Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I'm 41 weeks, 2 days today and had an appointment this morning with one of my favorite midwives.  I am still not dilated at all and have a low Bishop's score, but we are in agreement that it's time to move forward with an induction.  Due to aspects of the acrania/anencephaly, Naomi's body is not signaling to my body that it is time for her to come out like it otherwise would.  Despite the low Bishop's score, my previous strong birth history will hopefully mean that my body will respond quickly to the interventions and start doing what it's supposed to with just a little prodding.

We were looking at going in tonight but they are fairly busy right now so it's going to be tomorrow morning.  Unfortunately our area is getting yet another blizzard of 8-12 inches of snow expected on Wednesday/Thursday.  I already can't see the road when parked at my house due to the insanely high snow banks, so I don't know where this snow is going to go, but at least it's one thing I don't have to be the one to deal with.  Hopefully the roads will still be relatively clear when we head in to the hospital.

I won't say that I *want* to be induced as of course I would prefer for it to just happen naturally, but obviously there are many things about this pregnancy that I would change if I had the power to do so.  I can't go back in time and prevent us being exposed to norovirus.  I can't snap my fingers and make a blizzard not come.  I can't wish for my body to go into labor and expect it to do so at my command.  I can't just decide for my baby to be healthy and have it be so.  All I can do is keep going forward, trying to make the least worse choices.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oops, it was a blizzard.

We got well over a foot of snow, but I stayed inside oblivious to it as the men did all the shoveling and also helped the kids build a snowman.  Roads are clear again now and we didn't lose power. 

Logic would say that birth would feel more imminent after passing 41 weeks, since there is less potential waiting time left than there is at 37-39 weeks. But instead it reminds me of the story of the boy who cried wolf. After every day you expect it and it doesn't happen, eventually it honestly feels like it's just not going to.

My next appointment is tomorrow morning, however dh and BIL got hit with the virus overnight.  They are the last two, making 8 out of 8.  Hopefully they heal quickly as obviously we want and need daddy to be healthy and present for the birth.  That factor will probably delay any potential induction plans to be discussed at the appointment.  I am feeling totally back to normal and sipping on red raspberry leaf tea now.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

40 weeks + 6 days + norovirus - blizzard

At this point in my previous pregnancies, my oldest was an hour old and my second baby was a week old.  So I'm officially pregnant longer than I've ever been pregnant before.  Because my second came so quickly (1.5 hour precipitous labor), my stepdad, mom, sister, and BIL all arrived a week ago from out of state.  While everyone knows it's easy to go past an estimated due date, acknowledging it and experiencing it are always two different things.  With my husband being home, five people have missed a week's worth of work waiting on Naomi.  Luckily all of the various employers are being accommodating of our situation.  My mom and stepdad are staying at a nearby hotel and my sister and BIL are staying with us.

Unfortunately, along with our guests came a nasty case of norovirus.  It hit my stepdad on Monday after which he stayed quarantined at the hotel.  Then my mom on Wednesday.  On Thursday at 3:30am, I abruptly woke up to my 2yo standing in my face with what I thought was snot all over his hands.  It wasn't snot.  On Friday, my 6yo's teacher said she thought dd wasn't feeling well as she had fallen asleep at a school assembly at the end of the day.  Later that evening, I walk by her in the living room and she tells me, "Mommy, go look in the bathroom but TAKE YOUR SOCKS OFF, ok?  Take your socks off.  I said take your socks off!"  (I guess I have a bit of a rep for being disgruntled when my socks get wet from water on the bathroom floor.)  The bug had hit her too and she hadn't made it to the toilet.  Later on while moaning and waiting for it to strike again, she turned to daddy and said, "I miss being myself."  My sister and I succumbed overnight, so dh and BIL are the last two standing.  Luckily the grandparents are all well enough now to take over caring for the kids.  The 2yo hit 24-hours without vomiting early this morning (and also slept 12 hours straight, unusual for him), and while the 6yo had much more frequent and intense episodes last night, has also been fine since then.  My sister and I have each spent most of the day in bed, but seem to be recovering well.  Other than the few times I have been in the bathroom, I haven't had other pain or nausea.  Just feeling very drained of energy.  My poor sister has been having "sympathy contractions" though, as she called it.  Her and BIL have retreated to the hotel room.

We are in NH and the weather reports had been calling for a blizzard this weekend.  Luckily the storm has declined and now we're just looking at some crummy roads and a few inches of snow.  Not great but nothing like the Nemo storm from two weekends ago.

I know lots of people are praying for us, and at least some would like to know specifically what to pray for.  So here you go.
  • that my husband does not catch this virus, and if he does that it pass quickly before Naomi comes (this goes for BIL too of course)
  • that I'm able to continue healing quickly, as this virus seems to like recurring for several days
  • that Naomi waits just a bit longer to make her appearance, due to the above
  • safe travel for everyone if we end up going in during this weekend's storm
My next appointment is on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

40 weeks + 2 days...

Nothing to report yet, but figured I'd check in for those only following me by this blog.  Bags are ready to go, family is here and waiting, just need Naomi to decide it's time!

Friday, February 8, 2013

He's home!!!

While local friends knew about this, anyone I communicate with primarily online probably does not as I tried not to be public about it.  My husband has been living and working in another state 3 hours away since August.  It was something he signed up for before Naomi's diagnosis and we decided to proceed with it anyway.  We actually drove an hour in order to squeeze in the appointment with the MFM specialist to get the official diagnosis a few days before he left, as a local appointment wasn't available until the day after he left.  Through the end of 2012, the kids and I would make the drive and spend the weekend with him about twice a month, and he would come home once a month, and we'd have to skip a weekend, on average.  He was home (and working, but locally) for the week in between Christmas and New Year's, then we went to see him for the long weekend over MLK Jr. Day, but that's all we've seen him since December.  I've pretty much been single-parenting for the last six months.

He has been very careful to not use any time-off, as his employer, the federal government, does not offer any paternity leave.  (Which I think is crazy, as Wal-mart of all places gave him a fully paid two weeks!)  And he only gets something like 2-3 bereavement days.  We had planned for his last day to be Friday, 2/8 and he would drive back either that night or the next morning.  On Wednesday the 6th I heard the weather reports and texted him to say that I thought he should leave a day early.  It's one thing to be 3 hours away with a due date one week away, it's another to be this close and have blizzard predictions of crazy amounts like 20"-40" standing between you.  He made it home early this morning, in time to make pancakes for breakfast for everyone.  He said the roads were fine until the very end, when it was getting thick enough that everyone was choosing to drive in the same lane on the highway that was clearest.  He is home for good now, unless or until we decide he should volunteer to go back.  He will go back to work locally on Monday.

Some have wondered why I didn't just move down there and stay with him as the assignment could have lasted until June.  We considered it, but we did not know until he arrived that his accommodations would be so large (a 2-bedroom furnished apartment that we called "the hotel" instead of daddy's apartment).  We also were nervous about the assignment being cut short for some reason, and disrupting our daughter's school year.  Or how to handle taking care of our home while we were gone.  But perhaps the #1 reason was that I didn't want to uproot us from our social support network here.  The idea of an extrovert like me being stuck in a new area with no friends, home all day with kids while he was at work, did not sound like a good idea.  As nice as it is to see him every day, I thought me being that secluded would actually be more stressful for us all than maintaining a long-distance relationship would be.

On that note, now I will share with you some of the beautiful gifts I have received in the last week, all from local friends.  The first pic is from a blessingway that friends threw for me last Sunday.

And here is a close-up of the hats they have made for Naomi.
The top row is actually handkerchiefs that have been converted into bonnets, and can be turned back into handkerchiefs.  The basket in the first pic is full of these.  It is good to have a large variety of hats so that we have better chances of having one on hand that will fit her perfectly.  I will be giving any extras to the hospital, as they keep a stash of hats on hand for other special babies.

I was presented with another special craft too, but will wait until I receive the finished masterpiece before revealing it.

I have not taken a picture of my deep freezer, but I've also gotten meals from several friends.  It will be so nice to have some ready-made delicious meals on hand, that we can just make when the time is right without worrying about a drop-off schedule, returning dishes, etc.

I still have an incredibly long to-do list to tackle before giving birth.  I would have thought there would be less to do, as we're not preparing the house for another baby, but it feels like more.  I have four sets of paperwork to complete and several people to e-mail.  Lots to keep me busy during this impending blizzard.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A bit of overspending, and some gifts

Last week, I did something shocking.  Something I have never done before in my life.

I paid full price for new baby clothes from Gymboree.  While those who don't know me might not find this statement shocking, those who do will probably be picking their jaws up off the floor right now.

Here's what $104.70 got me:

Now in my defense, I do plan to return whichever outfit and jacket is not used, but I wanted to have both on hand just in case.  The left outfit is for under 5 pounds and the right one is for 5-9 pounds.  I'm guessing she will fit into the one on the right.  Her siblings were 10 pounds and 9lb4oz.  She definitely won't weigh as much as they did as so much weight is in the skull, but even if her body is similar in size, I think she will fit into a 5-9lb outfit.  Even with my big babies, newborns come out so scrunched up that they fit well in smaller clothes at first.  In general, anencephaly babies run small and I'm measuring a little small too (I usually measure large).  The strawberry cap is for up to 5 pounds, and then the other thing is just a little plush strawberry rattle (photo prop).

This week I decided that I should get a few more outfits too, and I went to Kohl's for Carter's outfits.  This time I spent a little more at $148.11, but got a lot more:

The top left outfit is a size 6mo.  I grabbed it anyway so I can remember it to look for a NB size, but looking at the Carter's website, it looks like they only manufactured it as small as 0-3mo.  Everything else is newborn size.  Also grabbed some cute socks and booties.  I'm not sure how well they match up to the non-footed outfits as my 2yo was running up and down aisles by that point and I had to go.  I still need to spend some time deciding which outfits are my favorites and which ones I would use first.  Again, I plan to return the ones that we don't use.  I can't decide about washing them first or not.  Usually I would wash baby clothes first, but I don't really know which ones we will use.  I obviously won't want to wash them after.  I know Kohl's will accept the items for return even if washed (so I could theoretically just wash it all and return what's unused), but I don't feel right doing that either.

I have also received some beautiful gifts in the last week or two.

The gown, hat, and booties on top are from a family friend, my Auntie Helen.  The blanket, hats, and CD on the left are from my mom's coworker Dorothy and her mom.  The white blanket on the right is a prayer shawl from women at my mother-in-law Sue's church.  And the u/s frame and pink heart are from my Aunt Debbie and Gram.  Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and beautiful gifts.