Sunday, August 26, 2012

Little joys

I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited to meet Rowan.  I'm really looking forward to seeing this child that's been residing in my belly for the last 9 months.  I'm excited to see what will make him laugh and what his interests will be.  But...there are a few things I'm looking forward to for myself as well...

1. Sleeping on my stomach!  I have been sleeping well...but I soooooo miss crawling into bed and rolling over onto my stomach to fall asleep.
2. Eating some of my favorite foods!  I did not realize how ingrained it was in my brain to eat cookie dough, or brownie batter, or cake batter when I bake.  I really miss all of those little treats. Plus, every now and then a medium rare steak or a glass of wine just sounds amazing.  All of those things will be consumed again in the near future.  Nom nom nom...
3. Roller skating!  Well heck, good exercise in general.  I kinda miss running, but I really miss skating.  Every now and then when I go to derby scrimmage I get a little sad.  Here's hoping I still remember how to skate well enough I can pass my basic skills requirements and can start skating with the team again in January.  Endurance will kick. my. butt. for a while (more so than usual at least).  But man...looking forward to it nonetheless.
4. Moving gracefully!  I feel like everything I do now is awkward.  Getting in and our of the and out of bed...putting on name it, I look like a clumsy cow trying to do it.  I guess I can't expect much else though considering the solid mass of baby protruding from my mid section.  But goodness gracious...being able to move freely again is going to feel beyond amazing.

I'm not quite ready to begin 'Operation Baby Eviction'...but...the cookie dough my mom made and left in my freezer is calling my name a little more loudly each day. 

Consider yourself warned Rowan...if you don't make your move for the door in the next two weeks, I'll be doing just about anything and everything to get you to move out so I can demolish that cookie dough.  LOVE YOU! =)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

37.5 weeks

We're officially in the home stretch.  Full term...big belly full of baby just waiting to be born.  Oh...and did I mention...ROWAN TURNED! 

I'm not quite sure what the 'magic' solution was for him, but he sure enough did rotate.  On Wednesday, the day after the external version, I was feeling a lot of movements, and some of them felt a little different-maybe different body parts or different location...just...different.  My cousin, who is a chiropractor in MN, suggested I do some research on the Webster technique that some chiropractors are certified in.  From what I learned, it's a way to make sure your sacrum is in alignment and your round ligaments are stretched out to prevent twisting of the lower part of my uterus to make sure Rowan had the maximum amount of room possible to rotate.  I figured it wouldn't be a bad thing for me to be checked out by a chiropractor anyway, so I made an appointment for Thursday to be seen.

Thursday it was more of the same movements.  When I would stand up, I couldn't find Rowan's head.  If I laid down, I could feel something that might have been a head, but it was further 'in' so it was hard for someone like me to tell-considering I have never had a baby this big inside of me before OR poked around on a friend's belly who had a baby in it.  I went to the chiropractor and they did an adjustment.  They discovered I had a lot of inflammation in my low back-though I can't say I was surprised considering I have a bowling ball on the front of my stomach =)

On Thursday night I went to scrimmage practice and asked a friend who is an OB to see if she could tell where Rowan was at.  I explained how where his head had been was feeling a bit more "squishy" so I wasn't sure if he had started to make his decent (slowly) or if he had flipped.  She did a quick check of the tummy and said confidently that the head was down.  Praise God! 

Over the weekend I tried my best to just stay relaxed and not think about the fact his head was down.  I went for a couple of walks, did some house cleaning (not a lot-I don't think I'm 'nesting' yet), and just spend some quality time with Ian.  It was a wonderful weekend.

Yesterday morning we went back to our doctor.  She asked if he had turned and looked soooooo surprised when we said we believed he had.  She did a quick exam and sure enough...he was still head down.  She cancelled the C-Section...and now...we wait. 

I am so relieved that Rowan got into the right position.  I feel a little silly getting as worked up as I did about it.  But...there's no way to know why he flipped.  Maybe he would have flipped on his own without any intervention from me.  Maybe he just needed some directions from the version.  Maybe he needed a little more space that the chiropractor's adjustments and stretching gave him.  Maybe God wanted to remind me that I really do have ZERO control over this child right now and had to ask me to fully trust in Him.  I have no idea...and really it doesn't matter.  All I know is that we have a healthy baby who is doing what he's supposed to be doing.  And now...we wait. 

We wait for when he decides he needs to be born.  I get to enjoy these last few weeks of time with my husband where it's just the two of us.  I get to relax knowing that I've done everything I can to prepare my mind and body for childbirth and now I just have to trust everything will be perfect in the end.  I get to have peace knowing that as much as I can try to control the situation, I have no control.  I get experience the peace of knowing that God's love is big enough to take care of my whole family.  That is an amazing feeling to wake up with each day.  For that I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

my dear sweet rowan

well, we've tried what we can to get you to move into the proper position and it just didn't work.  doesn't mean you won't move there own your own, but it was pretty clear that you are in the most comfortable position for yourself right now with your head under my heart, your back stretched across the top of my uterus, and your butt on the right side.  you did great this morning and kept your heart rate up so none of us got scared that you weren't doing ok.  so now we know that we'll meet you on september 4th and you'll come out into the world safely.

i am disappointed that we couldn't get you into the right position.  i was surprised when a rush of feelings came over me that made me breakdown and cry. 

i was worried about you-how would the surgery affect you?  would you be ok?  will the anesthesia they give me have a negative impact on you?  how will your lungs fair? 

i was worried about myself-will i be ok?  will i develop an infection? will i be able to produce the milk you'll so desperately need right away without the rush of hormones a woman gets during labor?

i was stressed out and felt an overwhelming rush of failure-why didn't it work?  what's wrong with me?  what did i do wrong?

how quickly i forgot that i have nothing to worry about.  how quickly i forgot that this whole experience isn't about me-it's not even about you.  yes-there are complications that can arise from surgery.  yes-there are risks involved.  but there is no need for me to worry.  worrying will not do anything positive for you or me.  i am not a failure and i did nothing wrong.  stressing myself out over this fact will not do anything positive either.  i was reminded of this fact while we were waiting for the nurse to say we could leave the hospital this morning in a pretty blunt way...

you see rowan, after they tried to move you, you were very excited or angry or jostled or whatever and your heart rate was pretty elevated for a while.  you were moving around and active and just ever so busy.  i'm imagining that you were trying to rearrange your room to just how you wanted it since the doctor managed to mess it up.  because of that, the nurse wanted to observe your heart rate for a while longer.  she just wanted to make sure you would calm down.  so our 45 minute wait turned into about an hour and a half.  while i would have loved to nap the whole time, the beds in labor and delivery are not the most comfortable.  so after about an hour or so, i started to get fidgety and decided to read.  i had started Crazy Love by Francis Chan a while ago, and decided to jump back into it.  i picked up right where i left off, and within a minute came across these words that smacked me in the face:

"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.  Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others or our tight grip of control."


i really don't know how you're going to come into this world rowan.  i don't know if you're going to turn yourself around in the next three weeks and make your entrance the 'natural' way or if you're going to stay put and we're going to deliver you surgically.  i don't know if some other complication is going to arise between now and then that's going to give us another reason to worry or become stressed out.  i thought there was so much that i had figured out-but after today that is all gone.  i have lost all control and now have to just surrender to this experience and what lies ahead.  because all i know, and all i can put my hope in, is that there is a God who loves you more perfectly than your dad or i could ever hope to who will take care of every minuscule detail in your life.  i know God has control over your life. 

spending weeks, days, hours, or even minutes worrying about how you're going to come into this world isn't what i need to do.  each moment i spend worrying teaches you that i'm bigger and more important and have more control over my life (and yours) than God does.  each moment i spend worrying artificially inflates my importance and deflates the love that God has for you.  i don't want that to happen.  because my one biggest hope and dream for your life is that you can experience the only truly unconditional love in this world.  your dad and i will love you unconditionally, but we can't do it perfectly.  i hope your friends and future spouse will love you unconditionally, but they can't do it perfectly either.  i want you to experience the amazing love of God-not so that you will have the same religion as me, but so that you can share that unconditional love with the people you interact with daily as you grow. 

the world you're coming into is so broken.  people are hurting and killing each other because they are a different religion, a different color, from a different place, or love differently.  i want you to know what true love is so that you can share true love with the world and bring some healing to the sliver of the population you encounter.  imagine how the world could change if you inspired even one other person to truly love others...who inspired one other person...who inspired another...and another.  before long, loving one another would spread like wildfire and maybe the world we live in would be a better place.  how are you going to know what this amazing love looks and feels like if i'm causing you to doubt it?  how are you going to feel this love if i'm not letting myself feel it as well?  if i want you to share this love with the world, i have to be able to share it with you first. 

for me...right now...this means letting go of my worries and fears.  i have to let go of the well laid plans i had for your arrival.  i have to breathe in...and breath out...knowing that only by releasing the tight grip of control i am clinging to can i experience the peace God's love can give.  i can't feel fear over what could happen in surgery.  i can't be worried about what may happen in the next three weeks.  i can only wake up each morning knowing that day was created for me to look towards God to experience his loving warmth first and myself second.  only by doing that will i be able to experience a calm and peace in my naturally worrying heart.

rowan-i love you more than you can ever imagine. your dad loves you more than you can ever imagine.  your aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, cousins, friends...they all love you so much.  but even though you will feel all this love every time your cuddled, kissed, and hugged, this love cannot compare with the love that God has for you.  i hope i can let myself feel that in these next three weeks so you can feel it as well.  the chain of loving people has to start somewhere, and i'm hoping it can start with me loving you as perfectly as my imperfect heart will allow.

Monday, August 13, 2012

36 Weeks

Turns out Rowan is very comfortable in a head's up position.  At our 36 week appointment on Thursday, his head was under the left side of my rib cage.  The midwife recommended we see our regular doctor early this week to see what she wanted to do.  So we scheduled an appointment for this afternoon.

36 1/2 weeks
Our doctor did an ultra sound to verify his position and yup...head up.  Silly little boy doesn't realize he's supposed to be head down by now.  So our doctor explained we have a couple of options.  We can either schedule an external version where she tries to manually turn him or we schedule a C-Section.  Our midwife gave us a head's up that the doctor may be talking about an external version, so we did a little research before our appointment today.  Our doctor explained the procedure and it pretty much matched up with what we had been able to read about.  Our doctor thinks we have a less than 50/50 chance of having a successful version-meaning she either won't be able to get him to move into a head down position or he'll go back to head up in the days after the version.  She said I'm not the best candidate for an external version because I haven't had a baby before and my abdomen hasn't been stretched to the max previously.  The good news is that Rowan hasn't settled down into my pelvis, he isn't huge (she thinks he's about 7+ pounds), and the placenta is in a good spot.  All those are factors that increase her ability to flip Rowan around.  She also doesn't have any concerns about Rowan's health or my health.  All good things to know going into this procedure.

So tomorrow morning we'll head to the hospital for the procedure.  We'll have a monitor put on to track Rowan's heart beat, have another ultra sound to make sure he didn't flip overnight, and then get some medicine to keep my uterus relaxed during the procedure (which will be good since I feel like I'm contracting ALL THE TIME-but really only about 4-6 times an hour)  Then starts the pushing...but I don't have to do any of it =)  She'll do what she can to move him into the right position.  She said it's not the best feeling procedure and I may end up with some bruises on my abdomen from her fingers, but hopefully she can get him to move.  If she can't get him to turn, we'll schedule a C-Section.   Our doctor said she would schedule the surgery for September 4th.  Then if he gets into the right position between now and then, we can skip the surgery.  So IF the version isn't successful, we can keep doing what we're doing with some poses and exercises to encourage Rowan to get into the right position. 

While neither Ian or I are really 'excited' about this plan, we're glad there's an option we can try before having to schedule a C-Section.  We're SO glad there are no health concerns for either Rowan or I and here's still time for him to flip-either with help or on his own.  Right now we're just going to see what tomorrow brings and then we'll go from there.  If we end up having a C-Section, we'll be just fine.  Our doctor thinks I'd be a good candidate for a natural delivery for any subsequent children which is a huge relief as well.

So tonight we'll make sure we're all packed and ready to go for tomorrow and get a good night's sleep.  We completely trust our doctor and know that the story ends the same.  Rowan will come into the world happy and healthy one way or another. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Before the cleaning and organizing began...
Well after a busy weekend, Ian and I can officially say Rowan's room is ready.  It was a little overwhelming going through all the things he was given at showers.  Needless to say we have AMAZING family and friends.  I can honestly say I don't think we'll need to buy this kid anything until he no longer fits into 6 month clothes...except for maybe some wipes here and there. But really...his bedding is set...plenty of blankets for sleeping and floor name it.  And what we didn't get in items, we were hugely blessed with gift cards.  It's unbelievable how well taken care of this kid is already.  I'm a bit humbled.

Will post more after our doctor's appointment this week, but here are a few pictures of the nursery.  Hard to believe he's due to arrive and be sleeping in this little room in less than a month.  =)

All clean and ready to go

Diaper Changing Central

Diapers (mostly cloth), soft friends, and toys

Closet FULL of clothes and blankets

Books, bathroom stuff, and a few odds and ends

Sleepy place...all ready for a little baby