Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The little things

Last week's post was a downer, so I thought I'd write something more cheerful. Because the reality is, most of the time, Dave and I are ok. (I almost wrote "fine", but reality there is that we won't be that for a while.) Most days are not tearful, and while there may be a few moments that I think of Noah's fatality, I don't dwell on it usually. It would be impossible to function if I did.

A lot of times, Dave and I are happy with the normalcy of the pregnancy. We've never been pregnant before, so it's all new to us.

It simply is baffling that the human body can change so much physically. Let's face I went from being Annie to Whale-like-Annie and don't consider it a bad thing! When I go to the doctor's office, they weigh me every time. If I'd hit this weight a year ago, I'd be flipping out and exercising three times a day. But now, as a creep up to 150lbs, I'm not unhappy.

It's amazing to me that there is a little human body growing inside of me. I think that anyone who is skeptical about God has to become at least agnostic when they look at a pregnant woman: There is a HUMAN growing inside HER. Little toes and fingers. And a heart! So complex!

It's amazing experiencing Noah move. I've finally - finally - recognized the little movements in addition to his full-out change-of-position rotations.  They feel like bubbles. Once I was able to describe them to Dave as bubbles, he understood what to feel for and voila- he can feel Noah too! All those weeks I thought my intestinal track had shifted and that I was digesting food, nope, it's Noah. ((flutter flutter)) He say's "Hi!"

Most times I can look down at my tummy and play "On Which Side of Annie Is Noah?" and visibly tell the answer. I guess that's what people mean by carrying high or low - Noah hangs out most of the time upper right quadrant. Of course I don't know if it's his head or his rump.

And then there's the back pain. Not so much fun. After three months of sleeping on my sides, I only want to sleep on my back. Or my stomach. And guess what I can't do? Sleep on my back or stomach. The stomach for obvious reasons, but I can't sleep on my back because it compresses a main artery that sends blood to Noah. It's also sore from carrying extra weight at one point in my body. You try carrying an 11-15lbs bowling ball fastened to your stomach around for a while and see how long it takes you to develop back pains. Dr. Schipper said she would write me a prescription for "back massages from husband" if needed. I'm going to be trying prenatal yoga starting the week after next. (The studio is closed next Monday for 4th of July, blast.)

And then there's always the random cravings, random bouts of extreme tiredness, constipation, remembering to take the vitamins at give me constipation, remembering to eat fiberfull foods, peeing at least twice in the middle of the night, remembering to turn on the nightlight in the bathroom so I don't blind myself every night, and extra pillows everywhere.

So really, Noah's just a normal kid.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Disclaimer: Not Uplifting. 
Father's Day passed similarly as Mother's Day... though with less tears. I vetoed church because I didn't want to hear a sermon about how great and important dads are. It's not that I don't agree but rather that it is a constant reminder of what we will never have. Playing catch and teaching Noah how to ride a bike just aren't things we can think about without utter pain; instead, we'll be lucky if we get to hold him.

I have to remind us that we are perfect parents because we've given Noah the opportunity very few would grant him: The chance. The opportunity to make a difference in people's lives; to be treated like a normal baby instead of a fatal statistic; to be loved not despite all his difficulties but because of them. But still, we mourn for the loss of what we thought we'd have.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Noah's photoshoot

Full-body view of Noah, he looks like he's sucking his thumb, maybe. Omphalecele also apparent. (We learned how to spell it today.)

Noah's little legs/feet, crossed at the ankles. This is probably what's poking me every day...

Little fist! It's his hand, but his fingers are clenched so they're folded under.

Sucking on the umbilical cord...

Obviously he can't hear me tell him not to put that in his mouth....

Noah's boy parts! We had the tech, Jeff, show us because we found out he was a boy via amnio results. The big blob in the bottom left is his butt.  :)

We had an overall good visit with the doctor today. The Tech was disappointed when we had to schedule our next ultrasound while he is out of town. (Having to plan around Dave's schedule.) We had a minorly traumatic event as we witnessed a massive heart deceleration from 130s to mid 70s. So that was upsetting, but apparently not wholly abnormal. We spoke with Dr. Chao, who is our favorite, aside from Dr. Shipper. He has very good interpersonal skills. Dr. Chao arranged for a neonatologist from the hospital to stop by and meet with us. Dr Savid was helpful in discussing what options we have available - which aren't a lot, but we already knew that. We're planning on delivering at the Fresno hospital, where they'd provide some basic comfort care support. So overall, not a bad visit, but always emotionally draining. We're getting take out for dinner because a) we have no food and b) no energy to cook. 

Warning, the following includes judgmental comments. I'm just letting you know that I know they're judgmental. 
As always, we have many tales of the fall of the human race from sitting in the waiting room. Today's future-mom-of-notice was.... almost indescribable... Dave and I were unbelievably appalled. The office closes for lunch from 12-1pm. Having the appointments right after lunch are good because that hour gives the morning's rush time to even out, and you generally wait less. Well little-miss-Thang obviously didn't notice this, and continued to complain about the wait (they lock the doors until exactly 1pm). While we had to wait with her for 15 minutes, she drank a soda, pulled out some nothing-but-sugar-blue-and-pink candies, proceeded to announce to the other 10 of us waiting to get in that she was a gestational diabetic, but she didn't care since her due date is in 6weeks anyway. "I really shouldn't be eating all this sugar, but who cares." We also learned that this was her 7th child, (she's 31, I checked her birthday when I signed in.... come to think of it, she cut in front of me, but I don't care because I didn't want to have to deal with her); she has a baby girl, and a dead 12-week-old fetus in her that's causes extra fluid build up; she has the mentality of a 10 year old; she was wearing a tube top with a strapped bra. (Ok those last two aren't observations, they're judgements.)  I managed to avoid eye contact enough so that she didn't seek me out as a social companion in the waiting room (thank the Lord), but latched on to a 10year old boy who was there and talked about how many stitches and staples she'd had... There was also discussion of being in and out of jail, but I didn't hear the details, I don't think it was her that was in and out of jail, though, so that's.... good? 

Dave also thinks she's on welfare. Pure speculation, and judgement, but hey, if we can beat .007% odds and have a Trisomy 18 baby, it's almost a safe bet she's on welfare or unemployment. Or both.

When Dave and I over heard that she's had 7 kids, we just about lost it. How in the world can people like this get SEVEN kids and our FIRST has Trisomy 18? Why do bad things happen to good people, and why is stupidity continually recognized and rewarded in our society?!?!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dr. Horrible

On Saturday night, we had Tyler and Laura over for dinner. After dinner, we watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, a spoofy, pithy, laugh-out-loud mini-musical with a surprisingly serious ending. Written during the massive Writer's Strike in 2009 (?) (Why did I capitalize writer's strike?), it originally was available for free online, but now you can buy it in iTunes or watch it via Netflix. It really is sad it isn't a full-length production, the music is great, lyrics are insightful and fun, and fun characters.

While we were watching it, Penny's song resonated with me:

Here's a story of girl
who grew up lost and lonely
thinking love was fairy tales
and trouble was made only for me

even in the darkness
every color can be found
and every day of rain
brings water flowing 
to things growing in the ground

Grief replaced with pity
for a city barely coping
dreams are easy to achieve
if hope is all I'm hoping to be

Any time you're hurt
there's one who has it worse around
and every drop of rain
will keep you growing seeds you're sowing in the ground

So keep your head up billy buddy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Maternity Photos

Tada! While Diane was here - in the 45 minutes we had before we had to load everyone in the car to go to the airport - we did a mini-photo shoot of Noah and I. These are some of my favorites.
(Click on any of the photos to make them fullscreen large.)

The photo shoot wasn't hard until later - we were so busy getting everyone out the door, and then driving, and then driving again. But yesterday it was a little hard. I mean, I love the photos, but it's still difficult knowing that we won't have more photos of Noah. Regardless, the photos are a tribute to Diane's photography abilities - since the only light we used was the natural light from our bedroom window.