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Showing posts from April, 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 specia


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. 

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 f


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.

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, b


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

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 moveme


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 bec


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.


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 a


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 "Sa

Charlotte's Day

Charlotte's First Birthday: We'll gather at Bella Vie in Hopewell at 11 am on Saturday, May 14th (Directions: ) 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 by the 1 st 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.

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 appoi


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.

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. M


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,


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 an

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

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

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 ar