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i’ve been working on my resume and job-hunting a bit this week, as i contemplate my new role as mother and career woman (or so i am hoping).

in perusing my files i came across a short essay i wrote for a vocational and occupational class i took in 2008 as part of my graduate education.  it was to be my statement of intent—a declaration of my career goals and pursuits.  i wrote it just one week after the first day of my very first miscarriage, when i found it difficult to declare even what i’d wear that day, much less what i was going to do with my life.  my graduation was just a few months away and i didn’t care anymore…it reads as follows:

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A mere eight weeks ago, my statement of intent may have read: when I graduate I plan to celebrate in a big way—months of celebration, culminating in a two week exotic vacation with my husband who consistently believes in my ability as a therapist even when I do not.  Along with celebrating, I also intend to begin the process of setting up my private practice by securing office space and designing my webpage.  I also intend to pursue possible agency work to gain experience and hours in a clinical setting.  I set goals for myself including securing fifteen clients by December 2008 and creating an office space that reflects warmth, tenderness and safety.  I felt like I would burst into the sky like a rocket ship from anticipation at the thought of embarking on fulfilling these goals and dreams.

Just four weeks ago, my statement of intent completely shifted when I discovered I was pregnant.  Fear and delight gripped me at the thought of rearranging my timeline, my vision of what life would look like in the coming months as I would need to make an enormous amount of space in my life for a tiny little bundle.  I had not previously known how deeply I desired to mother.  Then, my intention was to put my professional aspirations temporarily on hold, perhaps facilitating a group one night per week until I felt freer to pursue my goals.  I envisioned pushing back my “fifteen client” goal about two years from now.  I was beginning to wrap my mind around the possibility of being a mom and a therapist as a new “timeline” began to take shape in me.

In the wake of my miscarriage, I no longer have a clue what in the world I will be doing (or even feeling like doing) tomorrow, much less in three months.  At this moment in time the idea of making a declaration of my intentions, professing my hopes and dreams, feels unbearable.  I feel enraged.  I feel scared.  As it turns out, I was on the rocket ship Challenger, which exploded in mid-air.  In the wake of trauma and death, I am again so painfully aware of the fragility of life.  Making declarations such as these requires a level of bold courage and hope that I am currently not able to locate within myself.  However, I believe that tiny little pockets of hope are hidden among the ashes.  I will wait for them to bubble to the surface and I will honor my desire by continuing to hope for a future as a therapist and a mother, whatever shape that will take.  When I graduate, I intend to remain close to my heart, give myself as much space as possible to grieve and heal, and retain the tenderness and passion I have come to love about myself as a therapist.  Beyond that, I am unable to say at this point.  I will keep you posted.

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may i say, i am SO relieved to be past those early, early days.  i do not know how i got through them…i do know that i felt clueless as to where i was headed or why.

and while the memories of my much desired pregnancies remain ever with me, i feel so different today.  i feel content in a new way that i’ve not previously known.  i feel inspired to pursue my career goals more freely and more fully than i have up to this point.  i feel empowered.

and i still don’t have a clue where i’m headed…but i know where i’ve been and i believe and trust that my biggest asset today is my ability to find my way through those painful, horrific seasons with some sort of dignity. 

what i know now that i didn’t know then is that i’d one day have a lil’ bear whose smile melts my heart to no end.

and she’s exactly 12 weeks old today!

i.am.so.grateful.

i’ve felt torn over whether to post pics of our little bear on here.  but she’s just so adorable, how can i keep her to myself any longer?

here are a few of my favorites…

our bear in her special little hat from guatemala…a gift

 

 

i just love this pic…her binky face is just the sweetest

 

oh to be this peaceful…such sweetness…

as they say, don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched!

i guess i did some pre-mature chicken counting.  either that or our little bear has been reading this blog and decided to teach me a lesson. 🙂  (although i shouldn’t complain b/c she did sleep for 6 hours straight last night and was either sleeping or eating from 9p to 9a…i’m thinking we’ll be back on track in no time.)

it seems this cold has really knocked us down a few pegs in the learning-to-sleep and the sleeping through the night departments….sadly.

our little sniffle bear is still sniffling away…so much so that we got a cool mist vaporizer to see if that would help her sleep.  my huz has some kind of bug that he’s fighting off, too, so we’re hurtin’ over here in the bear family.

but…i did hear of the cutest thing from springroll over at from here to fertility.  she told me in a comment about wubbanubs…these adorable little stuffed animals that hold a paci in place for your little sprite.

they are too cute and i’m seriously contemplating getting one to see if that would help her locate it when it slips from her mouth…most of the time she cries out and all she needs us to do is replace it for her a couple of times until she’s in a deep enough sleep not to care anymore.  i find this a simple, but highly annoying task.  up and down the stairs trying to will that stupid binky to stay in her mouth or hoping she’ll give up caring if she’s sucking anymore.

but she doesn’t typically like to suck on that type of paci, so i’m not sure if it will work.  i did give her a paci like the wubbanub paci to her this afternoon and she sucked on it for a bit, which surprised me…maybe it would work afterall?

do any of you have any wubbanub experience?  do tell!

in other breaking news…………..yesterday was a papa bear and baby bear day.  i was off to a conference all day in a nearby city, while my huz was on full-time solo baby patrol.  they did fabulously, even though both are under the weather!  my huz doesn’t really realize what a big deal it is for me that he’s as well-versed in caring for our little bear as i am (well, i like to think i’m a little better at it!).  🙂  it makes me very happy that we’re both so invested in her little life.  i could not–and would not want to–do this on my own.  hats off to single parents everywhere!

and a major hats off to my huz!

this will be a shorty, but goody, i assure you!

our baby girl was born today at 12:24p weighing 8lbs 8oz and measuring 21 and 3/4 inches long.

holy moly…giving birth is the craziest, most empowering thing i’ve ever done. 

we are home and doing very well.  more details to follow!!

first, happy 30th birthday, MEG.!!!

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obviously, we all know the likelihood that a baby will be born on her due date is very slim…in fact, only 5%-ish of babes actually are.

this means, i am now moving into the majority!  i thought all along that she’d be born yesterday, the 30th.  so that’s what i considered my due date (based on ovulation and her measurements at our first u/s at 6wks2d)…my midwives have always gone by the 31st b/c that’s her due date based on the first day of my lmp.  however, at my 12wk u/s the tech tried to tell me my due date was moved up to the 20th of march or something like that!  imagine how disappointed i’d be by now if my midwives and i had gone with that date!? 

of course, we knew it was impossible for me to be due that many days earlier, as it’s no mystery—none at all—as to when i ovulated and such.  i’m really really really thankful we didn’t change my date back then b/c although i was excited to think we’d meet her sooner, by now they’d be talking a hospital transfer and induction…two things i’m hoping to avoid if at all possible. 

i’m using this time to practice patience and trusting in my body and this baby to know what to do about birthing and when.  i keep letting her know that whenever she wants to come out she’s welcome and will be received with joy and love, but if it’s not time, it’s not time and that’s okay.  we have several more days before it becomes urgent in any way, as long as she remains healthy and isn’t distressed.

but i will say, even with all of this practicing and all of my good intentions toward patience and everything else, i’m sad to see these days come and go without her arrival.  i’m increasingly feeling like staying in and hunkering down…driving sounds miserable to me…so i don’t want to go anywhere or do anything that involves getting in the car…unless we’re heading to the birth center, that is!  and each time i feel a contraction i get excited…then sad when they peeter out.  so, it’s hard sometimes to not want to pressure the baby or doubt that my body knows what it’s doing…after all, staying pregnant was difficult, what if my body doesn’t know how to birth?!?

but it does.  and things will get moving when the time is right.  i’m just hoping it’s soon b/c i can’t wait to check this little one out!

well, there’s been a lot of practice labor around here lately.  each night for a few hours i experience intermittent contractions.  the other night they were happening 10 mins apart for nearly an hour and i was almost sure it was the real thing.   i was getting so excited and doing my breathing and relaxation techniques and feeling confident and happy.

but then it wasn’t really happening.

and that was okay, too, because although i was a little sad, i was also a little relieved and happy to have the practice.  i’m learning the feeling of the contractions and taking every opportunity to put into action everything i’ve been working on for the last few months.  i’m going to be the next hypnobirthing star! 

i hope.

but maybe not.

i never know how it will go when things really start rocking and rolling.  all i can say is, i’m getting very, very excited to experience the most intimate and empowering experience ever…….and it’s going to happen very soon!! 

or at least i hope it’s soon.  because i’m going out of my mind with excitement.

and i’m a little bored and lonely, too, being at home without much ability to lift, bend, scrub, work, etc.  driving in the car is more and more uncomfortable.  i go for walks every day, but it’s more and more difficult to go any real distance.  i’m working hard at keeping myself occupied, but sometimes i’m just plain bored and longing to have my body back.

right now i feel like i really want to get this show on the road!  and i want to meet this little girl, to see her little toes that have been poking me all these months…and to find out if she got my huz’s bendy thumbs (which i really hope she did…i don’t like my thumbs). 

but i know babies come when they are ready and when the timing is right.  so, i will do my best to wait patiently while she soaks up these last few days in the safety of my womb…relishing in nourishing her with  my body while longing to hold her in my arms.  after all this time, i know i can wait a few more days, even a couple of weeks if i have to.

holy crap.

my midwives say 8 days, but i say 7. 

7 days….more or less.  sometimes i think more.  sometimes i think less.

last night as we were settling down for the night, my huz said, “we made it to 39 weeks!  remember when we were at 9 wks?”

at 9 wks we were visiting with family in the hills of tennessee.  i remember when i told my dad that week that i was pregnant again and a flash of excitement crossed his face, rapidly followed by a worried expression while saying, “how are you feeling?”  obviously he was happy for us and worried, too.  just as we were…but by that point, we’d seen and heard her precious little heartbeat pounding away for the first time…something we’d never seen in our previous pregnancies.  i remember worrying back then about every little thing…now i just worry about every other little thing.

i was worried about flying.  about going through the security screening machine thingie (which i refused and opted for a pat down instead…whether or not this pleased the security staff).  i worried about eating enough antioxidants.  i worried when i’d forget to drink my herbal supplement.  i had a horrible time sleeping through the night, especially falling asleep in the first place.  i made a million trips to the bathroom every night.  and we had fun too, believe it or not. 

at 9wks, i thought 39wks would never come.  back in august, march seemed an eternity away.  yet here we are…facing laboring and birthing…preparing our hearts and our home to welcome this little wrinkly pink wonder into our lives…practicing with the moby wrap…and, of course, my huz’s continued practice burping of our cats.

what a difference 30 wks of healthy pregnancy has made in easing our anxiety levels…and yet, many days there’s still plenty of worry to go around.  but not yesterday.

yesterday, at my 39wk-ish midwife appt i learned:

fundus height is 39cm (perfect!)

bp is 124/66 (lovely)

no protein or sugars in my urine (yay!)

baby’s heart rate is in the 150’s (strong and beautiful)

her head is “very low” (getting ready to labor and birth!)

and, finally–though i knew this already and did not learn it at my appt–i have no (pregnancy induced) stretch marks to date!!  this is perhaps the most shocking news of all to me.  i once read that if you have stretch marks from adolescent growing or extra weight, that you’d get them in pregnancy; if not, you won’t.  doesn’t matter if you use creams or not, etc.  well, i am living proof……(so far)…….this isn’t true.  so, if you’re pregnant and feeling some burning or discomfort as your belly grows, i highly recommend applying burts bees belly balm liberally morning and night!  and i do mean liberally.

that’s all i know for now…39wks and counting.  i’ll keep y’all posted!

i’m so happy to report that at my appt yesterday–two weeks after the initial scare–my blood pressure has returned to my usual 120’s over 70’s and there was no sugar or protien in my urine….which means i didn’t have to have my blood drawn again….big celebration over that little piece of good fortune!!

thank you nina planck and your book real food for mothers and babies!  i can’t say enough good things about this author or the books i’ve read of hers…i know i’m a broken record on this.  what can i say?

my pregnancy ticker says “14 days until my due date”!  how did that happen so fast??!!

38 weeks, here i come!

this is going to be a post of assorted tidbits from my life these days…maybe a bit random, but hopefully worth the read.

first, if you are pregnant and you’d like to practice your birthing technique of choice (for me it’s hypnobirthing), i suggest you try having your eye brows threaded rather than waxed.  oh my.  wow.  i went today for my first brow threading since i’m trying to get things tidied up before this baby comes (only to fall behind again on all the upkeep, i’m sure!) and  i must say, waxing might not be as en vogue, but i do prefer having the pain over with more quickly.  wow.  it was intense and i was trying my best to stay relaxed and calm, visualizing myself going limp and loose, but it was a challenge for sure!  have you ever tried the brow threading?  what do you think?!

it does feel good to have my furry brows under control again, though…and that makes the pain worth it i suppose.

when i got home i decided to call my grandma (my mom’s mom).  she’s 95 and a crack up.  ever since she moved into an assisted living home right around christmastime, she’s spunky in a way i haven’t previously known her to be.  anyway, she was asking me how i was doing…how many more days…etc.  then i told her that my dad will be sure to call her when the baby comes and she said,

 “now, lilly, just so you know, i have all these grandchildren and great-grandchildren and i don’t send them presents.  so i don’t want you to be disappointed.  i haven’t sent all the other kids presents when they were born, so i can’t start with yours.”

oh my gosh, i laughed so hard.  and that got her laughing too.  so there we were, 95 year old and 33 year old, laughing together and it was a moment of pure joy.  she was just so her in that moment and i wasn’t expecting her to just say it outright like that.  of course, i knew all along that there would be no gift from her, so that part was no surprise (i am one of her many grandchildren, after all)…i’m just not used to her actually acknowledging it!  she’s a funny lady, even if she can be a bit crotchety too. 

talking to her always makes me long to talk to my mom…she says some of the same expressions my mom always said when used to talk on the phone….like after i’d fill my mom in on a whole bunch of my happenings and then she’s say, “well, what else is going on?  anything?”  i remember one time responding to my mom, “geez, mom…i just told you about a ton of things that are going on…isn’t that enough?!”  and we laughed.  i miss her.  i miss her more and more as this baby’s birthing day draws closer.  i wish my huz (not just me) would have her extra support, too, when i’m laboring.  but, alas, that’s not what is to be, though that doesn’t keep me from wishing.

today i’m 37 weeks…technically full term.  a day i never knew i’d reach way back when getting to the 8 week mark with a viable pregnancy felt nearly impossible.  and here we are.  certainly, life continues to be uncertain….as it is for all of us, but i must say——-we are pretty damn excited to have made it this far! 

and with the excitement comes the sadness and loss…i’m engaged in many endings and this is naturally sad.  i’m winding down with my nanny family and trying to plan a last day together that will be meaningful and memorable.  the older child (11 yo) is especially aware of my impending absence.  she reminds me each time i see her how many days until our last day, how many days until our baby’s due date…she asks me repeatedly if i would please email her when the baby is born, which of course i will.  i assure her that i’m going to stay in touch and that i want her to know this baby…she reminds me so much of myself in certain meaningful relationships…tenderly attached, yet so afraid of losing our connection. 

then there are the last lunch dates with “just the girls”, last weekends spent lazing around watching lo.st with our friend for hours and hours…last dates with the huz…last moments of spontaneously jumping in the car and running off to get something or do something or see someone.

now, i know that eventually we will be spontaneous, we will still have our friendships, we will have lazy-ish days…but in a new way.  and i know that feeling these losses, talking about the changes with friends and our mutual sadness over those changes, are such a part of what will continue to make me the kind of mom, friend and woman i long to be……..tender, aware, alive, authentic…and so i keep moving forward, feeling my feelings along the way.

and on top of all these things?  we are just plain excited with anticipation!  it’s like the longest night before christmas ever!!

well, well, well….we passed a couple major milestones this weekend.

first, just when we’d given up on having the crib we loved (b/c we couldn’t justify the expense at the moment), my huz’s entire office–multiple departments–came together to give us a huge surprise………all the cash we needed to buy the crib we’d been hoping for!  so, while my in-laws disappointed us when they sent a board game, we were more than elated to receive such a generous gift from an unexpected source.  as i was leaving his office after the party, my huz grabbed me for a hug and said, “sweetie, life is full of surprises!”  yes it is.

perhaps the biggest surprise is that we put the crib together on friday night without any arguing or frustration!  i thought it was going to be a struggle and i was actually afraid to start putting it together…especially since our last few weekends have been a struggle for us and i just wanted to be able to enjoy our weekend…but i reluctantly agreed to try assembling it when my huz suggested we spend our evening in that way.  it turned out to be fun and exciting……and, naturally, our cats had to try out the new digs.  since then we’ve kept the door closed so they can’t get in there and make her crib their new home. 🙂

and finally, my huz wanted to install the car seat into his car yesterday and practice using it.  so, we got out the directions and got into the car.  i was a bit more snotty in this activity than either of us would have hoped, but in the end we managed to have a fun time. 

so, here we are…readying ourselves for this major life transition into parenthood.  we have a few more details to iron out, but overall we are ready for the big day to come at any point (after i’m considered full term this weds, that is).  my body has been practicing with contractions here and there, which always gives me the oportunity to practice my hypnobirthing and relaxation techniques.  each time a feel a contraction come on i thank my body for practicing and for knowing how to birth this baby…practice, practice, practice body!

next on the agenda—we need to finish our phone/email tree list and pack our bag for the birth center…we’ve already got the baby’s bag packed and ready to go!   have i mentioned we’re excited?!