Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yes, I will have a doula

I've had a few people comment/ask me if there will be a doula present at Bennett's birth.  My midwife, the one I met way back in September 2009 when Charlotte was just a little bean, will act as our doula for this birth since I will be delivering in hospital.  She splits my care with the specialists and the midwife down south (the hospital is just over an hour from here) and will (hopefully, if all works out) be present for Bennett's birth.  She has other patients and responsibilities, but I already have everything crossed that my birth won't coincide with another of hers.

It's confusing because I don't use names here and I'm seeing two midwives this pregnancy.  There's "my midwife" and "the midwife," which is really not very creative or defining at all.  I don't use names because no one asks to be blogged about and even though a lot of you know my midwife's name (and J's) I choose to keep things simple.

So: The specialist clinic features: Dr. K, Dr. Ba, "the midwife."  Other prenatal care: "My midwife" who will act as my doula when I go into labor.  (I could call her "the most amazing midwife/doula ever," but that seems a little excessive.)

Having my midwife as well as J present is why I have said no to birth classes this time around.  They were my team when Charlotte was born and we made a good team (if I do say so myself) so I don't think I need another round of classes on how to get the baby out.

I also don't think I need birth classes because my first round was superb, it really hasn't been that long, I've been reading WAY too much Ina May Gaskin (seriously, she showed up in my dream the other night) and at some point you can't prepare any more, you just have to wait for your body and the baby to do its thing.

I may need a public relations course, or something along those lines.  I am not very comfortable with the higher risk aspects of this birth, and switching my attitude and opinions has been challenging.  I am slowly learning how to interact with the medical staff down south, how to ask questions without being combative, how to assert my wishes without presenting myself like I have ideas set in concrete.

I continually remind myself that everyone from doctors to nurses to midwives wants the same outcome: healthy mama, healthy baby.  It's the getting there that may prove challenging.  My main concern with this birth is the psychological aspects but I am gaining confidence that we'll make it through.  There's really no other option - sometime in September labor will start, a baby will be born and we will (hopefully) have a beautiful, breathing boy to take home with us. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Resemblance

My mom gave me my Mother's Day gift yesterday because I won't see her before then.  My mom found a picture of me when I was a baby while helping my grandfather clean out his house and put it in a frame with one of Charlotte's pictures.  It's hard to capture a picture of a picture frame, but I did my best.  The top picture is Charlotte, the bottom me, age unknown, but sometime in my first couple weeks of life as it's the first meeting with my grandparents. 



And now for one more picture of a gift I received from a friend.  I have no idea how she found this, but I love it and may frame it. 



Thursday, April 28, 2011

20 week appointment

Bennett boy rocked his twenty week check-up.  The tech complimented his anatomy showing skills during the ultrasound and once more we bypassed the doctor and only saw the midwife.  I was concerned about my weight gain, his growth, the growth of my belly, but the midwife reassured me that everything is on track.  I've gained twelve pounds, which is perfectly normal, Bennett is measuring one day behind, which is fine since ultrasound can be off by a week, and my belly is measuring at 21 cm.

Bennett is head down with his feet near my belly button.  His sister stayed in this position from twenty weeks on, we'll see if he is a flipper.

We talked about birth plans (all natural if possible, please), birth classes, (not this time around, thank you) and the fact that we would be required to stay at least 24 hours after birth (I was hoping for 12).  I am working on feeling peaceful and calm about a hospital delivery (it's really, really not what I want).

I go back at 24 weeks for another growth ultrasound as well as an OB check-up with the midwife.  After 24 weeks I'll start heading down there every two weeks. I thought I would start seeing the doctors more often around thirty or thirty-two weeks, but I am trusting their judgement.  It's reassuring to have the excessive amount of care I am receiving this pregnancy.

20 weeks, halfway to our estimated due date, four weeks from viability ... there's a bit of hope in my soul today.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

I cried before church. Missing a little girl who should be tottering around in her first Easter dress.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4.23.11

We planted blueberries and strawberries in the backyard this afternoon.  Our first attempt to grow edibles, we'll see how we fare.  When we were finished transplanting a few things and putting in the berries I collapsed on my back in the grass and enjoyed the sunshine on my face.  Hard to believe it was our first day over 65 this year and it's almost the end of April.

Staring up at the blue sky with an aching back I thought about my little blueberry and how she'll never enjoy the sunshine on her face, or taste a blueberry or strawberry and the sadness that has been ever present lately deposited a few tears in my eyes.  I miss her babyhood most of the time because that's what we should be experiencing now, but I also mourn for so much more, for the entire lifetime she'll miss.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Long Goodbye

I had lunch with a friend earlier this week.  She and her husband celebrated thirty-two years of marriage last weekend with a trip to Portland and the beach. The Thursday prior to their anniversary trip they were told the husband has two-five years to live due to a recently diagnosed rare (at least it's rare to me as I've never heard of it) blood disorder. My friend is reeling, processing, in quite a bit of shock, heartbroken, lost.

As we talked about the results and implications of the diagnosis she said, "I wish it was me; it would be so much easier if it was me."  That resonated so deeply I wanted to jump out of my chair and yell about how well I understood that statement, but it was my turn to be silent and listen to her as she has listened to me for the last year.

I have had moments, less so as time moves forward, when I wish I had been the one to die.  I wish I could've traded my life for Charlotte's so she would have had at least a chance at life, breath, discovery.  But that begs the question, what is life without a mama to guide one through?

I've spent the past few days thinking about my friend's husband and losing Charlotte and how painful it is to watch a loved one suffer.  This being Holy Week, which culminates in Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, I've also been thinking about how "God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)  Within that selfless sacrifice is the ultimate act of love and kindness and all too often I forget the magnitude of what God did for us.

My friend and her husband are entering a new season of their lives; a time of uncertainty, pain, change, readjustment of expectations and hopes.  As we talked my friend said, "I'm not ready to be a widow."  I know, I know.  It is impossible to be ready for the lightening bolt, the quick change from life as normal to life unexpected.

I wish I could fix the situation just as countless people have wished the same for us.  This past year I have learned that it's the ones who listen that understand the most even if they know the least.  So I'll listen and hope and pray and perhaps five years will stretch into six or seven.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4.20.11

I would like someone to come along and manage my life for a while.  I suppose that thought links back to this post.  It's J's birthday today and we're not doing a thing because he doesn't want to and I am perfectly fine with that.

We went to the hardware store last night so J could pick up supplies for his next project.  While he shopped I stood in the paint section and ran my hands over paint swatches.  When we moved in we planned for the second bedroom to be a nursery so we painted it a beautiful yellow.  When I conceived Charlotte there was no need to fret over nursery colors or paint.  A few months after she died we bought new furniture and moved into the yellow room which leaves a lovely blue room for Bennett.  I'm not sure if I like the blue, but I don't know if we should paint it a different blue either.  Somehow painting feels like expecting whereas cleaning out the room doesn't ... ?  I'm confused and indecisive, but I've narrowed it down to this:

Should we leave the original color or go lighter or perhaps a gray/blue would be nice?   

 

This time between the eleventh and twelfth month is dragging.  Before too long it will be the 14th of May, but I feel perpetually stuck - the weather refuses to change from mostly dreary and wet, the 18th week of this pregnancy has lasted at least three weeks, I've been sad for so, so long now.

Perhaps I want to paint the nursery because I need a way to pass the time, something to focus on other than Charlotte and Bennett and the odds of a healthy baby born in September.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This is why I didn't want to have a fetal doppler around the house

Baby boy has been quiet the past two days.  Little rolls, small flutters, but not the activity I was beginning to expect.  It's fine, I'm only 18 weeks, (current mantra) but I could smack myself upside the head for pulling out the doppler two nights in a row. Both nights, no heartbeat.  Now the doppler we have is ancient and J is fairly certain it's not meant to find babies (something about directional waves, beams, pinpoints, threading a needle ... I wasn't really listening) but free is free and it was just sitting around J's work ...

Now it's sitting in the cupboard next to the bathroom and I know it's there if I want to use it, but when it doesn't yield the results I desire I flop on the couch in a state of misery, eat way too much pizza and mashed potatoes (mmm, comfort food) and give myself heartburn.  Oh, there we go, just now, little kick, so he's probably alive in there.  I'm in the crazy place now though where I think the little movements are all in my head.

J offered to do a quick scan tomorrow if I stop by his work.  I frowned at him, "But what if he's dead in there?"

J shrugged, "At least we'll know, but I'm pretty sure he's fine."

Lovely, so comforting, dear.

We may try to find it once more before bed, but I hate to put J through another round of "Where in the womb is Bennett boy?"  He slouches next to me on the bed, head in his hand, searching for the heartbeat, wondering why he can't find it, questioning his purpose on this Earth ... Okay, the last one is an exaggeration, but I think it really bothers him that he scans people for a living (with an entirely different machine) but can't locate the elusive Bennett.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

4.16.11

I haven't slept well for over a week now.  I was waking up at 4 and drifting off around 6 or 7 only to wake up again at 8.  Now I wake up every two to three hours and what sleep I do get is restless sleep.  Anxiety about EVERYTHING is at an all time high.

I'm nervous about this birth because I've never had a baby in the hospital and the idea of it terrifies me.  I knew everyone at the birth center really well and felt confident and comfortable with having a baby there.  It's impossible to know everyone at the hospital because I don't think they would let me move onto the L&D ward for an extended period of time so I could meet every single soul I might encounter.  I need to make time to talk to the midwife at the maternal fetal medicine clinic about some of my worries, but my appointments are only fifteen minutes and she would rather talk about how many pelvic exams I've had recently.

I've lost two pounds since last week which is entirely my fault because my appetite has disappeared.  I'm so emotional about Charlotte right now, and so weepy the past two days, I'm not really interested in food.  I have to remind myself to eat because I'm not the only inhabitant of this body who needs nutrition right now.

And then there's the fretting over Charlotte's first birthday.  Are we really going to spend the entire month in the pathetic state we're in now?  J and I are not functioning well and I don't know if we can live through an entire month like this. It's hard to receive invitations to first and second birthday parties while planning a quasi-memorial service for our daughter's first birthday.  It's hard for me to ask people to spend time with us on her day.  It's hard to know if this is the right thing for J and I to do or simply what I need to do.  

Last night I told J I feel like we're always "getting through" something and I would like to have a stretch of time when we're not navigating an obstacle course.

I need to relax, and sleep, but I can't seem to do either.

Friday, April 15, 2011

4.15.11

I have a moment with Isabel to share today because it's raining, because I can't watch Say Yes to the Dress all day (right?), and because I'm sad and she made me laugh.

Isabel has been looking awfully mangy lately.  J needs to shave her again and I've been lazy about brushing her.  The main reason I don't want to brush her?  It's a big production: some days she likes it, some days she hates it and I never know how she's going to react.

Here's today's process: 

Step One: She lays down on my legs and gives me her best, "please, not that," face.


Step Two: No, really, not that.


Step Three: What's that out the window?  Maybe we should go outside instead.


Step Four: Annoyed, but letting me brush her. 


Step Five: Surrender


Step Six: Ten minutes of brushing and she's done, but at least all of this won't be floating across my floors.









Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eleven

Charlotte,

Well, dear girl, here we are: one month away from twelve and then on we go into our second year without you.  I thought there would be more tears, and there were a few yesterday, but the sorrow's main manifestation is lack of movement, sleep, motivation.

I'm working on your day and I have no idea what it will look like, but it's slowly coming together.  I just want you to know we love and miss you.

A year ago I was three days away from my last day at work.  I thought you would come early, but I was still surprised when my water broke at 8 am on the 13th of May.  Twenty-six hours later (seriously, girl, was it necessary to wait that long?) you came to Earth for a moment to say hello and then you were gone.  I'm still trying to reconcile what happened with what I thought would happen 

Keep holding your brother's hand, and my heart, as we continue on without you. Keep him close until he's ready to be with us.  I want him to know you, if that is at all possible.  

Love you, little one.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4.13.11

Tomorrow is eleven months without her as well as eighteen weeks with him.  This is confusing my brain.  We didn't know it at the time but eighteen weeks was the halfway point with Miss Charlotte.  I could be halfway through this pregnancy.  I think he's more likely to come at 40 or more, but the possibility exists for this to be the halfway point. 

I've resorted to all comfort all the time: couch + M&M's + "Say Yes to the Dress," - which is addictive and makes me cry + mashed potatoes + homemade mac and cheese + anything salty and crunchy + massive Isabel cuddles.

I went to a first birthday party last night.  I didn't cry before or after.  That's progress.

I made it to Aquafit this morning.  I'm in love with the time alloted for crunches because I can no longer do them.  I prop my head on my swim noodles and float on my belly instead.  It's blissful.

If only I could float on my belly while eating M&M's and watching "Say Yes to the Dress."  That might make everything feel okay.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Charlotte's Day

Charlotte's First Birthday:

We'll gather at Bella Vie in Hopewell at 11 am on Saturday, May 14th (Directions: http://www.gentlebirthcenter.com/contact.htm)

We'll plant her rose bush, say a few words, give you the chance to say a few words if you wish, and remember sweet Charlotte together.

We are planning on having refreshments available after so an RSVP (to rodman.angela@gmail.com) by the 1st of May would be greatly appreciated.

Children – We will not be upset or offended if you bring your children or babies.

Attire – Rain boots and umbrellas strongly recommended.

Questions about directions or anything else please call or e-mail us.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

17 week appointment

I had a prenatal with my midwife this afternoon even though I was in to see the specialist/have another ultrasound at sixteen weeks.  I like having the extra appointments and sometimes I think prenatals with my midwife are more for my sanity than anything else.  She really listens to me, how I'm feeling emotionally and physically and I don't feel like I receive that from the doctors or their midwife because their model of care isn't set up that way.  It's good and necessary to have the OB/specialist care, but I would be lost without my midwife.

Bennett is doing well.  I've gained ten pounds so far which is a good spot to be in.  I weighed 160 pounds when I delivered Charlotte.  I'm 148 pounds right now so I think I'll weigh a bit more than that when this boy comes.  I am fascinated by my weight gain because it's effortless and doesn't require much thought from me whereas with Charlotte I felt like I was asking for help with nutrition at every appointment.

We talked about birth plans and how strange it is to me that I'll have to carefully outline one.  If baby does not require attention at birth (fingers crossed) I have a specific, detailed list of what I want.  Hospitals follow procedure when a baby is born, and while the procedure isn't wrong, it's not what I want for Bennett.  So many things to think about, plan and hope for.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Joy/Bliss/Wonderfulness

I'll keep this one short - my nephew had his last chemo appointment/party today!!!!  I am so very proud of this little man AND his family.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sweet Charlotte,

I miss you, baby girl.  Soon you will be one, will I have to stop calling you baby? You'll always be my baby so perhaps not.  I know it's been all about your brother around here lately, but that's because I've been trying to avoid the emotions that rise every time I think of this year of yours ending.

A few tears slipped out in the car while I was running errands yesterday.  The next month will be a weepy one, but the forced march to the big anniversary is always harder than the actual day so perhaps I will make it through your first birthday with a bit of my sanity intact.

I would save this for your 11 month letter next week, but I woke up this morning and felt the need to connect with you.  To spend a few moments with you instead of brushing my fingers over your urn and photos in the living room as I do every morning and evening.  Good morning, good night, no in between times, I don't know if I'll ever be at peace with the narrowness of our encounters.

Miss you, love you, to the moon and back - always.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4.6.11

I feel like my brain is going to explode, or split in two in a fabulously gruesome way.  Half of me is excited/nervous - buying baby clothes, dropping baby girl clothes (the ones I could part with) off at the consignment store, slowly cleaning out the nursery, contemplating painting the room or leaving it as is - while the other half is trying to ignore the HUGENESS that is Charlotte's first birthday.

With the help of friends and family we have something planned, but I'm in my negative place where it all feels silly and stupid now.  And I need to pull the last few details together soon and the thought of that is overwhelming so I'm choosing to ignore it.  I feel like someone handed me multiple strings, told me to tie them together any which way, doesn't even have to be pretty, and I'm standing there with a confused look on my face and zero understanding of how to complete the simple task.  And then Bennett kicks and I'm all "Wha??! I'm pregnant again, this was really my idea?  Did we consider how risky this is?" and I drop the strings and have to go about collecting them all again.

I am so scattered I lost my car in a parking garage today, which is so unlike me I've never done it before.  At least I was dry while I wandered between levels as the April skies opened up while I was looking and delivered a nasty mix of hail and sheeting rain.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: grief brain plus pregnancy brain has done a serious number on me.  I'm surprised I can still tell left from right.

Monday, April 4, 2011

4.4.11

I caved, folded, gave in, surrendered ... whatever you want to call it I e-mailed J at work today and asked him to bring the doppler home because I was feeling "a little twitchy."  A few weeks ago he casually mentioned that he had a doppler lying around his work that he doesn't even use and since he said that I've been pondering that lone doppler shoved in a drawer.

It took a while to find the heartbeat, but after a few minutes there it was beating away strong and steady.  And then after dinner Bennett gave me a couple good rolls, or kicks, including one good shot to the bladder, which proved that he is just fine.

J said he can leave the doppler here since he doesn't use it and I agreed, but we won't use it every night.  Sometimes trying to find the heartbeat is scarier for me than assuming everything is fine.  And I do feel movements more often now which helps with the worry some.

Is my doppler reluctance abnormal?  A lot of women buy dopplers online and use them at home for reassurance.  Why don't I feel the need to hear the heart beat every single day?  Is it because Charlotte wasn't stillborn?  Is it because of my tendency to assume the worst which makes all heartbeat finding and initial ultrasound moments highly stressful?

When I was pregnant with Charlotte J asked multiple times if I wanted to come in to see the baby and I declined every time except for at eighteen weeks when I wanted to see if we could guess the sex before our twenty week ultrasound.   I was so worried something was wrong, mostly because I felt like I was waiting for bad news the entire pregnancy, I didn't want to go in for a fun scan with the husband and see a still baby.    And now J is asking me to come in again once I'm a little further along (he's not so good at scanning babies) so he can see the baby which I understand since getting time off for appointments is next to impossible for him, but I'm having a hard time finding the courage for that.

But that worry can be set aside for a different day.  Right now baby boy is fine, or as J put it, "at least his heart is beating," (thanks, love) and I have a doppler I can use if I need to.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Thoughts on this baby boy of mine

I think knowing this baby was a boy early on, so early on I had an inkling this one would be a boy before we conceived (someone else mentioned knowing this too - Hope's Mama?) I've had quite a bit of time to accept it into my life.

Do I want another girl?  Yes.  Do I wish Bennett was a girl?  No, can't say I do. When I was pregnant with Miss Charlotte I really wanted a boy, but there is something about that moment when the tech says, "It's a boy," or "It's a girl" that alters my perspective.  Suddenly I go from wanting a boy or a girl to wanting that baby, the one in front of me on the screen who is also growing inside of me.

Of course I'm scared we'll never have another girl, that Charlotte was our girl and when we lost her we also said good-bye to raising a girl.  Right now I never, ever want to be pregnant again.  Though I am very grateful to have this opportunity, to have reached sixteen weeks without complications (and I hope I end this pregnancy full term with a healthy baby) I don't like being pregnant.  I don't know if I'll have the heart, or will, to have a third baby, though I'm pretty sure we will because we always wanted two here with us, but even if we have another our chances of having a girl won't change.  Statistics are statistics after all.

Somehow it's easier for me to hold both my babies in my heart knowing one is a boy and one is a girl.  I think a mama's heart has room for as many children as she has, but it feels a little easier at this moment to have a boy spot for Bennett and a girl spot for Charlotte - if that makes any sense at all.

Being pregnant with a boy feels reassuring because it's so different.  I'm hungry all the time, I'm putting on weight steadily, which didn't happen until the end with Charlotte.  And it really felt like a struggle to put the weight on with Charlotte as it was hard to find my appetite most of the pregnancy.  There's this part of me that believes Charlotte was too small, that she stopped growing, stopped developing, and somehow that was my fault.  I have hope that this boy will be big, or if not big over 6 lbs at least, and that feeling differently means we're headed for a better outcome.

And then there's the hope that Bennett will look like his daddy.  Charlotte looked a lot like me, although she had her daddy's chin, and I was a little afraid of having a girl because resemblance is more likely, or at least it seems that way to me.

I think there would have been more fear in general with a girl, but I'm only sixteen weeks so the fear still has plenty of time to make itself known.  As I've said before the last trimester/labor and delivery will be very, very difficult for me. I have a LOT to say about labor and how I'm feeling, but I think this is enough rambling for today.

Bennett boy is moving more often now.  Still nothing steady, but I feel him most days.  I cannot believe I will be halfway through this pregnancy in four short weeks.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

For Freddie

Looking Forward

After Charlotte died we took the nursery down, moved all of her things to the other bedroom, bought a new bedroom set and moved into the room that was the nursery.  I am not entirely sure what I thought the move would accomplish. My only defense is that we were not rational people during that time.  Now I'm glad we switched rooms because I needed the change and Bennett will have a nursery different from his sister's.  Even though she never stayed in that nursery it still felt like hers.

Instead of neatly putting all things baby in the other room we adopted an open door and toss policy.  Okay, it's not that bad, but there is little organization in there.  Before I conceived this babe I was starting to feel twitchy about what was behind those closed doors.  It's a mess and I can only stand messes for so long. I told J it's a good thing we know it's a boy now, four weeks ahead of the normal time frame, because it gives me a chance to start slowly working through that room.

To give you an idea of what is in store for me, here's a picture of the jumble:


I won't even mention all of the things shoved into drawers, stacked on the changing table and the shelves.  Thankfully we asked for sheet sets, blankets and burp cloths in neutral colors because I wanted to use them for the next baby if it was a boy. The main items I have to clear out are the clothes.  J and I have debated taking all of the girl clothes to a consignment store and essentially swapping them for boy clothes.  The practical side of me thinks we should, the emotional side wants to keep them in case we have another girl/doesn't want to get rid of "Charlotte's things."

It's strange how happy I've been since Thursday's appointment.  I want to clean out the nursery, I want to buy boy clothes, I believe this baby will come home.  I know I'm on the appointment high.  I'll crash eventually as I always do.  I do wonder if I'm feeling this way now because I'm going to be a mess the last ten or eight weeks, unable to function, a worried wreck evaluating every kick, every quiet moment, every strange feeling.  Oh, and labor, thinking about labor and delivery now makes me curl up on the couch and moan pathetically.  Those last few weeks the idea of going into labor may leave me unable to do anything but fret and cry.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What's in a name?

Yes, we have a name for little spark.  I was actually a little relieved to know I was right about this babe being a boy as we've had that name sorted for quite some time now.  J was being his obstinate self last night, saying he needed time to research, make sure the name we had picked was right.  I rolled my eyes, told him to take his time, but then after dinner he put his hand on my belly and said, "Hello ___," which means we have a name.

A lot of people have asked how I feel about this babe being a boy.  On that topic all I can come up with at the moment is this: abjdkdfkdfdakd??  I'll put together a coherent post about it someday soon, but for now I'm enjoying the fun, happy posts.

So, what's the name?

Bennett William

Bennett because I love the name, I'm pretty sure Charlotte would have been Bennett had she been a boy, and I love the meaning.  Bennett means blessed or little blessed boy and I feel like that fits in so many ways.  We tossed around the idea of using William as his first name, but it's such a popular name and I'm quite attached to Bennett.  And if he doesn't love his name, which he would be crazy not to, he can go by Ben or Will or William when he's older.  We'll call him Bennett, although I'm sure I'll shorten it because I have a name shortening/strange nickname applying addiction (Poor Isabel is called Isabel, Izzy, Bella, Pookie, Pookerton, and Izzapook.)

William because it's his daddy's middle name and has been in J's family for quite some time.  And we needed a good, strong name to go with Bennett.  William has a lot of meanings.  The most common one is protector, but I like strong-willed warrior.  Since this babe is a product of J and I strong-willed is a likely trait.

We decided to share the name this go-round because I regret keeping Charlotte's name a secret.  Well, regret may be too strong a word.  J and I knew Charlotte by her name from late January on, but the rest of our family still knew her as blueberry.  Poor dear was called that from six or so weeks on.  When she died I felt like there was less to know about her, like people didn't have as much of a chance to bond with her because they didn't know her as Charlotte.

I am a little nervous to share since it seems like as soon as you release the name everyone has an opinion.  Please, please don't tell me you used to know a Bennett who saved his own toenail clippings or tried to kill the neighbor's cat or anything else weird.  

I noticed I'm up to 150 followers this morning.  Wow!  Hi, everyone.  Thanks to each and every one of you for your love and support this pregnancy.  I'm a basket case 98% of the time and you all help me preserve my sanity.  A big thank you to the mamas who are struggling to conceive, or who have lost rainbow babies who still love and support me.  It can't be easy.   

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