Tuesday, July 20, 2010

29 Weeks

Today we went in for our 3D sonogram. There was so much build up to this day that I was worried I would find myself dissapointed, but thankfully it turned out to be wonderful even though Elspeth was an uncooperative participant. Jeanette Burlbaw is a sonographer who volunteers her time to families who need peri-natal hospice services. She was referred to us by Alexandra's House. Jeanette is not only a very talented sonographer, but also a compassionate person. I enjoyed every minute of our two hour session.

Elspeth's face was tucked into her chest and her head was squished up against my bladder. Then to top it all off, her hands were in front of her face for most of the sonogram...well, until I took a short break and jumped up and down. The sonographer said it would help her to change positions. She did finally move her hands for a brief moment, but it was still very difficult to see her face, which could be viewed in profile only. Jeanette said there was plenty of space for Elspeth to move around in, but she was content to keep curled up in a ball.

The biggest positives discovered from the sono were #1 Elspeth is still head down (wahoo! I'm hoping for a vaginal delivery and NO C-SECTIONS!) #2 Elspeth's growth is right on track #3 No polyhydraminos complications. #4 Elspeth is still very much a girl. Her favorite and most frequently photographed body part? You guessed it, her bottom and other such areas down there. The sonographer said she loves to show off her little bottom, a trait in which I credit to her father.

Here are some of the highlights:

Arms up by her head and covering her face, her favorite position.


Hands folded together.


Left arm and knee.


Knees bent.


Sweet little foot.


Hand resting on her knee.


Legs crossed, like the lady she is.

2D shot of her face. It's was the only way to see her face. Her hand is up by her eyes.

There are several more shots but these are the best. A big thanks to my Mom and sister Allyson for coming with Ryan and I to the appointment. They both helped make it a fun experience instead of depressing and that was very much appreciated.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

28 weeks

I have an online support group called Anencephaly Blessing From Above (ABFA). I know that I have probably talked about them on the blog before, but something this week happened that was exceptional.

Someone started a message that said, "The happiest thing was when..." and everyone filled in their blanks. Someone wrote, "The happiest thing was when my daughter cried just once after birth just moments before she passed away." Another wrote, "The happiest thing was when the baby moved for her first and only time after birth while in her father's arms. It was a gift!" And another example, "The happiest thing was when we found out that our baby was really alive for two hours and we didn't even know it until the nurse discovered her heart beat. We thought she was gone, but she wasn't."

There were several other examples like that, but it was so nice to hear some happy memories out of such difficult moments. These women are truly incredible and inspirational.

I have a few of my own happiest moments from this week (28 weeks). The happiest moment was at the doctor's office this week. We heard Elspeth's heart beating with the aid of the doppler (147 BPM). Ryan was able to come to this appointment too. I never realized how much of a difference Ryan coming to the appointment makes to me. I feel so much more relaxed when he's there. It's like I'm not alone in this situation.

Another happiest moment was when Kate our social worker and therapist came from the peri-natal hospice group "Carousel". She comes about once a month to just check in on us and counsel us. She has wonderful insight and I appreciate her visits so much.

Our final "happiest moment" is looking forward to the 3D sonogram that will be taking place in only 3 more days! I hope to have the photos up on Tuesday the 20th.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

27 weeks

Our big Elspeth event this week was our trip to the funeral home to start making some preliminary arrangements. I knew this day was going to be very difficult for me, but there were a couple of suprising moments of peace. I felt much calmer than I had anticipated. We drove up to the site of her future grave and had the chance to take a moment and remember my niece Marcela Mae Clark who passed shortly after birth on May 4, 2007. Our Elspeth and Marcela will share a grave in the family plots there. My grandfather's grave is also located there and it was so lovely to know that Elspeth will always be surrounded by people who love her.

Thank you to everyone who called me or thought about us last Friday. We needed a lot of support that day and you all came through for us.

On a very happy note, Ryan felt his first round of Elspeth kicks. One afternoon she was really wound up and was kicking consistantly around my belly button. She may have had a serious case of the hiccups. Ryan came home at just the right time and was able to experience that for the first time with certainty. It was a wonderful moment to watch his face as he felt his daughter's movements. Pure joy.

She has several moments in the day now when she really gets going with her legs and arms. I can distinguish the difference now between a kick and a punch. Sometimes her arms and legs are going at the same time (that's when I make sure the bathroom is nearby). I am enjoying her so much and feel so blessed that she is apart of my life.

26 weeks

Another ultrasound this week. The tech tried to get a good look at her face but she made it a challenge because she kept sucking on her arms. Her belly was full of amniotic fluid which means that there should be no complications of polyhydraminos for me (yeah!). We are counting every blessing.

On the left you can see her hand beside her right eye. Her mouth is wide open, mid-swallow. More images to come soon when we have our BIG 3D/4D sono on July 20th.