Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eight Months since I touched his skin...

I'm having a rough day.

Still don't feel well and I'm conflicted. I still am not 100% sure I have an infection, and though I don't feel TONS better, I feel a hair better than yesterday and still wonder if I really need the antibiotic. So, I haven't taken it and I hate not being sure. Most days, "Better safe than sorry," is my mantra, but I don't necessarily know which is the 'safe' and which is the 'sorry'. Medicine we don't need vs. not taking medicine that we *may* need.

I'm not sleeping. That's not unusual, but at least when John is home, I sort of get forced to try. I didn't go to bed until close to 4 am and was back up at 9 for the cable guy.

Which brings me to the next frustration. He came, he did stuff, he said he needed to send someone else out tomorrow (but I don't need to be here), he left, cable is still all jacked up (with the possibility of the internet being lost looming). I talked to the cable company for an hour (and ran back and forth between THREE different tvs on THREE different levels of my house) and was given the resolution of: They'll squeeze me in tomorrow, but I'll have to be here after all and because they are squeezing me in, they can't give me a time frame. Not 9-1, not 1-5....ALL FLIPPING DAY. Good grief.

Mostly, though, my heart aches.

Eight months ago, my perfect and precious little boy was born. As time goes on, I have so many regrets. I regret that I had some of the medicine I did when I was in labor because I think that is sort of what made the time after Matthew was born a bit fuzzy and hours seem like minutes. I wish I had made better use of the time that I could have had with him before he was taken to Georgetown. I only got to touch a sweet little cheek and shoulder...never even got to see his face full-on.

I could not STAND the mess my office has become so, to combat insomnia, I tore it apart and cleaned it up in a major way. I came across the fetal heartrate strips of Matthew's when I was in labor. They broke my heart as I got closer to the end and saw how erratic they were....I'm not and never have been one to put a lot of 'feeling' on a newborn. That's just me, but I really feel like at those stages, it's all instinct and God sort of just leading the way for them...I don't believe there's much cognizance of what is happening in their world, but more reacting.

I deviated from that, though, when I saw those strips for a minute. I just cried and cried thinking about what must have been going through his head those last few minutes...when his heartrate was crazy...then nothing...then back, but so weak...I saw those heartate variations and for just a minute, wondered if he was scared or suffering.

I can't get that out of my head.

Eight months. Time has just gone by in a way I cannot even fathom, yet it still seems so frozen. Flashbacks are still so vivid, and come without any warning or trigger.

I should be taking a picture of him with a sweet little 8 months sign. I should be posting about how he's pulling himself up in the crib and doesn't like rice but loves bananas. I should be taking him to the beach and cleaning sand out of poopy diapers.

Like I said, mostly, my heart just aches.

We wrapped up our Anchored By Hope Bible Study on Sunday and shared our memorials. It was hard to do one for soon after you've left us, but even still, so soon after I did the last one. This time, I just wrote a letter to Matthew with some pictures and Katy did a lovely job putting it in video.

I think it says a lot about where I've been and to where I've come...but leaves me longing still for where he is.

Of course, it also leaves me longing more for where He is, so I continue to cling.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Offers, offers and more wonderful offers!!!!

So, I never win ANYTHING (save I won the sweetest Vera Bradley bag from Lianna at Be Thou a Knight and was SO excited!!!!) but am always jealous of those luckies who do!! Several awesome, generous and kind offers/giveaways have popped up in the last few days and I'm hoping to share in case someone who reads this may benefit!!!

Stephanie at Carried Through Grief is offering a really great thing. She does beautiful work and is currently pregnant again after the loss of her sweet Amelia earlier this year in March. She, like me, is feeling the conflict of looking forward while remembering what's behind and agreed that these precious new little lives coming into the world ought to be able to have something special for them. What I love is that she's not just included women who are pregnant after loss, but women who have had failed/stalled adoption situations but been able to still bring another precious child into their home. Adoption loss carries its own sense of mourning and grief, trust me.

From Stephanie:

"I am offering 50% off my Fanciful Collection at Beyond Words Designs to all Rainbow parents who wishes to participate. * A rainbow parent is someone who has experienced the death of a baby/child/or failed adoption and is currently expecting or adopting after the loss."

I can't wait until we decide what Luke's nursery theme will be because I fully intend to take Stephanie up on this sweet offer!!

Next is from Franchesca...who is also CRAZY talented and does so many kind and generous things in memory of her sweet Jenna Belle. At Small Bird Studio, she does wonderful things and is offering a giveaway art piece in her sweet Jenna's alphabet. Beautiful stuff, so visit her there and on Facebook!

Last is from sweet, sweet Kelli at Rie's Dialogues...I just heart her! She's launched a new blog and I just love her strength and perseverance! What I love more is that she honors and embraces those very same things in others!! Her giveaway is for a gift certificate from The Vintage Pearl and the jewelry is just lovely! She has all the details there on her blog.

Whew! Lots of links, huh? Amazing women, though, and I'm honored to share some of their goings on.

Went to the doctor today--first to see Dr. Shonekan...just love her. Still sick, so all the office got was the Pillsbury pull-out-of-the-package white chocolate macadamia cookies so I didn't get anyone else sick either. God love her for putting up with me.

Luke's little heart was chugging right along. Easy to find. Of course it was. We think his pattern is sleep during the day and party at night. Although, he is usually pretty wiggly for our ultrasounds with Dr. Sweeney, so maybe he was just taking a moment. All I know is that when we are trying to find his heartbeat at night before bed, he's an acrobatic phenom! When we try to take it mid-morning, it's always very, very easy to get because he's still!

My blood pressure was a bit high, but that's not necessarily uncommon when sick, so not too worried. We'll watch it as I (theoretically) get better over these next few days.

I went to a primary care doctor for this sinus infection. She's a former high risk OB PA and she was sort of not happy with me. She was obviously very curious about my OB history (so much fun to walk down memory lane) and was very put out with me for not taking my allergy and asthma medicines while I've been pregnant. I got the old, "If you aren't getting enough oxygen, neither is the baby," speech, which I had already heard earlier from Dr. Shonekan, only not as good-naturedly delivered. She asked why I wasn't taking them and I told her I didn't need them. (I don't.) She asked who told me I didn't need them and I told her that I didn't need anyone to tell me what my body knew. (She didn't like that.) She said I was stubborn. (She wasn't really mean about it, and in her defense, she's right.) She said I needed to take those medicines because they were class B and should be just fine to take. I found it funny that someone who'd worked with high risk OB patients for so long couldn't understand that "should be just fine" is not something I'm willing to talk about.

Matthew "should" have been just fine too. There are no shoulds. (Written in honor of Dr. Guyer.)

So, after hemming and hawing about how I knew my body, how pregnancy has been WONDERFUL for my allergies and asthma (this spring when everyone was complaining about pollen, I was gardening and singing like I was Snow White!), and in NO WAY, SHAPE or FORM would I do anything to harm poor Luke, she mentioned how I was a doctor's nightmare because how was I to know if I was harming poor Luke?

It was at that point I wanted to tell her, "Good thing you're not a doctor, then, huh, because you'd be aggravated with me, wouldn't you?" but in Christian love, I refrained.

I know what she meant. She was just worried about me making sure I took medicines to keep me from crisis situation. I get that.

But after listening to me for cry and share the last 11 years of my life with her for several minutes, she should have gleaned that I am a fabulous advocate for my health care needs (and have even been called a hypochondriac once or twice!) and would do anything necessary (including medicine up the wazoo) to protect Luke.

If it's just a matter of making me a bit more comfortable, though...I'll pass. Why subject him to it? I do not work, I do not have any major responsibilities around my house, I do not have anything to do but lay around if I want to. I can suck it up a bit and not take medicine if it means that Luke doesn't have to have it either.

That said, I DO believe this is probably a sinus infection. So, if it's not better tomorrow (I'm a bit better today than I was yesterday), then first thing in the morning, I'll hit the Z-pac. Dr. Shonekan told me to quit being stubborn and take a puff of my inhaler, so *maybe* I'll do that before bed to try to get some sleep. (She tells me I'm stubborn but she tells me she loves me anyway!!)

I know that woman was just doing her job, but really...I'm not some 18 year-old girl (don't I know THAT!) who just 'fell' into pregnancy, for Pete's sake. And I've lived with my body for 37 years. I'm pretty familiar with its ins and outs. I have not needed any medicine and Luke has been fine.

For the record, my pulse ox or whatever the thing that measures your oxygen is ROCKED. 100% airflow. Luke and I are doing just fine, madame PA.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Twenty-Three to go....

Today marks 15 weeks. My once-a-month phone counselor (really love her!) said she couldn't believe I'm already here and frankly, neither can I. She then went on to say I was over a major hump, and though I know 'statistically' I am, that doesn't necessarily make me breathe so much easier.

I just can't get a good handle on time. It seems like 15 weeks has just FLOWN by...and then I feel like my life has been in some sort of suspension for the last 8 months. We have twenty-three weeks left, which sounds like a lot...but in light of the fact that we're already at 15, it doesn't really. I think having weekly doctor's visits helps make it seem like the time is going by quickly. Once we hit 24 weeks, we'll see Dr. Sweeney once a week and then I really think it will fly.

I actually am back down a pound or so...about 98. Net gain so far at 15 weeks is -2 pounds. I know this really worries mom :), but honestly, I'm fine and so is Luke!! Lots of women lose weight in the beginning and though nothing is really appealing to me, I'm making sure that I am eating and getting nutritional value from everything. I have to say that V8-Fusion is my new favorite thing because I can drink that all day and get lots of fruit and veggie servings. I also make sure I get good amounts of protein every day, as well as calcium (love it in my grape juice!), iron and my Omega-3s and DHAs, so I think baby is doing just fine. Like Dr. Shonekan says, he gets everything HE needs...when I don't eat much, it's ME who suffers--tired, no energy, etc!!

Fine with me. All I have to do is let this baby grow and thrive and I love that luxury.

I DO have a sinus infection, though. This cold is no longer just that. I've been trying to avoid medicine at all cost, but honestly, I know a Z-pac is fine and I'd rather not have an infection get out of hand...that's just worse (and really makes me even more miserable). I know we've been having record heat, but honestly, I've just been mostly taking it easy in bed or in the house at the very least, so I can't even complain much about it!

I don't mind the heat, though anyway.

John offered Taco Bell yesterday and I said, "No," in favor of beef lo mein and an egg roll. This boy cracks me up! Still loving the candy and junk, and John made a homemade Oreo blizzard last night that rocked!

John's on the boat this week and next, and so he'll miss two appointments. I know he hates that, but I take the little Flip and he doesn't miss anything, really! He's doing night flights, which worry me, but at least there's a full moon for a few days and that makes it easier for him.

Still pretty sure he's a boy--I know that 14 weeks could still be a bit early, but several studies show that by 14 weeks, skilled and trained techs and doctors can make predictions with 98% accuracy.

That said, Dr. Sweeney DID say he was not 100% sure and would feel 100% sure next Monday at 16 weeks. I have to say that if Luke DOES turn out to be a girl after all, I might be a little worried with THAT thing!

John and I are pretty sure, though, as was Dr. Sweeney.

Emotions are all over the place. To be expected, I think.

We booked a cruise out of Baltimore for Labor Day and a few days past. John has been working REALLY hard and has been burning the candle at both ends. I feel really sorry for him a lot of the time because as I said, my main job is just hanging around and taking care of myself for the baby. He's been so busy and swamped--he needs to just have the opportunity to lay around and let others take care of him. If you knew him, and how ACTIVE he was ALL THE TIME, you'd really understand the significance of him needing to just be forced to RELAX, and it being HIS idea! I'm psyched!! It will make August fly by as well!

Here's what's going on with the little one this week...probably no pictures because John's out til Friday evening, but maybe something when he gets home. Definitely in all maternity clothes now!

Week Fifteen: Bones and muscles grow

You are 15 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 13 weeks)
  • Baby is now over 4 inches (10cm) long
  • and weighs about 2.5 ounces (75 grams).
  • He or she can move its arms and make a fist.
  • Fingernails and toenails are present.
  • Baby's skin is still very thin.
15 weeksYour baby's legs have grown longer than the arms and the body is now longer than the head. The bone and marrow that make up your baby's skeletal system are continuing to develop this week. The bones and muscles are continuing to grow. You may begin to feel some fluttering movements as baby kicks, twists and turns; but don't panic if you don't feel movement yet.

Their ears are nearly in position, and the three tiny bones in his middle ear have begun to harden. By the end of the week, the roof of your baby's mouth will be completely formed. The fetus has an adult's taste buds and may be able to savor the mother's meals. The baby's thin skin is covered with ultra fine, downy hair that usually disappears before birth.

The fetal crown to rump length by this week of pregnancy is 4 to 4.5 inches (100 to 115mm). The fetus weighs about 2.5 ounces (75g). It's close to the size of a softball.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Luke's 14 weeks!

Okay...actually, he was 14 weeks on Monday and I should have done his update then but there was so much going on. Like the discovery of a pee-pee.'s how he and his mommy look at 14w3d.

Certainly showing a good a few specific places...and not sure how because I still am about a pound less than I was when I got pregnant. I've picked another pound up in the last week or two, I guess, because I now sort of steadily weigh in at 99 (give or take a few ounces) at the end of each day but considering how big I am in SOME places, I'm not sure how I've not picked up more.

I've had a yucky cold this week. Colds for me typically linger and then move into infection on a good while pregnant, uck. I had a cold that actually DID go away at the beginning of my pregnancy with Matthew, and one later that turned into bronchitis, so....we'll just hope this one goes away soon. A few more days and I'll probably hit the doctor anyway because I feel like it's moving into a sinus infection.

Food is still not very appealing, unless it is Taco Bell or some sort of sweet junk food. Luke likes beans, cheese, sour cream and doughnuts. He also likes sour gummy worms and sour skittles (which are WAY too hard to find any more) but my stomach can only handle so many. I've started to have ice cream cones after dinner (with John peddling them like a drug pusher!) and right now the flavor of the week is Cherry Vanilla.

Here's what's going on with Luke:

Week Fourteen: Hormones start up

You are 14 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 12 weeks)
  • The fetus is 3 and half inches (9cm) long.
  • Weight is about 1 and half ounces (45 grams).
  • The eyes are slowly moving towards the center of the face.
  • The nose is more pronounced. The ears are fully developed.
  • The cheekbones are visible. The first hair is appearing.
  • The kidneys are producing urine.
  • In girls, the ovaries are moving down towards the pelvis.
  • In boys, the prostate gland is developing.
  • For girls, the ovaries move into the pelvis.
14 weeksYour baby now is peeing into the amniotic fluid round itself as well as making breathing movements. With the effect of hormones, the boys now have a prostate gland. For girls, the ovaries move from the abdomen into the pelvis. During this week of pregnancy the head and eyebrow hair develops.

Your child's bones are getting harder and stronger by the day. Your baby's skin is very transparent still. Lanugo (very fine hair) covers the baby's body and will continue to grow until 26 weeks gestational age - Generally this will be shed prior to birth. Its purpose is to help protect baby's skin while in all that water.

As your baby grows, your uterus and placenta are also growing. Six weeks ago, your uterus weighed 5 ounces (140 g). Now, it weighs about 8.75 ounces (250g). The amount of amniotic fluid around the baby is also increasing. There is now about 7.5 ounces (250ml) of fluid. You can easily feel your uterus about 3 inches (7.6cm) below your bellybutton.

Your baby is 3.42 inches (8.7cm) long and weighs about 1.52 ounces (43 grams)

Friday, July 23, 2010


IF Matthew had lived, giving hand-me-downs to his baby brother would be a no-brainer.

IF Matthew had lived, moving him into a big-boy room and redoing his room to be a nursery for his baby brother would be exciting and fully joyful.

IF Matthew had lived, comparing his activity level in utero to his brother's activity level would be humorous and fun to compare the similarities.

IF Matthew had lived, thinking about what to do for his first birthday would be full of searching for ideas and dreaming of amazing memories of him eating his first birthday cake.

IF Matthew had lived, a 'shower' for Luke would be a given--not because he really 'needs' anything but to celebrate HIS life and give him his OWN things...just like his big brother had!

IF Matthew had lived, there would be so many different things and feelings....

But he didn't...and so while well-meaning, rational and practical statements like, "Well, you'd pass his hand-me downs on anyway," or "Another boy--now that's easy because you're all set!" make me, things are far from easy.

Matthew's clothes are not outgrown and lovingly passed...they were never worn because he died. There was no growth. There were no sweet memories of stained spaghetti shirts that his brother will get to play in. There are tubs and tubs of clothes bought for Matthew...and passing hand-me downs on is not the same when the elder sibling never even lived long enough to need clothes.

If Matthew had lived, we'd be telling him that his baby brother is a big wiggle-worm just like he was when he was in mommy's tummy! Now when we make note of what a wiggler Luke is, it's bittersweet...not that Matthew maintains the monopoly on the term 'wiggle-worm' by any means...but when one's child dies, one tries to keep as many things unique to that child as one can. There are so few as it is...

If Matthew had lived, the issue of what to do with the nursery would be non-existent. Matthew would help us pick out all the things for his 'big boy' room and even help us pick out things for baby brother. The room would not always and forever be twinged with what it could have been...what it should have been....Instead of sitting in the rocker with Luke remembering the sweet memories of rocking his brother in the very same chair, no doubt there will be days that I will sit in that chair and wonder how it would have been to rock with Matthew...if Matthew would have felt like Luke did.

While it is true that the nursery is still in brand new condition and eagerly awaiting a baby boy...that baby boy it eagerly awaits is Matthew. Every thing in that room was lovingly and purposefully bought for Matthew. Children are not interchangeable. I cannot just delete Matthew and insert Luke.

Moreover, Luke deserves every bit of excitement and purposeful and loving planning that Matthew had. And he will get it. It's just not as easy.

One of the happiest days of my life was Matthew's shower. We were just abundantly blessed and it was one of those days that was just perfect. It was a day I couldn't wait to tell him about--to share with him how loved he was and how very, very excited so many were to be celebrating his life. Luke deserves a day like that too. He deserves a day that he is celebrated and receives things that were meant just for him. (John actually used the word 'monogrammed'--as in, "Luke needs his own things monogrammed with his name.") He deserves the memories in his baby book that show him his impending arrival brought so much joy to so many people.

But he doesn't 'need' anything. We don't 'need' anything. I thought about having a shower for our local pregnancy center in Luke's honor...and then even felt bad about that--Luke doesn't really 'need' anything because his brother died before he ever used any of his stuff and amazingly the seasons mostly match up--it would seem more like doing something in Matthew's memory than in Luke's honor.

It's all so messy and it gets even messier thinking about how Matthew's birthday is not too far away...and right around the time we'd have a shower for Luke. I know there are still four months, but they haunt me...what do I do for my dead son's first birthday while I am basically a month or so, give or take, away from my second son's LITERAL birthday?

At the beginning of this pregnancy, I felt like I was a ball of multi-colored yarn--all rolled up and messy and just a big tangle of emotions. Honestly, how could I not? In the course of the last 8 months, I have given birth to and buried a baby, and am 4 months pregnant with another. Lots of emotions and things I needed to go through with and for Matthew just had to be shelved because I had a mission--another pregnancy and doing all I could to ensure that his brother or sister would be healthy and happily received and grown.

Lately, I'd been feeling things seemed to be settling down in my IVF protocol, good appointments that each day brought their own little reassurances, focusing on just enjoying every second with Luke....I felt like the ball of yarn was untangling. Less and less did it seem like there were a ton of colors, and all wound up, but more like two colors...and separating into their own individual balls. Matthew and Luke. Mourning Matthew and celebrating Luke. As they've unraveled, I have to admit their intensities have gotten stronger--I've been aching in such a strong way over Matthew, but have been truly falling more and more in love with Luke.

Now I'm starting to feel the yarns tangle hurdles pop up and how to do justice to two the lives of my two little boys is always at the forefront of my mind.

I try not to live in the world of 'If' because I know it's not productive and doesn't change anything.

The truth is though that things that may 'look' easy and sound rational just aren't sometimes...and might have been....


Monday, July 19, 2010

What's in a name?

Sometimes it is hard to trust God. At least for me it is.

It wasn't always this way. I used to be able to say, "I don't understand ________ but it's one of those questions I'll ask God when I get there," and I'd be-pop on my way.

When Matthew died, it got hard to trust Him. Not necessarily Him and what happens, but that He's good, all the time.

I know, I know...that makes me a very, very bad Baptist. It's sort of ingrained that when someone says, "God is good," the automatic response is, "All the time."

Since Matthew died, I have had NO trouble believing that things were going to be the way they were going to be and I really didn't have much say in it....but that God was good ALL THE TIME was hard for me.

I didn't think He was all that good at 1:26 am on November 29, 2009.

My daily (often multiple times during the day) prayer is that I get back to a place where I can just say AND believe that God is good all the time. I remember not too long after Matthew died begging God for that belief...telling Him that I could even handle Matthew being gone for now if I could just believe in the GOODNESS of God again...not just His existence or His power...His GOODNESS.

It can't be based on what my heart says or even what I feel. It just has to be a conscious choice. It'd sure be nice to feel it too, though.

The choice to believe has been very hard for me. I don't know how I can be able to put God being good all the time with Matthew being dead...all the time. So most days, I just praise God for every blessing I have, and beg Him to bring to me the faith that I feel I once had.

Today was an amazing day. We had our ultrasound with our beloved Dr. Sweeney (brought homemade banana pudding, minus Grandma's extra ingredient: rum) and baby was MOVING! Wiggly, wiggly, WIGGLY! The sono tech was laughing because again, she was trying to get the heartbeat and that little one was just hopping all over the screen. Wiggling and waving hands and legs. I loved it! Heartrate was 146 (when she could finally get it) and baby was measuring right on target. I'm 14 weeks today and one measurement was 13w6d and another was 14w2d, so just perfect. My placenta is a little low-lying, but it's very early right now so that isn't a big deal and even if it stayed that way the whole pregnancy, it's not a huge deal because I'll be a c-section.

We were very excited to confirm (or deny) what was predicted two weeks ago--that wiggler was a girl. The sono tech was looking and looking as we told her what Dr. Sweeney had said last time and she said, "Well...I think he might have been wrong! Looks like a boy to me, but we'll see what he says."

So, when he came in, we were all quiet seeing what his guess was. He looked, and looked, and looked some more. He had a very perplexed look on his face and then he said, "Gosh, I guess it's a boy, huh?!

It sure is!

He then said, "That's not what I said last time, is it?"

"Nope," I told him.

"This kid just sprouted out at me!"

A BOY! Another precious little boy!!!! I was so, so excited to be a boy mom...and now I'm a mom to TWO boys! Two heavy duty movers (though I have to say that this one seems to be even more active than Matthew!!!) and shakers.

At one point, the baby was scratching his head! He had his little hand over his head and you could see his little fingers actually scratching his head...sort of like he was wondering what the heck was going on!

I'm so thrilled to say my son's name is Luke. His name is Samuel Luke, but we will call him Luke. Another thing he'll share in common with his brother...going by his middle name. Even though I'd been feeling girl, when thinking of boys' names, and deciding on Samuel Luke, I began to feel maybe boy because there was just such purpose and meaning behind his name.

When we first tried again after Matthew died, and we contemplated a successful pregnancy, we wondered about what boy name we'd give. My son had always been Matthew, and honestly, I hadn't thought of other boy names. I had loved Andrew when I was in high school and college, but that just wasn't screaming at me now.

What screamed at me, in that discussion, was Luke. I had a student several years ago named Luke...the sweetest, smartest young man...I just loved the name Luke. I asked John what he thought and he said, "I like that." I looked it up and found it meant "light". When I told John this, he said, "Maybe he'll be a baby that brings us out of this darkness and into light."

Sold. IF we got pregnant and IF we had another boy, he was Luke.

Two days before we took our beta test, I was feeling pretty low. I was actually feeling pretty low the whole week. I just didn't feel like it was going to be successful. I got the most amazing phone call from my "This one she will keep" friend.

She told me that she'd been doing her Bible study that day and had been praying for us. She was going over the story of Hannah and was marveling at how much I reminded her of Hannah...begging God for a child, being faithful through trial...promising the Lord my son. She knew I knew the story of Hannah, as did she, and she said she dug deeper into the story of Hannah's precious and promised son, Samuel....the child for which she'd prayed. She noted how many times the Lord called Samuel, and how many times it took Samuel to finally respond...she said she counted five in her reading and kept stressing this to me. At first, I was like, "Ok...I get it...the Lord called Samuel several times before he answered...what are you getting at?" She then said, "Lori, I had to go back and look at your blog, but just like the Lord called Samuel five times, He called your Matthew." Matthew had to be resuscitated 5 times and finally, he answered the Lord's call.

So, obviously, I am crying. A lot at this point. As she continued talking, I googled Samuel to find out what it meant. Samuel: God Heard. Variants: Requested of God.

She told me that the purpose of telling me all of that was not to upset me but to remind me of Hannah's promise from God--for her faithfulness, He promised to enlarge her territory and to bless her womb. My friend said she didn't know if it was Miney and Moe, but that she believed He'd promised to bless my womb as well and He doesn't lie.

Two days later, we got the call and were told we were again pregnant.

Samuel...we begged God and He heard and answered.

Samuel Luke. God heard our requests and gave us a light.

As if the miracle of this little boy is not in and of itself amazing, God was even more abundant today.

John had a night flight after our appointment, so I dropped him off because we were cutting it close. It began to rain a bit, nothing major (darnit!) as I dropped him off and drove away and as I adjusted my seat and mirrors, I also changed the radio station (back from whatever John was listening to).

33Miles 'There Is A God' came on.

Plant a seed and see
what comes out of the ground
Find the heartbeat on your baby's ultrasound
In a few years hear it laughing,
and don't it sound like a song?

There is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?

As I sat in that mostly empty parking lot, marveling at the miracle of another healthy baby boy, I found it so fitting that that song came on. In my head, I thought, "Gosh, the only thing I am missing now is a rainbow!"

I could NOT believe what I saw when I turned my head slightly to the left.

An amazing, amazing rainbow. I got out of the car and took pictures and then got in the car and just broke down and thanked God for His goodness.

And do you know what song came on RIGHT AFTER THAT? Steven Curtis Chapman's 'Beauty Will Rise'. Seriously.

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
came crashing down
Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
and sift through the ashes that are left

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
we have this hope:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning, beauty will rise

Right then I knew it. I didn't have to understand it. In fact, I don't think I ever will.

But God was telling me that even though my mind can't understand how it can be, God IS good. All the time.

And I can believe it.

Here are some pictures of our precious second son, Luke:

Yeah, that's what you think it is....

This reminds me so much of Matthew...

I have a "lemme outta here" picture like this of Matthew too!

This is him scratching his sweet little head!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Dreamed A Dream....

Music has always, always, always been a part of my life. My mother's prized possessions were her 'records', which I have joyfully inherited and play on a real 'stereo' like I grew up with from time to to time. I have to remember how to work a record player, and the music is scratchy, but I am always instantly transported back to a really nice and simple time. A time when my mom would fold laundry while we had Elvis singing Viva Las Vegas in the background....we'd lay on the floor and she'd take the sheets and fluff them over us like parachutes falling softly on us. We'd roll socks into balls (and amuse my mother with our grand ideas of what our chests would one day look like...NOT!) and croon into spoons to Patsy Cline.

There were very few times (okay, save when Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live and occasionally General Hospital were on) that her stereo was not on and we were not singing (poorly, but enthusiastically!) to something.

She always worried about her records, and that they wouldn't be worth anything to her children when she was gone. Frankly, I could understand that worry, because as I got older and wanted to listen to music OTHER than The Dave Clark Five or Lawrence Welk (my grandmother loved music too and passed HER loves to my mom), I really didn't see much use for those 'old' records either.

And then I grew up. Not just got older, but grew up. Realized the significance in each note and heartfelt word and appreciated not only my mom's very VARIED tastes in music but how her varied tastes colored my own. After she died, the most priceless things she could have left behind to me were her records, and it thrills my soul that her love of music not only was passed from my grandmother to her to me, but to my sweet little Matthew as well. That boy dug a good beat!

After Matthew died, music just seemed to scream at me, and as I've said, someone pointed out (and I believe they were right!) that God was ministering to me through music. Though different music than with what I grew up, still meaningful to me in every note and word.

Several months ago, I wrote about how meaningful the words, "No More Enemy" from Steven Curtis Chapman's 'Heaven Is The Face' were to me. Imagine my surprise (and still, the subsequent goosebumps) when about two weeks later, I received a package in the mail. The return address was from his publishing company and all that was in the envelope was his 'Beauty Will Rise' CD, which was written after his sweet little daughter Maria tragically died. There was no note; no way of me knowing really how this CD even got to me.

He had autographed the inside jacket: "SEE" and this corresponded to the song he wrote of the same name that talked about how he and his family had hoped for some sort of sign from God after Maria's death and how he believed they'd been given one. This CD, mysteriously arriving at my door on a really rough day was my "SEE" and just means so much to me.

Obviously the words from that CD, as well as many others I've heard lately have been so significant in my life over the past several months.

I'm a HUGE showtunes fan! LOVE them. LOVE musicals. Favorite movie ever? The Sound of Music. Love the songs. I've loved the 'coolness' of showtunes and revival of covers since Glee has come around, and told John that I was pretty easy to buy gifts for as he could just take me to a show for my birthday and anniversary and he'd be set. (Still hasn't picked up on that, but I press on.)

A few weeks ago, we took my niece to see Cats at Wolftrap for an early birthday gift. She'll be 8 in August and that girl is accomplished! She's seen Wicked LONDON. I love that she loves the musicals as much as I do because now I have an accomplice! If John won't take ME for MY birthday, well...we'll take HER for HERS!

Cats is one of my all-time favorite musicals, if not my favorite. I always have found the music so powerful and strong, even for a 'lighthearted' musical based on an old child's poem. I smiled every second of that show--either because of the music or because my niece just looked so enthralled.

And then my favorite song from Cats came up and I stopped smiling. I FORGOT! I forgot how sad Grizabella'd become. I forgot how bittersweet Memory is. I forgot how powerful it was for me BEFORE I'd had my days in the sun and as I sat there listening...I just poured my eyes out. Sobbing. Hysterically. My niece kept looking at me like she was missing something. John told her to remember I was a sap, and that seemed to settle well with her.

The words pierced my soul:

All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was...
Let the again.

I couldn't breathe because I was crying so hard. I thought about how alone I often felt. I sobbed as I thought of smiling at the old days...the days when I had my sweet Matthew with me and we spent time together growing and loving and waiting to be with each other. I WAS beautiful then because I was so happy....I remember that time as the happiest time I'd ever known and as I sat listening to a beautiful voice, I REMEMBERED the time I knew what happiness was...and I silently held my stomach and begged God to let that memory live again.

I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I musn't give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Let the memory live again...

And to let that memory live again...oh the price!!!! I have to wait for the sunrise!!! I have to think of a new life!!! I have to be able to be ready for a new day to begin. As I sit here and type, I still cry thinking about HOW HARD those words they are so representative of what I was feeling and still do....missing my son and being so optimistic and hopeful for his sister or brother. Feelings that should never have to go together, yet do, in my life, every day.

Touch me
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is...

These words remind me so much of what I often feel and read about and hear from other mommies who have babies in Heaven....that it's so easy to leave ME all alone with my if it staying tarnishes my happiness or doesn't allow me to grieve in a healthy way. Maybe it makes others uncomfortable or doesn't fit a textbook definition of following the 'grief process'...whatever, I felt like one wanting to go back there to my days in the sun because that would mean that those WERE my days in the sun.

Well...they were. They were days of bliss and innocence and they ARE gone.
Doesn't mean a new day can't come, though.

As a lover of musicals, one of my Pandora channels is Cats. (LOVE PANDORA!) So, as I'm so good at torturing myself, I've been listening to epic musical numbers from Broadway's best all the time in the car lately. I constantly hear Memory and I constantly cry.

I've added a new one to the repretoire, though...another musical I've always loved is Les Miserables. John and I went to see it in Roanoke when we were first dating (I may have tricked him into thinking I liked the outdoors, but he tricked me into thinking he liked nights at a show!) and it's always been special to me. I Dreamed a Dream has been one of my favorite songs, and the whole wistfulness with which it is sung has always made my heart bleed.

It does in a new way now....of course, the context for my life and Fantine's is totally different, but the words...oh, the words....they mean something to me!

There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong...

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we'll live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So much different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

I heard this again for the first time not too long ago and nearly had to pull the car over because I was just so choked up...Matthew slept a summer by my side...He filled my days with endless wonder...but he was gone when autumn came...

So many, many days...I just wonder how this is my life. How did I end up here?

The dream I dreamed is now a nightmare...punctuated by a grave I visit and daily reminders that this really is my life.

And while those words make me break out into uncontrollable sobs, there are other words that I am so thankful for...

Morning by morning, His mercies are new....

I sing for joy at the work of His hand... (I canNOT contain my joy for the beautiful babies He has given me!)

Be Still...and know that I am God....

Where can I go but to the Lord?

This is the air I breathe...

If I'm honest, I still can't choke out It Is Well...but I know in my heart that one glad morning, it will be.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I know I'm old. (For pregnancy, that is...and before anyone is sweet and tries to tell me that I'm not old, I appreciate it, but the Advanced Maternal Age moniker that has been so conveniently attached to my name for several years now disagrees.)

I know kids grow up.

I know this is the world in which we live.

And I know they had a choice and I'm grateful they chose life.

There's just something sort of depressing in being the same time as children you taught when they were 7 and 8 years old are ALSO pregnant. And are still children, essentially.

Not depressing for me being pregnant...I guess I wished more for them...not that there is any blessing greater than a child in one's life.

I just wished they'd not gotten there quite so soon.

And yes, it's sort of frustrating that I got here so, so, so, so many years later. Those young women were the same sweet little girls telling me, "Mrs. Ennis, I wish you were my mom! You'll be great when you have a baby."

And who would have dreamed they'd grow up and get pregnant and I'd STILL be missing the pitter patter of little feet?

Not me, that's who.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some 1st Trimester Wrap Up

So, just a few things to wrap up for the first trimester....

We got the results of the Neuchal Translucency yesterday. Even though the skin looked good at the ultrasound (1.58 mm) and there were no soft markers seen in baby's anatomy, we were still somewhat holding our breaths for the results with the measurements and the bloodwork combined.

No longer! Based on my age alone, our odds of Down's Syndrome are 1:100 (or 1:150, according the the Down's Syndrome website). With the results of the measurements and bloodwork, our odds went further down to 1:385. They'd feel pretty confident with anything after 1:220. Matthew's at this point went from 1:150 to 1:170something and they were still ok with that since it went down and was still less than a 1% chance.

Based on my age, our odds of Trisomy 18 were 1:345. After the bloodwork and measurements, they went to 1:945.

So, all in all, very positive test results.

Now, keeping in mind that 1:several thousand is NOTHING for me, statistics and odds really don't mean anything anymore. They could be 1:1 gazillion and if you're the one, well....

BUT--we are celebrating every little success and John said, "Looks like this little one is doing everything she or he can to make us worry less."

He's right. She/He's already such a good baby!!

Dr. Shonekan saw the pictures from last week and also guessed girl. We'll know Monday. Can't wait. Heartrate was 154 yesterday and relatively easy to find, even for a wiggler!

As we are already in the 2nd Trimester, and John gets on to me about pictures, here are some of the 1st trimester recordings:

May 14, 2010! Four Weeks and Four Days!! We're pregnant again!

May 16, 2010--Whatcha' got in there, mom?

May 23, 2010--About all I can stomach is some crackers. Dixie's glad to help me!

May 26, 2010--First time we see our little Diamond Ring! 6weeks, 2 days!

June 8, 2010...starting to show a bit (after some gardening!) 8 weeks, 1 day

June 30, 2010...pulling out the maternity shirts so I don't give any unwanted belly shots! 11 weeks, 2 days

July 3, 2010...Baby's first boat ride! 11 weeks, 6 days

July 11, 2010...Last Day of 1st Trimester....12 weeks, 6 days!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Second Trimester...

We've made it.

Really kind of hard to believe, and I am so very grateful.

Of course...I've been here before while I celebrate every little success in each new day...I know what could happen at any given second.

I've not really felt like writing much.

Well, that's a lie. I have. I've had a lot on my mind and a lot of things to write about and even sort of feel a bit guilty because they are things that I want this little one to know and understand one day.

Just haven't been motivated, for various reasons.

I'm tired of reading blogs where people share their thoughts and feelings and then just get bashed from here and back again for that. It makes me very, very angry for them and considering that there's not much I can do but send the poor criticized person an encouraging word, I just have to pull back.

More than that, I don't feel like having that type of backlash directed at me just because I am honest in my feelings and opinions. Blocking anonymous comments doesn't prohibit the, "I read your blog...and really enjoy it...and think you are amazing....BUT...."

...and then the need to tell the author about how their feelings are wrong; how the author's perspective colors everything and the rest of the world can't be blamed because they don't have that perspective, yada yada yada...

This hasn't happened to me lately, but as I've said, I've been seeing it a lot elsewhere and I just do not understand how people feel they have the right to tell others what they should or shouldn't be feeling.

I'd say 90% of the time I write about something that is frustrating or aggravating to me, I realize that it's probably frustrating and aggravating to me because of MY PERSPECTIVE. MY LIFE EXPERIENCE. MY REALITY.

And I'm usually pretty purposeful in reminding myself that thankfully, most people don't have my perspective and therefore cannot see fully how I look at their specific complaining about stretch marks or not being able to 'party' any more due to pregnancy.

Yes, I still find those things petty. I did before Matthew died and I won't change that. But I DO realize that it's my perspective that makes me see them as petty....years of infertility and a dead child will do that.

The thing is, this blog is ALL ABOUT my perspective. The way I look at things based on my perspective. My reactions and feelings about things based on my perspective. I've never, ever, EVER claimed to be perfect in my thoughts or opinions and I certainly realize that sometimes, they are pretty jaded and harsh...based on my perspective. I don't need others telling me so and if I do, I am blessed to have a few friends that I trust with my heart and can ask for THEIR perspective on my feelings.

Whether we like it or not, our life experiences affect our perspective.

So...I can't EVER expect someone who has not gone through what I or so many others have to have this perspective....and though that may frustrate me because I wish sometimes they at least understood, I am so glad that the innocence and bliss of so many experiences still exist in this world. It's wonderful, and I miss it.

But I don't think it's fair for me to not be allowed to feel what I feel because of my experience without being told that others just can't know how this feels and I shouldn't be so judgmental.
I know others can't know. That's why I write about my feelings HERE instead of saying everything I WISH I could actually say to real people. I'm not looking to hurt feelings or take the right of others to feel how they feel.

I'm simply documenting my own and don't need to be chastised for it.

And no, this has not recently I said, I've just seen it in a few other blogs and SO identified with those women being ripped apart for their feelings and I just hate, hate, hate it.

Sometimes I feel like I just ought to make this private because in the same vein, I AM putting things out in a public forum and people DO have the right to comment. I'm in a sense, asking for opinion. I just can't believe that the very same people who tell me my feelings (or the feelings of others) are wrong do so in the name of defending the right of others to feel what they feel.

What about me? Because my child is dead and no one wants to go there, I don't get to have my feelings validated and vent MY frustrations and aggravations? Right or wrong as the may be?

In other mother's birthday was Sunday. She would have been 62. I miss her every day. I wish she was here to talk about all of this. I'd love to know HER perspective.

It's Baby Week this week on Discovery. I was glued to the TV last year. I can't bear to watch this year. I'm grateful for every happy ending. I'm just still so heartbroken for mine not fitting that mold. It's too raw to watch and I don't need any MORE things to worry about. One show/topic I'm particularly unhappy with is the Freebirthing movement. And of course, I'm unhappy with it based on my perspective. We had the best medical care EVER. We had the most AMAZING doctors and nurses from beginning to end. We had absolutely NO REASON to believe we could even POSSIBLY need a NICU.

And our son died.

So I am very, very, very worried, nervous, concerned and yes, even a little angry at what I believe is presumption and a bit of arrogance. In this world, where we are so blessed with the technology we have, to thumb our noses at that technology in the name of an experience vs. doing whatever needs to be done to ensure a safe and healthy delivery....well, I don't get it and I just pray for every one who engages in freebirthing to have both the experience AND the baby. It doesn't always work that way and I just can't justify or see any reason to take chances.

MY opinion. No need to tell me I'm wrong.

I guess I've just been in a funk. My heart still just aches for a few women who are missing their babies right now. I just am so sorry for them. I wish I could do more and yet, I know I can't. That's hard.

I know that soon we will be needing to decide on nursery things.

I'm not ready. I don't want to. I don't see how I'm supposed to take every little decision and piece of my heart put into Matthew's room and magically transform it to the happiest and safest place in the world for his sister or brother. And his sister or brother deserves no less. So, if you'd like something specific to pray for our family for...that would be it. It's not easy for John, either and us having two different ways of looking at it certainly makes it even more complicated.

Yesterday was the 1st day of our 2nd trimester! I'm fairly sure that I'm feeling bits of fluttering here and there...not enough to actually have it last long enough to be completely confident, but knowing what a little acrobat this one is, I'm betting it is. I can't wait for it to get a bit stronger...I thought I felt Matthew around 14-15 weeks and was sure of it at 16-17, so...I'm excited about that. Today I have a regular OB appointment (no pictures!) and then on Monday, we'll get better pictures of the girly/boy bits and know who she/he is!

Here's what's going on this week:

****With me: Still no weight gain and back to 95-96 ish...metallic taste in my mouth is back and though I am often hungry, I have NO DESIRE to motivation to make anything or put it in my mouth but I am. Thought this was on it's way out, but seems not. I'm very tired and it doesn't take much to make me just need a nice long nap. Grocery shopping's the limit! I'm showing a bit more (and John told me I needed to post more pictures, so I will) but still feel I look more jiggly than pregnant! Waist is still about 31-31.5 inches and I'm still feeling somewhat more confident, but the worry about the previas and acreta is really setting in. I'm going to talk to Dr. Sweeney about that next Monday and see what we can do to eliminate that worry. Nothing, completely, as the vasa previa absolutely would have been found if it could and it wasn' there's no guarantee that won't happen this time. Thank GOD for him and his office and them monitoring me so closely. I know I am very, very spoiled with that care.

*****With Baby:

Week Thirteen: Baby flexes and kicks

You are 13 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 11 weeks)
  • The fetus has grown to about 3 inches (8cm) long.
  • Weight approximately 1 ounce (25 grams).
  • Bone is beginning to replace cartilage and the ribs are appearing.
  • The nose and chin are well defined.
  • Movements can be measured.
  • The child will begin to learn to suck its thumb.
  • The child can open and close its mouth.
  • The external genitalia are well defined making it is possible to determine the baby's gender.
Your baby is now producing insulin the hormone that controls their blood glucose. The fetus is now 3 inches long and weighs about an ounce. The baby's unique fingerprints are already in place. The muscles lengthen and become organized. You can't feel it yet, but your baby can move in a jerky fashion, flexing the arms and kicking the legs.

Your uterus has grown quite a bit. You can probably feel its upper edge above the pubic bone in the lowest part of your abdomen, about 4 inches (10cm) below your bellybutton. At 13 weeks, your uterus fills your pelvis and starts growing upward into your abdomen. It feels like a soft, smooth ball. Soon you will start feeling the first flutters of the unborn child kicking and moving within.

The first three months were period of rapid development, next three months will be period of rapid growth. Baby quadruples weight during the 4th month. Your baby is about 2.91 inches (7.4cm) and weighs around 0.81 ounce (23gm).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Twelve Weeks and Thumb Sucking....

So...even though baby turned 12 weeks on Monday, I waited until today to do the weekly update since today was her/his visit with her/his favorite perinatologist. We made Red Velvet Cupcakes (I WISH I could remember who suggested that!!!) and they were a big hit--not real cream cheese frosting because baby and I don't necessarily love the smell of that, but they were a hit nonetheless. I'm making fudge (another recipe sent to me and I can't remember from whom) for Dr. Shonekan next week and then the following week, Dr. Sweeney's office will get Oreo Truffles (I got two recipes for those from Tessa and Jennifer and I may have to make double batches because those sound delicious to ME!) I love the recipes! I told Dr. Sweeney there's a que of recipes waiting to be made for all the appointments and I really love it! addition to the cupcakes, the appointment went fabulously! Today was the neuchal translucency/1st trimester screening and all looked good. The neuchal fold measured lovely and there were no soft markers seen for anything chromosomal so far. It was very hard to get a look at the nasal bone because baby is a THUMB SUCKER!!!! Big time. Like, kept her/his thumb in mouth for a good long while and made it hard to see the bones in the nose because her/his hand was blocking! I had a dream last night that Dr. Sweeney told me my cervix was shortening and when I told him that, he laughed and told me everything looked great and I didn't have to worry about that.

Baby was even measuring 2 days ahead! We laughed at that, since Matthew was always such a little (but LONG!) peanut! Heartbeat was good and strong (when baby was still enough to catch it) a nice 162! Two kidneys, in the right places, as well as stomach and bladder in appropriate placement as well. All in all...great check-up.

He also took an educated guess on gender and guessed GIRL. I've been feeling girl, but haven't been sure...the sono tech also said she thought it was a girl too but was waiting to see what Dr. Sweeney said. In honesty, to me, it looked like a little pee-pee but he said that even though at this stage there are a lot of similarities, there are also some anatomical differences and he thought he was seeing them. Baby was in a great position for checking, so that was helpful!

So....our trip-to-Annapolis baby items were two little girl outfits. We'll keep the receipt until our next appointment (July 19) when he's pretty sure we'll know for sure.

Baby was jumping all over the place!!! I loved that Matthew was such a mover and a shaker and I pray every day this little one is too. So far, she/he is! It could have been the chocolate shake I had before, but...I think it's a wiggler too. She/he gets it honest....

I haven't gained any more weight, and waver between losing another pound, but still not worried. I'm showing a good bit more and baby is doing super, so I'm sure the weight will be coming soon.

Still a lot of trepidation about whether or not we'll be bringing this little one home, but I really feel more and more that all will be well. Every day seems to bring me a little more confidence than the day before and I am really thankful for that. "This one she will keep" just resonates with me so strongly and reminds me that God does not lie.

Here are some shots from little one today. On some of the 3D ones, it looks like we are having a little elf...pointy ears and a pointy nose. In reality, it's just the ultrasound blur/imaging, but it sure is funny!




(Rotated a bit) LESS ELFISH

Baby's little thumb going for mouth!
I love this profile shot because it reminds me SO much of my mom!!!! I wish there were more pictures of my mom's family when they were babies/children (they were dirt poor; there aren't many!) and I know it's hard for John to see it because he doesn't have that familiarity either, but Matthew was SUCH a little Gosnell (my mother's family) baby...same chin, sort of little pout--definitely so much like my mom and I often said it with the 3D pictures we'd get. Looking at his NILMDTS pictures, I am just always so amazed at how much I see my mom and her brothers in him. With this little one, I see it again...the chin and the little mouth. Can't wait until next time--maybe we'll get a little closer up in the face 3D and will be able to make even more out!!!

Here's what's going on in week 12:

Week Twelve: Fingernails and toenails appear

You are 12 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 10 weeks)
  • The fetus is now about 2.5 inches (6cm) length and weighs about 0.7 ounce (20 g).
  • The feet are almost half an inch (1cm) long.
  • The fetus starts moving spontaneously.
  • The face is beginning to look like a baby's face.
  • The pancreas is functioning and producing insulin.
  • Fingernails and toenails appear.
  • The baby can suck his thumb, and get hiccups.
12 weeksFrom this week you may well be able to hear the baby's heart beat through a doppler monitor on your tummy. You will notice that the rate is up to 160 a minute, double that of a normal adult.

Your baby now has a chin and a nose and a facial profile. Vocal chords are complete, and the baby can and does sometimes cry silently. The brain is fully formed, and the baby can also feel pain. The fetus may even suck his thumb. The eyelids now cover the eyes, and will remain shut until the seventh month to protect the delicate optical nerve fibers. The hair is on the head and the fingers and toes have developed soft nails. The kidneys are developed and begin to secrete urine.

Your baby weighs between 0.5 and 0.7 ounce (14 to 20g), and crown-to-rump length is almost 2.5 inches (63mm). Your baby's size has almost doubled in the past 3 weeks.