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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where do we go from here?

I have a conundrum. I stared this blog partly due to peer pressure. I posted about everyday events, funny stuff and things I was interested in. Then Phineas died, and i became a blog mostly about him. Now that we have Frederick, I feel like I have moved to another chapter. I am not sure what this chapter is. Post baby death, post rainbow baby birth. I know that I should just post about what I want and it should be fine. I am hesitant. I am likely overestimating my readership, since I barely post and when I feel moved to do so, I write about my dead son, but I feel sensitive about who is reading. I am protective of my own feelings and more concerned of others as well, because I have hurt others through this blog.

So, where do I go from here?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Here, there and everywhere...

It all starts simply enough. I am horribly behind on laundry. Seriously, I have been way behind for months. There are too many clothes. The girls clothes need sorting. What to keep, what to toss, and the storing of off season clothes now that winter will be settling in in a matter of just a couple weeks.

There are mountains of clothes waiting to be washed. Loads waiting to be folded and put away. Out of the corner of my eye, I spy a shirt. The shirt. The one I wore when he died. A grey blue half sleeve, flowy thing my husband's sister had given me. I think I wore it because it fit.

Oddly enough, I have been able to wear it since. It hasn't bothered and teased me like the outfit I chose for his funeral. They had a singular purpose and have not been touched since. I want to get rid of it, though something just makes me stop.

This time, spotting that blue top about knocked the wind out of me. In my head, the lyrics of John Lennon's song went through my head. The song that I sang so quietly to my little boy when I held him once in the NICU, "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy..."

In that moment, I just panicked. I struggled to think of him, the way that his soft skin felt under the heating element on his bed. I worried that I was losing him. I hadn't shed a tear for him in many days.

I was getting so mixed up, my little fiery boy and his baby brother. Their existence so interconnected and weaved together through fate and circumstance. I have a baby. He is magic for us. But I have another, one who came and went so quickly I can't reconcile it to reality sometimes.

And then I wonder. And worry. Is it enough? What is right? How should I remember my boy? Am I OK? Nearly 20 months have passed and the world moves on, farther away each second. Am I lingering too long?

I have to remind myself that he's fine, that I will see him again. But I also wish him to be here. The constant struggle in my head about being his mother without him.

This is where my mind goes at the sight of a blue shirt.


Monday, September 5, 2011

The Place Where He Lived

This is something that has been waiting in my brain for awhile. I took this picture when I was 38 weeks, 5 days pregnant with Phineas. It would be another couple weeks before he was born, barely lived, and died. It all happened so quickly. A flash, really. A couple weeks is nothing in life.

A week after this, I was whining and complaining about being pregnant. Wah, wah, wah. I feel ashamed to admit it. I was big. Phineas just felt different, always changing position which was not the most comfortable thing. I ached all over and had a bit of anxiety over the impending home birth. I just wanted him there. Pre-labor had begun and most women who are pregnant can attest to what a mind game it is, wondering when labor will well and truly start.

Lately, I have had several women in my life complaining and complaining about being pregnant. I know it may sound hypocritical, but frankly, it annoys me. I know it's just me. I have a different perspective. I don't expect people to be the happy and carefree pregnant woman I was the first go around, nor do I expect people not to ever complain. Pregnancy is hard and not always the most blissful experience.

I just want women to stop and think for a moment.

To savor what moments they can. The only time I truly believe that Phineas was alive was when I carried him. I wish that I had cherished it more. Remembered his idiosyncrasies and the way he would stretch and shift. To remember what his possible future might have held.

Life is so fleeting. It slips through your fingers and you wake up and realize your child is headed off to school. You never know what kind of time you have. Several years ago, after feeling unwell one evening, my cousin suddenly passed away. He left his wife and young children. Others in the babylost world are well versed in how things can turn from just fine to not suddenly.

This is a reminder for myself as much as anyone, to savor the moments in life with the ones you love. Cherishing your children, even before they are born. Thankfully, most babies are born healthy and robust, children grow to adulthood without much trouble. But still. Still. It should not be taken for granted.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just putting this right here...

I grew up on music that my sisters loved. The Eurythmics were heard quite often and I have been a fan of Annie Lennox ever since.

Only since becoming a babylost mother did I discover that Annie Lennox was one as well. In 1988, her son, Daniel, was stillborn. I have rediscovered her music and under the veil of baby loss, her music sounds so different. Themes of loss are common (she also lost both parents to cancer).

I just wanted to share, and just because I love her music anyway.

This song has long been a favorite of mine, and the lyrics really speak to me at this moment:


Monday, June 6, 2011

4 Years

It is hard to believe that four years ago, I was snuggling my beautiful second daughter for the first time. Cordelia's labor was 10 hours, almost exactly, from start to finish. It was my first time going trough labor. It was hard, but so easy by the time it was over. She was posterior. She wanted to do things her own way! Not unlike her siblings, I guess. I recall being amazed that, even from the start, she was so different from her sister. Her own little spirit.

As the years have gone by, we have discovered just how different they are. Cordelia is abrupt, friendly and a bit temperamental. She can go from one emotion to another in a millisecond. She is a word smith and always wants her voice to be heard. She is independent, mostly, though maybe her self sufficiency is a result of being very much her mommy's girl for a couple years solid. There are so many layers to each person, it is amazing to see each part grow and develop as the get older.

I am so grateful to have her as a daughter. She lifts my spirit when I am down, adore her brother and a best friend to her sister. A wonderful and amazing girl!

Happy Birthday, Wia!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Right Where I Am: 14 Months

Fourteen months. It almost feels impossible that so much time has passed. I survived a year, I keep surviving. It doesn't seem like much, breathing in an out, trying to hold things together enough. At the beginning, the months went agonizingly slow. I just wanted to be further down the road. further away from the pain. All of a sudden, here I am with a new baby at my breast, wondering if he's anything like his brother might have been.

And guess what? It still hurts. Just as deeply as did before. The difference now I think is that it comes less often, I'm more distracted and I can hide it better than I did before.

To be perfectly honest, though, I am also happier. The lows are just as low, but the highs are higher. I drink more deeply from the happiness of my children. My smiley baby certainly does a lot to extinguish my pain.

There are moments that jump up at me and I have a flashback to that terrible night he came out the wrong way. The pain and fear are palpable and so very fresh. I am not sure that I will ever forget that. A sort of personal flashbulb memory. The sights, sounds and smells that night come back in very real ways.

My view on why he died has changed a bit, and my faith in God has increased. I still
wish for him, but I know it's just a passing thought. I know I can't have him now. I know it and yet I still imagine what he'd be like.

For a long time, I refused to think that his little brother looked like him, for fear that I'd replaced him. But his brother does look like him, and I get a glimpse of what might have been. Sometimes I catch sight of a little boy toddling around and remember, but my son isn't there. I feel like I will imagine what he'd be no matter how long its been.

I know someone with children my age who lost her son after his birth. I wonder if she's imagined. I would bet she has, counting the years silently. Silently, because people don't really care to hear about it for the most part. Those who do are certainly treasured. But unfortunately, the path of grief is often quite lonely.

And that is right where I am. 14 months later. Full of Joy and sadness and everything in between.

Join the conversation. Link your blog to Angie's blog and let other babylost parents know where you are in your grief.


Friday, May 20, 2011


I thought of writing a post similar to this awhile ago (meaning a couple years!) but now, I feel the subject is more relevant and much more significant.

My interest in names started when I was a child. It wasn't a huge interest but I would notice names that were unusual and was interested in what they meant. As a young teenager, back in early internet days, I did a lot of searching for names. The names were mostly Scandinavian in origin. I suppose to reflect my father's heritage. Names like Mette and Arvid were incredibly appealing to me. My brief dabbling in a name forum earned me a stern talking to from my mother. No more.

It wasn't until I got married that my interest in names was rekindled. I immersed myself in it. It wasn't so much an interest in naming a child, surprisingly enough, just a renewed interest in meanings and trends. It also made me a bit of a snob. I was only interested in names that were uncommon. The idea of naming a child something in the Top 500 names was unthinkable (ha!). Unless it was something time tested and waning in popularity like George or Anne. The older and more outdated the better (Nate still teases me that I like anything that is old and ugly. Read: Maude and Agnes). I raised my nose at the super popular names like Jayden and the like (not so much anymore), as well as anything made up (coughNevaehcough).

Now that I have named four children, my snobbery has changed a bit. I know what it is like to call a living person a name and also choosing a name for someone who didn't. I am more tolerant of what people choose and why they choose the names they do. I know how a name becomes someone and how they become a name. A name so tied to a particular identity that you cannot disassociate it from who a person is and how it shapes who they become.

So without further ado, I would like to share the names we have chosen for our children.

Cecily Ruth:

When I was a teenager, I was on a road trip to my grandmother's house. We had a pit stop at a mall. I went into a discount book store and picked up some one dollar books to read along the way. One book was an Oscar Wilde play. I had never been exposed to his work before and I fell in love with it. The language, the comedy, all that was in "The Importance of Being Earnest". I also fell in love with the name Cecily. When I got pregnant years later, the name immediately came to mind. It was perfect. Though, Nate didn't agree. Later, I learned it was just a misunderstanding and that he loved it, too. At the time, my grandmother was struggling with a bout of cancer and I felt strongly that we should somehow incorporate her name into the baby's name. And so, Cecily Ruth it became. I love that she has the name connection with my only living grandparent. She also shares a birth month and hair color with her awesome great-grandmother.

Cordelia Susannah:

Ha! Well, after the dream I had while I was pregnant with her, for awhile, I thought it must be a boy. Then, I became increasingly convinced that it was a girl and that we should choose a name for her. Nate wouldn't budge until we learned her sex at a scan. Names that we had previously considered with Cecily were out and we were sort of at a loss. We somehow agreed on the name Alice but then one evening , as I was huge and pregnant, Alice Cooper came on a talk show. I freaked out. No way did I want her to share a name with him! (I wasn't exactly rational at the time!) I mentioned the name Cordelia in passing to Nate one evening and he said, "How about that?" Yay! I loved that it had a literary connection as well, though comments have tended more toward Anne of Green Gables rather than King Lear. I don't mind that, I am a devoted fan of L. M . Montgomery (Lucy Maud, any guesses where my love for Maud came from?). We were split on middle names. I wanted Mary and Nate wanted Lorraine. As I was poring over our family trees, the name Susannah kept popping up. In my head, she became Cordelia Susannah, I couldn't shake it. I didn't tell Nate until after she was born. I had just barely pushed her out and he was asking me what her middle name was. Susannah just sort of came out. It suits her, I guess!

Phineas John:

The name Phineas also came from our family tree. Nate had multiple ancestors named this. I fell in love with it when I was pregnant with Cordelia. Phineas James was what we had selected until I had that dream. John, instead, became his middle name. I knew I would have a son named this. When Cordelia was born, female, of course, I had a feeling my next child would be Phineas. My beautiful boy. I had no idea that some of the dream became reality. My son, my Phineas. His name. So perfectly suited. He even looked like a Phineas. The meaning of the name, though debated, means "oracle" which seems so incredibly appropriate.

Frederick James:

Fred. The family name for the ages. I will have to remember all of the Freds. Nate's father and also maternal grandfather have Fred, just Fred, as a middle name. He also has a great-uncle and great grandfather named Fred. His aunt is Freda as was his grandmother. Just to add to the fun, we thought Frederick would fit in quite well. Not Fred, but just a bit more elaborate. It also had a literary connection and a connection to an historical figure I have admired since I was in school, Frederick Douglass. Nate felt strongly about using the name James. When I was in labor, we finalized the name. Funny how it was the middle name we'd considered for Phineas, but was more fitting for his younger brother. I love that connection. And then, shortly after he was born, we'd learned of Uncle Jim's cancer. After Jim's passing, we both felt that the name James was to honor and remember him, though it seemed merely coincidental.

If you have made it through all of that, I congratulate you. I love how multi-layered the names of our children have become. How one generation follows into another. How lives can touch simply by sharing a bit of our identities, our names.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Easter and Everything Else

I wrote a post about names, but events changed what that was meant to be before I published it. I will still post it with the events that I will share here.

Easter. Easter is so different for me now. Last year, Phineas died on Good Friday. Two days later was Easter. A day that I have very little memory of really. I was in such a state of shock. It also happened to be General Conference for the Church. I did not watch. Many people said later that there were so many messages that seemed meant for us. I am still meaning to read all of the messages from that day, but I have not done it yet.

Though Easter came later this year, memories of the prior year were very strong. Spring took a few weeks longer to "spring" so to speak, so it looked similar outside. The daffodils, the trees just barely getting leaves. It was as though everything was coming full circle.

Easter. A time of remembering Christ's resurrection. A time of rebirth and renewal. And you know what, I did feel renewed. New life has come to our family. I felt so incredibly blessed. The beauty of the Connecticut spring was a blessing last year and is a blessing again this year. This Easter was on the 24th, thirteen months after Phineas's birth. The first time I didn't dread the date.

We had a beautiful day. Church where we visited with friends. An egg hunt in the drizzling rain and dinner with my sister. A walk along the lake. A lovely low key day. A day to remember and look forward.

That picture makes me laugh. The joy of photographing children.

And then, we were blindsided again. A few days later, Nate's uncle Jim passed away. After only a few weeks of knowing he had cancer at all, he succumbed to it. No one knew how quickly it would take his life. So it is I suppose. We are well versed in how things can go from being fine to not.

The night before his passing, I was washing dishes after the kids were asleep. I thought about life and death worried about Uncle Jim and who he might leave behind. I thought about my little boy and the purpose of his life. Why some lives are so short and others are not. When Nate got home, we discussed some of these things. Why some things happen, about death and life.

I feel like Phineas's life and death made me a better person. Would I go back if I could and change things to have him here? The answer is no. I would so love to have him here, toddling around and giving snuggles and laughs to us, learning to talk. But to gain one thing, others must be sacrificed. There is no way around it. I like the person I am becoming, as shattered and destroyed I was, I am slowly piecing together a new and better me. Because of Phineas.

I remember Jim as such a kind person. Someone who wanted everyone to feel welcome. I was overwhelmed by Nate's family when I first met them. Jim was one who was so friendly and straightforward. The way he cared for people is definitely well worth emulating. Nate tells me he was one of his favorite uncles (shh, don't tell!). A man truly missed.

You can never go back and change things, you can only remember and take the lessons life has taught us, cherish the gifts and memories others have given us, and move forward.

So long, Jim. x


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Internet Dumb

I am working on another post, but there is something that is bugging me. For whatever reason, my blog is somehow linking on other people's blog posts. I have no idea how I am doing it. It happens when I visit certain blogs. It increases the traffic here, but it seems a little awkward. If anyone has any idea how I am doing this, I'd love to know. :)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

The End of His Week

Today (it is now after midnight, so not exactly today) marks the first anniversary of my little boy's death. The day we last held him in our arms. The day we had too return him the nurse. Never to see him in our waking, earthly life.

I wish I held him longer. I suppose, however, no time would have been long enough.

I have spent the last 9 days recalling what we had done 1 year prior. It hardly seems possible that this much time could have already passed. His birthday was incredibly hard. It did not turn out the way I had hoped. Nate's schedule does not allow for us do much of anything on weekdays and weekends are spent doing things that are more pragmatic. I wrote a couple of things that just felt to personal to post.

My arms still wish for him, my hear aches to see him. I have a lifetime more of years to get through before I can.


Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Just... Different


I have noticed a strange thing. Our little Frederick has made me feel like someone is missing even more keenly than I did before. Before his birth, I looked at my little family and things had looked unchanged. This last year mirrored the one before. I lived in maternity clothing for months unending. Phineas was gone. I knew that. My heart ached for him constantly, but it was hard to remember that he really was mine.

Our daughters were growing up and I was very used to being the mother of the two little girls. Things seemed almost settled in that way. Despite being pregnant again. I wasn't entirely expecting to have another.

Our baby is here now and I am so happy about it. He fits in perfectly. It does, however, make the space that Phineas would fill much more visible. I have a nearly 4 year gap between Cordelia and Frederick. There is a step missing in our little stair step family. Also, when people comment that I "now have three" I feel more apt to correct them. It is really four. Four children. Three living. One dead. That is my reality. It is okay but not okay. I accept that now. Four children that are mine but only one I cannot hold.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Around the Bend

Thursday. Thursday it will be a year. A year since Phineas's disastrous birth, miraculous life and all too early death. My heart is pulled so tightly in many directions. I am holding his little brother in my arms. His brother who has already lived twice as long as he did. He is changing so much everyday. I have seen glimpses of Phineas in him from time to time, but he has already grown past him. He has brought so much joy into our lives. I feel so much gratitude for this last year. I miss Phineas so terribly, but I am glad that we had him for the short time we did.

It is such a mix of emotions. Bittersweet in the truest sense. I am now pondering what to do in his day. I want to commemorate but not confuse the girls and remember him without awkwardness as my mother is here.

I wish he were here to eat his cake. I love you, sweet boy.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Know What To Think

Several months ago, a woman I had been on a forum with for several years was having a baby. It was a girl, but she had list of "just in case" names for boys. Phineas John was one of them. She had lost her son, a stillbirth, a few years before. I thought she was aware of my story and my son's name. Maybe she just didn't pay much attention. It hurt, though. Nate told me how silly I was being about it, but I remained resentful, a fact I am a bit ashamed to admit. The baby was born, it was a girl as expected, but she was the "almost" woman.

Today I found out that I inadvertently became that woman, the one who named a baby the same name as another lost baby. I felt and still feel sick about it. I found this fellow BLM from a fairly well known loss forum where I rarely post but often read. She is more active there so I feel like I should just bow out altogether because I am the witch who stole a dead baby's name.

I can honestly say I did not know this baby's full name. Frederick was a name that we had considered long before and might have used had Phineas not been Phineas. It was a name to honor all of the Freds in my husband's family, and there are many. It was a name I had dreamt about this baby being named. His middle name was one that I hadn't completely wanted, but it was important to Nate and it actually fits better than I thought it would. I feel like it suits him.

I don't know why I feel the need to justify this choice so much. I have long felt that the names of babies that have died hold a special sacred spot in the universe. But then, the name was so right for our little boy. It is hard to reconcile the two, indeed.

It may seem all so strange to outsiders, but I have committed a babyloss taboo. I don't know, I may just end up deleting this post.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birth Story Part 3: Reflections

I am not s superstitious person. I don't really believe in fate. I do, however, believe that some things are meant to be. I also believe in what some would call providence, or serendipity. He was not born the day that I had hoped for. I know it was really silly, but I felt like I had to have some closure of some sort. The dates just lined up.

But of course, he picked his own birthday which just turned out to be his cousin's first birthday. Yes, I had a nephew born three weeks before the start of Phineas's short life. I was jealous. jealous that he lived and my son died. Now, though, I feel so much more acceptance and maybe them sharing a birthday puts it all in perspective. It doesn't really matter.

My midwives and I (though I talked about it with others as well) talked about the old rhyme about the days of the week when babies are born. My first three were born on Wednesday. Perhaps it is a little appropriate that "Wednesday's child is full of woe". Hopefully it is also appropriate that my little Thursday child "has far to go". I joked that it must have been my long labor, but I also hope that he will go far and stick around in this life for a good long while.

As for the reason why I chose another home birth after our experience with Phineas: it felt right. That is the most succinct way to put it. Maybe it helped me to accept what happened or to know that it doesn't always end that way. I am glad I chose it. I was afraid, I struggled a great deal with, but it forced me to trust in God. Trust that whatever happened would be his will, that I am not really in control of life and death. I am grateful for this. It has enriched my testimony of prayer and of the power of God.

It was also great to have everything come full circle. The same two midwives who were there to experience the roller coaster of Phineas's birth were also there to experience his brother's birth. I truly believe it healed a little of all of us there.

And our little Fred, well, he is wonderful. The high from this birth is still going strong. I feel even more fierce love for him and all of my children. How precious they are. I look at this new little person and see reflections of all of his siblings, even Phineas. I wonder who he will be. We are all so excited to find out.


Birth Story Part 2: Thursday's Child

Thursday. 2 am. A mere three hours of rest! I woke up to contractions like crazy. For about an hour, I had them every 4-6 minutes. Of course, I panicked. Not wanting to be having a baby before the midwife arrived, I called K at about 3:15. Apparently, she had jerked awake several minutes before as though she were expecting my call. She answered before the second ring! I told her what was going on and that I thought it was time she come (especially with a two hour drive ahead of her).

I showered (wonderful!) and then wandered around a bit while poor Nate tried to get a little shuteye. After the phone call, of course, my contractions slowed (a harbinger of the rest of the day, perhaps?). I worried that I was making her come to early or that I was just overanxious. I got Nate to turn on a movie for me. I wanted a musical for whatever reason. My Fair Lady started as I sat on the exercise ball and used the heating pad on my back during contractions. I moved so that my knees were on the floor and I leaned over the ball. Nate laughed at me as I was singing "Wouldn't it Be Loverly". We also made the final name choice watching the movie, though I hadn't really noticed that a character in the movie had the name we picked. It was really coincidental.

K and C arrived at about 5:45. I wanted her to check me. I was worried that I wasn't too far along. I was at a 5 with a very soft and reactive cervix. It was encouraging. I went from a 5 to complete in just a couple hours with Cordelia so I hoped it wouldn't be too long.

We hung out and discussed musicals and how my sister and I would annoy my brothers endlessly with our songs when we were kids. Baby was sounding great and though I was a bit tired I was feeling like things were moving along, despite not having textbook contractions. They prepped the room and got everything ready while I labored.

Cordelia woke up briefly and Nate took her back to bed, where he slept a bit too. I tried reaching my sister so she could come over and take the girls to her house, if needed. I took another shower and tried to do different things to pass the time and get away from the pain a bit.

Around noon (I really don't recall, though!), K, checked my progress and there was a cervical lip left and the baby just wasn't quite getting it. He was also posterior which was not ideal. He still sounded perfect and seemed perfectly content in there as he kicked around. K encouraged me to try to get my water to break by sitting on the toilet. Instead, I tossed my cookies. K then said I could try being on my hands and knees to get the baby to move into another position. I tired very quickly of this. My body was just feeling quite done with labor. So baby stayed posterior for the time being.

By then, the girls were awake and going a bit nuts. Finally, we were able to reach my sister and she came and took the girls. Cordelia, my little protector through the whole pregnancy was not excited about leaving me.

By about 2 pm I was feeling pretty discouraged. It had already been longer than my other labors and I didn't feel very close at all. K suggested that she could hold back my cervix while I was bearing down during a contraction so that his head could move past. I wasn't certain I wanted to do this. I just wanted it to be over. At this point, I was really just beside myself. I just wanted my baby in my arms and for the pain to be over. This was probably my lowest point during labor. I was feeling very afraid and fragile.

Since my water had not broken yet, I took a bath. When I am pregnant, baths are my best friend. It was probably the best thing I could have done. It recharged me and I even got a little rest. I thought I might be able to get the baby to rotate a bit (I had gotten him to turn from a breech position in the bath several weeks prior. I prayed and asked God to get me through this.

I got out and indeed, he had rotated! We did what K suggested and after a couple times, it worked. Baby was moving past the cervix, bit by bit.

As 4 pm loomed, we discussed breaking my water. I was not overly excited about this because last time things went all to hell after my water broke. I wasn't about to have anything happen because I made that choice. Even knowing that women have AROM all the time to no ill effect didn't convince me. Eventually, I decided to do it. I just wanted it to be over. That was the "convincer".

After the membrane was ruptured, things of course, became more intense. I could not run away from the intensity. I was very slowly getting the urge to push, but I was so tired I barely made it through some contractions. Finally, at around 5, I had the urge to push. I could feel the baby moving down. And when my body decides to push, it really decides to push. It really just takes over. It took 3, maybe, pushes to deliver his head. I needed a moment to recover so I could deliver the rest of him. It all happened so quickly I couldn't believe it. Nate got to catch him and he was handed to me. He looked great, just perfect. He cried a little but mostly just wanted to look around. I commented that he didn't look like he was 9 pounds, but my midwives assured me he was at least that.

Frederick James had arrived at 5:08 in the afternoon, right before sunset. I was hit by the massive hormone rush. I did it! He was here! He was alive and he was mine. All 10 pounds and nearly 23 inches of him.

I delivered the afterbirth, though it took more of me than I expected, things got cleaned up, we were fed and then we just enjoyed our little guy. The newborn evaluation was done when he was a couple hours old and he was just perfect.

My sister and my brother-in-law returned with the girls. Cordelia had fallen asleep, so she didn't meet him until midnight that night! Cecily was a bit shy and seemed almost in awe that the baby was really out!

It was just beautiful. I still don't think I am totally down from that high. It was an incredible experience.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birth Story Part 1: Being Ready

It has been nearly 2 weeks since the birth of my little guy and already the specifics are fading quite quickly. I am going to try to get the birth story written in the next couple days.

As I am sure you know, I had very great apprehension as my due date neared (guess date to be precise as I conceived after only one post-partum cycle). March 4th loomed large and because I was measuring large and feeling even larger still, I couldn't shake the feeling that he would arrive before then.

Wanting to be sure everything was going well, My midwife, K, sent me for a biophysical profile on the Monday before. I felt confident that baby was still head down as he had been for the few weeks prior following a very short turn being breech. I was praying that all would look well. It did, though baby was sleeping during. Of course it gave me pause when the tech wasn't getting as much movement as she wanted. All was well. Healthy, head down and likely over 9 pounds. Deep sigh of relief.

The next day, K came over with C, the apprentice (these were the two at Phineas's labor), and J, my initial midwife for the pregnancy with P who would be assisting. We had a great visit. We talked and laughed and discussed when he'd be born. I told them I had a feeling it would be very soon. I was hoping for Wednesday. All three of my babies had been born on Wednesday. It was my parents' anniversary, my grandfather's birthday, and apparently Dr. Suess's as well. Strangely, it was also the 11 month anniversary of P's death. I talked about my fears and we discussed Phineas a little bit too (can I tell you how great it is to have company to speak about him so openly?). They listened to and felt the baby. Perfect, probably 9 & 1/2 pounds. That afternoon I napped a bit and got some last minute things ready.

Before going to bed, I had a couple good contractions and felt like it (labor and birth!) was coming and there was no turning back. Of course, I didn't sleep well. Contractions every 10-20 minutes as I dozed between them. I eventually got an hour or two of mostly uninterrupted sleep. I got up. More contractions. I called K to give her the heads up early in the afternoon. I still felt like I had a good several hours left. A friend picked up the girls and took them for the evening while Nate and I hung out. My contractions had petered out and while they were still coming, it was only every 20-30 minutes. So, we waited. Nate put the girls to bed and then came and gave me a blessing. A blessing that I could rest and that the delivery would go smoothly. I went to sleep at about 11 pm. No Wednesday baby this time. I tried to rest. I knew the baby would arrive the next day.


Thursday, February 3, 2011


As I sit here huge and pregnant, with mere weeks left until I deliver, I was thinking about the very few dreams that I have had. People often talk about dreams during pregnancy, speaking to their anxieties about having a baby and being pregnant in general. I have never really had many of those. There was the dream of Phineas during Cordelia's pregnancy, a small one during Cecily's (of a girl with brown hair, not her!) and two during this pregnancy.

Early in the second trimester, I had a dream that I had given birth to a boy, healthy, with my favorite name (of course, we have decided to use it). He was blond and gentle and grew very fast. Then one day, Nate brought home another boy, a young toddler with strawberry blond hair and a button nose. In the dream, he had another name, but it was Phineas, though I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't Phineas. How could that be possible? That he was alive and we had somehow forgotten about him. Soon I was in a store and the older boy was crazy, like many toddlers. He kept running away from me. I just couldn't keep him next to me. I wasn't worried about the younger boy, I was sure he'd be calm and waiting for me in the shopping cart. I woke up worried, that I would just forget Phineas, that I would never be able to keep him near me. I have struggled with how to keep him near despite all the craziness that is going on in our lives, including our new little boy, the one who just waited patiently for me.

Last night, I dreamed about this baby again. As the delivery is nearing, my anxiety level is going up, worried about whether he will be breech, if he will be born safe and well. I was holding my belly and, somehow, I felt a little hand near the top. I thought, oh no, this baby is breech again. The hand about grabbed onto my finger and I was able, to lead him head down. I woke up to a sunny morning and a feeling that somehow he will be able to guide himself and me to a healthy birth.

I pray every day that this will be the case. Today I am choosing to believe and have faith that this will be. Please pray for me that this will be.


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