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Showing posts from August, 2011

Early Induction, Elective C-sections & Baby Loss

This has been on my mind for a while: Beginning September 1st Portland area hospitals will no longer allow elective c-sections and inductions before 39 weeks unless the procedure is deemed medically necessary . "...induced births even one day before 39 weeks will now require patients to present their case to a designated arbiter at the hospital and prove that there is a medical reason why the early birth should take place." (Portland Tribune - August 5th, 2011). This is a very good thing for mamas and babies.  I support it and hope to see more hospitals in Oregon and other states implement plans like this. However, I can't stop thinking about how this will affect those who have lost babies. When the end of a subsequent pregnancy nears you are so ready to be on the other side, to know if the baby will live and thrive.  Is that different from reaching 38 weeks and asking for an induction because you're uncomfortable?  Do hospitals and doctors have a plan, an idea

37 week appointment

Before the 37 week appointment update let me tell you about what happened yesterday.  I went to the bathroom mid-morning, like I do approximately 1,000 times a day, and when I wiped it was a little pink.  Too much information?  Sorry.  I'm the one staring at toilet paper half the day wondering what the world is going on.  You're lucky I haven't shared these details with you before now. I called my midwife - my trusty, always there, answers promptly, checks in everyday midwife what would I do without her? - and she said, "Sounds like you're dilating more.  I'm coming, I'll check you again." Maybe I should start tallying cervical checks on the wall and when I reach some mysterious impossible to know number I'll go into labor.  It'll be like counting down the days until you get out of jail only I don't know my release date.  Or to be more precise, Bennett's release date. One of the other midwives was at the birth center with a mama

Still pregnant, still waiting

Tomorrow will mark a week of knowing I'm hanging out around 5 cm dilated. Turns out I'm pretty good at this whole dilating but not going into labor thing. I'm emotional, nervous, and snappy, but I haven't gone into labor yet! One of my fears - of which there are too many to name - with this pregnancy has always been that I won't know I'm in labor.  That fear is now front and center, magnified by a thousand.  I'm hoping my membranes will rupture as I'm still in the contraction free zone.  I'm not even having Braxton Hicks.  There is plenty of pressure and some pain when I move around, but no contractions. Tomorrow I see my midwife, Thursday Dr. K.  I am going to have to refrain from grabbing either one by the shoulders, shaking them back and forth and begging for a membrane sweep or something else that will trigger labor.  The thing is, I don't really want to go into labor.  I would still like to make it past 38 weeks since that time frame is

New Look

Thank you Franchesca of Small Bird Studios for my fabulous new look.  And thank you J for a wonderful birthday gift. I woke up around 3:30 am to thunder, lightning and rain.  I woke J who ran out to the backyard to cover some of his tools. He then closed all the windows so we wouldn't have water on the floors, carpet, bookshelves.  What I didn't know was that he opened the blinds on the picture window at the front of the house so he could watch the lightning for a while. I got out of bed around 7:30 and wandered into the living room sans glasses, contacts AND pants.  I was blinking and squinting in my too small t-shirt and unders trying to figure out why the living room was so bright.  Thankfully I can't see much of anything without prescription help so I have no idea if anyone was walking by or about the neighborhood at the time.  Must remember to don more clothes before wandering around the house in the future. And while we're on the topic of weather: stay safe

On my cervix and its ways

I can't settle down and focus on anything.  My brain is constantly working through, or trying to work through, what is happening, what happened earlier this week, what is going to happen.  And my cervix is friable.  Or at least that's what my midwife said when I saw her this morning. I am still dilated to 5 cm and around 80% effaced.  Won't it be funny or ironic or annoying if I end up at 40 weeks after all this?  I never thought so many people would be interested in my cervix and what it is or isn't doing.  I'm a bit scared of it myself. Who dilates to 5 cm without feeling a thing?  How abnormal am I? I want to stay pregnant as long as possible because I feel like Bennett is safest where he is at.  Most people would be thrilled about the prospect of an early delivery, but I'm white knuckling it, hoping to make it at least as far as 38 weeks even though he could be born now and be fine.  Or so the professionals tell me. When my midwife checked me she said,

Resting & Reflecting

I've been emotional since our unexpected trip to the hospital.  Even though Charlotte was born out of hospital, and nowhere near where Bennett will be born, just thinking I was in labor has put me in a more emotional place. I think I've been so weepy because that's not the birth experience I wanted for Bennett: me in a total panic, confusion about what exactly was happening, the tears and worry ... I didn't think I would feel nothing but terror and fear when I thought I was going into labor, I thought there would be joy and hope too. It is so strange that I was in the hospital when I fell sick, but maybe I needed to be there for my sake and Bennett's.  I do believe God was with us from the moment I decided to call my midwife through the hospital visit.  He was with us before and He is with us now, but as J said on the drive down sometimes it's hard to see or feel that he is nearby and that He loves us and our babies.   It is so obvious now that Bennett was

Labor and Delivery Visit 1: False start and an evil viral infection

I'm not even sure where to start this post.  How about here: I'm in labor and delivery waiting on visit number two from the doctor, which will hopefully include release papers and 'until next times.'  Bennett is fine, still nestled in tight, which is many kinds of wonderful as I was not ready to meet him last night or this morning. This whole mess started at my prenatal appointment yesterday when I found out I was dilated to nearly 5 cm and 80% effaced.  I was not expecting to receive that news since I'm not yet 37 weeks, but apparently my cervix is all about going rogue and dilating without permission this time. I handled this news gracefully and calmly.  I stared at my midwife, asked if she was serious, stared at her some more.  She left the room and came back with another midwife - also present at Charlotte's birth - who offered to pray with me.  My midwife placed her hands on Bennett, the other midwife prayed, and I cried.  We were in the room Charlo

36 week appointment: belly painting!

I went in for my 36 week appointment at the birth center today.  My midwife painted my belly, which I had done with Charlotte too.  Today has been an emotional one so I'm just going to post pictures and save words for a more coherent time.

Bennett's room

is finished!  I've been saying it for a while, but it's definitely, absolutely done now. J and I have rug issues when it comes to nurseries.  By that I mean I wanted to buy an expensive rug when I was pregnant with Charlotte, but he insisted on buying a carpet remnant, picking out fabric and edging it himself.  While impressive - there is no way I would ever do this - I didn't love the end result.  It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it's what we had so I planned to use it. We've debated many a rug throughout this pregnancy, but I put the one we had in Charlotte's room down because I didn't think we would come to an agreement. And then J bought a coupon from a local radio station.  Normally the coupons are 1/2 price but this one was pay $10 receive a gift certificate for $99 at a nearby carpet place for a remnant.  I thought we were back to the same place, but we went in yesterday and I found the perfect piece - good color, no edging required: I

Where's my assistant?

I've let one important detail slip through my fingers this pregnancy.  Well ... it's more like I've avoided it until the last possible moment. The pediatrician - what do I do?  My original plan was to wait until Bennett came home, call the office we were going to use with Charlotte and schedule an appointment.  Wait, let me be entirely honest: I was going to wait until we had Bennett, claim fatigue and then make J deal with it, but that hardly seems fair. The other night I couldn't sleep and so was staring at the wall and thinking about what we would do if the practice was no longer taking new patients.  Will it be stressful to try to find a new doctor when we have a three day old?  What if we don't like the doctors at the new clinic we find?  The hospital we're delivering at will want to send information to Bennett's doctor so will probably ask for the information before we leave.  Are you allowed to leave the hospital with your baby if you don't ha

August 19th - Day of Hope

We have been blessed with friends and family who love and remember Charlotte with us.  I know it is not the same for everyone.   In the words of Carly Marie , "August 19th is about honouring and remembering the lives of babies and children that could not stay with us.  By doing this we are speaking out about the death of babies whether it is through pregnancy, infant, or even child loss." Holding your babies close today, friends.  Share a memory, a name, anything you like, this is our day to talk about the babies we miss.  

5:30 am

Between 5:30 and 5:40 am I wake, even if I've been up at 4 to use the bathroom.  I sit up, wait a moment, go to the bathroom again, and then burrow under the covers to say good morning to Bennett.  Even though it's August it's cold. This summer has been off balance, unexpected in so many ways. Bennett is active, kicking, wiggling, waking up.  His sister used to wake between 4 and 6 am every morning, but he is more precise.  Some mornings I can go back to sleep, other mornings he is too active and I am too hungry so I ask J to bring us food when the alarm goes at 6:15, or I pull myself out of bed to fetch something. This morning he quieted down, or went back to sleep, allowing me to sleep past 8. What bliss. I haven't managed that for a while. In between the 5:30 wake up and the 8 am true wake up I checked in on a friend and saw that she had delivered her rainbow last night.  That makes three new rainbows in the past few days and I am thrilled for everyone, but a l


All of us who have lost and then conceived again have to revisit our deepest fears and nightmares at some point in the subsequent pregnancy.  We all have milestones, places, times, and dates to work through.  For mamas with stillborn babies there's the gestational age when the baby died to work through.  And if the baby died late in the third trimester there is often a deep desire to have the baby out as soon as is safely possible, because out seems safer than in.  For mamas who have lost babies during labor there is sometimes the need to avoid labor altogether the second time around.   I'm terrified of the transition - that moment when baby leaves mama and encounters the world.  I had a few stomach pains on Sunday morning and nearly lost my mind.  I sank down on the side of the bed and thought, Oh no, oh no, oh no, we can't do this again.  Last time we did this a baby died."   I was hungry and hadn't had enough water that morning.  As soon as I had a snack and dr

35 week appointments

Yes that's right, appointments .  I'm tired.  Will someone bring me a big bowl of ice cream, please? Even though I am aware of how different my appointments with my midwife are from the ones with the maternal fetal medicine doctor I was surprised by how hard it was to go from one on to the next in a day.  While the clinic has its place I would much rather spend time at the birth center. My prenatal with my midwife this morning was gentle and quiet, there was even a dove cooing outside the window - which we thought was an owl until my midwife looked outside and realized it was a dove.  Bennett received lots of midwife love and I had plenty of time to ask questions and voice concerns. My growth scan, however, was one of my least favorites experiences with that clinic.  I had a tech I don't know and before she came in she had a medical student scan me for a while.  The medical student was not very good, in fact it's the worst scan I've had.  I know students have

Fifteen Months

Charlotte, How is it that we passed one year without you and now the fourteenth of every month creeps up from behind and kicks us in the back of the knees?  Every month without fail we are surprised by the general lethargy and melancholy that permeates the house around the 14th, until we notice the date.  Your daddy is sad, your mama anxious, stressed and sad, we're both apprehensive about your brother's upcoming birth. Fifteen months after you died we're weeks away from meeting your brother.  Is he there with you now, waiting for the right time to come to us, or was your time with him short, just long enough to imprint yourself on his memory? When he is born I will look for you in his eyes. Love you, sweet baby.

The Help, etc.

First, some housekeeping.  I set up a new comment system on my blog.  I like it because I can respond directly to comments.  It means a lot when readers take the time to comment and it's nice to have a conversation of sorts.  Hope you like it too.  I've made a few other changes, you can now receive posts via e-mail if you would like, and soon I will have a whole new look thanks to a generous birthday gift from J and the fabulous work of Franchesca at Small Bird Studios  (A lot of the improvements to this space have come from Franchesca's DIY blog tips ). ************************************************************* I went to The Help  this morning with friends.  It's the perfect weather for a movie, cold, a little misty, very gray.  I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time.  I read an advance copy of the book six months before it was published and fell in love with the characters and story.  I don't have words to express how much I liked the m

Indecisiveness & the Hospital Bag

My brain is fried.  I can't even pack a hospital bag without having a meltdown. Original plan: pack three bags: one for labor, one for after, one to stay in the car unless I feel like I need it.  That seemed excessive, so I'm down to two suitcases now, one for labor and after, one to stay in the car.  These suitcases sat in the hallway for over a week. They will probably sit in the living room until I go into labor. This is what my day has been like: - Wake up, realize I'm 35 weeks along. - Think about how I should buy the last few items needed for the hospital bag since I promised myself I would do so Monday. - One trip to Fred Meyer later, commence packing. - Fill my arms with the piles I've set aside in the nursery and carry them to the living room where I've laid out the suitcases. - Stare at the suitcases, drop the piles, eat lunch. - Finish lunch, stare at suitcases. - Wonder if the three bag plan should be reinstated, but with bag three as a diaper

A Better Day

Thank you for the comments on my last post, they lifted my spirits.  Today was much better than the previous few.  Must remember: it always gets better, always. I spent the day in Oregon City with my mom.  We had lunch by the river, then boarded a trolley for downtown and the farmer's market.  I grew up just outside Oregon City, in a little town called Gladstone, but it's been years since I've done any of the historical tours.  We were mainly taking the trolley to avoid paying for parking/worrying about being in a two hour spot, but it was interesting to learn a bit about the city too. Although I have to say, I wouldn't necessarily recommend a trolley ride for those in the latter half of the third trimester.  The ride was far from smooth and when I found out we could take the municipal elevator (which is just crazy, it starts on the street and ends on the bluff above) and then walk back to the car I decided that was better than hopping back on the trolley. I came

Meltdown at 34.5 weeks

According to Merriam-Webster a meltdown is defined as: 1. the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor 2. a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse 3. a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation) I was somewhere between two and three last night.  According to J, I went from grumpy to fine to sad to mad to grumpy to sad in a space of about five minutes. Then I just stayed sad.  I think.  It may have been a frustrated cry as well as a sad one.  Either way it went on for a good long while.  I cried before dinner, while preparing dinner and all the way through dinner. I am so tired of being pregnant, of the stress, and worry.  Honestly, I don't want to go through all of this if Bennett is going to go the way of his sister.  I don't want to have committed 38 or more weeks of my life to another human's well being if it once again results in two coming home instead of three.  I'm supposed to enjoy every moment, be grateful I can conceive

No man is an island ...

. .. entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.  Oh, John Donne, how I love you.  This has been one of my favorite poems for a long time, the words so eerie and sad. I spent the weekend alone.  I did not like it, even though I thought I would be fine, couldn't understand why those around me were fretting about J leaving me for a night (yes, that's right, just one night).  He went kayaking with his brother and best friend, down the river Saturday, pitched up on an island somewhere for the night, and then paddled to the rendezvous spot on Sunday.   Thanks to the best friend's truck being in the shop I had to do the pick up and drop off and I was

Can I kiss your baby good night?

My friend's oldest child, B, will be 3 in September.  She likes to ask me about the baby in my belly, say hello to him, ask what his name is, and tell me about the baby in her mama's belly.  Last night we were at their house for dinner and B did not want to go to bed (smart girl, we broke out the ice cream and pie as soon as she and her brother did).  B likes when I come over, but she LOVES having J around.  He plays and plays and plays with her and she thinks he's the greatest. Her parents managed to get her into her room eventually and J and I sat in the living room waiting for them to finish tucking her in.  A few minutes later B came out to say good-night.  She kissed and hugged both of us, put her hand on my belly to say good-night to Bennett, then went back to her room.  A couple minutes after that she came out to say good-night again .  That girl has her stalling techniques down.  When her mom was initially trying to get her into bed B asked J to read her a book.  


Let's talk numbers, shall we? This is me today:  Much of last year I thought I was 28, but I've been told that's not true. I'm this many weeks pregnant: 34 feels big to me, much bigger than 33.  IF I deliver at 38 weeks I have 4 weeks left!!!!  Stay a little longer, please, Bennett boy.  This is the number of days left until Bennett's estimated due date: That number makes me feel sweaty and nauseated.  This birthday is better than the last (and it's not even 9 am) but it still hurts to mark another special day without her.  Two years ago I thew away my birth control packet and dreamed of having a baby in my arms.  My arms are still empty, but I am blessed to have my Charlotte babe in my heart and Bennett pushing against my sides (I've told him many times that is not the exit).   I think I'll have chocolate and a big glass of chilled third trimester tea for breakfast.  It is my birthday after all. 

Fighting Crime With Pie & Conversation

Last night was National Night Out, which I honestly do not understand.  How does having a potluck in the street, or in someone's front yard in our case, waving at the police who drive by, and letting the little ones explore the fire truck parked one block over help fight crime?  (This is one of those things that seems distinctly American to me.)  I wasn't the only attendee confused about the purpose of the event, but it was good to get to know who lives on our block since we've been here nearly three years (Two people said to me, "Oh! You're the people in the blue house.  We've been wondering who lives there."  We should have stayed inside with the blinds down, retained our air of mystery). I was reluctant to go, of course.  I wasn't the most socially put together before Charlotte died and now chatting with people I only know in a 'wave as you drive by because they are in the garden' way, or worse, don't know at all, requires much bravery

Babywearing: What do you love?

I have the Sleepy Wrap, which is just like the Moby Wrap, one long piece of fabric, but the more I examine it the more intimidated I become.  How does it work?  You wrap what, tie what, put the baby where?  I've thought about buying a second wrap, more of a sling to ease me into the process, but couldn't figure out how to slip a $65.00 or more purchase past J.  It's odd, he notices these things. The other day my mom mentioned that they buy something for each grand-baby and she wants to do the same for Bennett.  I told her she could consider the crib they helped us buy for Charlotte a roll over purchase since it was never used, but she scoffed at that.  I woke up this morning at 5 am to an assault on my rib cage (I don't know if Bennett will ever forgive me for the trip to the chiropractor yesterday.  I feel fabulous, but baby boy did not enjoy having the percussion massage tool used right next to his head) and thought A SLING, WE NEED A SLING! I am leaning towards t