Friday, September 24, 2010

36 Week Update

Yep, still here! I suppose it would have been a little early for him to come sooner than now, though as you can see from the pictures I am enormous! Speaking of the pictures, I have a friend who does amazing photography. She grew up in the mountains and knows all sorts of cool places to get some natural Colorado pictures for just about any occasion. I love her stuff and was eager to have her come do maternity pictures. This was something I always wanted to do with Noah, but never got around to it. I was so glad to get it done with this pregnancy. It is amazing to be this big, and I love that I have it documented so I can look back and really remember this time and remember what I looked like! Also, Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch are both places that are close to our hearts, as they are natural parks just down the street from our house where we spend a lot of time. This is where the photos were taken, and it was great to celebrate this pregnancy in our favorite places with pictures! If you want to see more of Christie’s stuff, go to Blue Columbine Photography.

So, how is our boy doing? I have had both a midwife and an OB appointment since I last wrote. As of the first of the week, Aaron was 6 pounds, 11 ounces. He is measuring a week or two ahead of schedule. Kind of funny, I am on an email list that sends you baby updates once a week. It tells you where your baby should be as they progress through their growth while you are pregnant. This week it said that the baby should be just about hitting 6 pounds. Ha! Yeah, right. Aaron appears to have hit that a while ago!! Not only is he well past the 6 pound mark, but his head is 10.4 centimeters. He is beginning to drop into my pelvis, getting ready for birth! I am feeling more and more pressure down low. He still has farther to drop before all is said and done, but it is clear that he is starting to get ready for his big entrance into the world! I am so excited for it and am feeling ready. The nesting has paid off. I have completed pretty much everything off of all of my crazy “to do” lists. Next week is week number 37. This was the point at which Noah came, so I am wondering how much longer this will be. Aaron will decide. It is all up to him now.

We registered for the hospital last week. Not my favorite task, but necessary. Every time I go to this hospital I get depressed. It is a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong. You don’t walk through and see sick people everywhere. It’s just that as a natural child birth mom, this hospital is the worst in the city when it comes to getting the birth experience that you want if you choose to go the less popular way of going natural. They hardly fall all over themselves to cater to this request. I am unfortunately bound to going there because of the experts I use. I am absolutely sure that I have really great doctors. The hospital itself is what leaves me hanging. I shouldn’t complain so much, since I did have a perfect birth experience last time (never mind that it took some lies and manipulation to get it). I believe in this path of child birth enough to do these things, even to the point of being nasty to fight for what I want. I just wish I didn’t have to.

The nurse we had this time was better than the one we had last time. The one we saw last time saw that we had a birth plan, read the top line about us wanting a natural birth, and then stuffed it into the back of our file without reading any further (see what I mean?). The lady we had this time actually read everything we brought which was a nice change. We told her up front that our baby is high risk of a life threatening genetic disorder, so that may have had something to do with it. She was very conscientious to make sure that she understood everything in Aaron’s care plan from the Children’s Hospital, and put those instructions on the top of our folders (both mine and Aaron’s) so that when we arrive when I am in labor, whoever will be caring for us will see that first. She also let us know that the management of the hospital will be notified that we are coming.

I have mixed feelings about that. These people have a hard enough time wrapping their brains around the fact that anyone would want to go natural, so the extra attention is really going to suck. I also understand that our case will make them nervous because of the potential liability it places on the hospital. Chris and I had prepared ourselves to wear our story on our sleeves when we came in to register, both for the special care that Aaron will need until his test results come back, and also to help us get the post partum care that we want with not being separated from Aaron for any length of time due to our own grief issues, so the extra care is needed with us.

Another part of this that was difficult was filling out the paperwork. For the rest of my life, when I fill out any kind of women’s health questionnaire, I will have to answer in a very abrupt, impersonal way how many pregnancies I have had, how many live births, and how many surviving children I have. Yes, it is relevant information for a care provider to know, yet it is a huge slap in the face to those of us whose lives have not gone according to plan. Ouch.

Now time to breathe in a big sigh. I made it, as hard as it was, through this milestone. It was important to do it now, and not on Aaron’s birth-day. I have time to recover from the hard parts of it, get my game face back on, and be ready for the real deal. This is just a hospital. Impersonal staff that I will never see again once this is all done, so who really cares? At the end, I get the prize, this amazing baby boy, and that is all that matters.

On a lighter note, Chris finished a major project that he wanted to see complete before Aaron came. For many, part of having a subsequent child means preparing the older sibling as well. Sometimes they have to move to a new room a little further down the hall. Sometimes it is moving them to a big-boy-bed so that the crib can be freed up for the new baby. Similar to those activities, we had to move Noah out of his room so that the nursery would be free for his brother. This was a painful task that had to be handled with care. Noah wasn’t here for long, but he did use a few things while he was here that are now precious keepsakes. We came up with the idea of building him a hope chest where his things would be kept. It would be our own special spot of remembrance whenever we want or need it. Chris is really talented with woodworking, so he built it with great care himself. It is made of solid aspen, which is appropriate since to date, Noah is the only child in this family to be born and spent his life in Colorado. Chris made it to match our bedroom furniture, as it will live at the foot of our bed. I think Noah would approve since the entire time he was at home, he was always in our room with us. I am absolutely in love with it. I love that he has a permanent place in our house. I love that in order to connect with his things that I am not digging through this drawer, or that shelf, or that corner of the closet. It is all gathered together in one spot. Chris also put a lock on it, so if I ever feel like his things are in danger of being messed with, I can lock it up. I love being able to hold his things, smell them and feel them in their small sizes just as they are. It makes it so much easier to give Aaron the room free and clear with no baggage. I have the best husband ever to help ease the transition in this way!

At this point, Aaron can safely come at any time. I am hoping my next post is one filled with pictures of our beautiful new son, and stories of how it all went. Granted, he could decide that he is just fine where he is, and I am posting again with more pregnancy stories in a couple of weeks! Who knows? Thanks for following along, and we will see how Aaron decides his story should go!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nesting (The After Picture)

Yep! This was my weekend. It felt GOOD to knock a bunch of things off the list. I should have the rest of it done after one more weekend (just pray that I don't think of too many more things to add to the list!)

Friday, September 10, 2010


I just went through all my notes to myself of things to do and made one big master list. Wow, that is a lot of stuff!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

34 Week Update

I meant to do this post a week ago! It is kind of funny and typical of where I am right now. I spent weeks in a pregnancy fog where I was not so organized about anything. Then all of a sudden, it was like a switch was flipped, and now I am completely the opposite! I am so focused on a very full to do list to get ready for the baby. In a word, nesting has hit!

Last time around, I didn’t really get what this was, and spent a lot of time feeling frantic, stressed and emotional around getting things done. This time, I know what it is, and I try to just go with the paranoia around whatever I feel needs to be organized in the moment. It just is what it is, and either denying the urge or getting stressed out about it just makes life miserable.

Every minute of my time is carefully crafted around getting things done. I have cleaned out my house, organized closets, gotten family to help me cook about 26 casseroles that are sitting in my freezer right now, my car is currently in the shop finally getting some repairs done, Chris and I have new cell phones, the hot cocoa has been organized in my pantry (spent a whole half hour on that and it felt very important at the time!), my soon-to expire drivers license has been renewed, I finished making Aaron a baby blanket, I plan on doing a Costco run this weekend to stock up on essentials, and I have a detailed list going of all that needs to be packed when we go to the hospital. This is just the tip of the iceberg! It is hard to just sit down and relax, to think back on this time I have spent being pregnant with Aaron, and feel peaceful. My mind is going a million miles a minute. I know that it is just all part of it. There is some animalistic part of us as human beings that knows what is coming and has this instinctual need to prepare. The best thing is to go with it. Chris has been a great sport through my madness. He laughs, shakes his head, and jumps in and helps where he can. I am lucky to have him!

I am getting to be pretty big and uncomfortable. Sleeping through the night is almost impossible. I have to take several pee breaks, and my hips ache if I lay on one side for too long, so I am tossing and turning a lot. It takes a lot of pillows to keep me propped up enough that I can be comfortable. I am also so big that I snore like you wouldn’t believe. Poor Chris has been either trying to tough it out, or giving up and going downstairs to the guest bedroom and I really don’t blame him! (As I was writing this, he went to Walgreens to buy ear plugs, so he clearly hasn't given up on me yet!)

At this phase, Aaron is gaining a half pound to a whole pound a week. He is getting pretty heavy to carry around as you can imagine! He is running out of room to do his famous somersaults that he loves doing, not that he quits trying! He is a very active baby, with very busy feet. I love feeling him move and am really going to miss it when he is out. He has finally settled mostly into the head-down position which is such a relief! He has to be head down for me to be able to do natural childbirth with him. He was flipping around so much all throughout the pregnancy, it has really made me nervous. I guess he just needed his time to have fun before he got serious!

I have had a couple of doctor and midwife visits since I last posted. The midwife did an ultrasound recently, and it was just so great to see him! She measured him to get an estimate of how big he was, and boy was he was measuring big! At that visit (32 weeks) he was 4 pounds, 10 ounces. He was measuring a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. She looked at the diameter of his head (already 10 centimeters and measuring 3 weeks ahead!), the cross section of his middle (this was measuring dead on where he should be), and his femur bone in his leg (measuring ahead – long legs on this boy!). He looks to be tall and skinny like us. He has lots of hair. She thinks he is measuring as though he will come on October 10 (guesstimate). That is my birthday and also 10/10/10! It would certainly be cool, but of course, technology aside, only he knows when he is coming! She also told us that IVF babies tend to come sooner. Since the typical 40 week calendar is based on estimating a due date when you don’t know when you got pregnant, it is a little awkward trying to make it fit with a woman who does know when she got pregnant. That has pretty much been weird from the start trying to work that out anyways, so it made sense to us.

It was really cute, because the whole time he was completely doubled over. His head and feet were facing down. His hand was holding onto his foot, and he was likely sucking on his toes. She got some great pictures of him holding his foot.

I also wanted to share pictures of Aaron’s room. We have worked hard on it, and are pretty pleased with how it turned out. Chris felt so strongly that he wanted this boy to have a bike themed room. He did a lot of searching to pull the elements of it together. It has been fun to see his idea come to fruition.

"Aaron Noah" in Chinese characters.

I am feeling more and more ready to do this. On one hand, I am sad that this phase of life is almost over. I love having him so close to me all the time, and feeling his movements. I don’t know what the future holds and if we will be able to do this again. IVF is extremely expensive, and the only way that I can have a healthy child. Is this my last pregnancy? I wonder that a lot. On the other hand, I have been pregnant for almost two years in a row, and I am ready to have my body back again. I have been on such a long journey to parenthood, and I am so ready to get to the payoff of having the actual child to care for in the end. It will be terrifying and have plenty of its own challenges given what happened to us in the past, but they are challenges that I want to face. This is what it takes to have meaningful life for us, and it has always felt right.

I hope to get one more update in before he comes. I have always said that my kids choose their birthdays, so ultimately Aaron will determine if that happens or not. I will certainly keep you posted as best as I can!