Sunday, September 18, 2011

half way

i really can't believe that i'm already half way through this pregnancy. i think our busy summer helped the first half go by so fast, and i'm pretty sure the craziness of the holidays, which will be here before we know it, will help the second half to fly by too. at least i'm hoping that to be the case.

i know that i complain. a lot. john would be more than happy to vouch for that statement, i'm sure. it seems ridiculous to even utter one word of complaint when we've been trying for, and hoping for, and crying for, and praying, praying, praying for, this pregnancy for four and a half years. but i guess maybe since it's been over 5 years since i've had a baby, i seem to have forgotten how horribly uncomfortable, and miserable, and tiring, and nerve-racking, pregnancy can actually be. i mean the nausea, the throwing up, the sleepless nights, the anxiety, the lack of energy, the varicose veins (yep this has actually happened to me this time around), the cramping, the diarrhea (oh, you don't get diarrhea during pregnancy? oh...uh...neither do i), the heartburn, the swollen body parts, the weight gain, the smells(oh the smells), the food aversions, the loss of dignity, the embarrassing surgeries (yes. hanging naked, upside down in the or, while your doctor stitches up your cervix is embarrassing. it is, trust me). and besides all the discomfort, if you're anything like me, you worry your guts out about your baby...until he's placed safely in your arms. and even then, you don't stop worrying.

i don't tend to be a super anxious person in general. but pregnancy turns me into a complete basket case. especially after the loss of our sweet baby isaac at 23 weeks. i worried my way through the entire 9 months with ruby. my doctor put me on klonopin, which is an anti-anxiety medication. it helped me to at least be able to sleep at night...but i worried nonetheless.
i'm on klonopin this time around too. and again it takes the edge off, allows me to get a somewhat decent night's sleep, and helps me to at least be able to function well enough to care for my other children. sort of. poor john. he picks up so much of the slack.
again, with this whole incompetent cervix thing that i've been diagnosed with, i just worry. despite the fact that i'm all stitched up...i still worry. i worry i will dilate too early, and the reinforcement of the stitches will be compromised. i worry i will be placed on bed rest like i was with ruby (three months was way too long then, i cannot even imagine what it would be like with two other little ones to care for). i worry that i will overdo it and put too much pressure on my cerclage, and that the stitches might just tear right through. i don't even know if that's possible? but i worry about it. i worry that out of the blue one day, jude's heart will just stop beating, and i'll have to deliver a stillborn baby. pretty morbid thoughts, i know. just trying to get my point across. pregnancy turns me into a worrier. an unhealthy worrier.

i had my mid-pregnancy ultrasound on Friday, you know...the one where they check over the entire anatomy of the baby. and, well, i guess now i have one more thing to add to my list of worries. i figured something may have been a bit off when the sonographer left (mid ultrasound), and the doctor came in to pick up where she left off. he proceeded to explain to us that our baby has what's called echogenic bowel. right now, in the 2nd trimester, it's a bit early to tell what that could actually mean...but here's what we do know: echogenic bowel is basically a bright bowel. through ultrasound the abdomen should appear to be grayish in color...our baby's is white. like the same whiteness as his pelvic bone which could easily be seen in the same scan. echogenic bowel could indicate a few things, namely, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, some sort of infection that the baby has contracted, a blockage - which would require immediate surgery at birth, the baby could be swallowing some blood which is showing up bright on ultrasound (more common if there was a threatened miscarriage early on in the pregnancy), or, within the next few weeks or months, it could clear up on it's own, with no explanation as to it's cause...or cure. next week i will undergo a series of tests, screenings, and lab work, which may rule out (or indicate) some of these possibilities. and then they will continue to get ultrasounds (on top of the cervical length ultrasounds that i'm already having done every two weeks) of the baby to more closely monitor, and determine, the severity of the problem. right now my doctor said it's about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, but that they will have a much better indication in the third trimester. now, for me, it doesn't matter either way. of course, you never want to see your child suffer. no doubt you want them to get here safe and sound, and perfectly healthy in every way. but, on the other hand, i know, and have witnessed, and felt, the beautiful spirit of a special needs individual...their sweet child-like innocence, their perfect, God-like love. they are so special, and so close to their Heavenly Father. i would be honored to be given such a gift. a perfectly flawless spirit, housed inside of an imperfect, flawed body. i know that with that would come many many tears, and heartbreak, and pain, and worry (i may have to be on klonopin for life), and money, and sacrifice. lots and lots of sacrifice. but if that was Heavenly Father's plan for our family, how could i ever want or hope for anything different? the love i feel for my baby jude is indescribable, and i haven't even met him. i cannot imagine how that love will deepen and intensify when i get to see him for the very first time, and hold his tiny body (broken or whole) in my arms. nothing will compare.

even though it doesn't matter either way to us - because we know that we are in the Lord's hands, and that He has a perfect plan for our imperfect family - i guess i'm still just asking for your prayers of faith in our behalf. that our hearts and minds can be at peace...whatever the outcome. and also that maybe i can stop worrying...just a little. at least about the things that are outside my own control.

we would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

to my mini (and very masculine) mango

dear jude,

it's 4:15 am and i can't sleep. i blame it on your father's phone and more particularly, that blasted alarm. i think it must be possessed. he swears he doesn't set it. but it always goes off at random times in the morning. this morning it went off at 3:55. the problem with that is, your daddy can turn it off, roll over, and be back to sleep in a millisecond. i, on the other hand, can't. once that alarm goes off, no matter the time, i'm up for the day. it hasn't always been that way...just since you've been growing inside of me. but that's ok. i'll take you over my sleep any day of the week.

well jude, we're almost half way there! can you even believe it?! week 19. they say that you're now the size of a mango. the last ultrasound i had, i asked them to check again for me, just to make sure you were still a boy. and you are. very much so. so for this week, i think i'll call you my masculine mango.

i got my first item for you the other day. that was exciting.'s actually for me, but it will make things very convenient in caring for you. it's a diaper bag. a nice, big and roomy, marc jacobs diaper bag. paying for it made me miss the days (the 10 whole years) that i worked for nordstrom, and got my house 33 (that's a discount, by the way - a 33% off discount. i really don't know why they call it a house 33. it never did make much sense to me). luckily i had a couple of gift cards burning a hole in my pocket - which definitely helped cushion the blow. we're going to be so stylish, sportin' our blue marc jacobs' bag with panthers all over it. daddy calls it my "liger" bag - which is a mix between a lion and a tiger - in case you were wondering. he just likes to give me a hard time, but secretly, well not really secretly, he openly told me that he really likes it. and that's a good thing, because i'm sure he'll be wearing that thing around his shoulder plenty. i smile just thinking about it. him holding you in one arm, and the marc jacobs in the other. every thought of you, and having you in our family, makes me smile.

the night before last, your daddy was out of town. i invited your brother and sister to sleep in my bed with me. we knelt down and said our family prayer before we hopped into the great big bed. i'm not sure who said it, i mean, that was two nights ago, and you can't really expect my pregnancy brain to remember details like that when so much time has passed. but i do know that whoever said it, they prayed for you. not a single prayer is uttered in our house, without first thanking Heavenly Father for you, and then asking him to continue to bless you to grow, and to develop properly, and to be healthy and strong. we all hopped into bed. i got the middle, and your siblings snuggled up on either side of me. we read our scriptures, and then we read the book that asher picked out , which was the itsy bits spider, and the book that ruby picked out, which was clifford the big red dog (well it looks like i do remember some things). after story time, we turned out the lights, and i pulled your siblings in close to me. we held each other tightly, and each of their legs were wrapped around mine. i was completely enveloped in the moment, when something amazing happened. i started to feel your tiny legs too. only they were't wrapped around mine, thank goodness (it's way too early for that) but they were moving around, and kicking like crazy inside of me. it was maybe as close, physically, as i might ever be, to my three precious little ones all at once...
and my heart was full to the brim.

and it still is...

even though it's 4:45 am, and i should be in my big comfy bed...sound asleep. i may have to have another talking to with your father about that alarm of his. i am truly grateful, though, because it gave me this opportunity to express my feelings to you. i hope you know how much i love you, how excited i am to see you on ultrasound again tomorrow, and how even more excited i am to meet you.

take care, my baby and forever.

all my love,
your (very sleep deprived) mom