30 August 2010

week 31

Me, today.
Holy big belly batman.

A nice long luscious weekend of sisterlove and she took this photo before we parted this morning.

Our second opinion on The Scary Thing is coming thursday morning. OH how I have enjoyed this break in the panic. The baby has been moving like crazy in spite of the tight quarters. So that has been wonderfully reassuring. I am hoping/expecting Dr. reassurance. I am cautiously optimistic.

Remember my hike? One evening, my sister and I walked down the road to the trail head, then up a few yards, then a few more.
Then the next day, we did it again with my nephew, this time going a few more yards, then a few more -- up to where I could imagine the birch across the path, the curve to where the trail runs along the first stone wall, up to where the woods open and the hill falls away.
Oh to smell the leaves and pines and dirt and the familiar feel of the trail. I imagine myself, baby strapped on, walking slowing up that hill. First to the rock. Then, maybe the next day, to the bent tree. Or where the cabin used to be. Or to the fallen birch.
I imagine it viscerally. There will be leaves down, and naked trees, and the smell of wood smoke, and there will be early dark...

I miss my own rhythms, my own self soothing, my ability to get out in it and MOVE.
I know that with this wonderful gift I am growing, I lose things. I lose autonomy. I lose the ability to maintain my level of self centeredness. I will lose nights of sleep (already beginning and I know I don't know anything yet). But I also know there are such unexpected gains. And some expected too-
simple things: to have to hike slowly, to pause to breathe, to have time while breathing to really look around and not just hike past and through, eye on the prize of heart rate, not tree bark.
In this slower pace, I am seeing things again. And I am grateful.

24 August 2010

all good news

A very quick happy update to say--cervix is long and closed, 4cm.... placenta is totally out of the way now (4 cm away from cervix), cord insertion is mid placenta, NO VESSELS across the internal os, and the only ones nearby are not cord vessels--


NO PLACENTA PREVIA (not even marginal)
most importantly:


Yes, I am going for a second opinion to a maternal fetal medicine specialist whom I already know and trust. They gave me a referral and I am waiting for the call with the appointment time.

But as of this moment, after this most amazing ultrasound appointment (it turns out she is one of the top US experts in the country, which I absolutely believe-- 45 minute exam, internal, external, careful, thorough, with doppler etc.)-- I now find myself (quite surprisingly) in the vaginal birth at term category.

Baby is 3 lbs 10 oz (holy crap)
I am up 24 lbs (all belly, breasts, and upper thighs in a 95/4/1 percent ratio)
I am stunned, dizzy, dazzled, exhausted, relieved is not a big enough word, I want to cry, to sleep, to lie on the sofa and spend the next 6 hours feeling the baby move.

The baby is head down, head right tucked in as it should be to get ready for the big reveal...(now I know what is where, I know what I thought was a knee is a butt)---

Holy crap people, what a wild ride THIS is.
I want to run around in circles, laugh, cry, jump up and down (ok, in reality only two of those four are actually options).

In this moment, it's all good.

21 August 2010

birth class and irony

Today ended softly, with a pearly gray sky and perfect stillness. I lay on the sofa and watched a tiny glimmer of light through the layered leaves of trees and the stillness was profound.

My uterus has been making itself known again with more frequent contractions but no sustained frequency that triggers the "call now" criteria. Just under the wire with up to 4 an hour, and last night one hour with 5-- I drink, I lie down, I pray.

The baby is incredibly active so I know that makes this more likely for me, these contractions are more likely with an active little one on board.

Today we spent in birth class, and I felt, as I most often do, as "other"-- older, the only IF couple who spoke of it, the only couple facing the known possibility/probability of a c-section.
It felt largely superfluous, but you never know. And the tour of the calm arena of normal deliveries felt like those artful photos of houses for sale, ideal, larger, cleaner, calmer than any reality ever is or can be...

We're thinking about delivering at Dartmouth, or Boston. There are three level 3 NICUs in New Hampshire (who knew?)- but I want to be in the safest place, and safest means skill and plenty of positve outcome experience not just with me, but with worst-case-scenario-baby care. I hope Tuesday brings clarity, a plan, and a referral, and not just a nebulous neither-here-nor-there that requires me to become ferocious. But if I need to, please know that I will, oh I will.

Tomorrow? Week 30 begins.

18 August 2010

Another quick update

Almost mid-way through week 29, and looking forward to next tuesday's appointment for many reasons. I'll get a glimpse of this wild animal currently inhabiting my midsection, and hopefully get a clearer picture of all that is happening in placenta and vessel land.

A recent search on google scared the crap out of my beloved sister, and, shortly thereafter, me. I have been SO GOOD and not googling stuff, and, well, yeah. So on Tuesday, unless the news is quite different regarding the vasa previa (news like, "we never said that!"), I'll be asking for a referral for a high risk OB/Maternal fetal medicine specialist to talk diagnosis and strategy. Anyone out there with a POSITIVE OUTCOME story (positives only), please please comment or write to me. Reassurance would be most welcome.

In this moment, the baby is rolling under the surface, and doing flutter kicks with the occasional wallop on the old cervix. Love love love love love this kind of reassurance more than I can say.

Genevieve, my email is icantwhistle at yahoo dot com--please feel free to write. I'd be happy to help however I can. Do you have a blog? You could even blog anonymously--the support you'll get is beyond anything you can imagine. Have you gone to cyclesista? You'll find others cycling at the same time you do, and it really helps. I swear without this on line community I would have gone completely nuts.

I am pretty convinced that this is a numbers game and is as much about luck as anything. Luck and tenacity and magic. How I wish for all of us that it were simpler.

16 August 2010

quick update

All is well, no blood since saturday, but sheesh-

So sorry babysteps to hear of your scares too-- that simply sucks.
Yes my placenta is still very low and I have vasa previa which is scary but we'll look again next tuesday to see if anything moved--

Definitely the blood was from the bad/scary place not the back door, BUT (ha, I make myself laugh) I think it is most likely due to my very vascular-ly active state plus some skin irritation.....

Any little scratch bleeds like hell these days.

Contractions every 20 minutes yesterday had me on alert, but they've calmed down and never triggered the 5/hour alarm so.... I guess this is all just one big morass of constant vigilance, TP checking, and trying to be calm.

I had a wonderful day yesterday with baby movement, just exactly as often as I needed them (thank you baby!) and picked up a 70 year old bassinet that has been in the family for that many generations. Weird to see such tangible evidence of impending baby-ness.

Week 29, praise the gods/goddess/all-that-is.

Thank you all for your immense kindness. This is just so scary. HUMBLING.
Hot damn.

13 August 2010

momentary panic

I peed, I wiped, I looked and there was a little blood. I wiped again, a little blood. really, truly, a small amount. But some is not none and I freaked out.
I called my Dr, but they were still on lunch break. I called my sister and had her talk peacefully to me while I waited.
I called again and got a great nurse-- told her the situation including the fact that I was freaking out. Including the fact that after yesterday's all day elbow extravaganza, the baby had been quite quiet today (finally moved a lot once I lay down)... she asked all the right questions, asked them quickly, and told me she'd run it past the doc and they'd call me back. 2 minutes later a doc called back--the same doc I spoke with during the contraction-o-rama of a month ago. She said to not be alarmed, that it was "not uncommon", and that most likely by tomorrow it would be gone. She went over things to watch for/worry about (increased blood, contractions, etc..). And (thankfully) only once since then has there been anything on the TP, but gosh darn....

I've written to a few of my posse these past few days about how, even in the face of apparent success, The Fear is never far. The distance to jump toward the assumption of calamity is always shorter than the jump toward any presumption of normalcy.
I'm ok, just sorry to discover how thin my skin is (literally most likely as well as figuratively).
I like to think I am strong and resilient, but really? I am just so scared that even this far along, Something Bad Will Happen.

So yeah, that crinkling sound is me, breathing into a bag.
All is well.

12 August 2010

me (US!) at 28 weeks

Ok Karen, you asked for it: The Belly Photo. Brought to you by my mom, taken last sunday.

The little one spent the day trying to ram its elbow though my belly button. I am now feeding him/her some cinnamon toast-- Udi's gluten free white bread toasted is AWESOME. Has some eggs but not enough to hurt me, some corn starch but not enough to hurt me, and toasted, it reminds me of, well, Toast.
Add non dairy buttery spread plus cinnamon and sugar and

PS that hair hanging from my armpit is not, in fact, armpit hair, promise.

08 August 2010

28 weeks

28 weeks.
And this little one is not so little anymore
all elbows and knees
turning just below the surface like a whale, long slow rolls...
then the next moment, bracing feet on hipbone, it reaches up, across on a diagonal to push hard enough so I am shifting, moving, adjusting. Most of the action is in my upper right quadrant-- getting kicked or thrashed somehow right now enough to make my belly jump, quick,sharp... my belly button is now buck toothed and angled so I can see into it, which is the oddest thing ever. We are not familiar, my belly button and I. It has always been an inny and super sensitive so I've left it alone. And the only way I'll know if I have stretch marks is to look in the mirror. There is no way to see the underside of The Belly otherwise.

Spent the morning doing work work and then saw my mom for a great visit (how lucky I am)-- a hot day but the air kept moving.
And now home and trying to orient myself- feeling pulled to do Work and wanting more than anything to do heartwork instead- but I wonder if I'll let myself. I need to get ready for next friday's kickoff of the next workshop (one more day in the giveaway if you've been on the fence-- just comment on heartwork by tomorrow evening!)

I'm in need of technical assistance-- anyone know how I can add a forum to wordpress? I've found some info, but am open to any help you can offer. I don't have the time I want (or the fast internet connection I need) to explore and iterate.

Momentary rain, now a cool breeze.

05 August 2010


The cat is licking rain from the screen door
rain that came down hard and fast, washing gravel onto the roads, the dirt from my car, petals from the dry coneflower onto ground so parched with thirst it is not dirt but dust...

Finally rain.
What we need is a 6 hour soaker- rain that comes and falls and stays, not floods and hammers, but I'll take it.

The little one woke early, had an hour of wild thumping that made me laugh even though it was dark out and I wanted to be sleeping more than almost anything
almost anything except to spend an hour lying with my hand on my belly, watching and feeling this wild animal rollicking around just under the surface. What is it thinking? Does it realize it has very little time to stretch before it gets so jam crammed in there that this sort of acrobatic kinesthetic frenzy won't be possible?

It is my friday night, my beginning, my doorway into a creative evening and friday... I'll be posting a new post up at heartwork shortly, announcing a giveaway for next week's journaling workshop.
Please stop by for the beautiful images if nothing else-- I love finding photos I love, and I love getting permission to use them! I've found that image seeking is one of the things I like best.

02 August 2010

should on my shoes

Apparently I am not very good at moderation-
I've been bingeing
obsessively on line researching and searching and hours pass
hours and hours
and I wonder why I feel so soul-drained.

So yesterday, a moratorium. I closed my computer and put it aside. I needed the away, but kept feeling like I SHOULD be doing, SHOULD be searching, SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD
I was amazing to feel the pull of the object- the closed notebook, right there, should be looking...

I've been sleeping poorly-- restless legs, restless mind, teacup sized bladder- and the tired, the big ass tired of first trimester feels like it is coming back.
I know it is stress, and this wonderful baby, and these huge chemical and physical changes. I wish I could lie down and day dream more.

After a full day of nonjoy online time friday (until 9pm), I decided I needed a break on saturday morning. So I went to the dump and then shopping.
I realized I needed to affirm the good stuff-- so-- a pack of newborn diapers, wipes, long sleeve onesies and 4 tiny pairs of pants (goodness they are adorable)-- one with stripes.

Then, to the craft store where I got cheap square frames for my square paintings and when I came home, I popped them in and Oh! They look just great! I've been shuffling them in a pile like cards.

I wish the affirming joy was as tenacious as the panic/searching/should be doing things feeling, but I'm glad I was able to visit it.

Today I am back at yoga after work-- they worked it out so I could come (felt I could not justify the splurge under the circumstances and they made adjustments), then to a tune up meeting with my therapist whom I have not seen since last year I think-- because, you know, LIFE WAS GOOD.

And it is August, and for those of you who have known me for a while, this month is particularly hard for me. So I will need to hold on to those things that bring me joy even tighter, stay as present as I can in and for the good stuff, remember to breathe, be outside, and spend time connecting.

So-- good stuff? My next writing workshop starts the 13th (see upper right for a link), and I'd love it if you'd spread the word. Another giveaway on my heartwork blog starting this thursday.

And the best good stuff? WEEK 27 BABY!
And tomorrow another check on the baby and the errant placenta.
Friday is my version of the gestational diabetes test-- I cannot drink the orange stuff since it is filled with corn sugar and I am corn free-- so each month we'll do a fasting blood draw, I'll have breakfast (then stop eating/drinking), and they'll check again in two hours after a I eat. Anything wonky and we'll start to do finger pricks etc-- all begins on friday so I can disrupt work minimally.

Ok then,
my apologies for being so absent here. And on your blogs. I miss you terribly. In my quest to be a little more balanced (HA, I make myself laugh), I hope to post a little more often. This connection really matters, and it sucks to watch me give up the stuff that I love so easily because other shoulds are louder.

If my soul and heart are not fed, I am going to be in deep shit, so I need to realize that This is just as important as That for my wellbeing, and give myself permission.

Oh, so much easier said than done.