False Labor & Cheeks for Days

Dear London June, 

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions.

Monday morning I woke up at 3am very nauseous and feeling really weird. I threw up and threw up and shortly after had some intense pressure waves (contractions). I also had some extreme lightning bolt type pain through my pelvis, lots of pressure and excruciating back pain. I was sure this was the onset of my ‘birthing time’ (labor). I called the midwife and she told me all the signs pointed toward GO but I needed to time my pressure waves, take a warm bath, drink water and see if I still progressed. After I got out of the bath I noticed the pressure waves dwindling and finally laid down and before I knew it I had fallen asleep from exhaustion. I woke up and the pressure waves had completely gone and I felt defeated, sad and unsure. I had given so much of my focus and hard work during the false labor and had gotten so excited that I would finally be meeting you. I called into work to let them know that there was no way I could come in after all of that and your Dad called in too so he could stay with me.

We took another early morning nap and when I woke up I felt the strong urge to walk. I don’t know where I got that burst of energy but that’s all I wanted to do. So we went to the local park and power walked about 2 miles in the hot sun. We came home, ate lunch and then got ready for my Midwife appointment that had already been scheduled. I was so hopeful that after all that hard work that I must be a little bit dilated. She checked me and nope, not dilated at all. I almost wept. So silly, I realize but I was sure I would just be a tad dilated. I was a little bit effaced though and that made me feel better. She checked to see if she was head down and was nearly sure she was but not 100% certain. I voiced my concern that it had felt like you had flipped or moved into a higher position because since 32 weeks you dropped really low but the past few days you have seemed to be up so very high. So she suggested an ordered ultrasound just to check and make sure you were not breach. Just her saying that made my stomach turn and I instantly agreed just so that I could have the peace of mind. So this morning your Daddy and I went for the ultrasound and she checked all your organs and measured your bones and checked your position. Sure enough, you were head down and I sighed a huge breath of relief.

When we went in for your 4D ultrasound at 30 weeks we discovered that the umbilical cord was lassoed around your neck. This was unnerving to see and I asked the Midwives if there was anything we could do. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done while in utero but she assured me that this is quite common and most of the time they simply just unwrap the cord as they are delivered. I didn’t let this stress me out but it has lingered in my mind since and I have prayed that you would remain safe and healthy. So today, as she was conducting the ultrasound I asked if there was any way she could check to see if the cord was still wrapped around your neck and she surprised us by agreeing that she could and she switched to the 4D ultrasound. Thankfully, she said the umbilical cord was no longer wrapped around your neck but floating in front of your face. Once again, I breathed a huge sigh of relief!Image

I was even more surprised that she got a terrific angle of your sweet squished face! I really had no idea we would be able to see you because you were head down and facing my back. 

Let me tell you, I have never been so tickled in all my life! It was such a pleasant surprise and treat especially after my disappointment from earlier this week. We oohed and awed and giggled over your AMAZING, to die for chubby cheeks. There is NOTHING better than chubby baby cheeks and I was really hoping that you would inherit them from your Daddy and I. 

Here you are at 39 weeks and 4 days- just 3 days away from your due date! 

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The ultrasound tech also let us know that you have a head full of hair so we better get our bows ready. I failed to tell her that I already have a variety packed in your hospital bag ready to go. My Dad thought the black shadow around your head was your hair and I laughed and let him know that was just where the picture cut off because the rest of your head was too far into my pelvis to capture. If that was your hair I would laugh hysterically because it looks like an Elvis wig! Mom was concerned about the photo of you sucking your thumb because she though your eye looked like a frog eye and again we laughed. That is just the distortion of the ultrasound from where you were moving while they took the photo. I absolutely love that you were sucking your thumb and you really remind me of my sister, your Aunt Whinnie. Everyone is so smitten over how beautiful and cute you are…get ready for lots of cheek pinchers coming your way! I can not even express how smitten I am. Seeing your sweet, chubby face was exactly what I needed to get through this week and gives me something to focus on as I try to patiently await your arrival. 

As I was getting my hair trimmed today, Amanda my hair dresser & friend brought up a great point. She reminded me that Monday night, although disappointing, might just be God’s way of giving my body and mind a final dress rehearsal. That totally clicked and made sense to me and even though I am a bit disappointed you aren’t here to cuddle with, I am blessed that I got a chance to prepare myself for what’s to come. And when I look back on it, I am pretty proud at how I did and how calm and relaxed I remained. It gives me hope that I can really do Hypnobirthing and have a safe, quick and easy birthing. 

So my little chubby cheeked cherub, I will cherish the very few moments, movements & hiccups I feel inside of me because I know I will miss them and feel empty without you in there. I will feel good that you will never be more safe and cared for than you are now in my womb. I will take joy in the anticipation of awaiting your arrival and gawk at your chubby cheeks a thousand more times before I get to see, kiss and squeeze them on this side of the world. 

Love you always, 

Your very excited Mama xo 

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Week 18.

Dear Blueberry,

My immune system died. So puny.

BUT I just don’t care.

I’ve come to accept it and I’ve become a pro at nursing my illnesses.

I took 4 whole days off of work because of my viral infection and stayed in bed the entire time.

I don’t know the last time I’ve ever done that.

[Major strugglefest]

But I’m on the mend.

During my bed ridden times I researched all natural remedies and I think I’m becoming more and more hippyish by the second.

I’m learning a lot about the dangers of modern medicine and how we have a lot of healthy, natural medicines at our finger tips.

So, Im drinking Elderberry syrup like it’s going out of style to help build my immune system and curb the chance of another bug/viral infection.

DETERMINED.

On Saturday, I drug myself out of bed to attend a mandatory training class for a world church conference I am a voting delegate for. I was miserable and there was no way of hiding it. During the midst of training a very dear church family member (he married your Dad & I) came up to me and whispered something in my ear. He said he could see I was feeling awful and wanted to remind me that if I wanted to be anointed with oil and prayed for I could. This is one of our church’s sacraments and it’s something a lot of churches don’t do and I’m so glad our church upholds this holy act found in scripture. I have only ever been anointed once when I was in third grade and struggling with major health issues. I was passing out a lot in the middle of class and went through a lot of different specialists and tests to basically come back with no answers. When I look back, I think I had anxiety attacks mixed with a vitamin overdose. I took a bottle of Flinstone vitamins and ate all of them and didn’t tell anyone until years later after I saw a documentary about how a kid had done the same and suffered the same type of symptoms I did. (In my defense they tasted like candy and were shaped like Flinstone characters- yum!) ANYWAYS, I remember there being something very special about being anointed with oil and prayed for. That’s all I really remember…and the fact that I wasn’t fond of how the oil made my hair look. This time, I realized how special and holy it was to me. I don’t think it is a magical wave of a wand that is meant to make me all better. Instead, it reminded me of the deep love and care my Maker has for little ole me. It reminded me that in our weakest moments, God forces us to ask for help from others. It reminded me how good community is. It reminded me that to see God, I had to become my most vulnerable. Did that prayer heal me of my illnesses? No. It did something much bigger. It soaked my soul in holiness, hope, community, dependence, humility and restoration.

And, in a way it did make me feel “better”. I’m now strong enough to move on, even in my physical state, to love others deeper, wider and stronger. It forced me to get over it and look at a much wider perspective.

and then there’s you. you have given me the greatest joy this week. the type of joy all the moms that have gone before me have told me as I was head over toilet, throwing up and asking “what have i gotten myself into?!” “but it’s so worth it” they would smugly say. “you’ll forget about all of this when the baby is here” i would weakly nod my head and subconsciously roll my eyes because those words only tease me in the here and now of the struggle. but you, blueberry show me a glimpse that speaks much louder than their good hearted comforts. you have been busily dancing away in my tummy- wild enough that i can feel you through out the day. in odd places where i just cant wrap my mind around what’s going on inside of me while i order coffee or get a root canal. its a bizarre and wonderful sensation. like a special secret that i only know about. the kind you really want to loudly proclaim but can’t because your best friend swore you to secrecy. you twirl and twist and oddly im much more at home with the feeling than i previously thought i would be. you surprise me daily. you’re moving as i type this, connecting me to my thoughts and screen scribbles in a new way. your dad is overly jealous and anxious to feel you more than ever. so impatient, that dad of yours. bless him. as he was trying to find your heartbeat on the doppler, you surprised the both of us with your 1st big kick. with a loud “POP!” to the doppler, your dad’s eyes almost popped out of his head. he spent the better part of the night trying to recreate the moment, pressing on my belly, trying desperately to entice you to strike back. you played hard to get and he sulked back to his side of the bed, defeated. already working him. totally whipped. warms my heart so much. 

18 weeks

we then proceeded to watch unreasonable amounts of YouTube videos of babies moving around inside mama bellies. we were equally traumatized and in awe by the experience.

The music is so dramatic.

 

Love you.

Mom

14 Weeks

Dear Blueberry,

We’re 14 weeks! You have grown to the size of a large navel orange- its crazy to imagine! I can feel a small part of my stomach is more dense and tighter and it freaks me out when I feel it. You are busy working out and have turned my uterus into a Baby YMCA. Your still practicing kicking, curling toes and working your arms. You are also practicing breathing, sucking and swallowing. 14 wks

 

I’ve had one of the best weeks yet of being pregnant. Nausea hasn’t been hanging around as often and I’ve got a little bit more pep in my step. However, my emotions have taken over. I cry nearly every day and I am so sensitive. Your Daddy has been so comforting and making sure he gives me extra love and comfort. My cup overflows because of his love. You will be so blessed by him.

My face has totally broken out and it’s out of control. I will take the crazy, over-emotional and 13 year old break outs over nausea and throwing up ANY day!

I’ve not been craving anything lately but now that my nausea is at bay, I’ve been trying to load up on major super foods like fruit, leafy greens and whole grain. I sometimes have enough courage to eat chicken (the only animal protein I eat) now and again but it’s a rare occasion that I do. I will have my next appointment at 16 weeks and then another one at 20 weeks to see you on the ultrasound and find out if you will be a London June or a Finley Monroe!

Everyone asks what I think you will be and I have to say that I’m feeling a girl vibe. I have tried so hard not to because I didn’t want to be one sided but I simply can’t help it. Your Dad has said this from day one but we will shall see in 6 weeks. I can hardly wait! I have been busy creating Pinterest nursery decor boards. One for a girl and one for a boy. London June’s Nursery Inspiration and Finley Monroe’s Nursery Inspiration. I’ve also been pinning a lot of advice, tips and articles about breastfeeding, labor, sleeping schedules and etc. Mommy in the Making Board . If you can’t tell, I’m already head over heels, obsessed with you! I think of you all the time!

Love you,

Mom

 

 

Naming you…again.

Dear baby,
Our girl name is set to London June as we’ve said before but I have been wavering on our boy name for quite some time. Originally, it was going to be August Monroe. I have ADORED the name Finley for some time but your Dad didn’t want to hear about it. However, he forgets things a lot so I bring up Finley and other names at different times trying to test and gauge his current mood. When I brought it up today, he loved it! Here’s some of the options we talked about:

Finley Monroe
August Finley(you would go by Finley though)
and the old choice is still in the running- August Monroe.

Your Dad asked me to look up the meaning of Finley and I jokingly answered “warrior!” in a deep heroic voice. When I looked it up on the Internet I burst into laughter because Finley literally means “fair warrior”. Hilarious!

I hate to throw August out all together but I love Finley Monroe. Your dad said its a very strong name. I said it was a kick-ass name. I’m aloud to say ass because I’m a Mom. You, however, are not and if you do it’s the naughty corner for you mister…or misses.

Love you baby.

Mom

The Glory.

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Dear baby,

I have felt your pull long before you we’re actually here in my tummy. I tried ignoring it the best I could but the Pinterest boards full of baby, possible names scribbled on scrap pieces of paper and napkins, the joy I felt when I held a baby or the way I would stare a pregnant woman down were all obvious signs how much I longed for you. The times when a pregnancy scare brought me to tears when they turned negative and the false positive that brought me too my knees. All signs of you tugging gently at my seams, nudging me. When the false positive occurred during a already emotionally turbulent time in our marriage, we decided to wait a “few years” to bring you down from the heavens. I never was 100% convinced of it, but it gave me a way to move past the sadness that you weren’t and helped me focus forward.

Heaven has a way though, of lifting the veil and surprising you out of no where. It’s like a smack in the face with a handful of glory. Glory is a word that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. It’s more like radiant joy and striking fear immersed and soaked all together. That’s how I felt the moment I found out you were real. Radiant joy because no longer were you just a tug, but I could sense the warmth of your presence. Striking fear because now that I have you, there’s the chance I could loose you too. And if it was anything like how I felt when I found out that the false positive was indeed false, I was unsure how I could move forward from that.

I still struggle with the glory of you.

I pray the glory allows me to let go a bit of the striking fear and bathe in the radiant joy a bit more as I progress.

I feel so vulnerable right now and not at all confident. Partly, because I’m struggling with the way my body is changing and partly because of all the information I receive (voluntary and involuntary). It overwhelms me at times and causes me high anxiety. I know this sounds funny but sometimes I feel like pregnancy is almost like choosing and following a religion. There are so many methods and opinions and styles and beliefs and theology. So right now, I’m the seeker researching all the different “religions” and trying to figure out which one fits just right.

It’s so me to get caught up seeking, researching, questioning that I over stress myself without need. It’s the natural theologian coming out of me. I do this with my faith and I’m doing this with parenting. I just need to breathe and I have to remind myself to once in awhile find peace in my Makers arms. We both can rest there.

So, my darling, may we find rest in our Maker together; now, when your home is my belly and later when you are breathing this world’s air.

I loved you when you were just tugging at the seams, I love you now as you grow inside my womb and I’ll love you till forever more.

Love,
Mom