Friday, May 28, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Elspeth, pronounced "Elle-speth", is a derivative of Elizabeth. It's meaning is "consecrated to God". That's exactly how I feel about my Elspeth, that I am giving her right back to God immediately. My nine months with Elspeth is going by so quickly, but it's a constant reminder that God is trusting me to take care of her for this little while and then He will call her home again. She is first and foremost our Heavenly Father's daughter, and mine second.
Elspeth also has special meaning because it's my middle name. I have always been fond of my name, Meredith Elspeth (good job Mom and Dad) because of it's originality and because of the special woman whom I inherited it from.
Elspeth Seville was a woman that my dad found as a missionary in Scotland many years ago. Elsie was a woman of remarkable character and against a lot of critism from friends and family she accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ was baptized. Elsie lived a hard life, as a widow she worked as a hotel maid in Scotland to support her children. My dad describes her as a "hard looking woman with a soft kind spirit." Elsie kept in contact with my parents after they had married until her death 1975. She was faithful and true to her testimony for rest of her life and her legacy lives on through her own children and now myself.
Allyson is the name of one of my beloved sisters. She is my oldest sister and we have shared many of the same trials with infertility together. Sharing this burden with each other has bonded us together forever. I am so grateful to have her in my life because she truly understands the pain of not having a child of my own. I will always be grateful for her support and love. Giving my daughter her name is a way in which I would like to honor her. (Allyson, you are probably going to kill me for posting this but hey, it's my blog and I can write whatever I want on it).
You may be thinking..."what? In english please!" Basically, Baby Elspeth's head didn't close up during the early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, her brain didn't fully develop. She only has a brain stem which allows her basic functions of life while she is with me. Without my "life support" she will only be able to function for a short time, if at all.
What will Elspeth look like when she is born?
Her head is open and exposed. She has no scalp, skull or even skin covering her brain. She also might have bulging eyes from her sockets. There are possibilities that there might be other common birth defects like a cleft lip. We hopefully will know more details when I have 4D sonogram later in the pregnancy. I hope that those who come to see Elspeth will not be alarmed by her appearance, it's actually something that I worry about a lot. I think that knowing what she might look like before will help those who see her to be prepared. To me her spirit is perfect and beautiful, so I am not afraid.
The photo is from this site: http://www.anencephalie-info.org/images/med_sketch.gif
How long with Elspeth live?
We have no idea! Everything I have read says that the survival rate through birth is only 25%, so we have a very good chance that she will be born still. We are hoping and praying for a little time with her...an hour would be nice.
Will carrying Elspeth to term hurt me?
No, it will be like a normal pregnancy. I have just started to feel tiny kicks and wiggles. The birth will be normal like any other baby. Well, that's what I have been told but I wouldn't actually know because I haven't had a baby before. There is a greater risk for having a breech baby with anencephaly because these babies are notorious for not turning around. Another complication could be a condition where the baby doesn't swallow the amniotic fluid and it builds up. This is called polyhydraminos. Luckily, on our last sono Elsepth's stomach had amniotic fluid in it so I am encouraged by this finding.
How/why did this happen?
Again, another unanswered question. Anencephaly is a neural tube defect which basically means a folic acid deficiency. We have no idea how I was deficient in folic acid because I took pre-natal vitamins for several years before concieving. So, why did this happen? Because it's God's will. That's my best answer. He knew I was the right mom and Ryan was the right Dad for this sweet baby.
Will this happen again?
Perhaps. Women who have babies with anencephaly have a 1/2,000 chance of having another baby with anencephaly. They also have an increased chance of having another baby with a neural tube defect like spina bifida. The plan is to load up on rediculously high doses of folic acid before trying to concieve again and pray for the best! Many many women on my support group have multiple healthy pregnancies following a baby with anencephaly.
I think I have covered the most "common" questions that people have asked me, but if you have a different question feel free to post it. I might not know the answer yet, but I will try to find out for you.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Again we had a sono only two weeks later. Our OBGYN, who is extra cautious, wanted to make sure she was going to stick around.
We only have about 19 more weeks to experience her in this life so we want take advantage of every moment by talking about her, talking to her, writing/blogging and creating memories.
Welcome! Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions about Elspeth. Her life is too precious to keep it to ourselves.