Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nothing New

I just thought I'd post real quickly that there is nothing new to report. I've been taking it easy all week thanks to Aaron and friends who have been helping out. I won't have another ultrasound until February 2nd (one of my favorite holidays - btw) so until then I'm just being super cautious (hence a short post with no pictures before I scurry back to bed).

Monday, January 19, 2009

An (un)Eventful Weekend

Friday night was Aaron and my date night.

We got a babysitter, spent time together laughing and talking and I got breakfast in bed the next morning.

Unfortunately my primping for this outing involved a regularly scheduled ultrasound that showed my cervix had shortened by 30% in 2 weeks. And the location was L&D triage at Brigham and Women's hospital.

After seeing that my cervix had shortened the doctor suggested a cerclage (stitch through the cervix) to prevent any dilation. Aaron came home, we dropped Tessa off at some friends house and off we went. Ultimately the doctors at the hospital decided not to do the cerclage because I was so close to "viability"* and they didn't want to cause any PTL (Pre-Term Labor).

My cervix was measured at 2cm long, which isn't SUPER short, just shorter than it "should" be. I was not contracting. So they finally decided just to admit me for observation - hence the breakfast in bed (you'll notice the bed in the picture above is a twin size...never a good sign.)

Nevertheless, I wasn't kidding about date night. I was actually very surprised at how calm I felt during this whole thing (ie my intuition told me I was not going to have a baby that weekend), and so Aaron and I sat in our little room and joked and laughed and "how was your day?-d" from about 9 until midnight. Around midnight Aaron headed home and I sat waiting for a room.

I ended up staying in the hospital until Sunday afternoon. A test and an ultrasound gave us strong indications that I wasn't about to deliver. The test** they did was negative, and if it is negative gives someone a 95-99% certainty that they aren't going to deliver within 2 weeks. The ultrasound was much better than the one on Friday, whether that had to do with an actually growth in my cervical legnth, or a different person and machine doing the measuring I don't know. I am now home on bedrest and looking toward 26 weeks...and beyond (in Buzz Lightyear voice.)

*Viability is considered 24 weeks (though that is stretching to 23 weeks in some cases). That is when the baby has a fighting chance of surviving outside the womb and most hospitals will consider resessitation, before that some will not. At 23 weeks a baby has a 20% of survival, at 25 weeks it is 65%, and at 26 weeks (when Tessa was born) it is 75%. Though full-term is our ultimate goal, afte 30 weeks babies have a 90-95% survival rate.

**The test is called a Fetal Fibronectin or fFN test. See this link on the March of Dimes website for more info because I can't explain it to you.

Random notes:
I am recovering from a cold (I know you know because I've been complaining about it all week) and so was coughing up a storm the whole time I was in the hospital. A normal person would just suffer through it, but I had nurses checking on me every 4 hours so they listened to my lungs and "prescribed" things like saline spray and cough drops (both over the counter medicines that I'm sure I/my insurance paid an arm for).

Tessa loved her weekend with Daddy. They came to visit me on Saturday, she loved the bed with the moveable head and foot buttons and then when it was time to go she gave me a big hug, a kiss, waved bye-bye and headed down the hall.

I took the chance to visit the NICU. This is a different hospital than the one we delivered Tessa at and I was feeling very sad not to have access to the nurses who I'd consider friends and missing the familiarity of the surroundings. The NICU tour was helpful in at least making me feel comfortable with the level of care a preemie would get (still hoping to avoid it though). However, I haven't been in a NICU since we left with Tessa and it was HARD to go back. The babies are so tiny and the feelings are still very fresh.

I was looking forward to hearing how Aaron was 15 minutes late for church on his first morning ever of being in charge of getting out the door (I even had a spy in place who was going to keep an eye on him). Yes, I know that is a snarky thing to think...but don't worry, he miscalculated and thought he needed to leave by 8:00, when it is really by 8:30...and so he was there 10 minutes early. Darn...seriously.

We had a major snow storm Saturday and Sunday. The roads were so bad Aaron almost left me at the hospital until Monday! I realized that I'm really working this whole "mothering" thing. I haven't had to shovel in three winters. Winter 07 - pregnant, winter 08 - taking care of a baby, winter 09 - pregnant (which leads me to believe that winter 10 I'll be off the hook as well!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mint Chip Icecream

In direct contrast to me, Aaron does not like Mint & Chocolate combined. This has advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is that, since I am such a nice person, I rarely buy treats with Mint Chocolate (the two major sacrifices being Mint Chip Icecream and Mint Oreos). The advantage is that in the rare instance these treats arrive in our house - They. Are. All. Mine.

Aaron bought me Mint-Chip Icecream on my birthday (I had suggested something with caramel and chocolate) ate approximately 3 tablespoons full and left the rest to me.

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

However - lesson learned. When the temps outside are in the single digits perhaps some restraint should be used when eating icecream...brrrrr........

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How old is too old to have Pizza on your Birthday?

On Monday night I was reading a book about Labor and Delivery (you know, practicing my hee, hee, hoo's) - the first I've done this pregnancy. As we were getting ready for bed Aaron said something about the next day being my birthday and I thought/said "How funny, 29 years ago my mom was DOING what I was READING about tonight."

I was (and still am) sick on my birthday, which only meant that I didn't get to take Tessa to her Early Intervention Toddler group. Actually that is sad because it is nice to get out of the house and she is getting so brave with the other kids. It also meant that I didn't want to go to Cheesecake Factory for dessert (as I look back I find that rather shocking). My main reason was that I'd still have to make dinner which would mean going to the grocery store, one of my least favorite "chores."

Instead, while I dozed in bed Aaron ordered pizza. When I'm pregnant - I consider pizza to be the ultimate food choice. Carbs, veggies and protein (and a little bit of fat thrown in). And of course we had a yummy yellow cake with chocolate frosting - my all time favorite cake combo.

Tessa hasn't really acted sick yet, but she did have pink eye earlier this week. Putting that ointment in her eye has been one of the worst things I've had to do for her. It worked twice to put it in her eye while she was sleeping, then she caught on and started shaking her head at me in her sleep everytime I'd get her out of her crib. So sad. Finally on Tuesday (birthday day) I just bit the bullet and put it in her eye before her nap - I figured waking up to the person you trust most in the world torturing you must be wretched. After I finished some work I decided to take a nap and moved Tessa to our bed to snooze with me. I woke up with a tickle in my throat - reached for some water - it slipped out of my hand and dumped all over the sweetie pie sleeping next to me.

I really hate those stupid cups, they are plastic and blue and too big for my hands. Obviously. Later that night, after I opened my presents (and got a manicure from Aaron... I KNOW!) I spilled the cup again, this time in my lap. (I'll refrain from a lame joke about having a drinking problem).

Now, just to clarify - I had a great birthday. Aaron was so sweet and nice and I just felt happy* and loved when I went to bed, and you can't ask for more that.

*in addition to damp, coughy, stuffy & achy

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Good - Better - Best

When I took the "Best" cookies to a friends house I was asked "Emily - are you the evil genius behind these?" I was quite flattered.


This was the 3rd in a series of incidents though that have made me wonder about what people think of me. (I don't actually want to know, so don't tell me...I'm just wondering aloud) They go as follows...

1 - "Emily - did you bring this bean looks like your work."
2 - "Emily - you made these brownies didn't you?... I thought so"
3 - "Emily - are you the evil genius behind these?"
4 - "I thought those reminded me of Emily's cookies."

and number 5 - is a bit off topic but "Do you have names picked out? Yeah, right. I forgot who I was talking to."

So...I'm choosing to take each of these as a compliment...but - each time I just wanted to ask "What do you mean by that?"

ETA: I just remembered the time that Aaron and I met a very well-known architectural critic...we were introduced as having just moved from Idaho and the woman said to Aaron "You LOOK like Idaho!" - another one of those - "um....thanks" moments.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Breezy Story for you

As I do with ALL the posts about Aaron I got his written permission to re-print this email I received this morning.

From: Aaron
To: Emily
Sent: Friday, January 9, 2009 9:00:48 AM
Subject: Breezy story for you


It’s really cold outside and very windy, I was glad the bus came early. On my way to the bus however, I was so cold, I felt like my fly was open and the wind was coming right through my coat. I was thinking of how my grandma calls it the lazy wind that is too lazy to go around you, but goes through you.

Turns out, when I got to work, my fly was open. It’s a good thing I have a long coat, or I would have got some funny looks on the bus. So I can now say I know what it feels like to be partially exposed in 8 degree weather (that’s with a wind chill). Rank me with that crazy guy we met on the T who wore his wife’s tights.


* * + Associates Inc

Boston, MA 02114

Go check out... sister Laura's blog.

It is her "blogiversary" (which for some reason my spell check doesn't recognize ?) and I forgot to send a gift! However she said I could let you know that she is having a give away of a personalized print from Heritage know, the same company she used to make that great book from a few posts ago. So pop over, say hi and enter to win.

Rockin' Barak

Courtesy of Crystal...

Don't tell me that is not hilarious (even if you do live in a red state ;) )

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas at the Lynnfield Chapel

The picture in no way does it justice, so imagine with me the scene.

The Sunday morning before Christmas. As in many chapels across the country musicians, vocalists and lecturers are prepared with a beautiful Christmas presentation, and in this building the window behind the rostrum showcases a lightly falling snow as a quiet background.

Pretty much the best Christmas presentation you can ask for.


Not to overshadow what is a wonderful experience, it was made just a bit sweeter by the fact that the meetings were going to be cut short so that no one would get snowed in. I love going to church. And I love when church gets canceled!

Here is another camera phone image from this snow storm.

Aaron, Tessa and I, rather foolishly and adventurously, headed to the grocery store in the middle of the storm that Friday night. We met no crowds, but had almost no milk either. Apparently 1% is the dog of the milk world because that was all that was left, the store just spread it out across the whole fridge section to hide the fact that they were nearly out. To balance the fact that we had to buy this cast-off milk product we were able to buy a rotisserie chicken for $2.00 - so now I'm a huge fan of shopping during the storm, instead of battling the crowds before hand.

And one more note about this pre-Christmas storm. If we had flown home for Christmas we would have left just as the storm was hitting, or flown into it as it traveled across the country. What a relief to instead be nestled all snug in our beds!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lamest Accomplishement Ever

I realized this past February that I posted the same amount of times in January as I did that month. So I thought "13 posts a month will be my unofficial goal." Then I only posted 9 times in March and changed it to "I'm going to post an odd number of posts each month."

Oh, how I like to challenge myself, especcially considering 1 is an odd number.

And somehow I managed to do it. Lets hope 2009 is just as productive a year!

To be honest - I took a quick look at past posts, it being the New Year and all. I had in mind a few things that have changed over the year but felt it went by fairly quickly. I was SHOCKED to see how little Tessa was this past January (really, I shouldn't have been but I WAS) and realize how long ago that seemed - and I'm freaked out for the coming year.

Update on Momma/New Baby

In order to avoid undue anxiety to you I'll start by letting you know things are going well with this pregnancy.

This pretty much means that every time I freak out I am just being paranoid. And thank goodness for that. I'd much rather be a crazy paranoid freak than right! We have about four weeks to go until we get to the gestation Tessa was when she was born. Thats not too long...right? I thought that at 20 weeks and that week was incredibly long, every twinge, pull and ache made me scurry for a drink of water and a couch to lay on. However since then I've calmed just a bit and this week is going by better. Of course I had two ultrasounds this week, so that helps...{embarrassed laugh}

I also had my bishop give me a blessing this week and I'm assuming that has had a lot to do with the reduction of my anxiety.

Aaron suggested that I ask for your help. We definitely know that prayers have power, so if you are willing we'd appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers that this pregnancy goes full term.

I've tried not to write too much about this over the past 22 weeks - but I can assure you, you'll hear a jubilant yippee in blogdom when we get to 26w2d! And every week after that.

Oh - and just in case you are rabidly is a "belly shot"* taken at 20 weeks.

* have to put aside a lot of pride to post one of these, don't you.

Tessa's Update

Just before we left town to go to Idaho Tessa had a NICU follow-up evaluation scheduled. Very unfortunately our trip into Boston involved some throwing up, followed by an incredibly long trek to a gas station in order to clean up. Luckily for me (very very luckily indeed) Aaron was a passenger so he handled most of the gross-ness. I'm not going to get to details but suffice it to say, my pregnant stomach would not have handled it well.

The point of the vomit story is to tell you that we postponed the follow-up appointment until we got back from Idaho. This time we used our "key to a throw-up free trip" = pack an extra set of clothes...if you are prepared for a disaster it will not happen. Anyone want to scientifically test that statement for me?

Tessa did really well at her evaluation. Of course she started out shy, but eventually warmed up and had a fun time playing. The bottom line = she was 22 months and tested at 21 months. This is in keeping with the idea that a preemie catches up to her adjusted age by 24 months. I figure that she does more stuff with me at home so that puts her right on target and I couldn't be happier. She tested just a little lower on her expressive language, we are working on that and I keep feeling like she is just about to start talking up a storm. Actually she already talks up a storm, unfortunatly we can't understand what she so expressively tells us.


Thrilled. To. Death. To be wearing Momma's shoes.

Here is our big little girl helping Momma make taco soup.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


As a result of growing up in a family with five kids, nearly every meal I make is sized for a family of ... well, more than 3, thats for sure. Nothing baked in less than a 9x13, and the entire box of spaghetti noodles is boiled for dinner.

No wonder Aaron's favorite joke is: "Whats the difference between a boyfriend and a husband? About 30 lbs." {ba da dum}

Other things I learned from my family. How to light a Christmas tree (for example I couldn't show a picture of our tree with the lights off because I am ashamed that there is a dark spot on it that I wouldn't want my Dad or borthers to see), how to make silly puns, how to make/eat a luscious brownie topped with frosting, a true appreciating for the original Fantasy Fudge recipe, an appreciating of reading a book in one sitting/day... oh, yes, and some important stuff too, I'm sure. (The list of important stuff would be too long, but I will say, driving around New England in the snow makes me appreciate learning how to drive in Idaho weather!) is the clan (sans two little people)

As you can tell by our skewampus eyes, there were two camera's set on timer taking similar pictures. You can see a nicer one on Laura's blog... (here and here)

While we were visiting family in Idaho Falls we had a bonfire in the backyard (which meant our fronts were piping hot and our bottoms were frozen!) Here is Aaron modeling the latest in workman's gear...These are my dad's coveralls (and apparently he is shorter than Aaron) to protect his jeans and sweatshirt from flying debris during the tree chopping down, which involved 4 guys standing around one chainsaw.

Really, if you want good pictures of this you should read Laura's other blog post about

A few more pics...

We tried to have Laura take pictures of our little family but the day we finally got around to it was FRIGID...and few of the pictures worked out. Here is a nice inside shot that makes me feel all warm and cozy.

Here is crazy Aunt Laura jamming with Tessa