Thursday, April 7, 2011

32 Weeks (and what an eventful one it was!)

Hang on folks, this is going to be a long one! I'm at the 32 week mark, which is just so hard to believe. (Actually, I'm more than halfway through the 32nd week, but the craziness of the week has kept me from blogging sooner.) This week has been packed with activities and milestones, but just so my Mom doesn't get antsy, here's the weekly belly picture!
32 weeks, 4 days

This week, our kiddo has been super active. All of the pregnancy books and websites say that by now, I should be able to tell the difference between distinct periods of Sprout's wakefulness and sleep. Well, if Tuesday is any indication, this child doesn't sleep much at all. He (or she) was in constant motion on Tuesday. From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, there was constant kicking, punching, rolling, and squirming going on. I don't know what Sprout was trying to accomplish, but in honor of the little stinker's behavior that day, I had to put on this shirt: This is David's kickball league shirt from a couple of years ago. I thought it was very appropriate for the occasion...except there's only ONE superkicker in there!

Last Saturday afternoon was my first baby shower, given by my Aunt Paula and my sister, Allison. It was so much fun, and they did a beautiful job with the decorations (even though Paula had a minor meltdown about the cake, which had some pink icing on it). Lots of friends and family came to the shower, and it was so good to see everyone. We got so many nice things for Sprout, and I'm just overwhelmed with the generosity and love that everyone has shown us already. Here are a few pictures:

Me with the cake and the [gasp!] pink icing! I think it's adorable, and still gender-neutral.

One of our cousins, Gin, made this adorable sweater and bonnet set for Sprout. The buttons on the sweater are tiny bunnies! I thought I would die from the cuteness right there on the spot!

You might remember back a few months ago when I mentioned that I was thinking about doing a presentation at the Kentucky Mental Health Counselor's Association conference on how to support women through the experience of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. I just felt like after my loss people didn't know what to say or how to act around me. Many people said (and did) some very hurtful things, but I know that they didn't mean to be hurtful...they just didn't realize that what they were saying/doing would hurt so much. I knew that people would appreciate information on how best to support women through these life-changing events, but it's not really that easy to find the information.

Well...I did it! Sunday afternoon I traveled to Somerset because Monday morning I was scheduled to give my presentation. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous about giving the presentation...I was more worried about hooking my laptop up to the projector so that the PowerPoint would work. (And after some technical difficulties, it finally did!). I had about 25 attendees, many of them familiar faces (either former instructors or coworkers). I was afraid that I might get choked up during the presentation, but I didn't. And you know what? I felt so at ease the whole time I was giving the presentation. I have to teach quite a bit for my job, but it seems like no matter how well I know the lecture material, I'm never quite comfortable enough to teach without notes. But on Monday, I didn't have anything. No notes, just the PowerPoint that hit the highlights of the presentation...and I felt really good about the information I gave. I gave them practical information about how to support women through the experience, some more detailed ideas about what therapists can do in sessions, and tons of online resources (since the people attending the conference were from all over the state). I'm by no means an authority on the subject, but I feel like from my experience, talking with other women, and some research, I gave worthwhile information to that group of people.

My presentation's description in the big program guide.

In fact, one gentleman came up to me after the presentation and said, "You know, I'm a hospital chaplain (at a small-town hospital), and nobody tells us how to deal with these situations. We don't know what to say or do, and we don't know what kinds of resources are available. This will help us so much." When he said that, I could have cried. I just think about the number of women whose experience might be changed because this man now has some information and resources. After my loss, I can remember telling David that I had to find a way to make something good come from something so horrible. Through this presentation, I think I've made a little bit of headway toward that goal. Now I'm just hoping that God will show me other ways I can make a difference.

Monday night (after the whirlwind trip to Somerset), we had our fifth Empowered Birth class, and this one was the best, by far. Monday's topic was medical interventions, and I would have gladly paid the $150 just for that class alone...that's how informative it was. When I got pregnant (both times), I entertained the idea of an unmedicated birth, but just wasn't sure if I have the fortitude to do it. That's probably the biggest reason why I wanted to take these classes...I wanted to know everything in order to make an informed decision. And now (especially after Monday night), I'm going to go for it. Please understand that I don't fault any woman who gets an epidural or any other type of pain medication. I just don't think that's what I want to do, after what I know now. I was so glad to get an email from my cousin Lindsey, who recently had an unmedicated birth with her daughter, Hazel. She gave me lots of encouragement and support about this decision, and I'm feeling really good about it. I know that there will probably be a point at which I feel like I can't do it, but this is something I really want to do. (And this is where I think my stubbornness will be an asset!) If any of you readers had an unmedicated birth and want to give encouragement, please leave me a comment. (And, not to be hateful, but if you had a bad birth experience, please don't leave me your horror story.)

On Tuesday, David and I went to an open house at a pediatrician's office in LaGrange. A good friend recommended this group to us, and I'm so glad we visited. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was impressed. They've got 8 doctors in the practice, and three are in the office on any given day. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, they're open from 8am - 9pm. They have Saturday hours. They're 10 minutes from our house. I really liked the doctor, and all of the staff seemed very nice. I think we've found our pediatrician! (And what a relief that is, to have one more thing to mark off the list.)

And to end the world's longest blog post, the thing that I've been waiting over a year for! Last Spring, David and I bought a weeping cherry tree to plant in front of our house as a sort of memorial to our first baby. We didn't have the opportunity to get an ultrasound image of him/her, and I never felt him/her move, so there's just been this void...there was no tangible evidence that that child existed. I couldn't stand that, so we decided on this tree. When we got it, the blooms had already fallen off, and all that was left were the leaves. Then, we had such a drought that I was terrified that the tree wouldn't survive. But all of my fears were pushed aside this week, because it bloomed! And it's absolutely beautiful. I love seeing that tree outside my kitchen window, because it's a symbol of that little life that so quickly changed ours.

Isn't it beautiful? The necklace was given to me last Mother's Day by my sweet husband. The front has a heart on it that says "love," and it says "sweet little one" on the back. It's seriously one of my most prized possessions.

So...another busy week is in the books! Next week is shaping up to be a busy one, too. Two classes, a date night, and a night of teaching. Whew!


  1. Thanks for the picture! You are beautiful! I know if anyone can have an unmedicated birth, you can. I support you all the way. Just warn David that you can't be held accountable for some of the things you might say to him during hard labor! I am so proud of you for doing your presentation. I wish I could have been there! Your tree is so pretty and such a sweet memorial to you sweet little one. Thanks for sharing. I love you! Mom

  2. I dido everything your mom just said!!!! I wish I could have been there for your presentation!! I know if anyone can go through labor with no meds it would be you!! More power to you!!! Your tree is sooooooo pretty and the necklace is so sweet!!! I have been thinking a lot about my two little ones that I never had the chance of meeting. (I think it's all these blogs you've got me reading now.) Anyway, we never really did anything so that I could remember them and now it seems I am feeling so guilty about that. I was afraid if I planted something it would just die or not do well. I felt silly buying a piece of jewelry myself. But since I have been thinking about it so much I am going to do something. I think I need it for the "final closure" maybe. My latest thoughts are a ring. Something that I think I could have forever. Just a thought...enough about that!! Love ya!!

  3. I'll say when Avery came so quickly and I barely got to the hospital, I was panicked b/c one of my first thoughts was....WHAT ABOUT MY EPIDURAL :) then they said I could still get one b/c my water hadn't broke...relief...then it didn't work in time....PANIC. BUT after it was all said and done and I DID IT MYSELF, I kept thinking wow I did it and I could even do it again. So if I can do it and not having wanted to in the beginning, I KNOW you will do great b/c you will be ready!


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