A Tender Reminiscence

I had all the intentions of writing some thoughtful, well versed piece tonight in commemoration of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

But 1 tea party, 2 children and 1 sick husband tucked in bed, 2 grant proposals, and a million work emails answered-later my brain is fried. All that’s left are just some wandering thoughts.

October 9th came and went with little recognition.

I bought an ivy.

I named her Gretchen.

She sits on my desk hutch at work, basking in the natural and florescent lights. She’s spoiled.

I thought about taking the day off but then decided I would work the first half and then maybe take off early. But then I ended up staying all day. It was probably better that I did that.

Dylan and I went out to eat at Olive Garden with the girls and enjoyed some family time together. It’s so rare lately that we’re all in one place together without one of us rushing out the door and blowing kisses in passing. Such is this time of life.

And it hits me that she (I’ve decided that she would’ve been) would be around four months now, give or take a couple weeks.

And that’s hard.

But not as hard as it was last year.

Or last month.

But still hard nonetheless.

And so I press on, acknowledging the truth and finding solace in the Psalms. In my husband and my daughters. In Moses, the ever constant, neurotic pug companion of mine. In my friends and family. In books and music. In the experiences of the everyday constants. The routine. The surprises and unknowns.

I’m not sure if it ever gets easier, I can’t imagine experiencing this type of ferocious emotion again. I pray I don’t. But I think that, in hindsight and with the strength of being a year out, I’ll be okay and life has and will continue in this new normal. A normal that changes and gains meaning each day because of and not because of October 9th.

What a darkly funny date to be emblazoned in my memory alongside mine and my husband’s anniversary, our children’s birth dates, our family’s birth dates, my airplane day, all these dates that I’ve committed to memory for one reason or another.

But Gretchen’s charming. And healthy. And she purifies my dry office air.

She’s got long, graceful limbs and her leaves arch in the most delicate way. She makes my desk seem inviting, and soothing.

A tender reminiscence.

Pondering an anniversary

2 Loves

2 Loves…how I miss those chubby chins.

My Facebook feed was blown up yesterday due to a 40th anniversary. I read an article from Eugene Cho: To whom it may concern: Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the life that could be lived out. because of it. I’ve read many articles about it, on it, the whys and why nots for and against it. And I have to be honest with you.

I’m a fence rider.

Not because I don’t believe in the sanctity of life. Not because I don’t believe women shouldn’t have a right to determine what happens to their bodies. Not because I don’t believe that God intended humanity to be filled with beauty and life. Not because I believe that church and state are mostly and should be separated.

Not because I am sinful…or maybe because I am.

But truthfully, where is the argument or at least the point, when at the end of the day both sides are hurting? Woman, baby, families, broken in two by the loss of love? The loss of compassion? The loss of grace?

I’ve been reading a book that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas, Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. It’s focus on grace, on thanksgiving…I think is a genius answer to the hatred and pain that is felt throughout this argument. It’s exploration of the basis of sin and evil in the world being rooted in our ungrateful hearts, in a lack of thanksgiving. Through these reflections on faith and practice she connects the pieces together a little bit more for me on my own beliefs. Grace. What is grace?

I’m not looking for a debate or a fight or really anything, mostly I’m just shifting through my thoughts. I realize this won’t make sense to some and maybe will to others. As a mother, as a daughter, as an adoptee who doesn’t know her birth parents, as a child of God, and more simply as a player in humanity…I don’t dare to profess I have all the answers. I long for the goodness, the gratefulness that we once had as perfectly created and perfectly seeing, and in that longing I attempt to make a life and a belief that emulates what could have been. What is if we humble ourselves to embrace grace.

Shanna Came to Town!

Shanna was in Minnesota for a week or so! So…Ada, Nellie and I took a short road trip to Fergus to see her. We miss you lady!
Nellie sleeping…again.
Both my girls are water babies–they can’t get enough of bath time!

Nellie’s Birth Day!

Time has gotten away from me again.
My beautiful, little Nellie So will be two weeks old tomorrow and I can’t believe that. She’s been such a blessing to us and now that she’s here, I can’t imagine our lives without her. Funny how that works.
This birth was so different from the last–so much less complicated and scary. So much easier.
My parents arrived Monday afternoon and settled in–they stayed the week to help us take care of Ada and take care of the everyday house things to which we are immensely grateful! I don’t think I could’ve managed the first day home by myself!! (No, Dylan didn’t abandon me, he had school.)
We checked into Labor & Delivery at 5:30 am and they did some paperwork/went over the process of an elective c-section with us and then we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more until 7:15 am when my surgery was scheduled. They roused me from the bed and I went into the OR where they administered a spinal block and other such preparations. Dylan joined me shortly thereafter (husbands aren’t allowed in the room during the prep as they are worried about fainters).
The atmosphere was so different this time–I cannot stress that enough. With Ada, everyone was rushing, it was so fast, it was so unknown, I was so scared and the doctors chatted about lunch as they sewed me up. This time I small talk with my anesthesiologists, my nurses and the doctors included me in on their discussion during the aftermath of the birth. It was lighter, calmer, friendlier and much less stressful.
Nellie So was born on November 30, 2010, at 7:50 am via C-section. She was 7 lb. 15.1 oz. and measured 20 inches long. The minute she was born she let us know who she was and hasn’t stopped grunting, groaning, chirping since.
The following is her altru.org/nursery picture that they put up following her birth:
After recovery, they moved us into our room. I had my fingers crossed the entire three day stay so that I wouldn’t have to have a roommate. Currently our hospital is remodeling it’s Labor & Delivery ward and seven of the rooms available for recovering mothers were uninhabitable. AND there was a rash of births the first night and day after Nellie was born.
Mommy & Nellie’s first pictures & video:
More pictures from our stay:
And there you have it folks. Nellie’s Birth Day and our hospital stay!

November 30, 2010

I had my 36 week appointment today with Dr. Brown and even got to see little Miss Nellie prior to talking with him. She’s growing like a weed and weighing in at approximately 5 lb and 13 oz.

Everything looks good.

She’s healthy, thriving and beautiful. She looks so much like Ada! She’s got the same little button nose, chin and kissable little mouth. I am so excited to meet her!

Which brings me to my next statement, Nellie So will be born on November 30, 2010, if she doesn’t decide to appear earlier. After much discussion and thought, I scheduled a repeat c-section for that day–and I have decided that if she were to come any earlier, to go through a trial of labor. This has been a very hard decision for me to make, but ultimately, I feel that I am making the safest and best choice for Nellie and myself.

But, like I said, if she comes early, we’ll go through a trial of labor…which…Dr. Brown says that as of today, Nov. 9th, I am already 75% effaced, about 1 cm dilated and sitting at a -2 station. So…it’s anyone’s guess as to when she’ll really debut! 🙂

31 Week Belly Pictures

For you Britney…these were taken at 31 weeks…I’m 33 today. So I guess I’ll think about getting around to some newer ones eventually.
Hopefully these will appease you for the time being. 🙂

November Baby?

Baby is getting friskier everyday and I’m having lots and lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. Thinking, maybe, hopefully, we’ll have another holiday baby and on/around my favorite holiday no less!

What’re the chances?
Good, I hope.
We’re trying to get the Buick sold so that we can buy some new tires for the Honda. We received new ones as a Christmas present prior to moving to California but they have certainly seen their fare share of mileage since then. In fact, the maintenance guy at work came into my office today to remind me to get my tires rotated since they “appear to be wearing on the outside” and that I should think about getting new tires before it “gets icy and (you) have another baby.” I think the remainder will go to pay off some more debt before Nellie appears but then again, it may go towards a snowblower. Blizzard Alvin really rocked us last year.
But back to a November baby–that would make me smile. And then Michelle and I could show them off at Perkins come Christmastime!
I’ve got my priorities straight!!

Nellie Measures 33 Weeks

So after much debate…I think that I am going to attempt a trial of labor and not schedule a c-section. If anything should change my mind, it would be at our 36 week scan in which we will check to see what position the baby is in and get a weight estimate. If Nellie is larger than her cousin Lael or bigger than what her Daddy was or breech or something of that nature…I think that maybe we’ll talk about our surgical options. Otherwise, I think we’re (hahaha…who’re we kidding? It’s me that goes through labor), I mean, I am going to try and think positive about VBAC. (That’s Vaginal Birth After Cesarean for those of you not up to snuff on baby-making-and-baking terms.)

I’m still on the fence. But not as much.
I wish it was easier to make a decision as big as this, but if there’s anything I learned about planning from Ada’s arrival, it’s that nothing can be planned.
On another note, we did see Dr. Brown today for the first time in ages. We’ve been seeing my nurse practitioner and finally were able to break into my OB’s schedule. Apparently my Nellie belly measures 33 weeks–I am 31 weeks and 4 days today. I guess that’s not too off, but it makes me nervous. With Ada I measured right on every time, all the time. And now that I’m attempting VBAC, I want everything to go as smooth as possible. But again, I guess I’ll just have to let go and trust.
Oh. AND we learned that Dr. Brown will be GONE from December 1-5th!! My due date is December 13th and I was initially scheduled to have my section done on the 3rd. I’m freaking out a little.
I guess on the upside, he is going to be on-call during Thanksgiving this year…so maybe Nellie you should heed my advice and come out as a holiday baby.
Please?
Well, after I’ve eaten my turkey and mashed potatoes that is…and don’t tell me. I already know about that whole pooping thing. I will take my chances for a delicious meal.

UGH.

I think the title of this post explains it…or at least it should.

Last night I officially crossed the “I-Can’t-Wait-For-This-Baby-To-Be-Out-Of-Me” stage. Seriously.
I think I had heartburn for 7 HOURS.
NO LIE.
I thought I was going to die.
I was eating TUMS and pouting, pacing the quiet house (everyone else was in the blessed land of sleep) trying to ignore the burning sensation traveling up my throat. Gross.
Oh Nellie.
I love you very much but I am ready to have a little more control over my body again.
What?
Breastfeeding?
Oh yeah. Well, kind of have my body back anyway…