a stiff neck -- meningitis!
runny poop -- preterm labor!

christ, i could go on forever. why can't i get a hold of this monkey mind? i need more meditation. more yoga. more positive affirmations. more mantras to recite.

the crazy thing is, i am still in love with being pregnant. maybe because those moments of safety are so damn rewarding. addictive. euphoric. like just a little while ago, after a staring contest with my belly, when i saw a ripple move from above my belly button all the way to my right side, i realized that YES! there is a baby tucked safely away in there who is growing stronger every day. he feels my love and the universe is supporting us both. he is here to grow with us for a long, long time.

12 June, 2009

the day after

so i am now officially more pregnant than i have ever been. i am 22 weeks and 4 days pregnant. i am feeling a bit of relief, but i still have that fear every time i go to the bathroom that there will be blood in my panties or on the toilet paper. i have a terrible cough right now and every time it gets really bad, i fear that i will just break that balloon of water that the boy is swimming in. but still, i do feel better.

although this damn yeast infection is still here and it is still burning the shit out of my vagina. and today i wore jeans -- bad move. i can't wait to get home and change into nothing!

anyway, the good stuff. yesterday, josh and i both felt the baby kick or punch through my belly. i never imagined how exciting that would actually be. it makes it so real that there is a real baby human in there doing his thing. it's so cool how quickly this has all happened. sunday was the first i saw my belly move and then on monday josh saw it. and it's been regularly happening since then. and now we have both felt him. all in that 22nd week that i had been dreading. is he trying to tell us something? or is cooper?

or are they one in the same? i don't mean it's the same baby -- but maybe the same energy. flossie thinks that the universe just wasn't at the right vibration to hold cooper's energy last year. but she is feeling something about these '09 babies that is different. so maybe the same ball of energy that was cooper is now this baby boy. they do choose their parents, i believe, so maybe 22 weeks, 3 days and ten minutes just wasn't enough time with us.

11 June, 2009

delivery; 22 and 3


josh and i spent the night in that little room. he stayed next to me all night long. i was so uncomfortable. they had hooked me up to the IV for fluids and i had to stay on my left side. i didn't drink enough. i even stayed on my back for much of the night. what was wrong with me? i was so sure everything would be fine.

around 6 the next morning, i still wasn't feeling anything. but a short half hour or so later, i began to feel a tightness. i wasn't sure if i had to poop or not. they put a monitor on me and still no contractions. then i decided to poop in a bed pan, so that hopefully i would know i wasn't contracting. i pooped, but the feeling didn't go away. they kept saying i wasn't contracting. but i knew i was.

eventually, they registered on the monitor slightly. another doc came in to stick his hand up there. i was not dilated at all and the cervix was still closed. that was a relief. they gave me something, morphine, i think, with the hopes that the uterus would relax and that contractions would stop. they didn't and they moved me to l&d.

by then, my parents were there. so was nicole. and josh's dad and patti. his mom and bill were on their way.

around 11 AM, i started to feel some real pain. i think that's when i got the fever. dr. steighner came in and said, with hands over her mouth, "i'm so sorry. we are going to have to induce." i just said, "ok." josh lost it and ran out of the room in hysteria. my mom went after him and told him not to do that and that he had to hold it together for me. i am still angry with her for that. part of why i love him so much is because he has emotions like that. i wanted everyone to be that sad with me. i didn't want people to hold it together. i wanted everyone in that hospital to feel what i was feeling.

they induced because my fever was up around 104. it was awful. later on i had an epidural. i figured why take the pain when my baby was going to die anyway? it helped a lot with the physical pain, but the emotional heartache was too much for any of us to take.

at some point, the pediatricians came in to talk to us about 22-weekers. the news was all bad. basically, we could try to be as aggressive as possible, but if he survives, he would probably have multiple handicaps. i knew immediately that i couldn't do that to cooper. he wasn't ready for any of it. he was ready to go. he had lessons to teach us.

but let me tell you, there is nothing in the world like having to decide on the spot whether or not to let your baby die. i remember saying, "is he really asking me this? do i have to decided this now?" yes. i did.

i hate that room. it was so clinical. i was tied to the bed.

throughout the day, more and more people came in to say how sorry they were and to be there for us. josh's mom and step-dad arrived. aunt susan and michael. eileen.

around 4:30 mom, dad, and aunt susan left to take care of all of the dogs. they came back around 5:15ish, just in time to learn that the baby was on his way. i remember seeing my dad's face. he was so sad. he didn't know how to help me feel better. he was holding back his tears.

i wasn't.

i had told nicole that i felt something like i had to poop. she went and got the doctor. dr. white. she checked my cervix and said, "she can push." that is when reality set in. even until then i was holding on to the hope that this little guy would somehow be ok.

they cleared the room. nicole stayed with us through it all. she cried and supported me the whole time. josh was right there holding my hand. i think i only had to push three times and the little boy was out. immediately, i asked, "is he alive?" i at least wanted to hold him while he was alive. i think that josh told me that he was and the nurse said she would clean him up and bring him back to me. hell no -- i wanted him right away. what was she thinking? he wouldn't be here that long and i wasn't about to share any of that time with her.

she placed him on my chest and we all just stared at him and loved him through our tears for his whole life, which was about ten minutes. these were the best and worst ten minutes of our lives. he made some noises. he gasped for breathe a few times, which made me fear that he was in pain. his eyes were closed. overall, he was like a little bundle of calm and peace. as soon as he was born, the room was filled with peace.

i kept apologizing to him telling him how screwed he had gotten.

and just like that, he was gone. at one point i asked the doctor if he was still alive and she said she didn't think so.

we held him for quite sometime after that. nicole went to the waiting room to tell everyone. i found out later that she had said, "he's arrived. and he has passed." i'm not sure that there could have been a more beautiful way to say it.

i wanted to keep holding him forever, but josh became uncomfortable as the baby turned cold. they took him and cleaned him up and dressed him. they brought him back. we held him longer. his grandparents came in to see him and to hold him. my dad wouldn't hold him. he couldn't handle that.

my biggest regret is that because of the epidural, i couldn't move. i couldn't give him his only bath. i couldn't dress him myself. we had the nurse take some pictures of him and then nicole took some of him with us. but we only have five pictures. another regret.

eventually they took him away to some room in the basement where all the the dead bodies were. they moved us to another room. they put a leaf on our door with a teardrop so that everyone would know that our baby had died.

we held him once more before bed. i cried all night long. seriously, all night long. it hurt so badly. i have never felt anything like that loss. i was empty. empty and it hurt. it hurt so bad.

and that's how it went down for me the last time at 22 and 3.

10 June, 2009

22 and 2

so today i am 22 weeks and 2 days pregnant. the last time i was 22 weeks and 2 days pregnant, i woke up with a whole different feeling. i had been to the OB the night before with a yeast infection complaint -- but also with some brown spotting. dr. white said it was just a really bad infection and that's why there was blood. i asked about having the same problem the month before and she said it was too bad for a one-night treatment and that i needed a 7-night one instead this time. i didn't believe her but i didn't trust myself, so i went home and inserted the suppository she had prescribed.

i woke up the next morning, january 31, 2008 and put on a pantie liner as i knew from previous experiences with treating yeast infections that i would be leaking all day long. and that was what happened. all day long i was leaking. more than normal, but i didn't think it was a huge deal. i just kept changing pantie liners.

i was sitting in my wheelie chair at the front of my room, because i knew i was freaked out a little about something. i took it easy most of the day. the bell rang to end 6th period -- it was 1:26 PM. i felt a huge gush of fluid. i looked down to see that my pants were soaked. i ran to the restroom to see what the hell was going on. just clear fluid. what the hell was i thinking? how could i not have gone directly to the doctor? i haven't worn those pants at all this pregnancy. they were the grey ones i had gotten from gap maternity. i haven't even used that same stall in the restroom since then.

so what did i do? i went home. my 7th period is my free period. i went home. i changed my clothes. i threw the pants in the laundry. i went back to school to teach my last class. i did try to call the doc on my way home, but it was ringing and ringing so i just figured i would call after school. moron.

i went down to the cafeteria at the end of the day to see josh. he was getting ready to leave for a wrestling match in east-bumble-you-know-what. i cried when i told him what happened, but assured him that i was fine. the crazy thing is that i believed that.

i went home and freaked out on lexis (my sweet dog) who had pooped on the floor because she was so nervous about what was happening to me. i went into our storage closet and moved boxes around to get to her crate. i moved heavy shit after my water had broken. moron. i went to the bathroom and there was some blood on the toilet paper. i called the doc and they said, "come in right away". that's when i knew there was a problem. that's when i was convinced. i guess i had been in denial.

but honestly, i still thought everything would be ok.

i called my mom to take me to the doc. we sat in traffic. i was so nervous. she was, too, but she did a great job of trying to keep me calm. we got there and they took me right in. another sign that i was in real trouble.

dr. swift checked me out with an internal. she said she would be right back and when she returned she brought in the ultrasound machine. she looked and i saw little cooper in there moving around. to me, he looked ok and i was relieved. she sat me up and said, "ok. this has nothing to do with the medication you took yesterday. your water broke." and i said, "what does that mean?" i mean, i knew technically what it meant, but i wanted to know if my baby would be ok. and she said, "well, sometimes we can keep you pregnant for a long time. you need to go right to the hospital."

i ran out of the room with my shoes half on and yelled to my mom that we had to go to the hospital. i was crying and spazzing out. she asked "why? why?" and i yelled at her to just come on. the woman yelled for me to check out and i basically told her to fuck off. i forgot my jacket.

we got into the car and i called josh, who luckily for once had his cell on. i told him through my hysteria what had happened. he said, ok, i will be there. now remember, he was at a wrestling meet a half hour away and had taken a bus to get there. later i found out that he had one of the fathers drive him. he said that on their way out of the school, the man offered him congratulations and josh said, "no. this isn't good . she is only 22 weeks pregnant." apparently, they both then broke into a sprint.

back at the hospital, i was checked again internally by another doctor who said that first we had to hope that i would make it 24 hours without going into labor. then we would hope for a week. then every day after that would get him closer to viability. was this really happening? i remember telling him that the baby was head down and he said that was a good thing. still i was clueless and asked him why. he said, "in case we have to deliver." OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD.

i called nicole who rushed right over. josh's dad got there soon after. and then josh. he was crying and scared. i wasn't crying anymore. i was just scared.

they checked for contractions. nothing. they moved me to a room. i was convinced that i would be in the hospital for a long, long time. i was sure that the baby was not coming any time soon, and that once he did we would spend months in the NICU. i called my principal and told her that i might not be back at all that year. stupid girl.

that was how it went down for me at 22 weeks and 2 days.

09 June, 2009

yoga...just breathe

so i went to take a class with flossie at the yoga center of medford last night. she is a complete angel. flossie performed our marriage ceremony, for those of you who were at the wedding. now, i've been practicing yoga during this pregnancy both at home and in a class through the hospital. the hospital class takes place at destination maternity -- retail heaven for pregnant chicks. the room has mirrors -- yucky for yoga! and most chicks walk in with their shoes on. i've even seen a few step right on their mats with their shoes. ugh! you can hear the music pumping outside the room -- you know, the music that gets you in the mood to spend spend spend! which, of course, i have many of the times i have gone there for class. the instructor is kind and means well, but she has given advice about pregnancy a few times that makes me want to scream. for example, she talked to us about the importance of fetal monitoring, which i believe, is not necessary. she went on and on and i kept my mouth shut because i just wasn't in the mood for a conflict. anyway, flossie's class left me feeling uplifted. it left me with a sense of peace and of trust in my body and the universe.

i'm not going to go back to the ATU. i'm a normal mommy-to-be who happens to get a lot of yeast infections. that's it. last time, whatever happened is under control now. i am doing all i can that makes sense. progesterone shots weekly. screening for BV. and most importantly, paying close attention to my body. i'm fine.

and teh great news is that now i am feeling the boy move around in there more consistently and more definitively. yesterday in the car on the way to yoga, josh even got to see my tummy move because baby boy was tossing and turning in there. he is here to stay. we'll see him in october.

08 June, 2009

moving right along


i am 22 weeks today -- looking forward to making it safely through this week and then hopefully i will start to get some of my sanity back.

the yeast has invaded again and i am convinced that when i get the internal exams at the ATU they are putting some extra yeast up there. and i felt the itch pretty soon after the exam. i am considering not going back there. if anything i will go out of curiosity for the U/S. even though i want to avoid invading his space, i just love seeing him safely tucked away in there.

did i ever mention how much better it is to have a midwife than an OB? i sent meredith an email yesterday about all of the craziness going on -- the yeast, the hardly happening movement, the leg pain, the decision about the fFN test -- yes it was a long email. so she called me yesterday evening, from her bed with a fever, and we discussed it all. i can't believe anyone would choose to use a doc when they have this option available. i guess it's fear. but i am not sure how many moms are more fearful than i am, and this is the only road i will ever choose for having my babies.

and on another thrilling note -- i felt him kicking super hard yesterday and looked down at my belly and I SAW IT MOVE! it was so exciting. that was when reality set in. i can't wait for that to happen again.

04 June, 2009

cooper's due date

today is the day our first son was supposed to be born. right now we would have been planning a one-year-old birthday party. but instead, this morning, i was at the ATU bright and early at 7:20 AM to have my cervix measured.

we saw the baby boy again. it's amazing the difference two weeks can make.

it's also amazing the difference one year and four months can make. it was january 31and we had been to the doc for a follow-up U/S. i had been spotting. but no one seemed worried. the next day my water broke. and the day after that, cooper was born. nearly 18 weeks too soon.

so i am looking at this little baby on the screen. immediately i saw his heart beating. and i saw him just chillin' out in there. which he has never done for an U/S before. so i became secretly terrified. morbid thoughts began to race through my brain. why isn't he moving? what happened? what's wrong with him? is he dead?

and this was all in the course of about 20 seconds. while i could see his heart beating. oh, the insanity. fear is a powerful emotion.

so my cervix is still long. the placenta is not covering the cervix, but it is still low-lying. if it were in that position at the point of delivery, i would need a C. but it has 18 weeks to move and i am positive that it will go where it needs to go.

now the next decision is whether or not to have the fFN test done. fetal fibronectin is basically a glue that holds the baby in place. the fFN test can tell us either that i have a chance (30% or so) of going into labor within two weeks or that there is a 99.2% chance that i won't. so the question is, do i have this invasive test, which involves taking a swipe around and under the cervix, done in order to gain two weeks of peace of mind? because it could also cause me two weeks of terror. however, if it comes up positive, they would take every precaution they could to keep the little guy safe in my uterus. decisions decisions.

must be nice when the biggest decision is "what color should we paint the baby's room?"

02 June, 2009

shower!

with coop i never even thought about a shower at this stage of the game. i mean i had played with a registry, but a shower was far in the distance in my head. but this time, i can't wait. i am coming up on the 22 week mark and i am doing everything i can not to think about it. it's not working.

but nicole is doing a great job of keeping my mind off of the bad stuff and keeping my eye focused on the future. i'm so excited about the baby shower. i hope it isn't bad to admit that???

at first i wanted it to be a surprise. but then i realized that i was only fooling myself and that a surprise shower is totally not me. kudos to my ohio friend maddy who points out often that showers are not a surprise in most parts of the country. and i am really not concerned with fitting in in nj. so cas is planning the shower all by herself. she is involving the moms, but she is just going to town on her own. i like it that way, cuz she knows me best. it only makes me sad that i was such a non-participant in her first baby's belly-time. and then i was non-existent for the second one. she won;t let me, but if i could i would apologize every day to her.

anyway, she has the invites and the menu all set to go. i have the registry and the guest list. i just can't wait! it is going to be here at my house and it's going to be open-house style. that way no one has to be tortured by sitting someplace all day long watching me open gifts. and it's good for me, too, since i hate to be the center of attention. if i had the patience, i would have suggested having it after the boy arrives, but i know i would go crazy not having everything all set for his arrival.

well, gota run. we have awards night at school tonight. yuk.

01 June, 2009

we're free!

just got home from our LAST OB appointment! what a relief to be done with sitting in waiting rooms and then waiting in cubby rooms only to be felt up, asked a few questions, and then ushered out to schedule the next appointment.

the doc we saw today was very understanding and lived up to her home-birth-friendly rep. she didn't flinch when i told her and said that i would be fine at home birthing my babe. it was like getting a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. so we are all set. a couple of more appointments at the MFM and then it's all midwife from there on out.

this week seems to be starting out great. i'm actually a little hesitant to write that just in case it all blows up in our faces at a later date. josh posted that gas-guzzler of ours on craigslist on saturday and tonight it will be sold. that loan will be paid off and we will have $350 more per month to save towards mom at home with baby time.

a new friend that josh has made is here right now taking a look at all of the random work that has to be done around here. he is making it seems so easy and has offered to help josh fix things and teach him what to do so that in the future he can do it all by himself.

my yeast infection is all gone. however, i did catch some kind of bug. yesterday i woke up with an itchy throat and a cough. then i vomited so violently that my jaw actually hurt and i popped a blood vessel in my eye. i look like a freak!


but other than that, all is well in pregnancy land!

29 May, 2009

postive thoughts

no report yet form the lab, but it seems that the garlic cloves i have been inserting into my vag every night for the past three nights has cleared up whatever yeast was thriving in there. how exciting. i love that natural remedies actually do work. i took that script from the doc a month ago and the infection came back. MK explained that when you use a prescription, it will kill the yeast but also all of the other good bacteria, which in turn, leads to another infection. huh! that explains my years of recurring yeast infections.

it's really fascinating. when i pull the clove out in the morning, the yeast is there clinging to it. it's as if it was pulled towards it like a magnetic trap and then -- bam -- caught ya. i've also been inserting the acidophilus capsules during the day to replenish the good stuff. and today, only a couple of random urges to scratch, but beyond that, nothing. no yeast on the garlic this morning. nothing.

another piece of good news is that i realized i have four refills on my progesterone prescription, which means that this monday will in fact be the LAST OB appointment during this pregnancy! yay! no more waiting for an hour in a waiting room. no more waiting in a tiny cube for an MD to come in and listen to the heartbeat and ask me a few questions and then send me on my way.

nope. from here on out it will be just joshua, me, and MK on that cozy orange couch chatting away for an hour or so about how glorious it is to be pregnant. so exciting.

on monday i have to meet with the supposed "homebirth-friendly OB". i am to explain to her that i am only meeting with her because, in the case of a hospital transfer, it would be nice to have my records on file somewhere. it would be nice to be admitted as a person with a name, not as some straggler from the street. but that's it. that's all i need her for and i have to tell her that. supposedly she is familiar with the situation. she has ben recommended by midwives around the area for a while now. so we'll see how it goes. i will give the full report on monday.

my friend and his wife had their baby this morning. they found out last week that the baby was in a breech presentation. i sent some suggestions about some natural ways to help the little guy turn, but i don't think they tried any. i never heard back. but anyway, the C was scheduled for this morning at 9:30, but the baby decided he wasn't going to wait and was born at 3:15 AM.

i still get really jealous of people having babies. i am already supposed to have a one-year-old. we should be planning a birthday party, instead of walking on pins and needles right now. oh, how nice it would be to return to the naivety. however, i have said it before, the lessons i have learned from cooper are invaluable. his little brother's entrance into this world will be profound because of him.

so all in all, i feel good today. i feel safe than i have over the past weeks.

oh, and i am finally convinced that i feel baby boy flopping around in there. i have been feeling the flutters for weeks. since week thirteen. (and i may be repeating myself here...sorry if i am.) i had never been sure with cooper. not until the kicks weren't there anymore. but with this babe, it was last friday night that i thought i felt a few bumps. then once the next day. but then i freaked because i wasn't feeling anything for days. or i was but wasn't convinced. but then early thursday morning i woke up with fear running through my brain. and i placed one hand on my belly and one on my heart and asked that little soul to please let me know he is ok. and then i felt it. i little knock. and then another. and i actually smiled. one of those smiles that just happens as a reflex. and i was relieved and went back to sleep. and then sitting at my desk at school yesterday, i felt another. and i was sure. finally.

so i am feeling good today. one day closer to a safe and healthy full-term birth.

27 May, 2009

obsessing over the vagina

i can't stop worrying about this damn vagina of mine. i ran over to my midwife yesterday so i could give her a sample form my vagina so that she could check for candida. can-di-da. i am actually starting to like the sound of that word. weird. i will know by friday what the infection is -- is it yeast? BV? insanity?

she gave me the name of a good therapist in the area who deals with pregnancy and post-partum issues. i called today. i hope she calls back soon. i need to get an appointment. i am having nightmares about blood in my underwear. i am trying so hard to enjoy this pregnancy, but these last couple of weeks, and no doubt the next few, i have been on egg shells.

my acupuncturist says that i should be good when i hit 6 months. maybe then i will relax a little?????

it's just that i want so badly to hold this baby and have him look me in the eyes. i want to lock eyes with him and stare for hours. and for days. and weeks.

i am still so envious of those moms-to-be who are naive to the whole idea of loss. envy. it really does lead to hate. i want to make them feel bad. and i hate to admit it but i still wish bad things would happen to them. i try not to and i hope to go it doesn't affect my karma. it's just that their blindness drives me mad.

and when i am going to be sure these feeling sin my belly are this little boy kicking and swimming around? i have been feeling flutters since 13 weeks. i am 20 and 3 now and i think i have felt a few jabs, but i am still not convinced. when will it happen? or am i still so doubtful that this will turn out well that i am in total denial and i will not allow myself to believe it?

why? why do good, kind people like us have to sufferlike this. and other good and kind people can't even get pregnant in the first place. what is it that allows pwople like my ex-sister in law make babies with no problem? why can she be pregnanct three times and eat like shit and not take care of her physical or mental well-being and still pop out three kids? granted, they were all early, but they are all happy and healthy today. i just don't get it. this shit just pisses me off.

24 May, 2009

fear infection

i have a fear infection.

it sometimes resembles a yeast infection. but as i have read, a moist crotch is common during pregnancy. well, my moist crotch always appears in my head as a yeast infection. i freak out. i try some home remedies, which i probably don't need. which leads to more freaking out. which is all contributing to and increasing the fearful state of mind that i want to avoid.

yesterday i got the wet crotch thing. i started to itch. or did i? i used peroxide as a wash. but i was too lazy to dilute it with water as i am supposed to and burned my labia. inner and outer. it hurt like a bitch. so i walked around the rest of the day in a skirt with no underwear and whenever possible i spread my legs apart to air it out. i know, gross and TMI. even josh was grossed out. but hell, it fucking hurt!

before i went to bed i did a full rinse with plain ol' water and then patted dry with a cotton ball. wait! the cotton ball had a pink tinge to it. so now i really have to freak and stick my finger up my crotch to check for blood. none. phew.

can't even tell josh because he will freak out. so instead he just thinks i am miserable. he wants me to smile. i will. and i do. most of the time.

so lesson learned here -- stop freaking out. i am causing more trouble than necessary. my poor labia are so aggravated now that they are bleeding. that was the only time, thank god. no blood anywhere else. none on the tp. none in the undies. none up there when i check. so there is nothing to freak about.

except maybe now i caused irritation and if i did have an infection it will really take hold and run...

i love being pregnant. i just wish i could get a hold of my thoughts.

22 May, 2009

high-risk report

3:45 appointment. we were late, but for once i didn't worry since i knew we would wait. and i was ready for a fight if they gave me a hard time. we waited about half an hour. then we went in for the ultrasound. she was about to do the anatomy scan update, even though i called to say i did not want it. so i told her thanks but no thanks. so she checked the cervix. it's an internal scan, so i have to have that wand with a condom on it stuck up my crotch. i hate having anything up there. and then i wonder if the little bugger hates it, too. my acupuncturist insists that they hate it. so anyway, right away she says that there is good news -- no placenta on or near the cervix. it's low-lying now, but by delivery. it will be out of the way completely.

we then waited a while -- probably about another half hour -- for the doc. finally, the famous dr. librizzi. we heard so much about him at the grief support group. he certainly is dynamic. he called what happened to us a bitch. i loved that. and then he called out kid a brat. loved that, too. but anyway, he understands our desire to keep the experience as natural as possible with the reality that we are still high-risk. he will still encourage the cervical scans until we pass the week of reckoning, but either way, we are the bosses.

so to sum it up, nothing to worry about with the placenta. cervix is as long as the brooklyn bridge (his words). and the heart is still pumping strong. this little guy is here to stay, his mommy and daddy have learned so much from his big brother. he'll still have lots of work ahead of him, but we are in a good place for him. he'll be an october baby, for sure.

a typical appointment with the midwife

we get to her "office", which is comfortable situated on the second floor of a stylishly artsy row-home in south philly. we are greeted happily by MK's partner in midwifery. she tells us that we don't need to ring the doorbell -- we should walk right in and make ourselves comfortable. with this alone, why or how could anyone settle for the standard of care that we as americans have come to accept as quality?

about three minutes later, MK floats down the stairs with the clients with whom she had just been meeting. everyone is happy and smiling. hugs are shared as they leave and then as we are greeted. it's wonderful.

we go upstairs and i go potty and check my own urine for protein and glucose. then i weigh myself. it's so noninvasive -- i love it. and, by the way, i have never had to take my pants off for her. not until b-day, when it's not for her, but to make way for baby boy!

josh and i sit together on the cute little comfy orange couch, while MK sits on a comfy chair. we go over what's been happening in my body -- the hair falling out, the sleeping challenges, the hunger. she looks at the three-day diet record she asked me to bring (because i told her i am always hungry) and seems to be quite surprised and impressed, i must say. my diet is excellent. a complete balance of everything that baby boy needs -- and that i need. she says if i want i can eat more snacks, but otherwise, i am good.

she looks at the sonogram report that was sent by the ATU. it says i have complete previa, which isn't the case. nice to see that everything was checked thoroughly. based on that, i would be locked into a c-section if i were closer to delivery time and no one had checked the records. it's so nice to have access to my own prenatal records. you know how they are at the docs -- all secretive like it's their business and not yours. it's your body, though, right? weird.

each visit is an hour long. or maybe a bit more if we get to chatting. i just love talking with her and i hope that she will be there at the births of all of our babies.

we felt around my belly. josh felt where my uterus is. even though he is nervous about hurting me or the baby or about popping my water bag, maybe. he is so cute as a daddy. it sounded like the baby had hiccups when we listened to his heartbeat. it was cute. i mentioned that when i cough my belly button pops out like a turkey timer. she said i have some muscle separation in my abs, which i am fine with. however this baby wants to make his mark on my body is fine with me. i welcome the remnants. i welcome stretch marks, which i undoubtedly will have because some days i feel as if my belly will just pop out of my skin.

we talked about how active baby boy is in there when he gets ultrasounded and MK said that she believes that the babies don't like it. it may be too loud for them. it makes sense to me. i hope that we won't have to be doing many more of them.

we go today to wait at the MFM for my cervical scan. i will point out the discrepancy between what the doc told us and what the report says. and hopefully that placenta has slid itself up away from my cervix, just like the petals of a flower seek out the sunlight.

oh, and i bought a maternity swim suit yesterday, too. i am looking forward to showing off my big belly this memorial day weekend. i will try not to remember that the next couple of weeks will bring not only cooper's due date, but also i will pass the 22w 3d mark in this pregnancy with intact membranes.

16 May, 2009

the registry

i have been building my registry for almost a year now. in the time that i have taken to build this registry, i could have had a baby who can sit on his own. when we were TTC again after cooper, i was just so ready to be a mommy and to have all of that baby stuff being the focal point of my life, i just couldn't wait. i had started a registry for cooper but deleted it in the weeks after he died. so i guess it was early summer that i started to play with the idea again.

it's funny. this registry is so different from the other one. i mean, i never wanted any of that big bulky baby stuff that most people request. it's different in that i now know about baby-wearing and co-sleeping and lots of things i never knew about before.

i actually have always hated baby showers. i was never into the idea of sitting around ogling at the contraptions that people buy for little babies. even when i was pregnant i went to a shower and wasn't into it at all. but anyway, my registry for this little guy is so cool. i can't wait to open some of the things on there.

i went for the really expensive stroller, which is still way less expensive than the one i really really want. which is funny because i can't really imagine us using a stroller too often. our boy is going to be attached to us for most of his little life. and then we'll let him walk. and fall. and i'm not much of a mall person anyway, so who knows when i will really use it. but some of these damn things are just so freaking awesome. i mean, the dudes and dudettes who design these things are quite the engineers. especially the european ones. but anyone who really knows me knows that i always envy the europeans. i think they do everything better than we do. but that's a whole other story for a completely different blog.

so the registry is all set up and i am only at 18w 6d. but as i said, it's been a work in progress for months. i did most of it online. we went into the store -- buy buy baby (i hate babies r us. it's like a gigantic warehouse) -- and used the gun for about half an hour. there wasn't much there. most of the things i want are online. but they can order it for people from he store so no biggie. i am always difficult that way. and because of that, we also used myregistry.com. oh what an idea that was. why couldn't i have come up with it? you can register at any store in the world! hopefully i will get my storkenweige wrap. because god knows there probably isn't anywhere on land in the states that would sell that baby. (it's german and probably wouldn't be a big sell to american mommmies. you have to learn how to use it. it comes with an instructional dvd that instructs you to remain calm while learning the different ways to wear your baby.)

so that's that. our two registries. in my opinion the coolest ones that i have ever seen.

13 May, 2009

how are you feeling?

i get so annoyed when people ask how i am feeling. they aren't asking the way they ask normal moms-to-be. they are asking with the implication that my response will provide some sort of reassurance that everything will be alright this time. i just want to tell them that i felt fucking great last time. actually, i felt even better than i have for much of this pregnancy. but obviously, that is no indicator of a successful 40 weeks. josh feels just as aggravated about that question, too. i am just waiting for the day that he blows up on someone. i just hope he chooses a good one to lose it on.

in actuality, i do feel great. i just wish people knew that just because i feel great, we are not out of the woods just yet. i don't want people to forget about cooper and just feel thankful that they don't have to console me any longer. i want them to remember what i've been through.

carrying this baby has been such a wonderful experience, even through all of the fear. i love knowing that there is a baby human growing in there. his dad has been reading to him at night, which is just the cutest sweetest thing. i massage my belly with oil and send messages to my little one. i talk to him all the time. we are already bonding, even though he is in that world and i am in this one. i am conscious of every thought and feeling. when i get stressed or angry or feel hate towards someone else, i apologize to the little guy and i explain that everything is ok.

i imagine gazing into his eyes at the moment of his birth. i am so excited to be his mommy in this world.

12 May, 2009

fear and loathing in the second trimester


i really hate pregnant women who can just be pregnant and happy and enjoy every second of pregnancy. i am scared. scared all of the time. i hate to admit it, and i rarely will. in fact, this is probably the first time i have even admitted it to myself. it's just so damned unfair. josh and i have to worry about every little thing that to most parents-to-be see as normal occurrences of pregnancy. and i hate those parents. oh god, i fucking hate them all. i want to go up to every one of them and tell them how lucky they are and that i can't even believe how fucking stupid they are to not even realize it.

even the women in my prenatal yoga class. even the instructor. they are all so blind about what can happen. i hate them all.

i got up off of the couch last night around 9:00 and felt super dizzy. i walked to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and wasn't quite sure which was sideways -- me or the wall. the dizziness stuck with me 'til i crawled into bed. and it was there all night. and this morning. not as bad, but bad enough to bring me to open the fucking "what to expect" book and i hate that fucking book. all it does is scare the shit out of me every time i look in it. but i looked. and of course, dizziness is normal, but for me, there is no normal. i don't fit into that category. i wish someone would write a "what to expect when you're expecting after your first baby died" book. maybe i should write one.

so it's normal. but of course, it could also mean a low-lying placenta (yup) or abruption. but that's only if there's bleeding. no bleeding here. but i still have to check every 20 minutes or so. and i'm still using this suppository for the BV, so all day long, clear gel is flushing out of my crotch and i feel it. so every gush causes fear and anxiety.

and my midwife is in california. but it says in my paperwork to call her day or night for a list of serious concerns -- dizziness being one of them. but at 7 AM here it's 4 AM there and i am not convinced i should call. so i'm waiting 'til a normal hour. and now we have state testing and i am trapped in my room with no relief so i am staring at the door waiting for it to arrive so i can make my phone call.

oh god, spirit, universe -- whoever is listening -- please, please help us make it through this pregnancy safely with a little healthy baby boy in our arms.

10 May, 2009

my second mother's day

last year on mother's day, i was a mother. yet no one noticed. or knew. or thought about it. or knew what to say. i was a mother to a baby who had died. i don't really remember the day. i do remember that it wasn't as bad as i thought it would have been.

most days were like that. the bad days always seemed to come out of nowhere. the days i dreaded and worried about always passed by uneventfully. but it was mother's day and my baby was not with me. he was supposed to be in my belly. but he was not. he was gone. his body was in a little cube on our bookshelf. his spirit was with me and always is. but that, of course, can never take the place of snuggles and kisses.

cooper is always on our hearts. he is here with us, guiding us to learn all of those lessons. he is in every choice i make and every decision that his dad and i make as a family. that love that we felt on his birthday is still here, so in essence, cooper is still here.

today is another mother's day. my second. i got a few cards and even a couple of gifts. it's really nice and exciting to know that we have a new little soul on the way. people are not afraid to wish me a happy one this year.

last year, it really would have meant so much more if anyone could have actually had the balls to say it, but i guess i have to forgive people for their fear. for not knowing. for not understanding. i know that i was in the dark before i lost cooper.

next year will be a whole different mother's day. i imagine us celebrating on a beautiful day in may. remembering cooper and celebrating our second son. there will always be some sadness for me, though, on mother's day. always. as our other children grow up, they will pick out presents and cards for me and make me terrible breakfasts in bed. i wonder if they will know how much it would mean to their mom if they would sign cooper's name on the cards for him.

09 May, 2009

the sky is falling

i took the name of today's post from a conversation i had with joshua after we got home form the high-risk doc visit yesterday. it's so hard to balance my history with what i want to be my present. i so want this pregnancy to be as natural and as noninvasive as possible. i was hoping that when i went yesterday they would say i didn't have to come back but once more. but alas, that was not the case. in true doctor fashion, we were told that the sky is falling. well, not quite, but with our past experience and bit of anything but great news is really bad news.

we got there at 3:10 for our 3:15 appointment. we were seen at 4:15. we had our anatomy scan, which i really didn't want to have but after the taste of seeing that little one's possible penis the last time, i just couldn't take the not knowing. he is a boy, for sure. beyond that, it is so fascinating to watch him in there playing in my womb. he was moving all over the place for the entire 45 minute scan.

i am thinking is he bored in there? does he want out? or does he really like it and he'll stay in there for another 22 weeks. that is perfectly ok with me. the longer this pregnancy goes, the happier i will be. is he bothered by the invasion? is he trying to get away from the waves of the ultrasound? why are we peeking in on him when we know he is just fine. can't we trust the process?

i want that to be my last scan of little baby boy. i will call them on monday and tell them so. i can imagine the resistance i will get. the tone implying that i have no idea what i am talking about. that i don't care for my baby. that i am not a good mother. i've heard it before.

he looks just fine, which we knew. he has all of his limbs, which we knew. but oh no, the doc couldn't see his eye cavities so we have to go back for another scan in two weeks. no, thank you. my son has eyes. if only i could start to think on the spot with that white coat in front of me and say what i need to say. i'm working on it. that will be my lesson throughout this and my next pregnancies. aside from that, he didn't see any signs of birth defects, which i knew. but since we (here is that tone again) turned down any of the screens, he can't tell us for sure. we didn't really need to know, that's why we turned down the screens, so you didn't even have to mention it.

let me say that this doc wasn't so bad. i know it sounds like i want them all dead. but i don't. we had met with him for a consult after cooper was born. i still trusted docs then. i believed they knew it all. he was kind of stiff, i guess, at that point, but not too bad. my best friend hates him so i wasn't happy that we had to see him yesterday, but after we waited for him in his little cubby of a consult room (which feels like a little room in some basement somewhere) for another 20 minutes or so, he was friendly and apologetic enough that i was able to see past his white coat for a few minutes of the few he spent with us.

but then, here it comes, there is a, "the only thing that concerns me", which in my head is a terrifying sound. please don't say that to a mom who has lost a baby. to a mom who has held her baby in her arms for his whole life and listened to him gasp for his final breaths. don't say that to a mom who has a little marble block full of her 1 lb. 6 oz. baby boy's ashes sitting in her living room with the words "and we loved you all your life" on it. please don't say that to a dad who has the tiny hand prints of his first son tattooed over his heart along with his name and birth and death date. don't prepare us like that. if you have bad news just fucking say it. there is no need to sugar-coat for two people who have been through the worst of losses.

"your placenta is covering part of the cervix". it's long and closed and hard, which i knew, but now we have a new issue to worry about that will help pay for dr. l's fancy house and fancy car and for his wife to stay home from work with their little ones. another $15 co-pay every other week for the next god-knows how many weeks and another god-knows how many claims to the insurance company. god, i seem like i hate them, don't i? i don't. i just hate the concept that we seem to have here in this country that carrying a child is always a risk and an emergency situation.

the placenta is partially covering the cervix. no intercourse he says. is he kidding? we have not had sex since prior to the retrieval of my eggs on january 19. no way in hell i am risking an infection. joshua is more than ok with that. other than that, there is nothing to worry about, nothing they can do but monitor. and we shouldn't worry. but i can feel the worry and the fear seeping from daddy's pores. which makes me then worry about him. i am not worried about this placenta thing. it may move he says. and i am sure it will.

and more appointments. back in two weeks to see if baby boy has eyes. and to measure the cervix and to check where the placenta is. then in two more weeks again for the cervix/placenta combo. then in another two weeks for a scan to see if baby boy is affected by where the placenta is. it can cause his growth to slow down. oh, and yes, also to check the cervix and placenta. jesus. i wanted to be done with this!

i call meredith as soon as i get to the car. she says just what i knew she would say. not to worry. as long as it is partial, it will move as the uterus grows and takes the placenta along for the ride. and if it doesn't, we can't do anything about it anyway. i may bleed toward the end. we can check toward the end. and worst case scenario i end up with a c. a legitimate c. not one that comes because mom is too tired to push anymore because of all the meds she has been pumped with. not one that comes b/c doc says the baby is too big and won't fit out of the birth canal. not one that comes at 4 or 10 pm (the most common times for a c) when the doc wants to end his shift or get some damn shut-eye. a real legitimate c. but this is only if it doesn't move. and it's nothing i have to worry about for now. for now, the pregnancy is going smoothly and baby boy is strong and active. and a partial placenta previa is not a danger to my pregnancy. baby boy is just fine in there.

i did some research last night. so did daddy. it really is nothing to worry about. and that is why i turned down all the screens. all of this testing and monitoring just brings about more worries. when there is something wrong, your body knows it. you know it. i knew it the last time, i just didn't know what. and the docs were too busy or too non specialized or just too damn desensitized to believe me. and i believed them. and look where it got me.

i will call on monday to alter their plans. no need to check for eyes. and no need to check for growth. you can check my cervix because i will feel better knowing that it's still looking the way it should. and i will be happy to see that the placenta has gone where it needs to go. and joshua will be able to relax. if we do three more every other week, that will be 19w 4d, 21 w 4d, and 23 w 4d. then i think i will relax and we can enjoy the second half of the pregnancy with just mommy, daddy, baby and midwife. the way we hoped. no machines. no invasions. no worries.

and yes, we do know his name. we have known his name for four weeks now. but that is one thing we are keeping to ourselves.