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Heads Up!

Yesterday, bugaboo decided it was time to go heads up! For the first time, she changed position. We finally have a profile! Granted, she was still pretty diligent about moving her hands and arms up over her face, but the tech did manage to capture a few shots in-between.

 Baby 30

Yay! She continues to do well. They’ll do new measurements at 32 weeks and it sounds like every week from that point on. Aside from everyone asking me how soon she’s coming – obviously because I’m starting to look like it could be any day instead of 10 weeks from now!

30 weeks

 

Yesterday she was in a full breech position, so instead of using my bladder as a pillow, I guess she decided a trampoline would be a fun twist! Blake says maybe she doesn’t doesn’t like the pressure of the new maternity belt, or maybe it was the bouncy ride on the lawnmower this week….whatever the reason we’re tickled to finally have a new position and a profile shot! Can’t wait for her to arrive.

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Is It Summer Yet?

Time marches on. It’s already been a month since my last post, I’m not sure how that happens.

In baby news, we’ve been trying since the 20 week mark to get our little one to give us a profile shot. She refuses to look at the camera. Our attempt last week at 28 weeks was reduce to a sneaky side shot that caught just her little nose and mouth:

Babyface

Everything has been measuring fine, and we were able to get visual and measurements on the heart and kidneys at the 24 week attempt, as she was so good at hiding those from us on the 20 week appointment. She just refuses to let us get that profile shot. It’s like she knows. Next week we go in for the 30 week baseline appointment. My understanding is that a new baseline of measurements for baby will be taken via another ultrasound (maybe this time she’ll smile?), to begin the new regiment of more frequent doctor visits to make sure things are on track and to know better what and when to expect her arrival. This stage feels like forever, but I know from experience it won’t be long before I’m looking back wondering where the time went! I’m working hard to breathe deep daily and remember the joy is in the journey.

I’ve now been pregnant for approximately 205 days. I’m still in awe. The tummy continues to grow and she continues to be very active. So far the only pregnancy concern is elevated sugar levels. My testing this week showed my body is still doing what it needs to, it dropped 118 sugar points in one hour! However, it’s slow and it’s taking longer. Throwing this in with my high risk of first pregnancy and age it means taking a more aggressive approach to monitoring these numbers from this point on. I’m a little bummed by the results, but grateful to know what my body can and will still do. For me, this means finding a slightly more rigorous exercise routine. I told the nurse, I’m simply not a spring chicken anymore and so I’m slower! Good grief, it took 22 years to get pregnant, clearly it stands to reason other things will follow a pattern of tardiness. *giggle* Aside from this, I’ve really only dealt with the basic inconveniences of being pregnant for which I am supremely grateful. I didn’t have any morning sickness. I haven’t had any real complications. I’m now experiencing the less convenient stages of pregnancy, primarily swollen sinus and mucus glands from hormones which make sleeping a real problem without my head elevated, constant bathroom trips and swelling ankles and feet. Check these poor “cankles” out:

Cankles

This is a mild case of daily ankle swelling. I’ve had worse. But seriously, how are you supposed to balance being told you have to exercise more (walking most preferred) while at the same time being told to keep your feet up?

A few months ago I was pretty freaked out about the whole labor and delivery prospects. I’ve been coming to terms with this and finding new peace. I recognize this is a medical process just like other’s I’ve already experienced. You just have to choose good doctors, trust them, and know everyone is there to help. There’s so many resources to help women be prepared these days and again I find myself counting my lucky stars I was blessed to be born when I was. I continue to feel good about the way things are and will progress. I have no reason to believe I’ll have any complications, I have a hunch (maybe it’s just a hope) that this baby will come through a normal childbirth process between early and mid June. I hope I’m right. My anxiety grows as so many friends close to my pregnancy timeline are now crossing their finish lines and sharing pictures of adorable newborns. The kids really share this anxiety as almost daily both comment on how they wish she was already here and how they can’t wait until she is.

On a downside, dad is having some more notable declines. Some of them are likely to instigate the need to make some tough decisions soon. I feel like we are probably down to the final weeks of his life. This is hard, it’s hard to watch my mom and wish I could do more to help her bear the weight of the load. Yet, at the same time I have an incredible peace of how okay it all is and will be. We knew the end game would be hard and bring with it more complications, we’ve had time to prepare for it. In addition, I know with all my heart that this change isn’t one of permanence or ending. It is merely another beginning, a necessary step for dad to continue to progress. And I know he will and it will be wonderful. When he is free from his physical prison cell, has a renewed and expanded knowledge of all things, I just know he’s going to be running at full speed. He’s going to be doing all he can to continue his progress with a renewed vigor and determination and I know it will be awesome. I don’t know what will happen in the next month, but I’ve felt since I learned about this pregnancy that his meeting this grandchild would be under spirit circumstances. I am confident he can and will do more for his family on the other side than he could have done here. Regardless of what does happen, I know that all will happen as it needs to and as hard as it is, it will be wonderful in the end. He’s had some miraculous milestones in the past two weeks!

Dad70th

Life is too short and too miraculous to waste a moment of it. There is beauty and wonder all around us to balance the storms and clouds. I am so grateful.

Promise of Spring

It’s March 12, 2014 and I’m feeling spring fever! Yesterday I wore capri’s and flip flops, not just for the swelling in my feet, but for the sheer joy of having it feel like spring is really coming.

Last week’s doctor appointment went well. Our baby still didn’t want to look at the camera, so no face shots and no new photos that show anything. But she was at least on her side this time so they were able to get the heart and kidney pictures and measurements they wanted. Everything is measuring and tracking normally. I’m finding it’s a little easier to be more at ease psychologically at this point because she is so active and moving all the time. It is a most reassuring feeling, although sometimes the timing of punching and squeezing my bladder is most ill-timed! Honestly, I am still in awe of the whole thing. Many people have asked when it “felt real” or when “it really sunk in” to which both my husband and I reply it still hasn’t! There are still days I can’t quite make myself believe it’s all real. Believe me, at 25 weeks, it feels real enough physically, but the whole experience is so miraculous I’m not sure the shock will ever wear off – even when we get to hold her in our arms.

I’ve shared all the pictures of our little miracle’s growth. I thought maybe I’d share a few of my own:

12 Weeks 24 Weeks

3 Months 4 Months Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 1.22.03 PM 5 Months6 Months25 Weeks

Meanwhile, the dog is wondering why I’m not jumping up to play with him:

Dexter

This week’s new experience was going to our first birthing class last night. It was so weird to look around at all the young, first time parents. I couldn’t help but comment to Blake that we could probably be parents of most of them! I’m sure they were wondering what this old couple was doing there. I was impressed that we both took the class information generally well. A few photos we could have done without, and may have had to look away a time or two, and I may have cut off the circulation in Blake’s hand once or twice, but generally we soaked up the information. The anesthesiologist did a short presentation on epidurals, and the discussion points were all about preterm or overdue concerns, what to expect and the various procedures that often accompany a delivery. I’m still absolutely terrified.

Everything else is continuing at a spring time pace. The kids are in their last trimester of school. The grass is starting to green in patches. Blake is traveling next week for work, his first time with his new employment. Cidnie got her driver’s license. Life continues on full tilt!

Dearest Little One,

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to feel you move so much! Thanks for letting daddy feel it too. Perhaps you can explain what it is that you love so much about being so low? Any chance I could talk you into moving up just a bit? I’d love to be able to sleep for more than 2 hours at night without having to go to the bathroom.

I continue to marvel at the miracle it is to have you growing inside me. The quiet moments when I feel your valiant spirit react to the setting or circumstances is breathtaking. Your innocence is overwhelming. You are already teaching me so much.

Every day your brother or sister comments on how they wish you were already here, how fun it will be to hold you and take care of you. I quite agree! And our little family is only the beginning of excitement! Everyone we know is so excited about you. I get constant comments on how cute you are as a baby bump and how wonderful it is to see. You have brought an amazing level of energy and excitement into our lives!

Continue to grow well, little one. Continue to keep us all in awe, because it’s the most wonderful feeling ever. And continue to help mommy not be so scared about this entire process that will be wrapping up in just a few more, short months!

All Things Revealed

Dearest Little One,

We finally made it to your appointment! That took F O R E V E R.  I truly can’t tell you how long the 4 weeks was between this appointment and your last. While it was wonderful to hear your little heartbeat in January and see visible growth in mommy’s belly, it was disappointing to not see you at the 16 week appointment. Ten weeks was way too long between ultra sounds! Especially after being blessed to catch a peek every two weeks from six weeks to ten weeks.

Just to recap your miraculous growth:

At six weeks you were barely a jelly bean with a little flashing white light of a heartbeat.

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.10.43 PM

Two weeks later you were already growing arms and legs.

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.10.56 PM

Ten weeks and you’re lying on your back (head to the left) – a perfect little peanut!

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.11.07 PM

And in only ten more weeks you’ve completely filled the space that used to be all empty around you!

Feb6UltraSound

You are so big in such a short time. From your measurements, they said you are already 12 oz.! They also said everything looks really good and you are measuring just the way a healthy baby should be. We couldn’t be happier! You are face down in this ultra sound, your little back showing how neatly tucked into a little ball you were and your head (on the right) was strategically face planted, nose down. We all joked that you just knew how cold it was outside that day!

Grandma Sherie came with us to this appointment to see you. She was so excited and we all kept gasping and shaking our heads at how much we could see! They could see the different sides and parts of your brain already and measure those too. Granted, most of what they said we were looking at were things we just had to take their word for – that stuff looks really confusing to an untrained eye. But the heartbeat (a happy 134 beats per minute) and your snuggled profile shot were easily identifiable and oh so wonderful to see! Hearing that you are right on track was truly the best news. Hearing that you are a girl – - – well that was a wonderful surprise! Again, this is an image I have to take the technician’s word for:

Girl

I couldn’t see how she could see “girl parts” from this image. She said you had to think of it as if you were sitting on a glass table top, your legs forming a > pattern and the white lines the arrow is pointing to are clearly female parts. So there’s pink in my “pink crayon”!!

You didn’t want to look at the camera and your position also prevented a few other views of other critical organs so they said we’ll have another ultra sound at the next appointment in four weeks. I think you just know how much mommy likes to see you and planned it that way! I’m not sad that we’ll get another ultra sound next time. I can’t get enough of seeing you in there.

I felt you kick for the first time this weekend. I’m not sure if you were enjoying the movie as much as me or what, but I definitely got three definitive kicks or pushes. I called daddy over but I guess you’re not ready to share that just yet because you stopped moving the moment he put his hand on my tummy. I’m not worried, from all I’ve read and heard, the time is fast approaching when your movements will be completely noticeable. I can believe that because you’re already so big and this pattern of growth just keeps going until I get to meet you in person.

I wish I could explain the wonder and excitement around your impending arrival. Everything about you makes people smile! Every day your brother and sister touch my belly and comment on how pregnant mommy looks now. And this past Saturday, we all got a little carried away looking at baby things!

Clothes

Taylor kept grabbing items and coordinating them, then looking at me with puppy eyes saying how it was too cute not get! I couldn’t have said no if I’d wanted to. Cidnie was equally persistent in her selections and everyone was having so much fun shopping for you. The only thing we haven’t found direction on is a name. I keep thinking when we find it I’ll just know it’s yours. We’ve started a short list of names we’ve all mentioned that made the initial cut, but I feel this process may take us a while to find the right one. I wish you could just whisper the right name in my ear one night. Maybe you could work on that?

For now, just know how much we all love you and can’t wait to meet you. I pray you will continue to be healthy and develop the way you are supposed to. Thank you for keeping mommy humble, on her knees in prayer and ever shaking her head at the miracle of life!

I meant to get some pictures and updates about our trip to AZ in January put up, but I find that my tolerance for sitting at the computer is growing shorter, at least for my back and tummy. So I’ve been procrastinating. But I simply must share what an amazing trip it was. Seeing good friends was so wonderful and the new temple is absolutely beautiful. I was thrown a surprise baby shower by friends in our last neighborhood and that was a real treat. We ate wonderful food, enjoyed the sunshine and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was well worth my swollen feet from the long drive!

In sad news, we learned yesterday that some of our good friends there experienced tragedy this weekend. Our hearts are aching with theirs and our prayers are fervent in their behalf. Gilberto and Laura were volunteering as tour guides at the new temple open house, when she was hit by a car while walking in the crosswalk. To hear Gilberto share the scene of holding her hand, then having her struck by the car and reaching for him while being pinned under a car was just heartbreaking. She is in critical condition with multiple skull fractures and head trauma. They say her chances of survival are 50/50. To have just been visiting with them in their living room, taking pictures with them and talking about plans to meet again, I can scarcely take in this turn of events. What a stark reminder of how life can turn on a dime.

Today I am so incredibly thankful for my life and my blessings. Life is a miracle. Families are forever. God loves us.

Impatient

Yes, that’s me in a word. I’m ready for it to be spring. I’m ready to have more information today than I had yesterday and I’m ready to meet this new little one!

I was hoping to have another picture to share of our little wonder, but alas, the last appointment was just a heart ultrasound. While it is wonderful to hear that little organ pumping away, I was so hopeful to see a picture too! I got spoiled in the first trimester with multiple ultra sounds. We will learn the sex of the baby at our next appointment on Feb 6th. The fact that so many people are asking if we know yet isn’t helping my impatience! I just join them with my lament that this seems to be taking forever.

My memory is not what it used to be. I downloaded an app to help me track this pregnancy as I found I quickly lost track of exactly what week I was in. Now I can see daily exactly how far along I am, where the baby is in development and even get some helpful info and tips for the current stage. Today I am 16 Weeks and 6 days, that’s 117 days. The information available says baby is almost 5 inches long and weighs nearly 4 ounces (and that weight is supposed to double in the next two weeks!). Oh the things I’m learning.

Dearest Little One,

I’ve been bad about keeping up my thoughts and journal. The thoughts run amuck, but getting them committed to print is a different matter. I know I’ll want to look back and remember all the things I’m forgetting.

First, I have to say thanks for letting me feel your presence! The first day of the new year, you gave me a notable wiggle (well, for you it was probably a gymnastic routine) and that was truly awesome. The doctor also told me the next day that within two weeks your hearing would be completely developed and you might even get startled at loud or unexpected sounds. Well, Saturday on the way to an activity with Cidnie, you let me know you heard the bass of the music she cranked up! It is so fun to feel you.

I find that the time between doctor appointments is growing more difficult. It is such a comfort to see you and hear your heartbeat. The weeks in between drag on. I don’t think a mother’s heart ever stops worrying if everything is okay. I’m trying to imagine the jump in growth I will see at the next ultra sound as  two months will have passed between images. I was floored at your growth in only two weeks so can barely imagine two months!

I am confident that I will never stop marveling at the miracle and wonder you are. I wish I could share the physical growth and sensation with your dad and siblings. They are so involved and so excited for you to make your arrival!

Peace On Earth

Nothing speaks peace quite as well as a beautiful Christmas day with white blanketing everything:

Frosty3 Frosty2 Frosty1

I’m still adjusting to winters back in the snow. I may never adjust. But I must admit, the fog that rolled in this past week sure made for some pretty trees and winter scenes. Blake continues to wear his shorts most days, he’s always trying to get the weather to listen to him!

We’re settling in for a wonderful Christmas holiday. Christmas cards got done, even though I thought it impossible! Having some updated family photos was really fun.

_DSC0229-002 _DSC0240 _DSC0243-001

Dearest Little One,

I missed writing last week because I caught a nasty cold and haven’t been feeling well. Sleeping is an impossibility with a cold and without the aid of medications to ease those symptoms. Lest you wonder, you are worth it and colds pass. This one I hope is almost done!

I’m trying to get used to this view:

Belly

Sometimes I still am caught off guard when I look down and realize – “Oh! There you are!!” Our next appointment is January 2nd, and they say if you play really well we might be able to find out if you’re a boy or a girl. I look forward to more pictures of you! In the meantime, I’ll share a few of you from the outside!

Aunt Deniene was begging to see the “baby bump” so I took this picture at the first of this month. It’s the first one I’ve taken of me and clearly, I should have found some windex for the mirror first! Oh well.

BabyBump

And this one I took today – that’s you little one!

ThatsYou

We’re very much in the Christmas spirit around here today. The kids are so excited for our traditional Fondue dinner on Christmas Eve they can hardly stand it. Taylor helped me decorate some cookies this morning. His concentration tongue was hard at work. Taylor has so much to teach you!!

TayIcing2 TayIcing1

Cidnie talked me into doing her nails for her this afternoon. Be ready for this, whether boy or girl, Cidnie has all kinds of ideas of how much fun she’ll have with you! You are going to be spoiled rotten. :)

Nails

So we’re on the countdown for Christmas. The only thing that would make this better is if you were already here! But don’t worry, I’ll eat enough Fondue for both of us.

Merry Christmas, Little One. What an amazing reminder you are of the wonder that comes with miraculous births!

ChristmasLights

It’s already the first week of December. We got the first Christmas spirit snow this week, sadly we have the cold temperatures to match! The roads are so slick and awful to drive on. I truly hate that part of Idaho winters. Yesterday, the power went out at 6:45 a.m. and stayed off until 10:00 a.m., it was -9 degrees! The kids had no school and you’d thought the world had come to end with no internet, no TV no powered devices! But we did have our gas fireplace to keep us from freezing.

FirstDecSnow FirstDecSnow2

I’m finding a little more energy these days, and managed to get the Christmas decorations up. We made a feeble attempt at some outside lights, trying to use what we could find of Grandma’s old stash and putting them on the big willow tree. It has the start of something wonderful but will require many more lights to reach anything near the picture in my head! In a perfect world, it would have a beautiful blue trunk with hanging white lights on branches – a true winter weeping willow. However, with recent months of unexpected medical bills I’m thinking it may take a few years of budget building to buy sufficient lights!

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.05.15 PM

So, winter is here. Everyone is healthy and we’re settling in for a wonderful holiday season.

Dearest Little One,

Yesterday we had another doctor’s visit. Can you believe how long we had to sit in that COLD room? I’ve never been so happy for car seat warmers in my life!

You continue to amaze me. You were so active on the ultra sound screen, it was almost impossible to believe I couldn’t feel all your dancing and moving around. Whatever you were dancing to it was truly awesome! I’m in awe that in only a few weeks you can make such strides of growth!

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.10.43 PM Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.10.56 PM Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.11.07 PM

The first image is of you at 6 weeks, the second at 8 and the third at 11. You’ve grown from a jelly bean to a gummy to a peanut in that short time!

These pictures will give you a better idea of how active you were. The middle one is the only one we captured with you being still, the other two show you coming back down after some serious disco moves – and that end on the right is your body and little legs, which we couldn’t get a good picture of because you were busy dancing. ;) Your little head is on the left and although you can’t see it, your little heart is amazing and working like mad to help you grow.

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.11.28 PM Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.11.19 PM Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.11.07 PM

The only part of our checkup that wasn’t the best was mommy’s blood pressure. It was up from last time. This afternoon I took some readings at home and found that I much prefer those from my left arm! They are consistently in the neighborhood of 10 points lower on both numbers than readings on my right arm. The doctor said it’s pretty normal for differences to occur like that per circulation, etc. so I’ll be asking them to take readings on my left arm from now on! So far, this is the only yellow flag for us. It’s something they’ll be watching closely.

Daddy and I decided not to do the extra testing they offer at this stage to detect chromosomal abnormalities. We are at peace that everything happening with you is as it should be and as it is meant to be. Our next visit will be on January 2nd. I look forward to the changes we’ll see in that time, as the changes between visits already is truly astounding.

We love you. Everyone is anxious for your safe development and arrival. You continue to be my daily miracle.

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