Thursday, September 20, 2007

our (amazing) baby

Here she (or he) is ... the youngest member of our little family, at 12 weeks and a few days old. I am still amazed that this baby survived a six-hour surgery under general anesthesia, more than a week of narcotic painkillers and a CT scan, but as the genetic counselor said this morning, these little ones are more resilient than we imagine. Which seems ironic when you consider the high miscarriage rate in the first trimester and all the dire warnings against so much as drinking a glass of wine during pregnancy!

The baby seems to be doing just fine, and I think it's beautiful; it reminds me of Daniel's ultrasound picture at that age. It has all its arms and legs already — you can see one of its arms in front of its face and one of its legs kicking out — and it's growing at a rate that would suggest a due date of March 28, just a few days sooner than the charts predict based on the start of my last period. Not that that means a thing: Daniel was the same way, and remember how long he waited to come out? That's right ... 12 days. We don't have the results of the screening tests yet — the ones that will assess the risk of the baby having genetic abnormalities. We'll probably find out in a few days. I don't know that we'd do anything different if we got a high-risk result. I'm not interested in amniocentesis (which is an exact diagnostic test, unlike this). Obviously, we'll keep the baby no matter what. (Heck, she's come this far.) We'll probably just use the information to prepare for possibilities. But I just have a feeling that everything will be OK. (I also have a feeling she's a girl — I guess we'll know soon enough if my instincts are right.)

After a difficult and stressful beginning to the week, things are better now. Daniel finally started to warm up to my mom, so the three of us had a very nice Wednesday together. Mom flew back to Oregon this morning, and now it's just Steve and Daniel and me, trying to juggle time for Steve to log in at work and me to take lots of naps in between caring for Daniel.

Trying to eat well is another challenge, and I realized the other day that my morning sickness must have kicked back in. I can be so hungry that my innards ache, but put a plate of food in front of me, and my nausea wells up to the point where I can't eat more than a few bites. I'm always grateful when I can get a full meal into me because the food people have been bringing us is seriously delicious. In the past week and a half, our refrigerator has played host to chicken soup, vegetarian chili, shepherd's pie, spaghetti pie, lasagna, salads, pork chops with this fantastic pineapple-bread side dish, cheesy potatoes, cookies, banana bread, blueberry loaf and more. I don't know what we would do without the culinary kindness of our friends!


LutherLiz said...

Blessed little baby - Stay tough and grow strong.

Monkeymama said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Am I right in thinking I see the little profile if his or her face? If so, that little nose and mouth is adorable.

Babies are so amazing, our bodies are amazing.

Keep taking care of yourself!

Kerry said...

I have tears in my eyes looking at your beautiful miracle baby. It makes my heart swell with love and think back on our babies.

Take care of yourself and remember to rest as much as possible. I hope to come see you sometime soon but don't want to bother you either.

Tracy Smith said...


I just read your article in the Catholic Spirit - and I am stunned. I am a Luker - and we have met once in passing. I watched from a far your pregnancy as I was waiting for the referral and travel to my daughter in China. Your Daniel was born just a few days before my Muriel was placed in my arms in a Southern China city.

Having been a mother myself now for just over a year - I know in my heart all the love and joy that God has given me by providing me with this child. I see in your writing that you feel that too. I ache for you, Steve and Daniel as you face this challenge of cancer at this time. Let's God's grace wrap her arms around you and hold you tight. Mostly - believe in miracles! Both you and your unborn child need them. I believe God will provide for you both!

Blessings, Tracy and Muriel Smith

Anonymous said...

That is one strong special baby you have in there. I came here through another blog just after your diagnosis and all along I just assumed the baby inside you was a baby girl!! It surprised me to read that you thought it was a girl...because I already assumed it was based on reading. Maybe its just that girls are so strong and I just assume anyone who can get through this must me a girl (although I have 2 wonderful girls...I also have an wonderful strong I know that either gender is strong). Good luck on a full recovery and I'll keep checking in to see how your little miracle turns out :) Take care of yourself...

April-C-A said...

Em, it will be fun for you to find out if this little baby is a boy or girl. I feel like I'm so "involved" in your life because of this blog, but I'm really not :o)

Grow strong little one!

Kristine said...

I completely am on the same page as April. When I talk about any of you ladies, I call you my friends. I really feel like I know you (and everyone else)
your baby is so beautiful. I am anxious to see if your gut is right...

Anonymous said...

What an adorable image - is that a foot and toes I see? Maybe not, but it sure looks that way!

I started to get hungry reading all the foods you have in your fridge!

- Susanne

Roxy said...

Hello beautiful baby!!!!

I read your article today too and had tears in my eyes. You are incredibly strong Emilie.

Eva would like to play with "Doe" and I have some pics for you from their last play date!

I'll call you!

Courtney said...

Your little peanut is such a miracle:) I am glad you are starting to feel better.

Nissa and David said...

Hi Emilie, you don't know me, but I am Sarah (Monkeymama)'s sister-in-law from San Francisco.

I love to read your blog every once in awhile - you are a fantastic writer and have an excellent way of bringing the stories of your family.

I wanted to send out our best wishes as you recover from your surgery. Your story is truly inspiring.

And your baby is beautiful. One day, the two of you will hug and talk about how you beat the cancer TOGETHER, in one body! That is pretty special.

The little one is a fighter...the late March/early April birthday makes him/her an Aries, so the stars are already on their side!

Take care of yourself, and we wish you all of the best for you and your family.

- Nissa

Missy said...

What a great picture! I'm so thrilled to hear that this baby is such a fighter and made it through the surgery. :)

Soupy said...

I am in tears of joy as well. I'm in awe at the strength of YOU, and of this little miracle, blessed baby. Stay strong, both of you, and thank you for sharing all this with us. He/she is absolutely perfect to look at!