Wednesday, October 24, 2012

She is here!

Ms. Magpie has arrived!

She came via c-section last night at 11:39, after a long trial of labor (36 hours from when they inserted the cervidil).

Will and I are both pretty tired but also over the moon.

More soon.


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Today is the day

Heading in now for the induction. I feel scared. I feel excited. I feel humbled. 

My husband Will is meeting me at the hospital.

For now, 

"I dream of the one yet to be born. The one still curled in my womb. The one who will open like a star."  -Carole Maso, The Art Lover
(thanks to Gwinne for introducing this quote to me) 

But soon,

maybe tomorrow? Maybe the next day? 

She will be here.

She will be born.

I can hardly even dare to imagine it.


photo credit:

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

39 weeks belly pic

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Mizuko jizo: water child: revisited

In the summer of 2008, Will and I traveled to Japan with Will's parents. It would be our last major trip with both his parents before his father would become too ill to travel overseas. We had a wonderful time, but it was a trip I had mixed feelings about going on. I was reeling from our second miscarriage in six months. My loss felt raw and poignant.

Here are some excerpts from a post I wrote about it at the time:
"As we arrived in Japan, I had just stopped bleeding from the D&C... We found when we arrived that Japan has space in its culture to acknowledge pregnancy loss in ways that don't exist in the United States...
'Mizuko' is the Japanese word for a miscarried baby. It translates to 'water child' because in Japanese Buddhism it is believed that the soul flows slowly into a child, the child becoming more solid as they age. In this way the mizuko is somewhere on the spectrum between being and nonbeing, neither a full person nor a nonperson. I loved this conceptualization. It seemed to fit perfectly with our experience of these betwixt and between lives. These losses that were so real but also felt vague and undefined. 
You can make an offering to Jizo, a Bodhisattva who will help your mizuko find a second way into being, helping it to either return to you in the form of another baby, or to find another family...We had read in a Peggy Orenstein essay about her miscarriage in Japan that we could also leave toys with a Jizo to help our two lost babies find a way back into being. So amid our other sightseeing, we detoured to a toy store and bought small gifts." 
Will and I in 2008, making our offering of baby toys in front of a Jizo statue in Tokyo
"Later in our trip we found ourselves at the top of a hill... We found a Nanairo-no-yadorigi tree and read that this tree is famous for its symbolic ties to fertility and pregnancy. You can write a wish on a piece of paper and twist it around a tree branch to help you conceive and protect an unborn child.
So we tied our offering to this tree, a prayerful wish that we would conceive a healthy child. The custom is that when our wish is granted we should return to the tree and find and untie the paper."

Tying our wish for a healthy, living child to the Nanairo-no-yadorigi tree

I am certain our original note has long since vanished from this tree. Four years have passed, and Japan has been ravaged in the meantime with its own disasters.

As I wrote this post four years ago, my heart was so broken, but still so hopeful. And as many of you know, my heart continued to be broken again and again - over six lost babies, and many other times over failed IVF cycle after cycle where there was no glimmer even of a life.

I often thought about our prayerful offerings, our wish tied so hopefully to a tree. Wondered why no one heard our wish. Why we couldn't find our way out the other side, no matter how much we longed for it, no matter how much we tried.

And now here we are... It feels like a lifetime from then.

It is Fall of 2012. My own body is full, overflowing with child. A child who has felt to me to be made of water throughout the pregnancy but whose soul has been quietly flowing into her as the months have passed. A child whose body has become more and more solid until now, when she is about to be born.

Born in just a few days.


At last.


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Induction scheduled for Monday morning

In. gulp. FOUR. days.


OB says with the gestational diabetes issues + thrombophilia issues + my age + my loss history, she does not want to wait any longer.

Plan is to start with cervadil and then move on to pitocin.

I will be 39 weeks and 2 days.

This is really not at all how I wanted this to go down. Was really hoping to do this naturally. Trying to wrap my head and heart around this new plan.



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Monday, October 15, 2012

38 weeks belly picture

Ever bigger! Ever more uncomfortable! But still pregnant at 38 weeks, 1 day.

Mo and Will and Magpie in fall foliage at 38 weeks 1 day
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

As the Cervix Turns

A little newsy update this morning.

I just saw my OB.

I am now 70% effaced and the doctor said that although I am not dilated, she was able to put her finger inside my cervix (tiny bit ouchy!), so it is really soft. Baby has moved down to a -2 station (from -3), so a little further down.

I'm definitely feeling like things are happening down in my pelvic region. A bit crampy, a lot of pressure, sometimes a clicking sound and feeling when I bear down (my geriatric pelvis trying to figure out how to open a bit? - I imagine it like a creaky, unoiled gate.)

Unfortunately, I tested as Group B Strep positive despite doing the somewhat yucky garlic protocol that my doula recommended, so I will be getting antibiotics when I'm in labor.

Today the OB said the absolute latest she'll let me go before inducing is my due date (and this is of course assuming everything looks good with baby's biophysical profiles and non-stress tests). She's on call that weekend, which would be much nicer than having a different doctor I don't know as well. She'd previously been saying 39 weeks for induction, so 40 weeks now sounds like such a reprieve! Funny, it's all about perspective!

Glucose numbers look good, she said. So that's a phew.

Biophysical profile later today...hoping Magpie passes as usual with flying colors!


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Full term and full steam ahead!

As of Saturday, I am 37 weeks.

Wow. Still unbelievable.

Little Miss Baby is doing well. She measured in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces at her growth scan on Wednesday, which I believe is around the 50th %ile. She passed her biophysical profile, no sweat. She aced two additional non-stress tests. She is almost as good of a test taker as her mama! She remains head down, facing to the right (right occiput anterior position). Perfect position to be born.

So Magpie is doing great.

I, however, am unbelievably tired.

Bone tired.

A tired that sleeping doesn't seem to solve (I should know. I slept over 12 hours Saturday night and then napped another two hours Sunday.)

I am starting to be fairly uncomfortable physically. When Magpie moves, I can feel it between my legs, which is a strange, strange sensation. It is difficult to get up now from a reclining position. And I look super goofy getting out of the bathtub or off of the floor. I have gained 18 pounds, so not so much, but my goodness, I have more and more in common with a beached marine mammal as the days tick by.

This is it. The full monty of late pregnancy.

I am so, so lucky to be here. Can't believe I am here. Can't believe still that we are about to be parents. Can't believe I will ever be comfortable again. Can't believe how fortunate we are. Truly. My gosh.

In addition to grateful and tired, I am swamped, thoroughly swamped, both at home and at work.

At work I still have a few patients I am trying to get safely and conscientiously transferred. I had expected this to be taken care of by now...but the wheels are turning slower than I would like. I give my last presentation next Friday and am annoyed I got roped into yet another public speaking event this close to my delivery. It should be fine, but I could do without the stress. I am busy training two junior people to take over some of my clinical and research workload. I am also still trying to get three writing projects done and out the door (two chapters and a peer-reviewed article) and get all my charting finished and my office clean as a whistle. Not to mention emails telling my colleagues where everything is and what stage everything is in so that when I need to bow out, they can pick up the pieces.

The homefront is edging closer to ready but is not there yet. Will and I have gone through and pared down dramatically almost everything we own to try to make space for the baby. Space is so tight here - 1,000 square feet fills up so fast! It is like we are moving, except that we haven't actually gone anywhere. We have gone through everything and gotten rid of or given away a massive amount, and it's amazing how much we've accumulated in the 6 years we have lived in this apartment.

Nursery-wise, we finally have a crib and changing table. Some wonderful friends have sent hand-me-downs so that Magpie won't be naked. We have received a few gifts as well, that are all so adorable. I have gotten out a bag that will be my hospital bag, but I haven't packed it. Someone is coming to complete painting Magpie's room tomorrow (I hope).

I don't expect to finish everything at work or at home before her arrival...but I will do my best.

My insulin needs keep creeping up. I am now on 10 units NPH at night, but expect them to increase the dosage again this week as my fasting levels remain higher than they want (higher than 90). I see the OB weekly now, in addition to geting one biophysical profile and two non-stress tests. It's a lot, but I am glad both baby and I are being carefully monitored. The OB is now saying she wants Ms. Magpie to arrive between 39 and 40 weeks because of combo of the insulin-dependent diabetes and the thrombophilia issues...which seems awfully soon, and sounds like it will likely mean an induction...something I had really hoped to avoid. She told me we will pick a date soon to hasten her arrival if she isn't here yet, but I am dragging my feet. I would so prefer to do this the natural way if Magpie and I can safely do so.

The OB this week did a cervical check and said that I am 50% effaced. (Maybe this is why I can feel Magpie between my legs now when she moves?) No dilation yet. Miss Magpie is at a -3 she has a long way to go to move down into my pelvis.

So just moving along. But moving ever more slowly at this stage in the pregnancy! Trying to get done all that needs to get done.

Sorry for the silence. I've been a bit overwhelmed. But I'm so glad you all are out there. It means a lot. We are almost there!


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