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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Belly Shots

Time to celebrate Rebecca with another Belly Shot!

Here we are in all of our glory at Week 37, Day 5:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ob/Ultrasound Update

Tuesday was my weekly OB appointment.    At exactly 37 weeks pregnant, I measured 41 weeks pregnant.  No wonder I can't sleep.  This belly is waaaaaaaay to big!

The baby's heart rate was 120 which is a little lower than normal for her but the doctor said she wasn't worried because that happens to a lot of babies as they get closer to their due date.

Yesterday we went for another BPP ultrasound.  Just like the one last week, Rebecca chose to sleep through most of it.  But after a lot of me switching positions  and Rebecca being annoyed by the poking and prodding, she finally woke up enough to move around and then she finally took her 30 practice breaths.

Another one of the things they check in the BPP is the health of the placenta.  The Doppler looked good in one of the scans and was a little high in the other but not high enough for the doctor to be concerned. 

The only real concern the doctor had was for me and all of this extra amniotic fluid I'm toting around.  He again offered to do an amnio to remove some of the fluid, and again I said no.  It's just going to come back and there's a risk it would bring on delivery.

I don't want to do anything to bring on delivery before April 10th, so I think it's better if I just be slighltly miserable for two more weeks and hope and pray for the best.

The doctor said he estimates that I am carrying roughly 1 1/2 to 2 extra liters of fluid.  Y'all!  No wonder I can't sleep!  In addition to a baby, I'm also carrying around the equivalent of a 2 liter bottle of Coke in my belly.

Although, I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much about lack of sleep.  Last night, I only got up 3 times between 10:30 pm  and 4:00 am to use the bathroom and was able to go back to sleep fairly quickly after each time.  I was basically up from 4:00 on though tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable. But this is a huge improvement over the two previous nights when I moved from bed, to couch, to chair, to bed, etc. in an attempt to get comfortable enough for sleep - and all of that in between TEN trips to the bathroom.  The baby has decided that my bladder makes a nice pillow, I guess.

One of the things that helped me yesterday I think was that she has switched from head down and on my bladder position to a more transverse position. It made sleep possible.

And here is a blurry scan of baby girl.  She was not happy with us trying to see her face and kept her hands over her eyes each time the ultrasound wand got near her face. Stubborn little thing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Several weeks ago, Peter was supposed to attend his Cub Scouts Blue and Gold Banquet.  For those of you not familiar with this banquet, this is when Weblos II bridge up to Boy Scouts from Cub Scouts.

The banquet was supposed to be attended by over 150 people (all levels of Cubs and their families).  And Peter, was going to bridge up with the rest of the Weblos II.  Unfortunately, that was the weekend we had our big ice storm and the power was out at the church where we were going to hold the banquet.

The church is a rather large and active church and we weren't going to be able to reschedule the banquet until the end of April.  Rather than waiting that long, we decided to just have the boys bridge up at a Boy Scout meeting and serve pizza and cake and sodas.

And then, we got snow the night of that.  But finally, last night, we were able to hold the scaled down ceremony.

Instead of being on a large stage in front of a large room full of people, the boys bridged up to Boy Scouts in a small room in front of a small group of Boy Scouts.  But honestly, I don't think any of them minded.  In fact, if you ask me, I think Peter actually preferred it this way. He's not much for being in the spotlight so being in a corner instead of on a stage suited him just fine.

Saluting his old Cub Master as he walks across the bridge (which doesn't show in this photo) from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

Once he crossed the bridge, the Boy Scout leader and several Boy Scots were waiting to add his Boy Scout epaulettes and scarf.

Peter was excited to receive his Arrow of Light and plaque.  The Arrow of Light is the highest achievement in Cub Scouts.  

Onward and upward to Eagle Scout!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Belly Shots

Week 36, Day 5

Lot's of Belly in these Shots! (My favorite picture of the day is the very last one...such a cutie!)

My photographer took a selfie!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'll have another glass of water, please.

Yesterday morning, after I got everyone out the door, I took a quick shower.  I threw in a  load of laundry and then I sat down to have a bowl of cereal.

Right about that time, I started having some contractions.  No big deal, I thought.  I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a month now so I figured it was just more of the same.

However, the contractions continued to increase in strength (ie:  they were getting pretty painful) and I began to panic.

Rebecca really needs these next three weeks to grow as she's currently only 4 1/2 pounds.  She's going to have enough problems on the outside without worrying about being three weeks early.

I was induced with Peter at 40 weeks because he was already over 9 pounds so I was in the hospital when I went into labor with him which ultimately ended in an emergency c-section.

And we were going to attempt a VBAC with Sarah if I started showing any signs of labor with her prior to 39 weeks.  But, of course, I didn't, and she was already close to 9 pounds , so we went ahead with a planned c-section with her.

I've never  been at home when contractions have started, I've never had to time them, I've never had my water break in the middle of the night, etc.  I've never had to go through any of that. 

Yesterday when these contractions started, I was a little fearful.  I decided to start timing my contractions so I downloaded an app.  Yes, there really is an app for everything.

But the problem with these contractions was that there was really no stopping and starting.  It was basically just a two and a half hour long contraction.  I could still move and talk through them so I kept thinking that these are not real contractions.  But they felt so different from annoying yet totally random and spaced throughout the day Braxton Hicks I've been having.

I decided that I would wait and call the doctor after the laundry was done.  Why wait you ask?  Because both of my pairs of yoga pants were in the laundry and the thought of having to squeeze into any other pants while these contractions were going on just to go to the doctor to be checked and told I wasn't in labor was enough to make me consider a home birth.

While I waited on my laundry to finish, I did a lot of heavy breathing and pacing. I packed a bag for the hospital, I tried to straighten up the house. I continued to try unsuccessfully to time the contractions because I knew that when I called the doctor they were going to want to know how far apart they were.

And finally, I did something that I should have done much earlier -  I consulted Mr. Know-It-All.  I Googled contractions and pre-term labor and a when to call the doctor.  And I took his advice.  I drank a large glass of water and I laid down on the couch to rest.  And literally about 5 minutes after drinking that glass of water the contractions stopped.

Hallelujah! I wasn't going into labor - I was DEHYDRATED!

Go figure.

And I assume it's because the day before, in a quest to get a decent night's sleep, I limited my fluid intake.  Guess what I spent the rest of yesterday doing?  Drinking as much water as I could handle.  And guess what I spent a large majority of last night doing?  Getting up to pee!

But I will take that any day over having Rebecca make her grand debut 3 weeks early.  I'm excited to meet her, but not until April 10th. 

Well, at least now my hospital bag is packed!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rebecca update.

Yesterday was a busy day.  I had my weekly OB appointment at 8:00.  Everything was fine.  Rebecca's heart rate was within the normal range.  It is always on the low end, but it always falls within range.

I was officially 36 weeks pregnant on Tuesday and yesterday, my gigantic uterus and I  measured 40 weeks.  Which means, if I make it to the c-section on April 10th, I'm going to be huge.

And let me just say that I'm so big now that everywhere I go, people (strangers, of course) are saying things like I must be due any minute now, I look like I'm about to pop, am I carrying twins, etc.  You know, all the things that you want to hear when you technically still have 4 weeks of pregnancy left to go.  I know they are trying to be "friendly" but give me a break.

Yesterday afternoon before I picked up the kids  from school, I had a few minutes and stopped into Marshall's.  My male cashier bombarded me with all the questions above and then ended with, "Can I take your picture?  Girl, you are big.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone that pregnant before.  Are you sure you don't have twins.  How big is the daddy?  How big is the grandfather?  Really, can I take your picture?"

Needless to say, I will not be going back to Marshall's ever again.  And if you see a picture of a giant pregnant woman waddling out of Marshall's  plastered on the internet, it's probably yours truly.

 After my OB appointment, I had another ultrasound.

They did a  Biophysical Profile.  A BPP checks on things like amount of amniotic fluid around baby, baby's breathing, baby's movement, etc.

BPP's are done during the third trimester on high risk babies.  Specifically during this test, they were checking to see if the baby was practicing breathing.  We watched Rebecca's stomach for 30 minutes and in that time they like to see at least one instance of the baby trying to breath (practicing really, since the baby doesn't take any real breaths in utero) by watching her belly to see if it moves up and down.

Typically Rebecca is awake during these ultrasounds and moves so much that they have trouble seeing what they need to see.  Yesterday, however, when we wanted to see movement, she was sleeping peacefully and wasn't taking any practice breaths.  The 30 minutes kept creeping by and towards the end of it I began to change positions until she finally woke up and started punching, kicking, and moving.

And thankfully we started to see her little diaphragm move up and down.  She did it twice but only for about 20 seconds each time.  The doctor wasn't worried that she didn't make it to the 30 second mark and seemed okay with it.  However, I would have preferred if she had been practicing the whole time.

Her stomach bubble was still empty meaning we are still most likely dealing with the esophageal atresia and/or fistula.  We won't be able to confirm that until after she delivers.

The doctor was also a little concerned that one of the walls of the heart appeared to be thickening and it also looked like the pulmonary artery was too short. We had two echo-cardiograms earlier (in December and January) and the cardiologist wasn't worried about her heart at that time.  However, this doctor is going to contact him to see if he wants to do another echo.

The doctor told me that they all felt sorry for me and my gigantic uterus (thanks to all the extra amniotic fluid) and told me that if I wanted too, they could remove the extra fluid.  She said there is a slight risk that doing an amniocentesis would bring on childbirth and that typically after removing the fluid, it builds back up over the course of the week.

I told her I would pass on that.  Hopefully I can make it another three weeks until the c-section.  Hopefully Rebecca will stay put and continue growing as she only weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces yesterday.  That weight put her in the 10-15th percentile for babies in the 36 week.  Too tiny!

My biggest problem with all this fluid (other than "kind" comments from strangers) is that sleeping is becoming more difficult.  I have to lay on my side and when I try to roll over, it hurts.  And getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom (which I do typically 3-6 times per night) requires a lot of grunting, groaning, and hoisting.  What I wouldn't give for an uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep!

So, there you have it.  The latest and greatest. I go back next week for another OB appointment and another ultrasound.  (Oh, and as I was leaving, the doctor referred to my uterus as a "uterus of steel".  I guess I'll take that as a compliment?)

Here are my specific prayer requests for now:

That I don't go into labor early due to the extra amniotic fluid.
That I make it to the c-section on April 10th so that Rebecca has more time to grow.
That Rebecca's heart is okay.
That there is no esophageal atresia when she is born.
That I can get some decent sleep.  (But really, isn't that the prayer of all women in their 3rd trimester?)

And here is another picture of my little lady.  She kept her face positioned away from the ultrasound so they had a hard time getting a good one of her face.  And the ultrasound tech said they had a new 3D machine and it seemed to make the images looks as if they had clay on them, but, I'll take it!  I still think she looks like Sarah.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week 35 and a Comparison of Belly Sizes. Or alternately titled, "Thar she blows!"

Week 35, Day 6

And just for fun....

Let's compare Rebecca's Week 35 belly shot with Peter's Week 40 (FORTY!) belly shot:

Yep...virtually the SAME.

And here's Sarah's Week 39 belly shot with Rebecca's Week 35 belly shot:

Look how tiny I was with Sarah compared to my other two.  And look how big I am now...a whole month earlier!  YIKES!  No wonder I feel like I'm about to pop!

Friday, March 14, 2014


Let's see if I've got 7 in me today.  Here we go......

1.  Track season is in full swing and our first meet on March 23rd.  I can see improvements in both kids - especially Peter.  He's now able to keep up with (but not quite beat - yet) the fastest boy in his class last year.  And Sarah, well, she's always been fast! 

After each practice, both kids complain of sore muscles and aches.  But I tell them that's good for them and that they are using and improving muscles that they didn't use in basketball. They aren't so interested in that though.

2.  The track coach was watching Sarah run at practice yesterday and said, (in her awesome accent, she's from Trinidad) "What are you feedin' Sarah?  That girl is fast!"

I laughingly replied, "Um she eats a lot of bread, potatoes, ice cream and candy."

As we were leaving practice, she told Sarah to keep eating whatever it was she was eating because she's getting fast.  And Sarah looked at me and said, "Well, I'm glad someone has noticed that I gave up  ice cream and candy for Lent!"

3.  And speaking of Sarah.  Last week we were watching TV and a commercial for one of the medications for bipolar disorder came on and Sarah asked me what bipolar meant.  I paused trying to figure out how to answer the questions and she said, "Is that when one of your parents is black and the other parent is white?"

4.  We had a big wind storm a couple of nights ago and it blew a small section of the siding right off the side of our house.  So instead of painting my hallway a fresh coat of paint (to rid the current coat of paint of all it's fingerprints, grime, applesauce, boogers, etc.) this weekend, Dan will be attempting to purchase new siding and install it. 

I had to pull out all the old paperwork from when we were building the house to determine the color and brand of the siding.  I found an old invoice, did a lot of Goggling and I think I found a company that sells it.   More calls to make today to see if they have any in stock, to see if they sell to the public and to see how much this is going to cost.   At least the weather is supposed to be nice on Saturday.

5.  Peter made some fake blood a couple of days ago.  He mixed food coloring, water, and corn syrup together.  The first batch had too much blue in it and looked purple.  The second batch was a little too pink but we were almost out of red food coloring so he went with it.  He then proceeding to cover himself in the fake blood and proceeded to stage some elaborate scenes on the back patio.  If only he put this much time, effort and creativity into his homework!

6.  Here's a picture that Peter wanted me to take of him on the ladder.  You can see the piece of siding that blew of the house.  It's not that big, but Dan assures me that it really is going to take him at least half of the day on Saturday to fix it.  When I told him that it didn't look like it should take him that long, he asked me if I wanted to do it myself then. 

Well played, Dan.  Well played.

7.  I was looking through the photos on my phone and found a ton of Sarah selfie's.  Here's a cute one:

Which is way cuter than this one she snapped of me at the barber shop while we were waiting to get Peter's haircut:

Which was immediately followed by this one that I have titled  "Stop taking pictures of me or I'm never letting you play with my phone again!":

And that my friends concludes this weeks edition of 7 Quick Takes.  Head over to Jen's place for some takes with a little more pizazz.  And be sure to watch the video she's posted at #7.  It definitely made me smile.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Give me an R! R!

Yesterday, I hoisted my large self out of the car and waddled over to the mail box.  I opened the door expecting bills, ads, and more bills.  But I got the sweetest surprise instead. It was a large envelope addressed to Rebecca.

I waddled back to the car, hoisted myself back in, and quickly drove to school to pick up the kids.  As I waited in the car-rider line, I ripped into the envelope and found the nicest gift for my baby.

I pulled this little package out of the envelope.  The tissue paper smelled like violets.

I unwrapped the package, taking my time trying to savor every moment yet rushing because I really wanted to see what was inside.

It was the cutest little receiving blanket and it was monogrammed with Rebecca's name!  Isn't it adorable?

And if that wasn't enough, when I got home, I discovered that inside the extra tissue paper was another tiny surprise waiting for me.

It was an adorable little headband with a pink flower clip attached to it.  And the pink flower clip can be removed and the red R can be added in it's place.

The package came from one of my husband's best friends from his Army days, Doug.  His wife, Tammy, is just an absolute sweetheart and she's been praying for Rebecca ever since we found out about her Trisomy 18 diagnosis.

She said she found the receiving blanket in an antique shop and loved it because of the little rosebuds.  She had her neighbor monogram Rebecca's name on it.  She said they prayed over the blanket and since she is forever the cheerleader, she said she's praying hard for Team Rebecca.  (And that's where the cheerleader R comes into play. Doesn't the R resemble something on a letter jacket?)

Receiving this in the mail was such a sweet and unexpected surprise. We decided not to have a baby shower for Rebecca before she's born since we don't know exactly what to expect.  (I really couldn't stand the thought of having a house full of baby gifts and no baby.)  But trust me, if she makes it, we will be having a big old party!  In the meantime, it was nice to know someone was thinking of my sweet baby Rebecca.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

OB Update

I just got back from my 35 week check-up.  Rebecca's heart rate was good and my cervix is still closed even though I continue to have contractions  all. day. long.

And she has dropped down because instead of measuring 3 1/2 weeks ahead like I did at the last check-up, I only measured 2 weeks ahead.  Which I guess has nothing to do with the amniotic fluid but it does make me feel a little bit better.

And that explains why I haven't been feeling her move as much over the last couple of days.  When she was sitting up high in the old uterus, I could feel every turn, kick, punch, jab and roll.  Now that she's lower, I can still feel her moving around but I don't feel them as frequently and they are definitely not as intense.

Dan is in Ireland and if all goes well, he will be home tomorrow evening in time for dinner.  I love it when his business trips are short!  And he was supposed to go to Dubai  in April but some other lucky duck will have to get to go in his place.  Dan was looking forward to going somewhere he's never been but I was breathing a little sigh of relief.  Dubai is just so far away.

I just Googled it - it's almost twice as far as Ireland.  Again.  That's just too far.

Well, even though it's 72 degrees and sunny outside right now, I need to get to work on our taxes.  Although I'm sure I can find something a little more exciting to do with the time I have left before I need to pick up the kids from school.

Words With Friends, anyone??  Another load of laundry?  Anything except taxes!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ice storms, meat, charades...It's what boring blog posts are made of!

Friday morning around 3:30 AM, we lost our power.  I know this because at the same time the power went out, our carbon monoxide detector went off because that's what it does when it's not receiving   power and the back-up battery is also dead.

 At 5:30 AM we got a text from the school saying school was cancelled.

I sent Dan on his merry way at 7:00 AM and then immediately Peter woke up.  He was thrilled there was no school and didn't even seem to mind that no power meant no cable, no internet, no computer, no TV, no heat. 

Sarah woke up a at 7:45 AM  equally excited that there would be no school and didn't even seem to mind that no power mean no cable, no internet, no computer, no TV, no heat.

At approximately 9:00 AM the rounds of "I'm bored!" began.  Luckily they keep their iPods charged so they played with those briefly and I think there was even a little bit of book reading going on. 

Around 11:00, I decided to take them to the Sheetz at the end of our road for a sandwich.

Peter was excited to get a pulled pork sandwich until I reminded him it was Lent and it was Friday so cheese pizza or tuna subs all around!

That made him angry and he told me that since he was 11 he didn't have to follow the fasting rules until he was 14 so what did it matter anyway?  I reminded him that Jesus died a slow and painful death on the cross for his sins and the least he could do in return would be to forgo a pulled pork sandwich for Jesus. 

And that made him angrier.

But we were all getting a little antsy so we headed to Sheetz anyway.  It's just a couple of miles down the road but it took quite a while to get there.  The streets were slushy but passable.  The problem was all the trees.  There were trees down in the road, on the sides of the road, all over people's front yards.

It was like a huge tornado had come through and only hit the trees.

We finally made it to Sheetz and as I circled the parking lot twice I realized that it must be the only place around that was serving food that had power.  It was packed.

And when I saw the long lines inside, I made the executive decision that we would go back home and eat lunch. 

But then yhr kids saw the F'real machine and begged for a milkshake.  Not sure if you've got a Sheetz where you live or if you've ever had a F'real  so I'll explain.  Sheetz is a gas station that sells food.  They have subs, salads, pizzas, specialty sandwiches, a burritos and tacos.  And the food is actually good.  My kids love to eat there because they can each have what they want and because they get to order off a touch screen.

A F'real is a milkshake you make yourself.  You choose the type of ice cream you want in your milk shake, take out the cup that is prepackage with the milkshake ingredients, place it in the F'Real machine, select the consistency you want for your shake and hit start.

In about a minute you will have a delicious milk shake.  They are a little pricey so we save F'Reals for special treats and I figured that an ice storm lunch is a special treat.  So I stood in line (only 15 people ahead of me waiting to check out) while the kids made their shakes.  When the kids got in line with me, I counted and there were almost 20 people in line behind me at that point and there were still quite a few ahead of me.   

We got our shakes and made our way slowly home.  We were almost home and the kids were almost done with their shakes when Sarah blurted out, "Oh no!!!  We both gave up ice cream for Lent!"

I could only shake my head and's going to be a long Lent.

After we got back home, I flipped on the gas logs and laid down on the couch.  We were heading to a playdate at a friend's house at 2:30 so I had just enough time for a little nap.  Usually I don't take naps, but it was cold, I had already read all the magazines in the house and basically I had been awake since 3:30 so I was tired. 

The kids played charades for an hour while I napped and seemed to have a good time with each other.  A Lenten miracle, perhaps?

After our play date, we came back home to wait for Dan to come back from work.  The power was out so we were going to have to go out for dinner and none of us very excited about that.  We knew our choices would be limited to places with power and our menu options would be limited to meatless.  And, I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay money for a meatless dinner.
Luckily our power was restored Friday evening at 7:00 just minutes before Dan got home from work.  Just in time for me to fix a nice meatless pasta dinner.  And I say luckily because there are still people around us with no power!  I guess of the 300,000 people in our area without power, we were some of the first to get it back on.

Another Lenten miracle?!

We were supposed to attend Peter's Blue and Gold Banquet Saturday night but the church was without power so it will have to be rescheduled. 

And since it was going to be potluck, I didn't have anything planned for dinner.  So we went out and I got wings!  Nothing like a big plate of wings on a Saturday evening in Lent.  Totally makes up for a tuna sandwich lunch and a bowl of pasta sans meat supper on Friday!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Belly Shot

Week 34, Day 5

And the belly continues to grow and grow and grow....

Friday, March 7, 2014


It's Friday.  So, that means it's time for 7 Quick Takes!

1.  The kids hopped in the car on Wednesday, excited to tell me all about what they were giving up for Lent.  We had been talking about it but they had yet to make any decisions.  Their teachers had them write down their sacrifices so they had to commit in school.

Peter informed me that he was giving up his computer time.  (Not his iPod but the actual computer.)  I thought this was a bad idea because that boy loves his computer time (and I know where he gets that!).

Sarah informed me that she was giving up ice cream and candy.  Girl friend loves her ice cream and candy (and I know where she gets that!).

Around 6:00 Peter called to me in a small voice and said, "I don't think I can give up the computer."  And I chuckled because that is a huge sacrifice for him and one that I didn't think he had fully thought through.  "I had to write something down in class and that's the first thing that came to mind," he said meekly.

I told him to choose something different and perhaps he could try to give up the computer next year.  He decided no Doritos and no ice cream until Easter.

So healthy children all around by Easter!

2. Sarah had a sleepover on Saturday.  It was to celebrate the birthday of one of her friends from school.  She was so excited because there were going to be 6 girls there.  (Better that mom than me!)

We went to Hip Chicks (a really cute local boutique) to pick out the present.  Sarah chose a small pink sequined purse and wanted to fill it with lots of goodies.  She chose three cute little bracelets and a little frame that said "Friends Forever" and that maxed out the budget. Hip Chicks is cute but it can be a little pricey.  I did pick up some super cheap lip gloss and nail polish to fill out the purse.  And a pack of pink and white Tic Tacs as well.

The theme to the party was the Minions from Despicable Me.  So sorry decided to make her friend a Minion bracelet on the Rainbow Loom.  She found a tutorial on You Tube and went to work.  And it turned out so cute!  And of course, we put it in the purse and wrapped it before I could even think to take a picture.

3.  Sarah also made a card for her friend which I did manage to get a picture of because sometimes I remember I have a blog:

4.  The kids start track practice this week.  I am the assistant to the track coach which is competely different than assistant track coach.  (And whenever I say "assistant to the track coach" I immediately feel like Dwight Shrute who was assistant to the regional manager...which is total different than assistant regional manager just ask Michael Scott. Oh, how I miss that show!)

However, I just learned yesterday that the children of the assistant to the track coach don't have to pay track fees!  So all my hard work will pay off in the end!  Or not require me to pay out, anyway.

5.  And speaking of school...I just finished putting together the 4th Grade Class Auction Basket. Isn't she pretty?  It's called Merlot and Van Gogh - An Art Basket for Grown Ups.

It contains three bottles of nice wine, wine glasses, wine tags, wine stoppers, a wine ice rod and all sorts of other wine accessories that I don't even know how to use because, well, just pass me a beer!

The basket also contains a gift certificate to Merlot and VanGogh which is a local BYOB paint-your-own-masterpiece studio.  I think it would be a fun date night or a great girl's night out place. And in keeping with the art/alcohol theme, there is also a paint set that includes water colors, brushes, a canvas, and an easel for those that want to paint and drink at home! 

6. I found a Facebook page for parents of Trisomy 18 babies so I joined it.  The nice thing about this page is that many of the members have babies with Trisomy 18 that are living.  Reading about these babies is such a nice change of pace from all the other things I've found on the internet about T18 babies.  It's nice to know that there are babies out there with T18 that are living for months, even years.  Of course, they are all living with major disabilities and issues.  But, I am trying to focus on the fact that they are living and I can tell from all the parents that post on this page, these kids are bringing them JOY!

7.  Dan is heading out of town on Sunday for a quick business trip.  He will be in Ireland until Wednesday night.  Please pray that this baby stays put and in place until April 10th.  I don't want to see her before then and I certianly don't want her to make her grand debut while Dan is out of the country!

8.  And a bonus take - I wrote these yesterday and it's a good thing. We got an ice storm last night so no power for us today. It's only 8:30 and the kids are already starting with "I'm booooooorreeed." It has the makings of a long cold day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Please don't ask me what I'm giving up.

It's Ash Wednesday and Lent is upon us.

Sarah keeps asking me what I'm giving up for Lent.  I have given her several vague answers but nothing concrete because, honestly, I feel like ever since we received Rebecca's diagnosis, I've been living Lent. I'm not sure I could pray any harder, or sacrifice anything else, or being any more charitable than I have been.

I received this in an email from Jenny in response to a comment I left on her blog:

My spiritual director told a friend of ours who lost a baby girl at birth that sometimes Lent comes to us in our circumstances, and that we needn't add additional suffering where there is already plenty. I remember her focus for that Lent was to try to be at peace and to ask God for rest and healing for her broken heart. I know that she tried so hard to rest in the cross she had been asked to carry, but what a lot to ask of a mother. Then again, He asked a lot of his own mother during Lent, too.

How beautiful is that?  

So, this Lent, I will be trying to rest in the cross that I've been asked to carry and while I'm doing it, I will be thinking of Mary and the cross she had to bear.
And I'll be eating chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Belly Shot

It's Sunday and this is post #7!  Which means I have successfully completed the 7 Posts in 7 Days Challenge!!!

Dan says this post is a cheater post since it's my weekly Belly Shot post but, hey- it's my blog so whatever I say goes, right?


This shirt probably isn't the best for belly shots since it has a bow on it.  And the bow problem is compounded by the fact that it looks like I was a wee bit drunk when I tied it.  But I promise, I wasn't.  Just in a hurry.  The kids both had sleepovers last night and we had to pick them up on our way to Mass.  Turns out we got there extra early so I could have tied a nicer bow.

Week 33, Day 6

Saturday, March 1, 2014


On Thursday, Dan and I went to our church and picked out a cemetery plot.

While we  are both praying boldly for a miracle for Rebecca, we are also trying to plan and make arrangements in case miracle healing isn't God's plan for her.

And choosing a cemetery plot seems more like something you would want to do as far in advance of the actual funeral as possible.

As we were talking with the secretary (or whatever her official position at the church is) it all felt very surreal.  We were choosing a plot for our unborn daughter and we were all very matter of fact about everything.

She showed us the map of the cemetery (it's a very small cemetery that will be expanded as needed later). Right now there are only 222 spots.    Dan asked a few questions and because it is so small, we quickly made our decision.

I let him pick because honestly, I didn't have a preference.  And then we picked the one right beside her for us.

Dan would like to be buried on Cape Cod. And I assume I will be buried right beside him where ever that may be.  Knowing he might likely be buring his child in North Carolina made him to want have a spot beside her.

So we picked our spot too, just in case, and we will decide in the future (hopefully, very, very  far in the future) what to do with our plot.  We can always sell it back to the church. For now though,  it's nice to know that if we want to be buried right beside Rebecca, we have that option.

After choosing the plot, we headed back into the church, filled out some forms, wrote a very large check and that was that.

Later that day, I met with our family practice doctor.  I wanted to make sure that if Rebecca lived for any extended amount of time, he would feel comfortable caring for her.  Then neonatologist we spoke with earlier said that a trusted family practice doctor would be fine for Rebecca and that she would not need a special pediatrician.

We really like our doctor and he's only a few minutes from our house.  All the pediatricians are about 20 minutes away. 

When I called to set up the appointment I told them I wanted a consultation.  When they asked what the consultation was regarding I simply told them that I was a patient of his, I was pregnant, my child was going to be born with special needs and I needed to make sure he would feel comfortable caring for her.

I never went into any details with the receptionist about the baby's condition and assumed I would have to discuss Rebecca's diagnosis when I met with him.

As soon as he walked into the room he told me that he had already read a three page report detailing the ultrasounds (I'm assuming they were sent to him as protocol since he is my family practice doctor).  It was nice that I didn't have to tell him about her diagnosis because even though I talk about it a lot on here, some days I just get tired of talking about it in real life.

He said he had never treated anyone with Trisomy 18  but that he would be glad to have her as a patient.  He already knew all about the esophagus issues and  that most likely the first part of her life would be spent in the NICU recovering from surgery for that.  But told me he would be glad to do all of her check ups and give her immunizations when she got out of the hospital and provide any other care that she would need. 

As I was leaving he told me he was very sorry about her condition and  he gave me a hug. I was caught completely off guard by that but in retrospect, it seemed way more caring than a handshake.

And that, my friends, sums up my Thursday.

And I made day 6 of 7 Posts in 7 Days.