Charlotte - 22 weeks
First, I want to say that I am beyond grateful and feeling so blessed to be carrying this sweet baby girl. I have friends and know of so many people who are struggling with infertility and/or pregnancy, and I feel so undeserving of being blessed with 3 pregnancies that (so far) have been successful. It's hard not to feel guilty a little bit, but I Know that my friends would not want me feeling that way. However, I remember the same thoughts and feelings being expressed to be after we lost Ayden. It just isn't fair...it isn't fair for people who desperately want a child and would be the most awesome parents to be the ones who, in turn, suffer loss and disappointment. I know that my friends who have experienced loss are happy for us...and while we have not experienced the loss of a pregnancy (yet...b/c you never know what could happen), we certainly know the heart break of losing a child. As I tell so many people...loss is loss. No matter the form or timing, it's never easy, and it stays with you. I also want to say thank you to those of you who have shard your stories of babies with 2 vessel cords....good and bad. The good have brought me so much encouragement. My stress level goes down with each passing week, and the more I hear from people who have had successful 2 vessel cord pregnancies and deliveries, the more the stress lessens. The unhappy stories help keep me very aware and cautious and are a reminder that you just don't know what will happen....and ultimately, it is out of your control, and you have to put it in God's hands. And yes, that is easier said than done. I was telling a good friend today about my struggle with letting go of control and handing it all over to God. I told her that I am very honest with God, and there are times when I get really real with him and express my struggle with trust...how it is hard to trust when the God you put your faith and trust into allows such pain in your life. But then he reminds of all that I have to be thankful for....which is so, so much. Yes, losing a child is the worst possible thing that anyone could ever imagine going through (in my opinion...) and then losing a parent 2 years later...very, very hard. Yet, yes..it could be worse. I have not experienced anything close to what Job experienced or the loss that many others have experienced. And I don't want to. It is my fervent prayer that we are spared from any more loss for a while...that would be nice. But, if it is in His plan....well, we'll deal with it when we get there. Now to happy, light news :) I had a prenatal checkup yesterday. No ultrasound :( , but all the other usual checks - weight (yuck), blood pressure, heart beat, measurement of belly/uterus. So far, I have gained 3 whole pounds. Woo! After 3 pregnancies in 4 years, my body is not anywhere near where it used to be. I've gained quite a bit of weight over the past 4 years from bouncing back and forth from pregnancy to pregnancy. My body hasn't had a real break in between, and I have to say I'm ready for one. My body is just tired. I'm not arguing with gaining only 3 pounds because I can afford to not gain a lot of weight. If I gain a pound a week from this point forward, I will have a grand total of 20 pounds. Woo! My blood pressure looks great - it's always lower. Charlotte's heart beat is staying at a strong upper 140s/low 150s!! Keep pumping away!! . I am measuring at 21 weeks, which shocks me because if you were to SEE me....I look well beyond 22 weeks pregnant. Movement is becoming more and more active with each day. This is most reassuring because feeling her bouncing around brings me so much assurance. She has her moments when she likes to get very still and scare me, but we thankfully have a doppler at home and can check her heart beat in an instant. She is pretty active almost all the time, and I'm loving feeling her get stronger with every passing day. I will start getting monthly ultrasounds once I hit 28 weeks. We will be keeping an eye on her weight gain and growth...keeping a track on her progress. So far, she looks great. :) My main concern is obviously a spontaneous loss. I've heard of it happening with 2 vessel cord babies, but it can happen with the most normal of pregnancies, too. And, as worrying as this is, it could be SO much worse. I'm thankful that the odds are in our favor and the majority of these babies turn out just fine. I've been in the smaller spectrum of a statistic, and I know it can happen again. But, I'm going to stay positive. My other concern is delivery. I have read of a lot of 2 vessel cord births ending in c-section because the stress of labor is too much for the baby. Again, that can happen in textbook pregnancies as well. With this being my 3rd pregnancy and delivery, the odds of a normal, vaginal delivery are very good. I shouldn't labor long. With Ayden, it was a long 36 hours. With Collen, 12 hours. With Charlotte, I'm hoping we can get into the single digits! So, labor and delivery should not be too stressful for her, but if it is, I have no doubt that we will be in good hands. Thank you all again for the words of hope and encouragement. I'm starting to get used to the idea of a little girl. It's definitely new territory, but I'm looking forward to learning all about our daughter. :) I know so many of you know people who are struggling with infertility, multiple miscarriages, the loss of a child...please remember them in your prayers. Pray for hope, comfort, peace and strength. You may not have words to say...but you can certainly pray and lift them up. Also, please continue to pray for Charlotte's health and growth. We all know that anything can happen in an instant. I am trying to let go of control day by day....I know God has my best interest at heart. I just have to convince myself of that sometimes.