Monday, December 28, 2009

Welcome to the world baby Gamwich!

On Saturday, December 19th at 1:35PM, we welcomed baby BOY Drudoc Gamwich into our family. (His real name is NOT Drudoc, but we don't share our real names here - so you'll just have to go with it ;-)

After 20 hours in labor and delivery, stalling out at 6cm for many hours, and an epidural ... our precious son made his way into this world.

Job 1:21, Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.

Praise the Lord for today, He has given.

Little (or not so little) Drudoc had some pretty good stats:
8lbs. 11oz.
21 inches
Screaming at the top of his lungs.

My apologies for not posting sooner ... but life has been hectic with recovery, Christmas, and a newborn.

I will share the birth story later, I just wanted you all to know that our little miracle is here and we are so extremely grateful.

Friday, December 18, 2009

In like flynn

So after calling L&D at 6AM, 8AM, 11AM, and 1:30PM ... we finally were allowed to come on down at 2PM. We checked in and got the room prepped: wiped down every surface with Clorox wipes, unpacked some essentials, got the IV going, etc. By 4PM they started the Pitocin.

We are trying to keep me distracted and chatty until the real pain begins. So far, it's more hurry and wait.

It will probably be awhile until we update again - my hope is that next time it will be an announcement ... but that probably won't happen until tomorrow.

Thank you again for all of your prayers!

39 weeks and no room for them in the inn

We had our 39 week appointment on Tuesday and were excited to find out that progress has been made! As of Tuesday we were: 2.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced, almost engaged, with a bulging bag of waters. My doctor was excited to tell us that we didn't need to come in for a Cervidil on Thursday night because my cervix was now "favorable". She did a sweep and as I left I signed off with "See you on Friday" ... and she responded ... "if not sooner!"

Immediately following the appointment I called my doula and she too was excited about our progress. She said that in her experience women who go in with such a favorable cervix for induction usually only have to get a few doses of pitocin and then things take off naturally. I SURE hope that's how it goes for me!

The rest of the ride home, I took time to call friends, as I was bubbling over with excitement! When I got home that afternoon I headed out for an aggressive walk and was really thinking ... "uh oh, this is going to happen now and I'm not packed!" Well, nothing happened Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning I was losing my mucous plug and (TMI alert) experiencing bloody show. I kept walking and doing other things to help out ... but alas ... nothing. We are still here ... pregnant.

Last night Berilac came home from work (it was his last night before the Friday morning induction and 2 weeks off to enjoy his new baby). We spent the time finishing packing and getting ready to wake up at 5AM this morning to get showered, fed, and ready to call in to Labor and Delivery at 6AM. It was a very anxious time for me. I had flashes of fear, you know, when your tummy drops really quickly ... and then I'd take a deep breath and try to slow down the old heart rate. It was SO HARD trying to fall asleep last night knowing that I would wake up this morning to the day that we have our child. So intense.

Well, this morning we wake up, on time (which is rare for us ;-), get showered and had a large breakfast and called in at 6am to learn that everybody wants a piece of Labor and Delivery today! Evidently, all their post partum rooms are full and so are all of their L&D rooms, and they can only move L&D patients to post partum when they've been cleared out.

So for Berilac, me, and baby Gamwich ... there's no room in the inn for us.

It's currently 9:30AM pacific time, and after we got the news at 6AM we decided it would be best for me to take a nap and cuddle with the doggy (two things that will be in short supply soon enough), I woke up at 8AM to call back to L&D and check in with them to see where things were at and the very lovely charge nurse there asked me to call back at 11AM.

And so we wait ...

Keep us in your prayers, it's going to be a long day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

38 weeks

We had our 38 week appointment on Wednesday, though we were only 37w5d. Everything looked great. We've been doing neonatal stress tests (NSTs) weekly since 36 weeks, only because I've had so much anxiety about a cord accident. All of our NSTs thus far have looked great.

In the appointment, the bp looked great (107/61), urine test came back fine, weight looks great (so far I've gained 20lbs in this pregnancy), and our fundal height was measuring above 39 weeks.

Because I have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions since about half way through the pregnancy, the doctor has been doing internals since 36 weeks. Unfortunately, there has been no change since our first internal: 1 cm dialated, 0% effaced, -1 station, ballotable.

I am trying to patiently wait and trust the Lord with the timing of things. But I'm definitely the planning/anxious type - so I bounce back and forth, it's hard.

I'd really like to go into labor naturally before 39 weeks, that would be my first choice. If I'm trying for a pain-med free birth, I'd really like to be able to attempt that with "natural" labor contractions and not Pitocin induced contractions - which I've heard can be SO much more painful. However, if we end up needing to go in on Thursday night for the Cervidil (to ripen the cervix) ... my hope is that that alone will swing things into high gear, starting natural contractions and we'd be able to not have to start any Pitocin. So anyway, all this to say, that we are fervently praying for a tolerable labor and delivery experience, that is safe and healthy for both mom and baby. I try not to get too worked up about it, because I know that doesn't help a thing.

Another thing we did try this week was acupuncture induction. I went in for a treatment yesterday. If that doesn't kick start things, I go back in on Monday and Wednesday for more. It's hard because I know walking is one thing that's very good for mom and baby - if you're trying to kick start labor or not! And I've been walking every morning for the last three months ... but this past week has been cold and rainy, making it hard to get out of the house! The Acupuncturist told me to walk as much as possible following the treatments - so we'll have to bite the bullet and start braving the weather.

It's hard to believe that in less than 2 weeks we will have a little baby in our arms. Doing the whole parent thing still seems so out of reach and far away. I think denial is playing a huge role in this thought/feeling! ;-) ... heck, we don't know how to do all of this. I'm going to be a basketcase! ... what I do know is that Berilac and I have had our share of rough experiences in marriage, and I can confidently say that God has blessed us through our trials and today we have a very strong marriage. I think that will go a long way in figuring this whole parenting thing out. We just have to learn about all the logistics of caring for a baby ... it's a good thing we've got a ton of books, the Internet, and many friends that have gone before us ... all at our fingertips.

Until next week's update (... and really, hopefully sooner!),

Monday, December 7, 2009

We're having a baby ... this month?

I've been wanting to post for ages and have started a few posts ... that I just can't seem to finish. So rather than NOT post because I can't come up with exactly how I want to say all that I'm going through ... I'll just jump in and give you an update ...

The countdown is on ... but it's not as long as you think.

Only two and a half weeks until our due date ... but only one and a half weeks until our induction date. We are scheduled to head into the hospital on Thursday night 12/17 for a dosage of Cervidil, then the next morning, we begin the administration of low and slow Pitocin ... if labor takes off, then great. If it doesn't then the OB said we might be able to be released to head home until 12/22 before they have us back for an aggressive Pitocin dose then. We've hired a doula, so hopefully she'll help us in delaying the induction if needed.

I really hope (and I'll ask for your prayers) that baby decides to make an appearance before we have to evict him/her. I'd really like to go into natural labor on or before 12/17. Will you pray for us?

We are trying the self induction techniques ... walking, sex, EPO, pineapple, red raspberry leaf tea, will be starting acupuncture ... and spicy food, once the baby drops ... this whole acid reflux thing is OUT OF CONTROL at this stage in pregnancy!

I stopped taking Lovenox (blood thinner) on Friday night - so we're all set for a non complicated epidural/c-section (if needed) ... though we have taken the Bradley classes and are hoping for an unmedicated birth, which, as you might know, will be much more difficult if we have to be induced.

A lot of people want to know WHY we're planning an induction at 39 weeks. Well, our OB has been talking about this since the beginning. I guess there is a higher risk for cord accidents the longer the pregnancy continues. As well, we've been on blood thinners the entire pregnancy (stopping at 37 weeks) so they want us to only be off of them for a short while (I go back on them post partum for 6 weeks), and lastly ... at this most recent appointment (my 37 week appointment) the doctor took one look at my belly while I was lying back for the fundal height measurement and she said "that is one big baby" ... she is guesstimating 8 1/2 lb baby at 39 weeks. She then asked me "how much did you weigh at birth, because baby weight is mostly comparable to the maternal weight" and I told her "9 1/2 lbs" ... *blush* ... her reply? ... "I'm sorry." The reassuring news is that she doesn't think that the baby is too big for a vaginal birth, which I'm relieved about.

So that's it ... we are full term, we are expecting a baby THIS month, we have less than 2 weeks till our induction date, and Berilac is finishing his MBA program tonight (and dropping off his final paper by 6p tomorrow night). We will have 10 days to "be a normal couple" until baby arrives.

Our bags are not packed, our nursery is not finished ... and get this ... we don't have names yet!! ... I blame it on all the work I've been trying to wrap up (maternity leave starts this Friday, but I've been working from home since Thanksgiving), the fact that I'm as large as a house (literally, I'm worried this belly is going to split open!) and Berilac hasn't had time with his work and school consuming so much of his life.

Sorry for the delay in posting ... I've been SO incredibly busy ... if I haven't had time to pack our bag and/or work on the nursery ... nor get a name! Then you can see why I've been too busy to post ;-)

I can't believe our journey has come this far ... I so pray that the labor and delivery is safe and healthy for both the baby and me ... and that the labor experience is as tolerable as possible.

I'll try to keep you posted in these last few weeks.

With much love,


Interested in helping us out? Suggest baby names in a comment if you've got them! Remember we don't know the gender - so boy and girl names are welcome!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maternity Pictures

These pictures were taken by Nicole Hoefer Photography out of Redwood City, California. We think she did an EXCELLENT job ... if you're interested in connecting with her to help you with your family photography needs - go ahead and reach out to her!

Nicole Hoefer: 650-302-6191 or

And now for the fun .... (these were taken at 29 1/2 weeks!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Belly pics from our anniversary

People seem to LOVE pictures ... so I thought I'd share some belly pics from the other night. This is me 29 1/2 weeks pregnant - the night of our anniversary dinner out.

Now mind you that it was a Monday night and the eve of a much anticipated frightening storm front. Upon seating us, the hostess said "I'm so proud of you for getting out at this stage of your pregnancy." And I responded with "you mean the very beginning of my third trimester with 11 more weeks to go?" ... I think she back peddled by telling me it looked like I could already be uncomfortable.

The front view:
The back view: (cute dress huh?)

There it is ... the "yep, she's pregnant" view ...

And in case you weren't sure ... we've spelled it out for you ...
Yes, I'm large.

I do get asked all the time "are you sure that you're not having twins?" ... this question should offend me because really, they are implying that I'm extra big, but instead I'm gleeful and giddy - I love having a pregnant belly, I love that it's huge!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day

Today, October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.

If you have lost a baby or babies ... my heart goes out to you, I wish I could reach through the screen and hug you right now. If you lit a candle for your lost little ones, know that you are not alone in your pain. Know that grief and heartache do not have a time schedule that other people dictate. Grief and loss are very complex and painful. I hope you were able to surround yourself with people who love and support you - I hope you got the hugs you needed today.

If you have not lost any babies ... maybe, tonight ... give the little ones that you do have an extra big hug and thank God for them - they are truly a miracle. And if you know anyone who has lost a precious baby - let them know that you think about them and their lost little ones.

Missing our babies today:
August 2006
February 2007
September 2007
January 2008

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lift a glass ...

Today marks 8 years of marriage.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this previously, but Berilac and I have not had an easy marriage - by any means. We call our first year of marriage "the meat grinder year" because there was so much difficult change going on that year. Then our second year was deemed "Berilac's take-it-in-the-chin year" ... it was appropriate for the emotional beating I was giving him and no, I'm not exaggerating.

In those early years we fought against our new identities, we fought against selfishness, we fought against insecurities, we learned of many more of our own weaknesses - and the reality of that was so very intense. The best news is ... is that we surrendered that all back to God and asked Him for His blessing, wisdom, and direction in each area ... and over the years each of these areas has gotten better and better. Because we had so many struggles, we were able to learn how to become a team and face these problems together. I believe that it was because of these issues and the tools we learned to overcome them ... that going through the years of infertility and loss brought us closer together, rather than driving us further a part. I definitely mourn over the loss and heartache from these past three years, but I also cherish these years as an opportunity God took in breaking us down even more - drawing us closer to each other and closer to Him.

For the past three years - every holiday, every milestone was just another reminder of what we don't have, rather than what we do. Today is a milestone. A milestone very different than the milestones we've hit over the past 3 years. Today, I am so grateful to be passing this milestone with little baby Gamwich in my belly. No, we are not holding baby Gamwich in our arms, and no I'm not 100% certain that there will be a live healthy baby to take home come Christmas ... but I do have more hope than I used to have ... that it will happen ... more hope then I've ever had ... some would think this is a slam dunk - 29 1/2 weeks pregnant, all tests look good, everything progressing successfully equals live healthy baby ... but I will tell you that each day I still have to choose hope.

Although we celebrate 8 years of ups and downs, we also celebrate that today wasn't another reminder of how we don't yet have children. I think of the ladies that are still waiting and my heart breaks for them and my eyes well up with tears. I am saddened by their losses, I am brokenhearted with them. I think of how this milestone would have been like that had this little baby not been conceived and thriving in my belly.

I am celebrating 8 years, I am celebrating emotional growth and intimacy, I am immensely grateful to be celebrating today, and I'm rejoicing in a new life.

A toast ... to real life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The highly anticipated babymoon (pic heavy)

We are living the dream! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was, after all we've been through ... to be able to go on a vacation and sport a huge belly ... I really do count it a miracle. I am so grateful to be this pregnant and to be able to enjoy this pregnancy ...

For those that would like to see ... I've created this picture heavy post capturing our wonderful babymoon. What is a babymoon you ask? It’s your last hurrah, your last couple-only vacation before baby comes … like “honeymoon” only it’s in anticipation of baby, hence "babymoon".

For years I’ve fantasized about a babymoon and for me what defined a good babymoon was something warm and tropical, a place where I could for the first time in my life wear a bikini without fear (hence all the pics of me, it's a start to our maternity pics!). Originally I wanted to go to Hawaii, but given my near plane crash 11 years ago I’m not too fond of flying and use meds to get through most flights … given that I’m pregnant I can’t take the meds and going without would be a bad idea as it would introduce too much stress to the baby … so we opted for driving to Southern California instead. We stayed in Dana Point, the nearly furthest south beach town just above San Diego. We were there for a little over a week … I would have liked more time, but I’ll take what I can get!

We headed out the weekend of Labor Day, so in these pictures I am 24+ weeks pregnant. And, as large as it looks, the belly has grown even more since then! Enough rambling … let’s get to the pictures:

Let's start with lots of good eating ...
Then we enjoyed a whale and dolphin watching tour!

First day at the beach ...

Date night ... a gondola ride, a night strolling through Laguna Beach, and a night of non-hot tubbin'!

More eating at the hotel ...
First day at the pool ...

Second day at the beach ... and some surfing! (Ok, or just some posing with the board ... for me at least!)

Second day at the pool:

It was hard to say good-bye ...