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,


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