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Showing posts from July, 2011

This is hard for you too!?

I'm fairly focused on myself right now.  And by that I mean that it's all about me, me, me these days, how I'm feeling, how I'm coping, what I need/want.  As far as I'm concerned the rest of the world can zero in on me for the next few weeks and once I make it to the end of this journey I'll once again remember to ask after others and be aware that the world doesn't revolve around me and this pregnancy. Well, that's how I was functioning up until a few days ago when I realized J may be feeling a little nervous and asked where he was at.  He said he thinks he will be fine while I am in labor, but the moment of birth as well as the few minutes after will probably be difficult as we wait to make sure all is well with this boy. With Charlotte it happened so fast: birth, tiny noise - not even a cry, really - and then disaster that all we'll need to feel reassured is a strong, healthy cry and a baby who doesn't go limp.  I wanted to talk to J about i

33 week appointment & a picnic

My good friend and I share a midwife.  She is 19 weeks pregnant with her third and happened to have an appointment at the birth center at 10 this morning. Mine was scheduled for 11 so she played with her little ones in the living room/waiting area while I had my appointment and then we headed outside for a picnic (the birth center sits on 4 or so acres).  We settled ourselves under a tree and watched the resident rooster and one of the chickens wander around the garden while we ate.  It was a pleasant way to pass an hour.  I wouldn't mind if all appointments ended with a picnic in the shade with a bit of a breeze blowing. Whew, look at all those freckles.  J actually pointed out my freckles a couple weeks ago, said he didn't think he had ever seen them so dark. I just have to take a moment before updating on Bennett to say this: I have been so blessed by the friends I have made here.  When we first moved to Salem I was so lonely and thought I might never have close friends

Well, would you look at that:

Mothers are marvelous motivators.  So are friends.  I had a much needed dinner out with friends last night.  Even though we talked about sad things, we laughed a lot too and shared how we met our husbands, our first dates and proposals.  At five years I've been married the shortest amount of time in this particular group.  It's odd how five or more years can go by and this HUGE event slowly recedes in importance and becomes instead a jumping off point for one crazy life.  It was good to go back and remember those early days, the dreams and hopes we carried then, the life we thought we might have.  My mama came over today and helped me wash Bennett's newborn and 0-3 month clothes as well as blankets, sheets, burp cloths.  Oh my goodness, we don't need any more blankets or burp cloths, we are wading in them. Blankets galore (so thankful for under the crib storage drawer). Need a receiving/swaddling blanket or ten? We have stacks of diapers, clothes washed and fold

Third Trimester Blues

Feeling rather blah today.  A combination of things, little events, is making me feel out of sorts, grumpy.  My good friend had her anatomy scan yesterday, it's a girl, which she thought it may be, so in some ways I was prepared for it, but in other ways, ouch.  It stings a bit, I imagine it always will.  And of course I am happy for them, glad all is well, but it's still a reminder of the little one I'm missing. Remember what it was like to go in for a scan with no worry or fear?  Yeah, I can't really recall it either. THIS WEATHER.  I know, I know, how lame is it to talk about the weather, but waking up to overcast skies in July is a bit too much.  I need to get motivated, accomplish a few things in the weeks I have left before Bennett arrives, but my brain thinks it's late May and refuses to cooperate. I bought a few trashy lit (that's what I call easy reads with happy endings and easy to follow plots) novels the other day and I am blazing through one a d

Lost for Words Card Line & A Chance to Support Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope

Carly Marie from Project Heal and Franchesca from Small Bird Studios recently started a wonderful card line, Lost for Words , which focuses on baby loss, infertility, babies in the NICU, holidays, anniversaries, etc. The website has a long list of card categories, it's really impressive how many special moments the designers recognize, and it's a wonderful resource to have.  The cards are beautiful with well thought out wording and I'm glad these two very busy people took the time to create it. *************************************************************** Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is trying to win a $25,000.00 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project to support its cause and needs your help.  You do have to register, but voting only takes a second.  Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope has been an incredible resource and place of refuge for me and many others who have lost babies.  I know a lot of you who read here are already voting, but if you haven't please head ove

Final Trip to Borders

I nearly perished at the liquidation sale at Borders yesterday.  Okay, that's an overstatement, but it was way more strenuous than I thought it would be.  It was 89 degrees outside and the air conditioning was off inside the store, presumably because Borders doesn't want to pay the money.  It was crowded, hot, and my quick look around turned into a two hour wander through nearly every section. (Have to say though, I wore my TOMS and my feet didn't bother me at all.  Water would've been an excellent idea, as two hours in a hot building without hydrating is not smart, but I had no idea I would be there that long.) With the closing of Borders we are down to one bookstore in this fair capital city. I've been in the Borders, as well as the independent bookstore downtown that carries primarily used books (although they do have an option to buy new books through them online) once.  Thanks to my three years with an independent bookstore forty-five minutes from here I te

Are these Braxton Hicks or is Bennett doing push-ups?

Friday night I woke up at 3:30 am.  I rolled out of bed, went to the bathroom, laid back down, settled in, and then BAM - my belly tightened in a very uncomfortable way.  I didn't have Braxton Hicks with Charlotte, or at least not that I remember.  I always wondered what it would feel like and while it's not painful, I wouldn't call it pleasant. Bennett complicated matters by pushing UP every time my stomach tightened. My stomach would tighten, UP would come his little bottom, which I would push DOWN on because my skin felt so stretched and tight I was afraid he might bust on out.  This happened three or four times until I wised up and rolled to my left side. My confused and sleepy state adds another layer of hazy weird to an already strange event, but I think it was either Braxton Hicks or Bennett decided to do push-ups (with poor form, bum in the air like his mama does) at 3 am. What do you think?  Am I having Braxton Hicks?  Should Braxton Hicks feel like the baby is

Placenta Encapsulation: A Conversation

Wednesday evening I finalized The Birth Plan  (it's so important to me I think it deserves a little boldness) and then asked J to read it over.  He was all, "What, why?  I read it before, how much has changed?"  He flopped next to me on the couch, skimmed it over and declared it good. I hauled the laptop upstairs, hooked it up to the printer and printed out three copies.  J followed and flopped on the couch upstairs.  I was reading over it one last time to make sure it was all coherent and there weren't any spelling mistakes while J messed around on his X-Box. "We may want to save the placenta for encapsulation purposes," I read out.  "Hmm, that's not too weird, right?  I mean, we are birthing in Eugene." * J dropped his controller, as well as his jaw.  "You want to what?" "Save the placenta, then have my midwife encapsulate it so I can take it in pill form." "What??  Ewww!" "J!  You just read over

32 week appointment

This was the week of the birth plan, of me asking the doctor question after question, of me hoping Bennett would be at 4 lbs, (3 lbs, 15 oz, so close!) and it all went rather well.  My sister went with me this time as my mother is out cruising the waters between here and Alaska.  Bennett decided to show his face to his aunt today, which made me very happy.  It was a little difficult to see him since he had one hand and his cord near his face, but my sister and I agree that he looks an awful lot like his sister: Hand over his face Mouth hanging open, caught him unawares  I'm still not thrilled about delivering at a hospital BUT I think I will have a good experience at this hospital with this particular doctor.  He recommended beginning cervical checks at 37 weeks since I went into labor with Charlotte at 38.  When I said I would rather not do that he gave a very good reason as to why he recommended it, the main issue being that we live an hour from the hospital and it would b

Hello, gorgeous

I saw this beauty while at the park this morning.  My Aquafit friends and I do our best to walk every Wednesday morning since we are no longer swimming and I always arrive thirty minutes early to run the dog before leashing her.  This morning I was tired, my hip was bothering me, the sun was out, which I haven't seen for quite some time, I was feeling grumpy about the closing of Borders (we're down to one used bookstore in this town now) and then I looked up and there was this butterfly, hovering right in front of me.  I stared it at for quite a while, snapped a couple pictures with my phone, stared it at for a while longer while Isabel yipped and threw her ball at my feet. It was a beautiful reminder of my sweet girl, a little wave from heaven before I set off for the hour long walk which nearly did me in (will I eventually have to admit that I can't do everything I wish because I am (almost) 32 (gasp!) weeks pregnant?). I hope this brings a little bit of sunshine and

The End of an Era

I, like so many others, find myself a little verklempt with the close of the Harry Potter movies.  The end of the movies didn't make me cry nearly as hard as the ending of the books, but sitting in that quiet theater yesterday I certainly wiped away a few tears. The first book was published in 1998 when I was all of fourteen .  I'll be twenty-eight in a couple weeks, which means I've lived half my life with Harry Potter.  I remember not wanting to read the series at first, because everyone was SO into them and I was at an age when I didn't want to do what everyone else was doing (I fancied myself a rebel then - eye roll to that silly teenage girl). Then a good friend, as well as a librarian who provided a safe sanctuary for me in my teen years, forced me to begin the series. And I fell in love with the story, the concept, the characters, the idea of a school for wizards.  Much has been said about the darkness of the books, but to me they are about so much more: lo

Summer Project Part 1

This project is taking over our lives, but when all is finished we will (hopefully) have a walkway, a patio, and a basement free of water. Step One: Reroute our gutters, and two of the neighbors', which will prevent water from seeping into basement. IF we can accomplish this we can start finishing out the basement. J spent hours digging a trench from our backyard to the street: Step Two: Receive paving stones, lose driveway Step Three: Remove paving stones from pallets as pallets are worth $150.00 to the company even though that seems like an inordinate amount of money to charge.  J moved most of these, but I did my fair share of the work.  Once paving stones are nicely stacked realize that saving so much money on mixed pallets means this will be the biggest puzzle we have ever put together.  And it is going to take us forever to figure out how to set them in the ground.  Regain ability to park car in the driveway. Step Four: Measure out patio and walkway.  Break up sod.

Birth Plan: A Rough Outline

I worked through the dreaded birth plan worksheet.  It seems silly to plan a birth when it is so uncontrollable, but I do have a way I would like things to work if all is well so fill out the sheet I must.  Now I'm asking for help and feedback before I modify and present it to my doctor who will glance over it, stick it in my file, and fail to understand how difficult it was for me to fill out. Important needs and concerns I have for my birth experience: I am really struggling with this one. I have a line and a bit more to explain that my first baby died and I need consideration and understanding this go round.  J's suggestion is to write 'see attachment' and then write a short paragraph on a separate piece of paper.   During labor I would like: Quiet, dim lighting, to wear my own clothes, to be encouraged to move, try different positions, use the water (must remember to ask if I can be in the water if my membranes have ruptured). For pain management I prefer: P

Rain on a July morning

Oregon is having a hard time finding summer this year.  Woke up at 5 am to the sound of rain outside the open window and a very active baby.  I miss her kicks and rolls, knowing her, waiting for her.  I found the heart shaped rock which sits next to her memorial stone at the river a few months ago.  I brought it home, placed it in the ground next to hers, introduced her to her brother, all the while believing she already knows him.  Two babies, one mama, a heart divided. 

Birth plans and delivery gowns

Yesterday was a hard day and it was late afternoon before I figured out why.  31 weeks with Bennett, 14 months without her.  Even if I don't mark those days consciously the impact of them is still felt. This is what's staring me down today: Blah.  My next appointment is on the 21st and I need to have the plan done by then, (or at least I think I do because Dr. K said we would discuss labor) but every time I see it on the coffee table I find something else to do.  Simply put I want it quiet and dark and I want to be left alone with my support team, but there are more details needed so I have to sit down and write them out. Birth plans are hard.  I found a few I like online, but they are so detailed.  There is no way I'm walking onto a busy labor/delivery ward with a forty page outline of what I would like to happen.  I ended up printing the one off the hospital website as it's only one page and that seems more manageable and respectful of a busy hospital staff.

A little miracle

Back in March I posted briefly about Emily who lost her sweet Aidan at 23 weeks gestation last year.  In March, when she was 17 weeks pregnant with her rainbow, her water broke.  After 15 weeks of bed rest at home and in the hospital, and a whole lot of fear I can't even imagine, her baby girl Kaia was born healthy last Saturday.  She is small and currently in the NICU, but doing really well.  I think most who read here read there as well, but if not I wanted to post a quick update.  Kaia's birth gives me hope; what a sweet, strong fighter!

Nearly Fourteen Months

It's cool and rainy, which always makes me think of her, of how the weather changed from warming up, preparing for spring, to wet and grey when she died. There should be a fourteen month old napping in a nursery that no longer exists, but instead it's just me here staring at the candles I lit for the first time in two months this morning.  Those candles next to her urn used to burn all the time, morning to night, but now I light them only when I want her to know I am thinking of her, missing her more than usual, feeling her absence acutely.  Two days until another 14th and though I no longer mark each month with a letter to her I am reminded each time those numbers appear on the calendar of my little girl who existed so briefly she didn't have a chance to grow or change or be. There are still moments, and I think there will always be moments, when the realization that I lost a child hits me anew and I understand the absolute enormity of what I am missing; those years stack


Okay, I'm not positive this post applies to the word I used as my title, but I love that word and it fits-ish so I am going for it. I finally bought a pair of Toms.  I've wanted a pair for quite some time, a year at least if not longer, but then they became so popular I decided not to.  But then it began to warm up and I realized sandals are not my friend this year.  I see pregnant women walking around in flip-flops and wonder how in the world they manage.  It looks so easy and comfortable, you can slide them on and off without bending over the belly, but two minutes with flip-flops on my feet and I'm limping like I've walked twelve miles. Enter the Toms.  I've had the shoes since Friday and I love them.  A lot.  I even wear them around the house as my feet ache if I stand longer than a few minutes without shoes. And the canvas is breathable which is nice in the warmer weather.  I understand why so many people own them now.  Plus, the company has that whole one

7.9.11 pt 2

I apologize for two posts in one day, but there is a great picture of Isabel at the bottom if you make it through this one.  I thought I would toss this out tonight as Rhiannon's comment from earlier got me to thinking (good grammar, yes?).  I am SO tired.  I do believe I am reaching the point in this pregnancy where I may have to admit there are some things I can't do. Isabel, my dear Pookerton, Porker, Isa-Pook partially ripped the pad off her front left paw when we went to the river this afternoon.  We have preformed first aid on this dog multiple times, but never while I am pregnant.  We had a sad afternoon and she is now curled up on the floor with a bandaged foot, an old sock of J's over the top of the bandage to prevent her from licking it and a sad demeanor that we have been trying to assuage with food (hey, it works for us). BUT, what I really sat down to write about is freezer meals.  On my last post Rhiannon asked what meals I would freeze if J wasn't on


Another dream about Bennett, born healthy, only I wasn't supposed to see him until two weeks after his birth ... but my good friend Jessi brought him to me anyway.  He was wearing a onesie with "little brother" written across the front, blue pants, tiny socks.  I can't remember what he looked like, but I do remember his hands, they looked like his sister's. I want to buy all things baby related, but we don't need much.  Around 32 weeks with Charlotte I lost my mind and bought a co-sleeper, baby swing, and rocking chair online even though I had said I didn't want a rocking chair or swing.  J was confused, but decided not to argue.  Yesterday I bought a Pack n Play even though I'm not sure we need one.  I must stop buying clothes, really I have to. This is all part of nesting, right? Here is what I should be doing: planning, cooking, and freezing meals.  It was so helpful after Charlotte died to have a freezer full of meals, but with J on the gluten


I had two questions from this post .  Thanks for asking, here's my answers: First up, from fireworksandrainbows : How often do you think yourself into a tizzy? When I think about my Xavier, and TTC again, sometimes I get panicky about delivery, blood pressure, more death etc. etc. Does it happen to you? at 29 weeks you are close and I assume you would think back to your one and only birth experience, what do you do to help yourself get into a better headspace? I think and worry far too often, usually about things I don't need to think or worry about.  I'm a nervous worrier, always have been, but that particular personality quirk has really been highlighted with Charlotte's death and the current pregnancy.  I've been working through the Hypnobabies CD's to help me keep calm about my upcoming labor and delivery.  The 'Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations' CD helps a lot. I make sure to listen to it everyday. Prayer helps.  I pray for peace, calm,

30 week (almost) appointment

30 weeks tomorrow!!  It's so exciting to reach another milestone, to cross over into the 30s, what could be called the final stretch of this pregnancy. I have two questions to respond to from my last post .  I'll get to those in the next day or so.  I really enjoyed writing that post. Bennett is doing well, all is copacetic in our world.  I am measuring at 32 weeks, I've gained 21 pounds, Bennett is active and I am only a tiny bit dehydrated despite this warm weather we are (finally!) having.  I drink 80-100 oz of water a day and I am glad to see it's paying off with no swelling and almost no dehydration. I went to the birth center for this appointment instead of having it at the house. It's much easier for my midwife scheduling wise if we do it that way so I'll have the remainder of my appointments at the birth center. It's no longer difficult for me to go there.  It's where Charlotte was born, it's where some of her ashes are buried, there wi

Dear Readers,

Thank you for reading, commenting, hand holding, answering questions.  It's amazing that I can type out a quick blog post about baby clothes and you all inform me that there are chemicals on them (ewww) so it's probably best to wash at least a few, but really it's not necessary to wash them all before he comes home (hopefully).  And of course there are all of the times I've come here to write about my sweet girl.  You all have been so kind in helping me remember her short life. I'm just over 400 posts now (!) and while I did blog before she died I had few readers and posted rarely.  Most of those 400 ramblings have come since she died and I appreciate everyone who reads here - whether you comment or not. In the past I've read blogs where the writer solicits questions from readers and then answers them in a subsequent post.  I've always enjoyed reading those posts, but have hesitated to write one because I don't know if there's anything about me I
** This post is about preparing for Bennett.  If you would rather not read, I understand. ** Answer some questions for me - please? This whole wash the clothes before the baby arrives thing - is it necessary?  I did it before Charlotte was born, but then she never wore them so I ended up with tons of clothes, no tags and no receipts.  Plus, so much of what I had was past the acceptable return window I couldn't return them anyway. Not like I've kept a record of receipts this time around, but I do know they are all floating around in the nursery somewhere ... although for quite a few things I'm already past the return window.  Every time I think about washing the clothes and putting them away I hit that huge "what if" wall.  How awful will it be to have bins of boy and  girl baby clothes shoved away in the attic? The nesting mama in me, who has really asserted herself of late, wants to cut tags, wash clothes, fold and put away clothes and blankets, have every