34 WEEK APPOINTMENT: NO MORE DAIRY QUEEN!

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I had my 34 week appointment yesterday. It was all of about 5 minutes.

— Mild scare that maybe I had preeclampsia (sp?) based on urine sample, but blood pressure was low, so nurse didn’t seem concerned and dr. didn’t even bring it up.

— Sienna measuring on track. Heart rate 130. Head still down.

— Belly button has popped. Not attractive beneath shirts.

— Swelling of feet has emerged at night. My toes look like little smokies.

— Sleep is becoming more and more difficult. I get up to pee about 5-10/night, and am constantly trying to find a comfortable position. And, according to my husband, I’ve taken on a new trait of snoring.

— Although I don’t “love” being pregnant, I remain completely grateful for this miracle, for this opportunity, for this chance to experience pregnancy. I know more than anyone how much I wanted this, dreamed of this, cried myself to sleep longing for this experience. I am thankful.

— Despite the bullet above, I do not like being a planet. I’ve gained 4 lbs in the last 2 weeks. Buh-bye nightly DQ Oreo blizzards. I’ll miss you. (And I am no longer posting my weight!)

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HE IS RISEN

PhotobucketToday is one of the most special days of the year for those who are Christians. Although in the last few days of His life, the apostles were beside themselves with trepidation at the thought of Christ leaving them, He consoled them that this is actually a time of great joy. In John 14, Christ promised that He was not leaving us as orphans but rather going on to be with our Father to prepare for us a place in heaven and that our Father would send us in His place a mighty Counselor who will be with us and in us always.

I love reading John 14 on Good Friday… especially today, with all that God has given to our family during the past year. The week before last Easter, Scott and I traveled with a small group from our church to Central Asia for a mission trip. During that time we had been praying that soon our adoption would be finalized and we would be pregnant… this trip would be the last opportunity for a long time. The week was glorious and when we returned home the night before Easter we felt as if we had only been away about five minutes… every moment of that week was a pure testimony to God.

Scott and I awoke early on Easter Sunday, attended sunrise service and spent the rest of the day with family. The next morning we received an unexpected phone call we’ll never forget. The NEDC had just received a cancellation and since Scott and I were local they were calling to ask if we could take the appointment for the next day to finalize our adoption and begin the transfer process. We told them we’d be there in 15 minutes if they needed us to be!!

The rest is wonderful history. That’s how we received Cambria Genevieve and Julia Grace, the exact two precious little girls our family was meant to have. What’s amazing about this Easter is it falls on April 24th, the first time in almost 200 years Easter has been so late in the year. It is also my sister, Julie’s, birthday… Julia’s namesake.

When Scott and I were in the operating room seven weeks ago and Julia was pulled from my womb second, after she gave her little yelp our doctor said “oh, look at that little birthmark on her back”. I couldn’t see it them, but right in the middle of her lower back is a reddish stork-bite type birthmark that looks like a symmetrical jig saw puzzle piece… or if you look closer, a little set of wings. We consider it even further proof that she is an angel sent to us by God… our second bonus baby girl, named after my sister in heaven and God’s immeasurable grace. Christ has not left us, nor has he left Cambria and Julia orphans… God brought us all together beautifully as only He can do.

As I sit here typing thankfully and listening to our girls gurgle and grunt in their sleep, I am filled with the joy that Christ promised us all. Happy Easter. John 14:28

THIRD BIRTHING CLASS: A BULLET LIST

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We saw the video last night. You know which one I’m referring to. Yup, that one. I’ve witnessed the birth of my son. But this was different. This was on a big screen. In high-def.

— My husband was starving. We had gone through a drive-thru and gotten him a hamburger to eat in the class. The hamburger stayed in the bag the whole class. He had lost his appetite.

— He told me on the way home that as soon as my legs go vertical, he’s leaving the room.

— Suffice it to say there will be no mirrors of any kind allowed in my delivery room. And all non-essential personnel must stay where I can see them. Nobody’s getting a free peek in my room.

— If you recall from my last post about the first class, the first stage of labor is about 8 hours and not much happens. My husband joked quietly to me that he could get in a round of golf. I raised my hand and asked if it was okay to keep working during that stage of labor. My husband was mortified. And, by the look on the instructor’s face, she was too.

— Apparently, some women ask to keep their placentas. Some put them in the freezer. Some plant them because they contain a lot of nutrients that help trees and other plants grow. My husband and I decided there is a business opportunity there. We’d pay to purchase all the unwanted placentas from hospitals and start a landscaping business. We’d call it Plantscentas.

— A cute side story: the other night, Brae and I went for a walk. We came upon an old man standing in his driveway. He was wearing an undershirt and boxers and was barefoot. He was smoking a cigarette. He had long, wild white hair sticking straight in the air. He had a long, straggly white beard. As we passed him, Brae waved and said, “Hi Santa!”

32 WEEK APPOINTMENT AND BABY BUMP PREVIEW

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Blessedly uneventful.

Heart rate was 130.

Doctor could feel a contraction. I couldn’t. Good thing?

Not leaking any amniotic fluid. All looks in tact.

Have gained a total of 18 lbs. So, about a pound a week. Looks like I will get to that “magic” 25 lb mark after all! (Thank you, Dairy Queen).

My husband referred to this baby, for the first time, as “my daughter.” I didn’t want to show him how much that meant to me, but I was squealing inside.

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FIRST BIRTHING CLASS: A BULLET LIST

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— There were approximately 10 couples there. We were the only ones that already have a child.

— All of us are due within weeks of each other. And are all delivering at the same hospital.

— We watched a video and saw lots of graphics of the female anatomy, pregnant

— I was the only one who got up to use the bathroom, repeatedly

— There is a “contraction counter” app available on an iphone. We have a “baby app” on my husband’s iphone. It was free. The “contraction counter” is an “advanced” app that costs $3. We don’t want to pay $3 for it. We’ll use a stopwatch. That’s free.

— The first phase of labor lasts about 8 hours, and not much happens. My husband thinks he can get in a round of golf.

— The instructor had a life-sized cloth infant that she held up to her belly to simulate a birth.

— My husband was uncomfortable the entire time.

— At the end of the night, my husband and I had the following dialogue:
ME: So what did you learn tonight, honey?
HUSBAND: (After a long pause) … I learned you have a mucus plug in your cervix.
ME: You didn’t know that?
HUSBAND: I never wanted to know that.

On a related note, you know how every marriage goes through seasons? Right now, my husband and I are in a very sweet, intimate season. No longer nauseated, I feel more like myself. There is a sense of teamwork as we prepare for Sienna’s arrival. There is a sense of gratitude for the son we already have, and the precious little time we have left with just him alone. There is a sense of peace that soon, our little family will be complete.