dear baby fox - finally real

Dear Baby Fox,

I keep looking at you, amazed that you are really real, really ours, really so perfect. I look at your daddy and the way that he looks at you and my heart melts.

Your grandma G was there at your birth and has been floating on air since.  Your aunties, and uncles, are simply glowing, so in love with you. Your grandpa, mommys dad, sounded so happy when we called him to tell him about your arrival. Your other grandpa, daddys dad, and grandma J came to meet you at the hospital before you were even an hour old. Your cousins were waiting for us at home, so excited to finally meet you. They are all so proud and excited to be your family.

There are so many people who have been loving you for so long already who are showering us with support. You really are one lucky little dude!

You gave us yet another lesson in letting go of the "how" at your birth. It was the most intense and humbling experience of my life. Your dad and I were faced with so many big decisions and I am so proud of the way that we trusted one another as we navigated each choice. I promise to write about it all one day soon.

I dreamt your first night home that this wasn't real, that it was a two week trial just like our initial two week wait. It was so wonderful to wake up and realize that you are finally here, finally real, finally ours.

I love you baby.


Baby Cakes has arrived!

My Baby Cakes was born last night at 6:44pm. 8lbs 5ozs 21 inches I am humbled by the experience. We are exhausted but doing well, hoping to be discharged and home soon. Love to all!


Coming Soon.

We are very shortly going to meet our baby.

BPP looked good, but my cervix is still closed and we don't have any signs that labor is coming.
The decision had to be made. We came home to pack and are headed back to the hospital to be induced.

We've tried just about everything in the book to get things started on our own, with nothing to show for our efforts. Sex, orgasm, nipple stimulation, walking, induction massage with hypnotherapy, induction accupuncture, meditation audios, evening primrose oil, homeopathy, castor oil, everything...

I am trying so hard to be strong right now. To be calm.

I want so much to be excited about this day and what is about to happen.

But what I really feel is scared.
Which is hard because I can't quite put my head around what exactly I am so afraid of.


Still Here - 42w3d

Merry Christmas! Who would have ever guessed that yesterday was not going to be baby's first Christmas? The roller-coaster ride just doesn't stop.

ML and I made the call to cancel the induction that was scheduled for last night. I was hysterical thinking about it, and really just feel like this baby isn't quite ready to be born. We'll get another Biophysical Profile this morning.

There are compelling statistics that indicate induction as medically appropriate at 42 weeks, that bump me into a higher risk category for c-section (from 15% to 30%), that show increases in problems for babies born past 42 weeks, etc. We are well aware of the objective criteria that indicate based on my date of conception that it is time to deliver.

What I am having a hard time reconciling however is the actual information that we have about me and this baby.  There is a very healthy amount of amniotic fluid protecting the baby. The heart rates are strong. Baby is moving around. And while my cervix is soft and 50% effaced it is not dilated at all. After looking at the results of our first bpp, the OB looked perplexed and asked us if there was any chance our due date could be wrong. Our midwives have said that in any other situation they would have been recalculating the due date, certain that it was wrong. My mom who has been working with pregnant women for decades has said that I am just not acting like I'm 42 weeks pregnant. I am feeling great physically. Emotionally, I am really struggling with my anxiety mostly because of this mounting pressure to go into labor.

All I can focus on right now is staying calm and relaxed. Trusting my body to do what it needs to do. Keeping this anxiety at bay is taking an increasing amount of effort.

I have to say how seriously impressed I've been with the OB colleague who I mentioned earlier. He and the entire staff we've worked with at the County Hospital have been amazing. After I emailed him, he called and set us up with the first bpp the next morning (41w5d). We were able to walk right in to the appointment where the nurse was so kind to us. He came out to review the results and was so encouraging and supportive. We were able to easily make a second appointment for another bpp at 42w, and again everyone was so kind. He provided us with some statistics about induction and delivering post-term but in no way tried to pressure us into any decisions. He even went our of his way to accommodate our request to schedule the induction on Christmas evening. When I called yesterday to cancel the induction the nurse was very nice and the on-call doc who called us back again reviewed the statistics with us but didn't try to pressure us. He even helped us schedule the bpp for this morning in L&D because the clinic is closed today.

I am beyond grateful that we have this kind of support from the medical community. It is just insane to me that this kind of support isn't the standard of care for all women in our state who opt for a homebirth. I do hope that my experience might help bridge the gap between our two communities and make it easier for other local homebirth couples to access medical resources if/when they need them.

The supportive comments and love via text and facebook are SO appreciated!
Much love,

42 Weeks and 1 Day - letting go

"Among pregnancies dated by first trimester ultrasound examination, the prevalence of postterm pregnancy is only about 2 percent."

As of today, we are officially postterm.

I am still pregnant. Very Very Pregnant.

We had a second modified biophysical profile yesterday that showed a happy baby, so we decided to hang tight for a few more days. We go back in on Christmas at 10pm to be induced. 

I had really wanted this delivery to be free from interventions. We chose the home birth route because it felt like a chance to reclaim this experience as our own. ML was going to catch his son or daughter, and announce the gender. I was going to labor in the comfort and safety of my own home, my own shower, my own bed. We would be surrounded by people who I trust implicitly, not having to question their actions or defend our preferences. 

I cried as we drove to the hospital for our tests yesterday. I panicked (and refused) when they tried to put a hospital bracelet on me when we checked in. My blood pressure skyrocketed when they laid me down on the table for the ultrasound. I was so scared that they'd say something was wrong and we would have to be admitted. 

Intellectually I am beyond grateful for modern medicine, and these tests, and our doctors, and hospitals - but emotionally it all just feels so scary and overwhelming.

Just as there was grief in letting go of the way we would conceive our child, there is grief in letting go of the way that we will birth this child. 

There is still time for spontaneous labor and delivery. Please baby.


41 weeks 4 days

After a bit of a meltdown last night I am feeling much better today.

We had our appointment for a modified Biophysical Profile this morning and everything looks perfect. Plenty of amniotic fluid. A healthy placenta. And most importantly a happy baby with strong heart rates. They could even see on the monitor that I am having some contractions. Excellent.

We made an appointment for another check on Friday at 10:30am, but as we left the Dr. wished us well and said he thought that things would happen before then.

We are heading over to the midwives today at 3pm to chat. I'm pretty sure I am going to ask for an internal check and membrane sweep. I want to ask them a little about Bishop Scores and find out if they are able and willing to act as doulas for us if we end up opting for induction this weekend.


patience at 10 days past due

Another morning and we are still waiting.
Come on Baby, Can we please get this party started already?

I am working hard to keep my head from getting ahead of me. We are still well within the normal healthy window for pregnancy, but I can't help but worry about what happens if come Friday we still don't have a baby.

I did send an email to the OB colleague I mentioned in my last post. I also called his clinic and made an appointment for Thursday. I told the kid who answered the phone that I was 42 weeks pregnant, under the care of a homebirth midwife, and needed to schedule a Biophysical Profile this week. He said that he could get me in for an appointment in January... And after a ridiculous amount of back and forth, where he asked me if I was pregnant, called me by a different name, and again offered me an appointment in January, I now have an appointment for this Thursday and a message (that I insisted he repeat back to me to be sure he had it right) that will be hand delivered to the Dr this afternoon.

In retrospect I wish that we had continued seeing our OB in parallel with the midwives. We would have had to lie to her about our homebirth plans, which is what everyone else does. The medical system is so f'd up. Grrr.

I have to respond to the first troll-like anonymous comment I've ever received following my last post. While I appreciate concern and suggestions, I really resent the implication that I would do anything to put my baby's health in danger.  I have done my research and made well informed choices about my medical care. I fully respect that there are different models of maternity care and trust that women are capable of making decisions that are best for them. Furthermore, I take serious issue with any medical professional who uses threats or fear based tactics to pressure patients.

This space is a safe place for me to spew out all of my fears and anxieties about our family building. Just as it is unacceptable for HBear to defy our house rules (stay tuned for that post), it is simply tasteless and inappropriate to leave comments on my blog that are not kind and supportive. enough said.

I just got a text from Marianne at My Violet Thoughts with  picture of her holding her beautiful daughter. She'd texted back on the 13th that she was going in to be induced for Pre-Eclampsia and had been on my mind since then. I am so happy that she and baby are healthy!

Kerri at Uncommon Nonsense posted this morning that her labor is progressing - I am SO excited for her!

I just got a nice long massage, my third in the past week! I figure being 41 weeks pregnant is as good a reason as any to indulge.  :)

Okay, and the plan for the week is now in place (thanks to the email I sent to OB colleague)... We have an appointment with OB colleague for a modified Biophysical Profile tomorrow (11 days past due) at 9:30am. We will then head to our midwives for an appointment to review the results and get my membranes stripped. As long as things look good we'll schedule a second BPP for Friday (14 days past due), and consider  an induction on Saturday (when OB colleague is on call) or on Monday (when the other Dr we respect is on call.)

In the meantime I am trying to remain patient, and once again letting go of the HOW we achieve this Someday dream. Regardless of how we get there, we will be holding this baby in our arms in a matter of days.


41 weeks 1 day

I am beginning to wonder if I might never go into labor.  I am beginning to doubt that this will ever happen. I know that there is a baby in my stomach. I feel it moving. I can push and poke it. We heard its heartbeat just a few days ago. We have names chosen for it, and a dresser full of clothing washed and ready for it to wear.

And yet, every morning I wake up ready and excited to birth this child and wait for my body to give me some sign that it might be time.  I know that it will happen. I do. I just wish that I could know that it would be soon.

In so many ways I am grateful for this extra time that I get to be pregnant. I am grateful that my baby is growing healthy and strong. I am grateful that my body has held up so well to being pregnant. I am grateful that I was able to take time off from work these past two weeks and that ML has been home to spend that time with me. I am grateful for every single bit of this experience.

Its just that with every day that passes the waiting seems to get harder.

Each day brings us closer to Christmas, which is kind of a bummer of a holiday to have to share with a birthday. We are also going to be hosting Christmas at our house with ML's mom and stepdad arriving on Friday, his sister and her family arriving on Saturday. We'd expected to have a baby that was a couple weeks old... not a day or two old... or possibly even not born yet!

Bestie had to leave town for the holidays and now she won't get to meet the baby until after Christmas. My grandma left on Thursday to go live with my Aunt in another state.  I am so sad that she won't get to meet her great-grandbaby.

I also can't ignore the anxiety that is creeping up about the logistics of our birth plans if we don't have the baby before next Friday. Our midwives will allow us to deliver at home up to 43 weeks, but I'm not sure how comfortable I am with going much past 42. Our old OB won't take us back into her practice after 40 weeks, so we are left going to the ER and getting whoever is on-call if we need to be induced.

The midwives suggested that although they normally don't recommend any testing until after 42 weeks, I could always get a biophysical profile done before then if I wanted. Because the midwives don't have hospital privileges they can't order one, so I am going to have to get creative in order to find an OB who will order and perform the test for me. I know that they won't turn me away if I show up in the ER saying that I am 42 weeks pregnant and worried about my baby, but I sure would prefer to avoid the stress of that kind of situation.

I have worked professionally with the head of OB at our local County Hospital, and mentioned to him a few weeks ago that we were doing a homebirth. Most OB's in this community are not midwife friendly, but he seems to be different. He is responsible for making VBAC's available in our County, and his hospital has the lowest rate of c-sections and epidurals around. I am going to send him another email and see if he might be able to order and/or perform the BPP for me next Wednesday (at 41w5d). I  am a little worried that it might be crossing some sort of professional boundary, but am not sure what else to do...

I am well informed about my birth options, and confident in my decisions, however I know how sensitive I am to comments that people make and really don't want to subject myself to an exam with an OB who is going to try and convince me otherwise.

At 8 days past our due date I am feeling really good. I've adjusted to the changes that these last few weeks brought on and with a much slower daily pace am doing really well. We go on a small walk everyday. I putz around the house, rest on the couch surfing the web, take a bath, chat on the phone, etc. There is virtually nothing for me to do, nothing for me to think about. I have the perfect amount of energy to do feel great. I'd been feeling very emotional and irritable before leaving work, but now that I have no responsibilities my emotions have been totally manageable. The hormones are at the surface no doubt, considering that I did burst into sobbing tears the other night when a horse died on the random TV show we were watching, and that I get super snappy at the retarded HR lady I had to talk to yesterday regarding the claims for my disability insurance.

Soooo, we wait. a little longer.

and I look at ML and smile.

and he assures me that it is going to happen, that this baby is coming.


Due Date!

December 9th.
This is the day that we've been waiting for. Give or take a few weeks, that is!
The Foxy Baby is officially due today.

I'd planned to work right up until I went into labor, HA! Last Friday I decided that enough was enough and called it my last day in the office. I thought that I'd work from home this week, but it hasn't actually played out like that. I saw my GP on Wednesday and she officially signed me out of work on disability. (Can you see me smiling?)

ML had a very big interview on Wednesday. Out of town, for a project that could keep him gainfully employed for the next few years. His team was one of 6 who got shortlisted for interviews. 4 teams will be selected to have the work divided up among them. He feels really good about the interview and our fingers are crossed. Its been a rough few years for his industry, but we've managed. This would really be the most awesome thing if he gets this job. He'd be working from home, with periodic meetings in the city where the project is located, which happens to be one of our most favorite cities to visit. Please cross your fingers.

I am feeling more and more pregnant every day. More aches. More tired. More emotional. More ready to meet this baby. I haven't been sleeping very well at night, which means that I am tired during the day, but too uncomfortable to nap. Usually a hot bath will give me some temporary relief from the aches, but when I am tired nothing seems to help. I emerged from the bath on Tuesday in tears feeling so overwhelmed. I gave in on Wedensday night and took a sleeping pill which seems to have helped tremendously. My midwife encouraged us to have sleeping pills on hand to be sure that I am well rested when we go into labor - smart lady :)

The house is ready. The fridge is full. We picked up the birth tub yesterday. The bed is made up with multiple layers of sheets and plastic mattress covers. Plans are in place for HBear to go stay with my mom. I even have birth announcements mocked up and ready to go with labels printed.

I am excited. Feeling really positive about going into labor and being able to birth this baby. But also knowing that I am going to be so sad to not be pregnant any more. I've loved everything about the way that my body has grown and changed, the feelings of a little creature in my stomach, the way that people look at me, I've loved it all. Its been everything that I imagined it to me and so much more. I feel so lucky for the chance to have experienced this.

I've also done a lot of thinking about our plans for more. I'd always been so sure that I wanted a big family with ML - 3, maybe 4 kids. When it became clear that it wasn't going to be easy ML was clear that he'd be happy with one, if I insisted that we pursue treatment. I couldn't imagine the thought of only having 1, of an only child. However these past few months have changed my thinking. I feel so grateful that we are actually having this child. I'm not sure that I want to go thru everything again. I'm not sure that I want to expose my family to the rollercoaster of hope and grief that goes hand in hand with treatment.

Thinking that I might never be pregnant again, that I might never experience these belly kicks and bladder jabs, its an emotional jumble of gratitude and sadness, of love and loss. I suppose that we will cross that bridge when the time comes. We do have two frozen embryos, but at this moment in time, I am at peace with the thought that this is it.

So I sit here today, on Foxy Baby's due date, rocking my hips my birth ball, savoring every last minute of being pregnant, every last ache and pain, and waiting with anticipation for a sign that this little one is ready to meet its family. We are ready for you baby.


Temper Tantrums

I should probably knock on wood before I publish this post. I just read an article about the science of temper tantrums, and am really irked by the 'conclusions' that the researchers made and the ignorant comments made by people who read the article.  (

As a child, I threw horrendous temper tantrums. I'm not sure when they started, but I can remember having them into middle school. My memory might not be perfect, but I have a pretty clear idea about what caused my blow-ups and what might have helped resolve them.

According to the researchers, the best thing for parents to do is to simply ignore the child, wait for the "anger" stage to pass, then offer comfort for the "sadness" stage.

     "The trick in getting a tantrum to end as soon as possible, Potegal said, was to get the child past the peaks of anger. Once the child was past being angry, what was left was sadness, and sad children reach out for comfort. The quickest way past the anger, the scientists said, was to do nothing. Of course, that isn't easy for parents or caregivers to do."

I respectfully disagree.

I'd argue that in most cases, temper tantrums are how a child communicates frustration when they don't have the words to express themselves or the attention that they need. Maybe I was a needy kid. Maybe I didn't have the language skills. It really doesn't matter. I have such clear memories of feeling desperate to be understood, while my frustration increased as my attempts to communicate failed, leading me to a place where I really didn't want to be.

To simplify a temper tantrum by suggesting that it is a way for children to manipulate parents is downright disrespectful. No one, child or adult, wants to be put in a situation where they feel desperate and out of control. Having to turn for comfort to the person who ignored you when you were desperate for help isn't much better.

I'm not suggesting that my parents did anything wrong - or in any way "caused" my tantrums. I don't doubt for a moment that I wasn't a difficult child to raise. I am stubborn, always have been. I don't respond well to the imposition of rules when their necessity can't be explained to me. From a young age my parents taught me to think independently and question things I didn't understand. This really made it difficult for my parents to use the "because we say so" line, but we did have good open communication and were able to talk about the 'why' behind most situations.

There was one incident when I was in kindergarden. My mom had plans to go out but apparently they hadn't been communicated to me. There was something I needed to tell her, but she left before I could talk to her. When I realized she was gone, I started screaming for her. My dad wouldn't get her for me, and I thought that if she heard my crys that she would return so that we could talk. Instead of simply asking me what I needed and helping me either get my mom before she drove away or understand why she wasn't able to come back into the house, my dad put me into my room until I stopped screaming. I was beyond frustrated. I felt alone. I felt abandonded. I felt out-of-control and I hated it. In my 5 year old rage, desperate for my parents to hear to me, I threw my doll's high chair into my bedroom door, puncturing 4 little foot holes right through the door.

Why do we think that it is okay to ignore a child when they need us most? If my sister or friend called me, upset about something, I would never consider ignoring her, telling her to call me after she had calmed down. If she was upset or yelling at me, I might ask her to lower her voice or be respectful so that we could talk about what was going on, but I can't imagine a situation where I would simply turn them away completely. Why is it okay to do this to a child?

Bestie is doing an awesome job raising her daughter, who recently turned two and has begun to test the waters of defiance and independent thinking. Bestie explains that it has been helpful when she gets frustrated to think about treating her child as an adult with dementia, showing the respect and patience that you would give to a loved elder, recognizing that they have limited capacity to understand or deal with their feelings, but deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity, and love regardless. This makes so much sense to me.

I acknowledge that it is easy for me to write these thoughts, not yet having had to deal with my child in the midst of a breakdown, but I had to share. and hopefully when my own child challenges me I'll be prepared to rise to the occasion responding to their needs from a place of love and compassion.


39 weeks

How far along? 39 Weeks

How is Mommy Feeling? 
- So tired. I only got out of bed today to eat, pee, and take a bath. 
- Achy. Its like my whole body aches, my back, my ribs, my legs, everything.
- Poofy. I feel like I have little sausage feet. and yes, I know that i still have ankles and that it could be SO much worse, it doesn't change the fact that my poor body feel quite swollen.
- Irritable and emotional. Lame little things are upsetting to me and my patience has all but disappeared.
- Sad... that this pregnancy is going to be over so soon.  I just don't want it to end just yet.

How is Daddy Feeling? 
- hmmm. I'm not sure. I think that he is enjoying these last few days/weeks before our lives change forever. 
- He has a big interview for a very important project next Wednesday, and is a little nervous about the timing. We've decided that the baby can't come until after he gets home Wednesday night.
- Other than the interview, he is ready. Ready to have a wife who isn't so full of complaints.
- Scared that instead of having a pregnant wife, he'll have a sleep deprived wife and a crying baby. Not sure which is worse. 
- I think that he might also be a little excited about the delivery. Since we'll be at home, depending on how everything is going, he might be able to actually catch the baby as it is being born. Our midwife gave him a little lesson at our last appt. I'd never thought about it, but she made it sound like it was just about the coolest thing in the world, catching your baby as it is being born. 

Total weight gain? 
- yeah, we're not talking about the weight gain... I'm up 65 lbs to 215 according to the scale at the midwives. 

- My right ribcage still hurts, but I'm noticing it less and less, maybe because everything else hurts more and more. 
- My SI Join, at the base of my spine where my hips connect in the back, is very painful when I am in the wrong position on my back and try to move. 
- Heartburn seemed to disappear for a bit, but is back in force. Tums and Pepto are constant companions. 
- I'm tired.

The Belly? 
- it definitely keeps growing, but I hear from so many people that it still looks quite small for me being so far along. 
- I love it. I am in awe every time I look at myself. 
- I love it when people touch it and notice it and love on it. 

The Boobies?
- yep, I've got me some real boobs! with real stretch marks.

Big News this Week? 
- I decided that I'm done going into the office. Whoever made me think that working until the baby arrived was reasonable is insane. I will do my best to get as much done from home next week as possible, but seriously, I'm just so tired and checked out. 
- ML got short listed for an awesome project. He is an architect and work has been scarce these past few years. This project would keep him busy for a few years!!! We really need this. Eight firms were selected for interviews this coming Wednesday. Four firms will get pre-qualified and the work will be divided up amongst them. The interview is out of town - about two hours away in one of our favorite cities. If this baby knows whats best, it will know to wait until Daddy rawks the interview before deciding to make its appearance. 
- I've done a few things that I fear have been thoughtless and possibly hurtful to my friends who are still struggling on this journey.  I didn't even think about them until much later and am probably spending way too much time thinking about it, but still need to apologize.  and also to express this frustration (or maybe it is a sadness) that it can't just be easy. No one said anything,  but it occured to me the title of my last post was really thoughtless. I also changed my facebook profile to be a photo of my painted belly from my blessingway. Finding the balance between wanting to celebrate every little bit of this experience while respecting the grief that got us here is a challenge. 

love and hugs,


Got Bump?

Grandma Foxy telling Baby Foxy that she can't wait to play. 

Belly Painting at my Blessingway

39 weeks! I still can't believe that this is for real! 

the just in case Birth Plan

I mentioned it yesterday and thought I'd share it here. As I said I am feeling really good about our decision to have this baby in the safety and comfort of our own home. Most of our preparations have been around a homebirth. I freaked out a few weeks back when I realized that we were wholly unprepared in the event that we needed to go to the hospital. I am not at all opposed to transferring if that is where we need to be, but felt like there was some slightly different preparation necessary. I found pieces of birth plans online and patched them together into this one.


Birth Plan for  Foxy and ML
Unplanned Cesarian Section and/or Hospital Birth

Goal: It is our goal that should a cesarean be necessary for this birth, that the entire process be treated as the joyful, celebratory, respectful event that birth was meant to be. We realize that cesareans and other surgeries are a common event at hospitals. However, we ask that the staff respect that for us this individual surgery is neither common nor routine, but rather is a very special and long awaited event that will have effects lasting a lifetime. 
I strongly desire for my husband and friend (of my choice) to be with me AT ALL TIMES. I do not consent to being left alone without my husband and/or friend at ANY time for ANY reason during my hospital stay. 
I desire to be modestly draped at all times.
I request that everyone in the OR be introduced to my partner and I and that we are explained what their role is.
Please place the IV in my left hand/arm.
I do not consent to tying my arms down unless I am unable to control them. I strongly wish to have at least one hand free to be able to touch the baby once the baby is delivered. If needed, release my right arm after the baby is delivered.
I do not consent to a catheter being inserted until after anesthesia is administered.
I prefer epidural anesthesia.
I do not consent to tranquilizers, sedatives or amnesiac drugs being administered. My husband or I will ask for these drugs if we feel they are necessary.

During the Cesarean:
I would prefer a low transverse incision.
Conversation between staff kept to a minimum (no casual chatter unrelated to the birth) with focus being on making my partner and I feel as at ease as possible and kept informed as to what is taking place.
I strongly wish that the father be the person to announce the baby’s gender after birth.
I strongly wish that the father be the person to cut the umbilical cord.
I strongly wish to see the baby being born either by lowering of the drape or providing a mirror.
I do not consent to a single layer suture to close my uterus.  A double layer closer with dissolvable stitches must be used.
I do not consent to staples to close my skin layer and instead want sutures.
I do not consent to my husband being separated from me even in the case of general anesthesia. It is important that the birth of our child be witnessed by a family member even if I am not in need of support at that time.
I do not consent to any students, interns, or unnecessary staff watching or participating.
I strongly desire for the baby to remain on my chest or in my arms throughout suturing, recovery, etc.
We intend to keep my placenta.  Please keep it clean and refrigerated.
Newborn Care:
I strongly desire for the baby to be placed STILL WET on my bare chest immediately following the birth. Please cover us both with with warm blankets as necessary and perform any essential newborn assessments while the baby is on my chest.  
If for any reason the baby cannot be placed on my chest, I strongly desire for the baby to be placed on the bare chest of its father. 
Bulb suctioning only unless baby shows signs of problems.  Any deep suctioning to be performed with a mobile unit while I hold baby or at my immediate side.
I do not consent to weighing, foot printing, PKU testing, Vitamin K injection, or other routine non-medically necessary tasks for the first five hours after birth. 
I do not consent to hospital staff bathing or cleaning the baby at all.
I do not consent to the use of any artificial nipples for the baby.
I do not consent to the administration of eye ointment or hepatitis b vaccination.
I do not consent to the baby being removed from my presence at any time. If the baby must go to the NICU or nursery for necessary medical treatment, the father must accompany the baby at all times.
Recovery and Postpartum Care:
My preference post-op is to utilize a PCA system for pain management.  If oral medication is used, orders to be written for me to be woken up for timely doses (not waiting for my request).
I would like to be able to eat real food following the delivery so that I have the strength to nurse & care for my new baby.
I would like access to the baby’s & my medical chart.

Additional things to remember:
If necessary, we prefer transfer to (hospitals with NICU). 
Please take pictures! Lots of them.
Please keep in mind our journey to get here and be sensitive about your comments.
It is important to me that this experience is as inclusive of both parents as possible.
Please listen to me and verify that you’ve understood me. I need to know that I’ve been heard.

unorganized thoughts

Lets see, I have lots and lots to write about. I have lots and lots that I want to write about so that it is captured, so that I remember it later. Its all unorganized though, and I keep thinking that I'll be able to sort it out and write up some organized posts, but the days keep passing...

Thanksgiving - I've been thinking all along that our baby could come anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And now amazingly we are here, in that window of time where we will finally meet our child. After freaking out last week about not feeling ready, I am feeing better. Maybe not totally ready, but at peace with the timing of things. ML ordered the carseat, I bought the missing diaper wipes, we got the maternity shots, and had the blessing way. There is some stuff to finnish up at work, but honestly I'd be fine leaving it undone, and am really looking forward to not having to go back into the office for a while. (although I will be working thru my due date on Dec 9th, unless the baby comes before then.)

Sleeping - I've been snoring for a while now, but think that it might have turned into sleep apnea. Even when I am on my side it is happening. It is waking ML up at night, and also becoming an impediment to my own sleep. Thanksgiving I tried sleeping on the recliner couch. It was marginally better than the bed, but not by much. The next night I tried sleeping on the other couch, our big L shaped extra wide couch. I was able to get a better night sleep and figured out a way to arrange pillows in our bed so that I can sleep in a semi-reclined position with support on my back making it easier to sleep on my side. We had to push the bed into the corner in order to build my pillow fort, but its working out really well. The only challenge is the climb out of the bed to pee multiple times every night.

Cycle Buddies - As we approach our due date my thoughts are often with Augusta. We cycled together back in the spring, and celebrated our positives together. At her 12 week appointment, just a day before mine, she learned that her baby's heart had stopped beating. She and her husband were devastated and I was shaken to the core. Not that any of this makes sense, but I still can't get my hear around how so much loss and sadness is possible can be dumped onto a single wonderful human being.  I also struggle with knowing what to do or not do, to say or not say, wanting to continue loving and supporting this dear woman as her journey continues,  yet realizing how hard it might be for her as this due date of her much loved child approaches. I wonder how to communicate via the internet when sometimes there just aren't words.

Azoo Buddies - Julie, Laura, Alison, and Genevieve - I will never be able to thank you girls enough for sharing your stories so honestly. You've given me so much strength. The love and admiration that you have for your husbands, for your beautiful babies, The compassion that you have for others who are on the same path as us, my heart simply overflows with gratitude.

The Class of 2030 - If things had worked out differently, ML and I would be preparing to celebrate the fourth birthday of our first child later this winter. We would have been ahead of the curve when it came to starting our family in comparison to our friends. Interestingly many of our friends waited until their early 30's to build their families, and as it turns out our timing with this baby couldn't be more spot on.

The evening of our blessingway, ML got a call from his best friend Mr Traveler announcing that Mrs. Traveler is pregnant! They'd been trying for some time, but she's watched so many friends struggle (and a handful give up) with fertility treatments that she wasn't sure that it was a path they'd choose.  I couldn't be more excited that we will get to experience this parenthood thing with this awesome couple. I am especially thrilled that ML and Mr T will have each other for support!

As they talked, they realized that there are a whole lot of our friends (including a bunch of the guys from ML's fraternity) who are expecting babies for the class of 2030. A decent handful of us are all on #1, with a few on #2, and a few more who just announced that they are expecting #3. Not only am I really excited that we will have so much good company, but I am also so relieved that we've been pregnant as all of these pregnancy announcements hit.

My Blessingway - Bestie and my mom hosted the sweetest blessingway for me last weekend. It was small and simple, but perfect and just what I wanted and needed. We sang a few songs, the ladies who'd gathered shared some poems, stories, and other words of encouragement. I sat with my feet in a delicious footbath and got hand and foot massages. We blessed our home. Then we painted my belly. It was so nice. Then we invited the boys to come over for dinner. ML emerged from the bedroom where he'd been in hiding and was showered with gifts of daddy books. I'd wanted to find a way to include him in the celebrations and this was just perfect. Watching him open these sweet gifts and seeing the smile on his face nearly made me cry. I love him so much.

Group B Strep - Among the things I was worried about last week was the Group B Strep test. The midwives offered me the test if I wanted it, but explained that most of their clients declined the test since there wasn't a good way to treat it at a homebirth. They suggested I read up on it and let them know what we'd like to do. I read up, and there was no way that I wasn't going to treat it if it was positive. We've been in the less than 1% category too many times for me to think that it wouldn't apply to us, and the 1 in 200 odds of a sick baby if I was GBS + and didn't get the IV antibiotics simply wasn't a risk I was willing to take. I let them know, and they started looking into our options in case the test came back positive. I decided not to worry too much until we got the results which it turns out are negative.

HomeBirth - Things are coming together nicely. I am feeling so good about our choice. I love my home, I love my bed, my shower, my puppy. I love it here. I feel so safe here. I won't argue for a second if we need to transfer to the hospital, but I do feel really good about our choice to stay at home so long as everything is safe and normal.

Just in Case BirthPlan - In the event that we need to transfer to the hospital or have a c-section I need to know that we were prepared, that my people were prepared to advocate for what I wanted. It isn't ideal because we won't have the opportunity to review our plan in advance with the on-call OB, but certainly better than nothing. My biggest fear is of being left alone, at any time, for any reason, while in the hospital. I think ML knew this, and I think that I impressed this onto the midwives so that it won't be an issue. I do worry though that hospital policy might not be so accommodating.

Work - I reduced my hours to 32 per week. I really wish that I could call it quits though, and just take it easy putzing around the house, getting my christmas shopping done, taking three baths a day, writing my thank you notes, and generally letting my mind be as unengaged as it wants.

Maternity Pictures - After my breakdown last Saturday, we got our maternity shots taken on Sunday morning. I felt great, and can't wait to see the pictures. Oh my gosh I can't wait.

Anticipation - We've officially entered the "It could be anytime" phase. There is most definitely an anticipation in the air at the Foxy Home.


Most Perfect Diaper Bag Ever

I have the best Bestie a girl could ever ask for. Not only did she help plan the sweetest blessingway, talk me down from the edge yesterday, but she made me the most beautiful perfect diaper bag a girl could ever ask for. 
I love her. 
I love this bag.
and I love everything that this bag represents. 

I am so beyond lucky. 



I feel like I am falling apart at the seams.

I've been on the verge of tears all day. The kind where they well up in my eyes and break my voice up if I try to talk.

I'm feeling the pressure of a deadline that could be tonight or could be five weeks from now.  Combined with a tired that seems to be growing as a result of all the tossing and turning I do at night and a set of body aches that are just wearing me down.

I woke up a couple weeks back overcome with emotions that had left me alone for the majority of this pregnancy. The tears, the frustrations, the irritability, the grump, these unwelcome guests just forced their way back into my life.

Last Friday I got into a fight with my sister about Thanksgiving. She left in tears and I felt awful. It is a longstanding issue in our family, but seriously there is no excuse for me to say anything to make her cry.

At work this week I almost tore into a colleague because she wasn't following through on a request that I'd made of her earlier. I was so frustrated that I actually called her boss to report her defiance - luckily he wasn't there and I had time to collect myself before making a scene about something that has been this way for a long time and probably isn't going to change until she retires.

Worst of all, I blew up at ML this morning. Its like I was possessed and unable to communicate rationally. I swear I have rational thoughts, but instead they come out like obsessive demands, and when he responded to them as such I just fell apart. and its taken me all day to try and regain my composure.

I am so worried about meeting this deadline, and yet I basically lost a whole day of preparation to these emotions.

Among my biggest issues at the moment is maternity pictures. I want these pictures. I've dreamed of these pictures. And yet I've put off scheduling these photo shoot for some unknown reason. For a long time I was afraid to plan anything, and then I wanted them to be perfect and waited until I had the time to decide exactly what I wanted, and now I feel like if we don't do them NOW, there is a chance that they won't happen at all.

I hit my breaking point this morning when I asked ML to take some pictures with me before breakfast and he suggested that it could wait until later in the day. I honestly can't recall how it all fell apart, but it did. I told him that I would never forgive him if I didn't get these pictures. As I started to lose it, he tried to offer a few other suggestions that only made me more upset.

Bestie and I ended up talking. I explained that I was such a mess at this point that I just needed ML to take charge and make the photos happen. I was beyond the point of being able to choose or call a photographer. I was beyond the point of being able to select clothing to wear or the types of pictures I wanted. I had turned into a blithering idiot who needed to be coddled. Her sister had recommended a photographer earlier, so her sister called the guy to see if he was available for a shoot today. He wasn't, so she text his info to ML so that he could set up a time tomorrow. ML promptly forwarded the contact info along to me so that I could call the guy....

Apparently I don't know how to communicate to him that I am just so overwhelmed that I need him to take over for a bit. And how is he supposed to know what I need if I can't tell him?

I feel like there are a few things that I feel like I've been asking for from ML in preparation for this baby, and while he is taking on a TON of other really important responsibilities he is not understanding why these things are important to me.
A book I wanted him to read - one book to prepare him to be a good birth partner. I know how much I am going to rely on him and need to know that he is prepared.
A few birth classes that I signed up up to take together - the curriculum turned out to be less than robust and we didn't really learn much of anything, but I took it so personally that he balked attending.
These maternity pictures - how can he not see that we are running out of time?
Just thinking about it now is bringing on the tears again.

I feel so lame for being so lame.
I am not ready for this to be over. I am not. and I feel the clock ticking that this pregnancy is coming to an end. And while I sit here complaining, I just want it to last for a while longer.

I just don't know if we will ever do this again. The more I think about it the more I find myself thinking that this just might be it. and I want these last few days/weeks to be great. and I want the birth to be the best that it can be. There is no going back.
The photographer is coming tomorrow at 10:30 for our photo shoot. ML took me shopping to get some clothes for the pictures. My mom is taking me for a foot massage this evening. Bestie and my mom are throwing me a small blessingway tomorrow. We are going to bless this home, paint my belly, sing some songs, and hopefully help me find a better emotional place to be.


Full Moon

ML and I admired the almost full moon last night. I've always heard that more maternity wards are extra busy on the full moon.

The next full moon will be on December 10th. I think that would be a perfect day for our baby to makes its entrance into this wonderful world.

And I can spend the next month watching the moon wane and wax knowing that each night is bringing me one day closer to my Someday family.


36 weeks

How far along? 36 Weeks

How is Mommy Feeling? 
- Great! I really am feeling fantastic, loving every minute of these final weeks. 
- Overwhelmed with gratitude. I can't stop thinking about how incredible this whole experience has been, about how lucky ML and I are to be where we are right now. I am overwhelmed by all of the love that has been showered upon us, by my mom and sister, by Bestie and her sister and their families, by the people at work who have all been so wonderful and supportive, by everyone I encounter everyday who sees this as the miracle that it is.
- I did wake up last Friday feeling very emotional. Little things started irritating me. People at work started getting to me. My patience with HBear got very thin. I started worrying about things again. I cried for the first time in months. Week 35 marked the return of the emotional Foxy. 
- I have a long list of things that need to get done before the baby comes, but I am so tired and unmotivated. I'd be thrilled if my only responsibilities every day were to relax on the couch, listen to music, go for a walk, do some yoga, eat some food (that someone else makes), cuddle with ML, and chat with friends. 
- I realized last week that we were not at all prepared for the possibility of a hospital delivery. I am not opposed to going to the hospital if need be, or to any of the interventions that are available to us at the hospital if need be. I am however  very concerned about the rest of the 'standard' hospital procedures and protocol that we'd be subject to that are not necessarily necessary. I've started worrying about seemingly simple things like the hospital staff bathing our baby - which I know seems dumb, but I really don't want to happen. I'm desperately worried about being left alone in the event of a c-section, during the time that ML would have to change into scrubs or if he had to follow the baby to the nursery.  Stuff like that... We talked about my concerns with the midwives, and I wrote up a 'just in case' plan that we'll review at our check-up next week. I have so much confidence in being at home, but don't want to set myself up for panic if we end up transferring. It will feel so much better to know that my team is prepared to advocate for me, if need be. 

How is Daddy Feeling? 
- Daddy is working so hard to get this studio remodel finished. Instead of renting out rooms of our home, we will have a totally separate private studio apartment to rent out come January. He has done almost all of the work himself and it looks great. We stood admiring his craftsmanship the other night and talked about how we could be totally comfortable in the 250 sqft 1 bedroom studio. 
- Not necessarily a feeling, but I think it is important to acknowledge that ML has been to almost every single appointment leading up to this pregnancy and birth. I only attended one fertility appointment on my own (at which I fully fell apart in hysterics) and there was one pre-natal that he wasn't able to attend. He has been so involved every step of the way. 
- Regardless of his involvement, he has expressed feelings of being left out of the experience. We've watched some birth videos and where I see a beautiful family cuddled up together following a birth, he sees a mother and child with a father standing awkwardly to the side. 
- Acknowledging that this is part of our experience, I have to share a comment that our midwife made a couple weeks ago. She was feeling my stomach and inquired as to my birth weight, then asked ML about his birth weight. She was trying to get a sense for the size of this baby, and ML had to kindly remind her about the genetics of our child. He was calm and matter of fact, but it still stung. We get it that this is not the last time we'll hear that kind of comment, but I hate that people who are supposed to know are not more sensitive. My heart breaks again and again when I think about this, and I would do anything to protect ML from that pain, and also to protect our child from ignorance. I know that none of it is intentional, but it doesn't make it okay. 
- Not necessarily a daddy feeling, but I can't help but say again how much I love and adore this man. I just know that he is going to be the most incredible father, and I can't wait to experience parenthood with him. 

Total weight gain? 
- I only gained 2 more lbs this last month, up 45 to 200. 
ML has been complaining about needing to shed a few lbs, but I keep encouraging him to wait until I'm ready to join him so that we can lose weight together. Besides, I really don't want to outweigh him... 

- the list is getting longer! It seems that I feel heavier and tireder by the hour. 
- I had some fairly intense episodes of pain last Sunday. I'd spent the morning cleaning the house then went to help my grandma with her shopping chores. As I was walking thru the grocery store my stomach started feeling sharp cramp like pains. I hunched over the cart and continued on, moving at a snails pace. The pains stopped when I stopped, started again when I started moving again. I decided to cancel the rest of the day's activities and head home to rest. The midwives said that I need to take it easy and the pains were little warnings that I was overdoing it. 
- My ribcage still hurts, only on the right side, a muscular aching that is relieved by movement, laying on my back with ice, by the prescription lidocane patch, by a hot bath, and by massage deep in between the ribs. 
- My SI Joint has started becoming tender and painful. I'll get sharp pains in that section of lower back right where the sacrum connects to my pelvic bones if I lay flat on my back or when I roll over or when I try to stand up from laying. Yoga and the chiropractor seem to be helping, but it is complicating my strategies for dealing with the rib pain since the only position that the rib pain is relieved is when I lay flat on my back. 
- I''ve been going to pre-natal yoga at least once per week. There is a class at my moms parenting program on Wednesdays, another class offered at the yoga studio on Thursdays, and another class run by my chiropractor on Tuesdays. Between the three, I've been able to get one class in every week. It is great.
- The chiropractor has helped a lot with my rib pain, which is isolated to my right side, worse later in the day or when I've been sitting for too long. The prescription Lidocane patches have also been lifesavers. 
- Heartburn is a regular visitor. I haven't had any more 
- Night sweats is a new symptom, but pretty constant this past week. 
- My bladder continues to shrink, and my thirst continues to grow, leading to many visits to the toilet. Every so often the baby will move and jab at my bladder leaving me gasping and hoping that I retain bladder control. I've joked about needing to throw an extra pair of pant in my trunk - just in case!
- My hands and feet feel swollen, but apparently not enough to actually classify as swelling by the dr or midwife.
- The irritability is irritating. 

The Belly? 
- it keeps growing. My sister saw me yesterday after two days of not seeing me and swears that it grew again :)
- I love it. 
- We are going to paint it at the blessingway.

The Boobies?
- They keep growing too. I need to get a new bra that fits. I've resorted to wearing GAP maternity tanks with shelf bras the past few weeks. 
- The stretch marks are growing...

Big News this Week? 
- Instead of telling this baby to stick around, I am supposed to tell it that it is okay to come out. I've been pondering this change in thinking, not sure that I'm totally on board with it just yet. It makes sense to me, and I'm glad that it was brought up this early, because I hadn't realized how powerfully I'd internalized the feelings of keeping the baby safe inside me.  KerriK mentioned some audio meditations that I think will be very helpful. 
- I cut my hours at work back from 40 to 32. It doesn't seem like a huge difference, but if I've got to keep working it is making it so much more bearable. I'm trying hard to get things wrapped up before I go on leave, but my mind just isn't in it. I feel bad for 'checking out' early, but I think I have as decent an excuse as they come! (My boss has been great and very understanding, but the other lady I work closely with seems to be getting a little frustrated about it all.) 
- Bestie and my mama are planning my Blessingway for next weekend. It will be a small gathering of some of my closest women friends at our house. It is important to me that in addition to preparing for the birth, that we acknowledge the journey that led us here, and also find a way to honor ML. I gave them a few ideas about how to achieve all of those goals, but am still thinking about how I might want to incorporate all of these things into a blessingway event. 
- Ohhh, it is my Birthday month! I'll be 34 next Thursday! Its going to be an amazing year. 

love and hugs,


Not Yet

We met with the midwife yesterday. We're far enough now that we'll be seeing her every week until the baby arrives. Pretty crazy when I think about it!

After they listened to me freak out about needing to have a 'just in case' birth plan in place so that we are prepared in the event of a hospital transfer and/or c-section delivery, they said something about not wanting me to work up until the due date.

Essentially they were telling me that I needed to allow plenty of time to prepare my mind and body, time to just focus on being ready to welcome this new life, to give birth to this new life.

The discussion was about when I'd start my maternity leave - which heck, I'd start now if it were paid - but really it was about taking the time to tell this baby that it is okay to come out.

I realized last night as I was talking to Bestie that I've spent so much time begging this baby to stick around, fearing that it might not stay for the long run, convincing my body to hold it safe and tight inside of me. Even now, I feel my stomach and this baby feels really good inside - I'm not ready to let it go, not yet.


the return of the emotional Foxy

Thirty Five weeks. Incredible.

Everyone want to know how I feel and I love answering "I feel Great." I really do.
In some ways, it feels like all of the hope and love that was missing during our journey to get pregnant is being paid back to me in dividends now. There really aren't words to describe the gratitude that fills my heart these days.

Having said all that, my body is feeling it! Its all fine and manageable, and I really don't have any significant complaints, but geez, this extra weight, this rib pain, the sharp jabs to my bladder, the aching in my hips and back... I can understand now why women say they are ready to be done being pregnant.

The thing is, I love this so much. I waited and wanted for this for so long. I don't want this to end, ever.

and yet, I am so excited about what comes next.

ML is working so hard to finnish the remodel of two of our extra bedrooms into a private studio. We've rented out rooms of our home for years, but no longer want to share our space. The two side bedrooms are converting perfectly into a 1 bedroom studio with a private entrance and little efficiency kitchen. We'll still be able to collect rent, but won't have to share our home anymore. Finishing this remodel is at the top of the list to get completed before the baby arrives.

While we are planning on a homebirth, I drafted up a birth plan in the event that we end up with a hospital c-section. After having ML read it last night, I started to panic that he is not prepared to advocate for me if we end up transferring for a hospital birth. I've been asking him to read the Birth Partner book, and he keeps putting it off. I feel like everything will be fine as long as we are at home with our midwife team, but there are so many things that I worry we'll have to fight for if we end up in a hospital, and ML is going to end up being the one who has to fight for them.

I really hate that we can't have an OB and a midwife. I hate that we have to work with whatever OB happens to be on call if we end up at the hospital. I hate that we can't review our 'just in case' plans with our OB in advance. It feels so unfair, and just plain wrong.

My biggest fear about landing in the hospital with a c-section is that I'd be left alone, separated from ML. He didn't know that it is standard practice for the father to be present in the OR for the c-section delivery of the baby. He seemed surprised that I'd want the drape to be lowered in order to see our baby be born, even if from an incision in my stomach. He questioned my request that the baby not be bathed by hospital staff, and instead placed directly on my chest still wet. I hadn't realized how important these things were to me. or that I need them to be just as important to ML.

I've been so emotionally steady and calm during this entire pregnancy. Its been such a nice change, and very much unlike the anxious emotional 'me' that normally appears during periods of life transitions. Maybe it is because I finally landed on the path that I believed would lead me to happiness, or because pregnancy hormones are really good to me, or possibly because I decided to continue taking my Lexapro for the duration of the pregnancy. All I know it that these past 6 months have been emotionally awesome.

But then, as if something changed when I woke up last Friday, I am feeling overwhelmed again. My body aches and pains are intensified. My emotions feel like they are sitting right on edge. I got into a fight with my sister, I didn't get anything that I needed to do done this weekend, and I totally fell apart crying to ML last night. I feel like it all just might come crashing down on me at a moments notice, and yet I hesitate to ask for the things that I really want and need. I hate feeling like I need to rely on everyone else again.
I cut my hours back at work - from 40 to 32 per week. It's made such a huge difference for me. And while I have so much to get done before I go on leave, I just wish I could stay home and rest. I love my job, and am going to miss it while I'm gone, but am having such a hard time focusing on it as we lead up to my maternity leave. I'm off to work for the day, hoping to cross at least a few things off the list, then come home (hoping that ML won't be too tired from the remodel work to dote all sorts of love upon me.)


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