November 19th, 2009
December 26th, 2009
January 10th, 2010
January 13th, 2010
February 20th, 2010
March 14th, 2010
March 30th, 2010
April 13th, 2010
May 15th, 2010
May 31st, 2010
June 2nd, 2010
June 14th, 2010
June 29th, 2010
July 10th, 2010

July 10th, 2010

Today is my birthday.  I don’t think of it in terms of what I will get, or what will people do for me, or who will remember.  I think of how my mom felt as this moment.  Was she wondering what I would look like?  My gender? What I’d grow up to be?  If she’d be able to love me as much as her other children?  Was she nervous about labor, or scared of the pain?  Hoping I’d come out without flaws or problems?  These are the things are worry and think about as your arrival gets closer.  I’m so wrapped up in emotions right now.  Ranging from “Come out now, and play!” to “stay inside forever, I don’t get to do this again.”  But I do love you.  Already, so much.  Just as much as the other children.  And I know you’ll be beautiful, and smart, and strong.

I had another appointment with the midwife, Susan Hovenen, on Thursday.  She walked in and said “You look puffy.”  And it’s true.  I’ve gained a lot of water weight, and it is pooling in my legs and feet.  I wake up with only slightly puffy feet, but as soon as I get up for the day, gravity brings it all down and my feet look horrific.  By the end of the day I can’t walk, don’t have shoes that fit, and it feels as sore as a bruise.

You are moving well.  You tend to wiggle a lot, and once in a while give a good kick.  I like to see one of your body parts arc clear across my stomach from one side to the other.  You respond to sound, and you definitely have active periods, and quiet periods.

The doctor measured me and asked how big my biggest was.  I told her “8’14” and she said “this one is gong to beat that.”  So she seems to think you’ll be above 9 pounds!  She told me that the hospital offers c-sections to women having babies over 10 pounds.  That scared me into wanting to get you out sooner rather than later!  So I let her do a cervical check on me, just in case I am dilating and could get a membrane sweep.  I haven’t dilated before labor since Ethan, so I was surprised to hear that I was 2 cm’s and at a –1 station.  She did the sweep, which means gently separating the bag of waters from the cervix. She counted to 10 and did a very good, albeit painful, job at it.  I had to breath through everything.  She told me I could expect some blood and mucus, but less each time I wiped.  I didn’t have anything though, and went to bed with just my usual contractions.  When I woke up the next morning though, I got in the shower and discovered a huge blob of gelatinous, bloody goo.  Since my labors have always had bloody show, I wasn’t certain if this was the beginning of labor or just results from the sweep, but decided to go with the latter. As much as I’d love to share a birthday with you, I’m not sure YOU’D like it, so I am trying to keep you in for a bit longer. (But before Zach and Gabby go to camp.) That night I took a bath and again, lots more bloody goo, but no contractions or crampy aches.  You however, felt lower, and my cervix is more forward instead of hiding all the way in back, so it did some good, and made some progress.

My next appointment is Friday.  I’ll probably do another sweep then if I have met you yet.  I’d love to have you next weekend.  The doctor said we’ll talk induction by the 20th.  Zach won’t be here, and I’ll be sad that he won’t get to meet you until you are several days old, and no pictures of him in the hospital with you, but he’s okay with it if it goes down like that.  But we’ll see!  We love you.  Be safe, be healthy, come when you can. 

Love always,

June 29th, 2010
My little Love Bug,
Today's appointment was a tiny bit more exciting.  All last week I had elephant trunks for legs and my contractions kicked it up a notch.  I'd worked all week in the flower and herb gardens weeding, so lots of standing up.  One day I even woke up and one foot was so swollen that the ankle bone area looked shrunken in! It was odd...I should have taken a picture! Anyway, the swelling has gotten better with the temperatures going down and me keeping my feet up most the day.  Your brothers and sisters have been doing a magnificent job of helping me out!
Anyway, for the appointment I had a non-stress test.  The nurse asked why I was having one and I told her due to Advanced Maternal Age and she said "Really? I'd never have guessed you in your 30's!"  She, obviously, is my new best friend, discounting the fact that she also weighs me in. (I don't look or ask anymore at this point!) So she strapped on the contraction reader, and the heartrate monitor, and I clicked a button every time you moved.  Let me tell you, you were rocking and rolling like crazy in there.  It made the nurse and the midwife, Rhonda, chuckle a lot.  Your heartrate was in the 130's for the most part, but when you kicked it would go up to the 160's.  So you looked great!  I did have one registerable contraction on the monitor as well.  This time we made a birth plan, talked about what pain relief I wanted.  I told her it depended on what my condition is when I come it.  Am I at a 7-8 cm's?  Then get in my face and tell me I can do this for another hour.  Do I walk in at 4 cm's?  Get me the epidural STAT. :-)  But I'd also like to try and labor in the tub, as that is how I stay comfortable at home. She felt me, and I acutally measured 37 cm's for my fundal height, so I'm not 4 weeks ahead like I used to be. To make sure you are head down she got a portable ultrasound device, and I got to see the outline of your head, which is indeed down. I knew that, I know where those kicks are going! I got the Group B strep test done, and also had my cervix checked.  My cervix is still posterior high, but the amazing thing is that you have dropped and are engaged in my pelvis.  I thought I noticed a change in my profile.  I told Gabby my "shelf" looked lower. 
I go back in one week.  We'll do another non-stress test (every week.) Rhonda asked that I come in once my contractions get to 5 minutes apart. She looked at my history of fast labors and told me not to wait until I was comfortable to come in.  Little does she know, my labors start with a bang and stay that way until the end.
This Saturday we are going to do maternity pictures.  I have so many poses from the other kids that there are only a few I want to add to the collection.  I have no intention of waiting until the day I go into labor like I did with Big Sister Reese! We also got your crib set up, and I am in the midst of doing lots of laundry.  We are keeping your car seat, bouncer, and swing in storage until you are ready for them because Reese will think of them as toys otherwise.
3 weeks or less, little one!  Can't wait to hold you,

June 14th, 2010

Dear Baby,
I had another appointment with the midwives today.  We've been gone for a week, camping at a scout camp about 4 hours away.  You did very well, keeping safe and snug while I played and had a fun time.  Today's appointment was very routine.  I did have quite a jump in my weight, but I am blaming it on how swollen I am! Edema in the ankles and feet and calves, and my hands.  Yuck!  Your heartrate was in the 130's, and you were very active.  At one point Susan was feeling you through my uterus and you kicked so hard she said "Well, hello there!"  She asked me what my largest baby was, and I told her it was your brother Zach at 8'14" and she said "Yep, we're headed there again!"  She assured me you wouldn't be monstrously huge, however.  :-)  We talked about different pain relief options, and some hospital rules, such as how many in the room (no limit) are cameras okay (yes, and video too, but not of the birth itself) and I was give the number to labor and delievery.  The appointment was over with quickly, and I set another appointment for 2 weeks, on June 29th.  We are getting there sweetheart!

June 2nd, 2010

Hello baby,
We had a fairly short "short list" but I wanted to expand my horizons.  So I went through the baby book and added anything that seemed pretty, had a good meaning, was different, or perhaps was once on my list for one of the other girls.  (The boy list is set, so no worries there! It'll be either Seth, Levi, or Noah.)  Anyway, this is what we have so far:   The smaller names have been vetoed by someone in the family.

Lyre Player
Beautiful Daughter
Lord is My Light
Crooked Nose
Godess of Love
Lena Light
Vivian Full of Life

Willow Willow Tree

May 31st, 2010
Darling Baby,

On Friday we had our 32-week ultrasound.  It was a re-check, due to the placenta being circumvallate.  If you remember, that condition can cause you to be small, something doctors call IUGR, or Intra Uterine Growth Restriction.  The worry is that the hardened lining of the placenta won’t allow blood or nutrients to flow into the placenta from the umbilical cord.  Another small problem can be that the curled edged of the placenta can come off of the uterine wall. 

Anyway, I suspected that it wouldn’t be a problem due to me measuring ahead at my last couple of appointments.  And was I right!  You were measuring 2.5 weeks ahead, and had an estimated weight of 5 pounds, 6 ounces. Now ultrasound can be off by 1-2 pounds, but considering that my other babies have been close to 9 pounds, it’s probably correct for you, and you’ll be close to that too.

We saw you right away trying to get your fingers into your mouth.  Finally the tech could tell that you got a thumb, and we were able to see you suck on it!  We also saw your hair, which the tech thought was curly, but Daddy thought it was just the vernix that coats babies causing it to look that way.  Then we checked your measurements.  It was fun because you simply did not stop moving the whole time.  It caused the tech to have to wait to get the measurements that she needed.  And then you got hiccups, and so she had to go play with the 4D ultrasound until that quit.  That was kind of fun, but also weird, because I happen to think that babies look like lumps of playdoh in 4D.  But we saw your little face, and you definitely look like a Foede baby! Gabby thought you looked like Zach, I thought you looked like you had an “Anderson Nose” and Dad thought you looked like an old man, like Ethan did when he was born.  Needless to say, I am sure it’s just the ultrasound that is causing all of this and you are as cute as a button!

So now I have 4.5 weeks until I am “full term” and you are safe to come out.  I can’t believe how fast it came.  I have enjoyed every second of having you in me, feeling you kick, talking to you, rubbing you through my stomach, singing to you, listening to relaxation tapes, thinking about your birth, what you should wear, whether you’ll like nursing, holding you and marveling at your beauty.  I am happy to have at least 3-4 more letter updates to you though, I don’t like this to come too soon!

Next week I am going to be brave and go camping for the whole week! And the Monday after we’ll have our 35 week appointment.  Boy, does that make “full term” seem nigh at hand!

Loving you more and more each day,

May 15th, 2010
My Sweetie,

Right now I am listening to my MP3 player.  It is loaded with the songs that I will listen to while I am in labor with you.  I like to start mediating and breathing in the third trimester, which is firmly where I am at now.  Yesterday I was 30 weeks.  I hope you understand the confusing feelings I feel when I say that I can’t wait to meet you and hold you in my arms, at the same time as wanting to slow time down.  To enjoy each moment.  To feel you kicking and knowing that we share something that no one else does.  I love you so much already!

It has been a busy month here.  At the next appointment after my last letter I had my one hour glucose test and my Rhogham shot.  I have O- blood, and if you don’t, our blood types might try to dual each other.  I told the midwife I haven’t passed a glucose test since Ethan, and wasn’t expecting to this time either.  Sure enough, I failed, but only by 3 points!  I think with Reese I was 15-20 points over.  So that was good, though I still had to go take the 3 hour test.  I also had my hemoglobin tested, and my iron is low, so I am taking iron supplements too.  They don’t like to see a woman go into labor with low iron, as you do lose some blood during the process.   You were moving around well, and had a nice, strong heartbeat.

A week later I had my 3 hour test.  I brought the lap top, which is good because then I could find out how you log in to the hospitals Wi-fi, so that we can update people when you make your grand arrival.

OK, stupid labor iPod, it’s making me cry!  Sorry to let you know, your Mommy is a tender-hearted sap, but especially when it comes to my children!

Anyway, I digress, you have to fast for 12 hours before the test.  I made sure to have a high-protein meal so that I wouldn’t get hungry before the test began.  When you get there they take your blood right away to see what your fasting number is.  Mine was 71.  Then you drink the glucola drink, it’s like a flat soda with extra sugar.  The first swallow isn’t bad, but by the end of the drink it’s awful!  You have 5 minutes to get it down, and I think I did it in 3.  It’s probably 10-12 ounces or so.  Then every hour I had blood drawn.  I felt really good, no shakes or sweating or nausea, which I remember doing with a couple of your siblings.  After the testing was done daddy and Zach showed up and we went home.  They had food in the car for me, since I didn’t have breakfast or lunch, and by this time it was 4:00 PM.  After a few bites I did feel a bit off, but not too bad, so I felt assured that I would pass this time.

Sure enough, when Susan called she let me know that my numbers were great.  That was such a relief.

And then the next week I had another appointment, which was very quick and routine.  Weight (I am up 15 pounds now) blood pressure (128 over 70) measuring (2 cm’s ahead) and heart rate (140’s.)  I go back to the perinatologist’s office for a level 2 US in 2 weeks (I can’t wait to see you!) to check on the placenta issue, and then 2 weeks after that I go see the Midwives again.

Church is having a campout, and I am debating going based on the US results and I how I am feeling.  The camping doesn’t bother me, I can get a cabin, but the 4.5 hour drive can be a killer for pregnant women, and my feet get swollen.  So next time I write, after the US, I’ll have lots to update you with.

Love you forever,

April 13th, 2010

Lately you have been giving me some nice Braxton Hicks contractions.  It reminds me of what labor is like, and scares me a lot.  I know I can do it, but I remember the pain, and hate to feel weak and out of  control.  I currently have about 6 baby books on natural birthing.  I hope to learn some tricks, such as positional changes and the use of hot showers, etc. to get me through things this time.  How I’d love to not have to use an IV or be strapped to a bed for meds!

You have also been an active kicker lately. The children and I love to watch you.  Your big brother Dylan’s face is just precious when it comes to seeing you kick my tummy. 

I was carrying smallish, but seem to have popped out this last week.  Or so goes the comments from friends.  It was to be expected. You are my lucky number 7 after all! 

I don’t know about the name Quinn.  It’s a cool name, but Reese is sort of ambiguous, and so I think if you are a girl I need something feminine so that people don’t think I’ve continued my pattern.  More than likely I’ll come to the hospital with a short list, see your lovely face, and Daddy and I will make a decision then.

I’ll update after my next appointment in 2 weeks.

Love, Mommy

March 30th, 2010
Hello, Sweat Pea,

How are you doing in there, so snug and warm?  I had another appointment with the midwives.  Just a typical once a month appointment.

All is well.  You are measuring “in the ball park” (which probably means I am measuring big!)  Your heartbeat is a lovely 160 beats per minute.  A little bit of a pickup from the Level 2 Ultrasound, where you were at 148. 

Mostly this visit was talking about the next visit.  My thyroid levels came back within normal range, but we are going to retest next time.  I also am going to do the 1 hour glucose tolerance test.  I have failed that test since being pregnant with Alisa, so I have no doubt I will do so again and have to move on to the 3 hour test.  Yucky!  You drink a very sweetened drink and then have your blood drawn to see how it reacts to the sugar.  It’s to test for gestational diabetes, and I hope and pray I pass the 3 hour test. We also talked a bit about the Circumvallate Placenta, and it appears to not be an issue that makes me High Risk and sent off to an OB instead of the midwives.  This is good news!

I have gained about 8 pounds total, which is on the small side slightly, but I am overweight so that’s okay for now.  I feel you kick often, and feel your hiccups a lot too.  Daddy has felt you kick, and I can see you kick when I am laying in the bathtub. 

I have some names picked out.  Have I talked about this before?  I should check old letters to see! Anyway, for a middle name you will either be Anderson or Jenise.  Jenise is a combination of my first and middle names.  Anderson is my maiden name.  For a first name you will either be Seth, Levi, or Noah.  If I was a betting woman I would go with Seth.  Or you will be Isla, Corrine, Quinn, Tabitha, or Saorise (which I need to learn to spell.)  It is an Irish name for Freedom, and is reserved if you come early enough to be born on the 4th of July.  I like Isla the best right now.  It means Island and is Scottish, and since you surprised us the day before our cruise we thought it fitting. J 

I love you sweetheart!

Love Mommy

March 14th, 2010
Hello baby!

I went to our level 2 ultrasound.  First, because I am “advanced maternal age” I was treated to a counseling session with a geneticist.  It was pretty fascinating, really.  The counselor took down all our family history, of major diseases and conditions, on both my side and Daddy’s side.  Then, using a chart she had created she gave us the odds of you having any similar conditions based on genetics…the passing of genes from person to the next.  10 days prior I had taken a blood test that would also test for chromosomal defects like Down Syndrome and Trisomy 13 and 18, and spinal bifida.  The blood test results were at the perinatologist’s clinic, and were really good.  A woman my age is give a 1/720 (?) chance at having a Down Syndrome baby, but my blood results were good enough to lower my chances to 1/920, or that of a 29 year old woman.  The spinal bifida and trisomy numbers were even more impressive! So the next thing we had to do was go to the ultrasound scan, where the tech would look for markers.  There are “hard” markers such as a thickened neck fold, or “soft” markers such as a bent pinky finger.  It’s considered a soft marker because some people who are completely normal have bent fingers, whereas thickened neck skin is pretty much kept to Down Syndrome.

The scan was wonderful.  I was in there about 45 minutes.  The tech goes from your top to your bottom.  So head first, and then working their way down.  They check for the different areas of the brain, the mouth, the neck (as previously mentioned) the ribs, the bottom, arms, fingers, legs, toes.  They check where the cord inserts into your belly and where it inserts into the placenta.  They check the chambers of the heart, the kidneys, the bladder, and things on me, like my cervix, my uterus, my ovaries.  They check the blood flow into the cord and into the placenta.  And if you want, they also check for your gender. J

Anyway, the perinatologist came in and talked about the results.  That between the blood test, the genetic history, and the US results, I have a less than .5% chance of you having any of the difficulties mentioned above.  In other words, thus far you look to be like a normal, healthy baby.  And also very cute, in my opinion!

There was one problem area, and that was the placenta.  I have a condition called “Circumvallate Placenta” which means a thickened ridge is growing around the placenta, and the ends are growing with little folds, instead of laying flat.  What these two things mean is that 1. It could be hard to get nutrients to you in, or waste out and you could be born prematurely or with a Inter-uterine Growth Restriction. (IUGR)  The other thing is that with it not laying flat, it could be easier to have a placental abruption, which would mean hemorrhaging and is also not good.   The doctor assured me that these complications are very rare, but that I should come back at 32 weeks to see how you and the placenta look at that point.  So far you are growing perfectly and don’t seem to be affected.  But we have a lot of people praying for you, and Daddy gave me a blessing.  I must say, Google is NOT your friend in these circumstances.  It only shares worst case scenarios, where others feel that this is so rarely an issue that perhaps doctors make too much out of it.  It sure makes the decision on whether to go to Aunt Ann’s graduation and camping with the ward more difficult though!

Anyway, I will let you go.  I am so excited to meet you.  I love you so much. I’ve had two dreams that I saw you in an ultrasound and they told me boy and I told them they were wrong.  I can’t wait to hold you and feed you and feel relieved that you are here and healthy.  Please, please stay healthy.  I love you so much already!


February 20th, 2010
My darling baby,

It has been about 5.5 weeks since the last time I wrote to you.  It’s been a while because I haven’t had any appointments or big news.  But yesterday I had my 18 week appointment and I thought you’d like to hear an update with your progress.

I was scheduled to see the midwife Rhonda, but she was in labor and delivery.  Hearing that made it all so real!  So I saw the other midwife, Susan instead.  Susan gave me some advice about a blood test I was taking to screen for neural and chromosomal problems.  Then she said “Let’s look at your history, since I haven’t met with you yet.”  She then saw that you are my lucky number 7 and said “Oh, I see you’ve done this before!”  She told me that she was the youngest of 7 too.  That in her family there were also 3 of one gender and 4 of the other and asked me what I wanted my “tie-breaker” to be.  I told her it really didn’t matter.  I’ll be happy with a boy or a girl.

Then she noticed that there is some thyroid issues in my family, so she recommended we do a thyroid check as long as we were doing a blood draw for the other test.  (She called later to say that my levels were slightly out of range, and she is running further tests.  I don’t know if that means I need to do another blood draw, or if they can use the blood I already gave.)

Then I laid down and she measured me, and we listened to the heartbeat.  During that time I felt you kick, and her eyes got big (because you can hear a kick over a doppler) and said “It’s sure a busy baby!”  Then I sat up and said “It’s good you’ve already had an ultrasound and we know there is only one in there, because you are measuring 22cm’s when you should be measuring 18!”  I usually run big so I wasn’t too worried, but part of me panicked and thought “Oh no, what if they didn’t catch a twin!”  J

Gabby came with me to the appointment because I went right after her choir class.  She had to sit in the lab waiting room, and there was a prisoner for the correctional facility sitting nearby.  Her eyes got a little big when I pointed out the orange jumpsuit, the handcuffs, and the sheriff standing close by.

You give me a little scare when I can’t feel you kick.  I am at that point where I usually feel you every day, but if I don’t it’s probably because you are turned inward or kicking when I am asleep.  So for a while it was 3-4 days that I didn’t feel anything, and I was so sad and worried. But now it’s more consistant and strong.  Daddy even thinks he felt you one night when I was asleep.  I love this part of pregnancy.  The nausea is all but gone, unless I eat only something sugary in the morning.  The heartburn is lurking but not too strongly.  The kicks don’t hurt and I am comfortable when I walk.  I know, ask me in another 10 weeks!

I love you sweetie.  In about 9 days we are going to have our level 2 ultrasound, where we check more in-depth for problems.  We think we are going to keep you a surprise, but I am not positive about that.  So that is the next time you will hear from me, and it’ll be a full, fun update.

Love you,

January 13th, 2007
Sweet angel,

Yesterday we went to the ultrasound, to get our first glimpse of you.  I had to have a full bladder, and it’s an uncomfortable wait I have to tell you!  But in short order Daddy and I were called back.  I laid down on a bed in a dark room, and my shirt if lifted high and my pants are pulled low.  Then gel (that was nicely warm) was squeezed onto my tummy.  And then the transducer is put on my uterus and I get to see you…

Well, not quite.  The ultrasound tech takes her time getting measurements of my ovaries, cervix, uterus, etc.  I was getting antsy!  Then she said we could take a look at you, and we saw your cute little profile.  She talked about how active you were.  She said you were jumping around and moving and wouldn’t stop.  We saw your little arms waving and your legs kicking.  Love at first sight!  Then we took a look at your heart, and we saw it’s fast flutter in the middle of your chest.  What a lovely thing to behold. It was 160 beats per minute.  After that we looked at your head and did some measurements of that, and some crown to rump, and figured out that I was 12 weeks 4 days, and you are due on July 23rd, 1020.  I love you, and am enjoying all of this experience (minus the all day nausea!)

And today, just 10 minutes ago, I was reading through the baby book, looking up the meaning of the name “Brynn” and I felt you kick.  It was a low flutter way down by my pelvis.  I love that! I so love hearing you the first time, seeing you the first time, and feeling you the first time too.

So, before we went on our cruise, Daddy’s coworkers teased him about how people always get pregnant when they go on a cruise.  Little did they know we already were!  So he called in a medical leave day to go to the ultrasound, but only told them it was for an appointment for me.  When he went back to work today, his friend JoAnn said “So, how’s Jen?” and Daddy said “Well, we couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl, but it’s definitely a baby!”  They were excited, and some were thinking along those lines anyway.

Life is so good to me right now! 

Love always,

January 10th, 2010
Happy New Year, sweet baby o’ mine!

I had my first appointment with the midwife.  We did the typical blood work and urine tests, we talked a lot about my feelings about this pregnancy (she asked if it was a surprise, and I said it was, but then she looked at me and said “I can tell you are happy about that though!”  Which of course, I am!)  I layed down on the table and we listened for your heart on the doppler, and she asked what gender I wanted, and if I found out through ultrasounds.  I told her sometimes I do find out, and sometimes not, and I was leaning towards letting it be a surprise this time.  I told her it didn’t matter what I had.  My BGBGBG pattern would say a boy was coming, but all my babies were born in odd years and you will be born in an even year, so it’s broken anyway.  She said she was excited to be at this birth because she wanted to know what happens.  Then we found your heart and she said “There’s your baby’s heartbeat, momma!” and I got a big smile and a bit of tears in my eyes.  Then she counted them and said “Well, it’s strong like a boy, but fast like a girl”  so the mystery continues!

Since I don’t have an exact date for my last period, I will be getting an ultra sound on Tuesday so that we can get an accurate date.  Daddy will be coming with so that he can see you too.  We both pray that along with your strong heart, your body is growing well.  I am measuring pretty much right on what our guess is, so we are pretty sure there is only one of you.  (12 cm’s at 11 weeks.)

Anyway, I will report back after the ultra sound.  I am afraid I am not going to get any pictures, it seems this clinic and hospital have stricter guidelines as far as ultrasound pictures in the first trimester.  I was so spoiled in Glencoe, getting tons of pictures.  The nice thing about being Advanced Maternal Age (nice term, right?) is that I will get a level 2 ultra sound in about 6-7 weeks and then I’ll get a good look at you to see how you are doing.

I love you!

December 26th, 2009
Merry Christmas, sweet baby of mine!

I like to write you every month, so that you know how I felt and what I thought while I was carrying you.  So far, the cruise and the Christmas Holidays have kept me so busy, that I haven’t had constant thoughts about being pregnant with you.  In fact, sometimes I forget completely, and then I’ll remember and have a moment of excitement and wonder all over again.

The cruise with your Daddy went well, but by day 5 I was starting to feel really nauseous.  This is unusual for me, because I generally have some nausea, but not what I’ve been feeling so far.  Every day, all day.  Yuck!  Some dizziness and heartburn too. I figure I am about 9 weeks right now, I feel like I must be bloated, because I feel like I am “showing” too.  No keeping this pregnancy a secret for 5 months, I guess! I attribute all of this to just plain old getting older, and of course you being my 7th sweetheart!

We told the kids we were pregnant with you on December 3rd.  We prepared lunch and then I “served” a dessert of a baby food jar of fruit.  Zach understood the announcement right away, and had a smile on his face.  Gabby took a second longer, and Ethan too.  Alisa took a minute, so we said “Why is Mom serving BABY food for dessert?”  and she said “Oh.  OH!” That was fun.  Dylan and Reese of course had to be told.  Dylan is excited, and already talks about you all the time.  You are going to be so loved and cherished, and probably spoiled.

We told all your grandparents through email, and for far-away friends we put it in our Christmas letter.  So now you just have to promise to grow strong and healthy and come in 30 weeks or so, bright, beautiful, and wonderful.

I decided to go with the midwives at the Cambridge Hospital.  They work at the hospital, so it’s not like having a home birth, but I am excited to try something new.  Our first appointment is January 8th, and of course I will write another letter to you then.

We haven’t really decided if we think you are a boy or a girl yet.  It’s fun to guess, and I don’t think we’ll find out via ultrasound this time.  I had a dream about a boy before our cruise.  But Dad thinks “girl”.  A boy would keep our pattern, but then you will be the first baby born in an even year, so our pattern there is broken, might as well break another one, right? My top boy names right now are Seth, Noah, and Xander.  For girls I like Isla, Tabitha, Piper, Willow, and ??? (I LOVE to name girls.)  We are considering a middle name of Jenise for a girl, which is a mix of my first name and middle name.  I don’t have any named after me yet! NO idea for a boy though!

OK, I shall let you go.  I will update in a couple weeks after my appointment!

Love you,

November 19th, 2009
Dear 7th Foede Baby,

Hello, my peanut.  This is your mommy, writing you the first of many letters describing my feelings and experiences while I am pregnant with you.

It’s a surprise that I am writing to you.  Last month I prayed to our Father in Heaven about whether or not next year would be a good time to add to our family.  I expected the spirit to whisper to me a “yes” or a “no” and instead got a positive pregnancy test.

Your Daddy and I are on a long drive to Florida to celebrate our 15th anniversary with a cruise to the Southern Caribbean.  A week or 2 ago I had a dream that we were on the cruise, and a small, cute boy with dark hair fell overboard.  Daddy rescued him, because he was ours.  (Daddy’s gut feeling is that you are a girl though!)  Then last week I turned my head and got dizzy.  Later I told Daddy that it has only happened when I was pregnant, and then we shared a laugh because we didn’t think it was possible.

Then on Monday I noticed that I felt so tired and had to pee more.  So when Daddy and I went shopping for cruise things on Tuesday, I picked up a pregnancy test and the next morning I took it.  It came up positive, but one of the lines looked beige to me, so I didn’t trust it, and Daddy didn’t know to think.  I told him I was going to get another test, which I did.  Actually I got one at the dollar store AND the grocery store, and went home and took them both.  This time both were positive tests and we were sure we would be blessed with you.  When I emailed Daddy a picture of the tests, he wrote me back and said he was actually excited, and at peace, and calm. The other kids don’t know yet.  I told Daddy that I wanted to get through the cruise and think of a fun way to let the kids and your grandparents know.  My next letter will include everyone’s reactions to the news.

I want you to know, even though this wasn’t planned, we know that you came to our family for a reason.  You are WANTED and LOVED already.  You have parents that will dote on you and adore you.  You have siblings who will love and protect and spoil you.  You have a Father in Heaven who knows you and wants the best for you, and who saw fit to send you to us. 

Until next time, my sweet baby!
Your Mommy