Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Small Miracle

Well, today we found out that the other twin also did not make it. Yesterday I went in for a routine prenatal exam, and our doctor couldn't find a heartbeat with her Doppler, so she scheduled us for an ultrasound this morning. I have two little babies there in my womb, neither of which are alive now. So now the decision is do I wait for a spontaneous miscarriage, or go in for a procedure? At first I was leaning toward letting nature take its course, but after talking with Brent and a few other close people, I'm thinking I'm going to get a procedure next week. We're going out of town on a well deserved long weekend to the ocean this weekend, so I'll opt to wait a few days, but I think at this point it's just best to have it done with and know that I'm all clear to try and get pregnant again. Even though when I got pregnant this last time we weren't "trying", now of course I'm wanting that second baby more than ever.

All this has really made me and Brent appreciate Willow so much more than ever, and is an important reminder of how miraculous life really is. Sure, it's a mundane thing, somewhere around 130 million babies are born every year. And one could argue, that is what humans are made to do, to reproduce, just like any other animal on earth. One could also say why would anyone want to bring a child into this overpopulated world, a world where so much ugliness happens each and every day, where in the U.S. any child born will surely use far more than his or her share of resources, just by being born in the most consumptive nation on earth.

And yet, what a miracle life is. We can look at all the people on the planet, all the babies born every year, and forget what those little cells go through to get here. It's an amazing and fragile thing, life, and especially when you consider the desire to have a little life and raise a little child to become a peaceful, happy, and productive adult. So many things have to happen for that little life to even make it out of the womb... and so many things can go wrong. So when we're blessed with a perfect little being at the end of long months of gestation, it is no small miracle. Our doctors feel elated each and every time they deliver a baby, and they've been delivering babies for at least 15 years each. I don't know how many babies they've delivered, but I've seen them at appointments just after a delivery, and they are infused with the miracle of life. Mundane as it may be, it's a miracle every time, and one to be treasured.

I feel so grateful today for Willow and all the children in my life. Willow couldn't be more sweet, or adorable, or fun. At the doctor today Brent and I both cried of course when we found out for sure that both babies had died. Willow was concerned that Mama was crying, and wiped her eyes in sympathy.

Later on, after dinner, she jumped with both feet off the ground for the first time, and she was so excited to show me! She came into the kitchen from the living room, demanding my attention, and showed me her jumping. Then, she wanted me to jump with her. I feel very lucky to have such a child in my life.

Whether we have children or not, or want children or not, we can never forget what a miracle life is... embodied not only in our own human children but in every living creature, each little flower that opens for us to see every spring, every leaf that unfurls, or egg that hatches... the miracle of life is one to remember and notice every day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Milestones

Oh, wow. I can't believe I've gone more than three months without an entry. Willow is going to be a big sister, which is very exciting for all of us. The new baby is due in October, ten days before Willow's birthday, and one day after her original due date. It was almost going to be twins... but one of them didn't make it. I was excited at the idea of twins, then really sad that one didn't make it... and now I'm just glad to be welcoming a new little one into the world soon, and also relieved that I won't have all the work involved with twins.

Because it happened early in the pregnancy it shouldn't complicate things too much; we'll have an extra ultrasound or two to make sure everything is in order, but we should be able to go ahead with our birth plan. Which is currently up in the air, but I'm leaning toward home or the birth center instead of the hospital. We'll see, though. There were a lot of things I liked about the hospital, even though it wasn't what I planned on. I'm just afraid I wouldn't be able to repeat the experience. The staff was very sensitive to the fact that we did not plan to give birth there at the hospital when Willow was born, and I don't know if they would be as hands off as they were in the case of a planned hospital birth.

There are so many more things to consider now with Willow. She is too young to be in the same room while I'm laboring, so her well being and security are big considerations as we decide which direction to go in. I just like the idea of home so much, being in my own space and being able to go to my own bed after the birth really sounds like the best thing to me, but I don't know how that might work with Willow, since it seems home may be the best place for her. So many questions.

I digress however... my inspiration for writing tonight was something Willow did today. She is having so much fun lately pretending, she loves to carry her play phones around the house and pretend to talk to Daddy, or our friend Barbara, or Grandma, even our friend Wendy's dog Sofia has been added to the list of regulars. She's been getting more involved with her pretending in the past week; she likes to "feed" her baby dolls and stuffed animals, and is getting interested in (trying) to dress and undress them. Today she really wanted something to stir in a bowl. She has a wooden spoon given to her for Christmas last year by her Aunt Nicole, and we've just begun allowing her to use it without intense supervision. Her original favorite thing to do with it was walk around with it in her mouth, which seemed like a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen. I gave her some seasoning salt which we've had for probably eight years now, and she proceeded to remove the cap (once I had unscrewed it enough for her to pull it off), put salt in her bowl, replace the cap, and stir. She stayed busy with this activity on and off all day long. Brent and I just stood and watched her this morning for several minutes, while she was intent on her activity.

Possibly the most exciting thing for me about her and the stirring wasn't even the stirring itself, but the fact that when I came to take video of her in action, and she as usual dropped what she was doing in favor of what I was doing, I showed her the bit I got on camera and then, on a lark, I told her I wanted to get video of her doing her thing. I asked her to go back and stir and do what she was doing... and she did! That was amazing, and fun. I really didn't think she would do it, but she's beginning to get the concept of photos and videos and what they do, and she loves watching videos of herself or other people doing everyday things. We watch a lot of youtube clips, of kids playing, pets doing crazy things, etc. So she went and did her thing, and I got a clip of it! You can subscribe to all our videos by going to http://www.youtube.com/katiekadwell.