Arkansas Traveler Baby

This past weekend we took a family trip to go quartz mining in Arkansas. On our way, we stopped at Ultrasona of the Ozarks and had one final ultrasound (not going to get into my cognitive dissonance about over-using ultrasound during this pregnancy in this post, but hope to write about it someday). We found out that baby is definitely a girl! It was very obvious—we both could tell before the tech said anything.

 

Baby's face

 

Here is the picture of her little face. I know u/s pictures all look the same, but I think she is cute! And, we saw her yawn 🙂

Here are two cute pix of her little feet. The blob nearby is her HEAD, because she is all squished up with her feet by her head.

I’ve been going for “alive” as my primary goal during this whole pregnancy, but having a girl baby is a fun bonus 🙂 It is really important to me to be able to name her and bond with her as fully as possibly while pregnant (which I know is fully possible without ultrasounds, but for me, it has been “humanizing” to see her and think of her as a real baby and not just think, “don’t die” thoughts and “IF I have a baby” thoughts).

We stopped and took some pix overlooking the Buffalo River Gorge (Arkansas Grand Canyon):

We then went on to Mount Ida, AR and to a gem and crystal show/event that was being held (coincidentally) that weekend. The following day, we went to Wegner Crystal Mine. We packed into the back of a pickup and were bounced and jounced up to the top of a mountain where we then dug for quartz. Quartz is mined above ground. These mines are all on National Forest land and while it looks like a somewhat horrible scar/blight on the landscape, they are heavily monitored/restricted, so the actual mine can only cover so much ground, etc. We had a fabulous time and left with two buckets of quartz.

 

Youngest crystal miner ever 🙂

 

On Sunday, we took a day trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR. I burned out there very quickly and do not recommend diamond mining to anyone who is pregnant! Partially it was the futility—I knew we weren’t going to find any diamonds!—and it was really hot and there was no shade so sun was just blasting down on my head and I felt ill/off. My husband did take home two buckets of jasper and agate, which was his main reason for visiting this park, more than possibly finding any diamonds.

 

Showing off ALL the diamonds we found...

 

When I woke up on Monday morning, I had some totally unexpected and unexplained mystery spotting that almost sent us home without going to the final mine. I’ve written on my other blog about my tenuous sense of security and trust during this pregnancy and how I feel like there is no “safe” point anymore. It is really sad to me how very, very quickly my equilibrium can be thrown off and how quickly I sink into negative/depressing thoughts. As soon as I saw the blood, I thought that I was probably going to go into premature labor at a quartz mine and have to be rushed to some Arkansas hospital with a tiny baby struggling for life in an NICU. While I do still have trust in my body’s inherent wisdom, etc., etc. I do not have the same strong sense of my body as an ally anymore—I used to trust it implicitly to take care of and protect my babies. Now, I don’t know if it really knows how to do that, or not. Most of the time, I think it probably does and that it was  also body wisdom (not failure) that caused my losses, but then the tiniest thing can happen and then I see that something else is lurking very close under the surface—a lack of confidence that I do know what I’m doing and that my body will look out for and protect my baby girl with its inherent wisdom and comptent design. 😦 Wah. It was a bummer. I cried and was all upset and then realized I’d probably just physiologically taxed myself at the #%&*% diamond mine the day before and this was just a little, “hey! Take care of yourself!” reminder signal, not an indicator of immediate doom. Nothing else happened the rest  of the day (or since), just that confidence-shaking morning incident (I’ve NEVER had bleeding/spotting this late in a pregnancy before and have had none at all during this pregnancy).

Anyway, we finished our trip by going to Arrowhead Crystal Mine—this one we drove to ourselves and the road was hideous, but we made it to the top!

And, we found lots of good stuff:

And on the way home, I crocheted a little hat :):

 

Think it will fit?

 

I’m starting to spend a little more time thinking about the actual birth and what I’d like and what I’d like to make sure I do to savor and enjoy and celebrate this pregnancy and this baby before she is born. I also have been doing a LOT of thinking of what I will change/let go of after she is born and what I would like for a babymoon as well as making arrangments to take some breaks from some of my commitments so that I can fully enjoy the newborn stage and make sure I am taking really good care of myself. I was offered a class for the January session at the college where I teach—by pure coincidence I hadn’t been on the Jan. schedule at either local campus and I was glad not to have to turn them down (because I really want to do this and by “rejecting” a class offering, I don’t want that to be perceived as a lack of interest from me)—but, then I got offered one after all and then I did have to say, “no.” It is a class I’ve taught before and that I LOVE teaching—it is my favorite one—and saying no to it was hard, but duh, I couldn’t say yes (and, btw, they said that was fine and I could teach it in March instead. So, was that so hard?!). I think I will be teaching an online class during the Jan. session, but that I can handle—I will just make sure to do NOTHING else in addition to that and taking care of the new baby.

Still can’t really believe there’s a baby girl in there. I was just telling a friend about how it is difficult to field comments from others about, “hoping for a girl this time” or, “you finally got your girl” kinds of things—it makes me not want to act too excited about having a girl, because I don’t want anyone to think that I feel that way. I love my boys and wouldn’t have my family any other way—and, I would have been perfectly happy to have another boy (I thought I was going to for sure!). So, acting happy about a girl, makes me feel like I’m saying that I’m not happy with my boys. But, I’m happy about both! I’ve never, ever wished Z was a girl instead—I love having a pair of boys. It’s great.  If Noah was here with us as the third member of our band of brothers I would have been pleased as pleased can be. (see my fair warning post on my other blog.) I think it’s too bad we feel like we have to clarify/specify that! And, I hope I remember forever to not ever say those kinds of things to anyone either! So, anyway. A GIRL! I’m excited 🙂

12 thoughts on “Arkansas Traveler Baby

  1. I am SO EXCITED for you! She already has quite a few cute little dresses that I bought as soon as I heard. 🙂
    Kudos for taking time now to remember that you’ll need time later. You’ll be thanking yourself. I can’t wait to hear your birth plans, to watch you grow bigger with your little GIRL!, and to meet her this winter. It’s going to be fun.
    It’s hard to admit (especially when our work is in the pregnancy/birth field) that sometimes there is fear, but I think just allowing yourself to acknowledge that is huge. I can only imagine the gamut of emotions that went through your mind upon seeing the blood. I’m glad you’re okay.
    So many things to say, but I’ll keep it to you’re wonderful and this baby is so loved by so many.

    • Thanks, Summer! I keep reminding myself, “what will I be sorry I said I’d do? What will I be wishing I’d taken time off from/stopped doing?” and then, hearing the answers, trying to stop doing (or give notice) on those things NOW, rather than when I’m all stressed out!

      Today, as I walked to the mailbox I was thinking about trust and “trust birth,” etc. and I realized that trust, once lost, is extremely difficult to restore–and that just saying happy little things to yourself, doesn’t fix the underlying loss/changed perspective, however much I wish it would! I do feel like I need to spend a little more *conscious* time on this pregnancy–I don’t know, doing positive affirmations and relaxing breathwork or something–to work on healing that underlying *thing* that lurks under the surface and that I am often not aware of until my equilibrium gets thrown off once again…

      • I think you are SO right about the trust thing. Your spouse, a close friend, your own body…those are major things to lose trust in! It takes time to heal that so that the trust can be rebuilt. It *will* happen though, if you (general you, not YOU specifically) want it to, it will.

  2. Great pictures!!

    I definitely teared up at the crocheted hat…partly because it’s adorable and I cant wait to see your baby girl in it, and partly because that touched a tender spot in my heart. I crocheted a hat for Finley on the way home from our vacation.

    I hope to get to a place where I can crochet hats to donate to hospitals or something. In time…

    • I crocheted all those hats when I was pregnant with Noah (and I, too, buried one I’d made for him with him) and then I didn’t touch crocheting again until I was 21 weeks, I think, and “dared’ to make a fresh one. I would like to crochet them to donate as well!

      • I havent crocheted anything since the stuff I did for Finley. The only thing I have a desire to crochet is baby stuff (hats, blankets) and while I could make those things but bigger sizes for my living children…I dont know, it’s not the same. I look forward to the day I can crochet hats and blankets for my baby again. I wonder if I will be able to make anything for someone else before I make something for my own…

    • It is funny (in the strange sense, not the ha ha sense), how seemingly innocent things can become so emotionally “loaded” after a loss. I have a lot of clothes issues that are persistent. For example, I have a green shirt (non-maternity) that I’ve never worn again since I was pregnant with Noah and Mark commented on how my belly looked cute/was visible with the shirt–it just sits there. I don’t think I will ever wear it again. And, the maternity shirt that I was wearing when we had the bad ultrasound with him–I don’t want to get rid of it exactly, but I also don’t feel like wearing it during this pregnancy.

      I didn’t write in a pregnancy journal or baby book until I passed 15 weeks, because it was so hard to put the ones I started with N away. And, when I did start the new ones, I felt really strange and nervous.

  3. Yay, congratulations and I am glad that the spotting was just a little slow down message. I can see how it would be scary!

    A girl will add a fun mixture to your family.

  4. I can relate, Molly.

    When I was expecting Saadia, during the first trimester, I fooled myself into thinking I wasn’t pregnant. Then when I wasn’t getting my period accepted that I was pregnant, and then began crying all the time because I was going to loose my baby. Of course she made it and so did I. But it was hard. I was on an emotional roller coaster.

    I remember being asked if I was happy that I was having another child, or if I was happy I was having another girl. I would tell people I would be happy if she makes because I don’t want to loose another baby. Usually they agreed and that would end the questions. Because honestly at times those questions really got to me.

    I’m happy for you, Molly, and I look forward to hearing about your good birth.

    • That’s how I feel too, Michelle–happy she makes it. Before my own losses, I found it really annoying when people would say things (mostly regarding birth) about, “as long as its healthy,” but now I understand why they say things like that. I’m not even going specifically for healthy, just ALIVE! (though, obviously, alive and healthy is the best).

  5. Pingback: Kids & Plans « Talk Birth

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