A (Non) Birth Story: What? I get to go home?!

So here's something amazing, I'M HOME! My doctors let me go home yesterday because I have been stable for a couple of weeks now, with no contractions, no water breaking, no fluid leaking, no cramps, no fever. I'm still 3cm dilated and is beyond the threshold to qualify for antepartum home care, but they sent me home anyway. I was in shock when they told me, "Let's try to get you home." What? Didn't you say a few days ago that I won't get going home until this baby comes out? Didn't you say that I'm too dilated to be sent home? Didn't you say that I'm too high risk of a patient to continue this pregnancy at home? Well I guess I should forget all those things that were said. Because here I am, at home! Thank you everyone for your prayers!!! Our prayers were heard and answered! Isn't that amazing?!
 I'm still on partial bed rest, which means no walking around for more than 10 minutes a few times a day. But it's much better to be confined to my home than a hospital. I get to see Andrew and Castle for more than an hour a day, and Andrew doesn't have to wrap his own Christmas present anymore. I made it home in time to start our LEGO advent calendar. (Yes, it says 2011 because we bought it on sale boxing day last year and stashed it until now.) And I'm allowed to sit up so Castle and I can make the gingerbread train that one of my lovely friends gave us. She knew how much I would miss making gingerbread.
I'm so thrilled to be home! It was such a joy last night to watch Castle make a LEGO tower all on his own and watch him have a bath - the little things you miss. Now my challenge is to adhere to bed rest. Because I know I will be so tempted to do stuff, especially in December. I just need to remember that I'm (not) doing this for baby. The less stuff I do, the better the chance this kid will stay inside of me until full term. And that's what we are aiming for.

10 reasons why it's great to be confined to a hospital

(Because I'm trying to make the best of it.)
1. Sleep in!!! I have not done this since Castle was born.
2. Catch up on my reading.
3. Learn new things such as how to crochet a star. Instructions here.
4. Meet new people.
5. Get a free massage every week.
6. Participate in 'recreation therapy', which is just a fancy term for craft class, where I'm making a Christmas stocking.
7. Have other people do things for me - cook, clean, laundry, etc.
8. Share my faith. I had a very deep conversation with one of the nurses on how to pray for our children.
9. Share my experience with other moms in my ward who are worried about having a preemie.
10. Learning to be happy and thankful no matter what.

A (Non) Birth Story: 30 weeks

I have spent two weeks in the hospital now, and for my sanity's sake I should stop counting, because it doesn't look like I will be going anywhere else until I have this baby. Due to my past history of having a 'silent labour', the doctors are keeping me around. A hospital is not the best place to be, especially with Christmas around the corner, but it's where I need to be, whatever is best for me and baby. The last thing I want is to give birth to a preemie at home. I will try my best to not let this situation get me down. I have a choice to be joyful or miserable. And I'm choosing to be joyful. Being 30 weeks and one day is a reason to celebrate! Because that's when Castle came out. Weird to think that I was not anymore pregnant beyond this point.

To keep myself occupied, I did my share of Black Friday shopping online this weekend. Castle needed a winter coat, socks, and Ts, that's reasonable, right?
 The Paint by numbers painting is coming along. To be honest this may very well be the first and last paint by numbers painting that I will ever do. It's so tiny and tedious! And I'm getting a sore neck from leaning over trying to see what the numbers are.
 The crochet blanket came alive again.
It looks like I will get to finish this thing after all, before hot pink, grellow (green-yellow), and gray go out of style.
 And seeing this guy everyday helps. Although it may only be for an hour, but it's better than none. I even managed to give him a haircut yesterday. Also, thank you to all of our friends who visited, you are the highlight of my days! Love to you all.

Chalkboard Christmas Tree To Be

Last year, in lieu of a real Christmas tree, we opted for a 2D one on our chalkboard wall instead.
Low and behold, a year later, this humble tree made it onto Apartment Therapy!
Was not expecting THAT.

I was trying to deciding what to do for this year on our chalkboard a few weeks back, I love the tree we had last year and would draw it up again, but I wanted to switch things up. Unfortunately I don't think we will have a Christmas tree this year because of me being in a hospital, but I will share with you what I was going to do:
Taking my favourite Christmas carol and transforming it into tree format, and adding a few of those Scandinavian motifs here and there. I look forward to next year! Maybe Andrew will let me start decorating in October next year because we are most likely not going to decorate this year! :P

A (Non) Birth Story: 29 weeks

Today, I'm 29 weeks and one day pregnant. Which is exactly one week since baby threatened to come out, and also one more week that baby is still inside of me. Hooray! I have not had any contractions for four days now. The doctors gave me permission to walk around today, which I'm very excited about, because I have a bad case of numb bum from being in a bed for so long. Yet they are also keeping very tight lips on if I will get to go home, ever. I don't blame them, they don't want to give me any hope, in case I don't actually have any. But I do have hope! Anything can and will happen, and by that I do mean good things. In the mean time I'm trying not to dwell on it, even though it's super hard not to. I knew walking into a hospital last week that I may never leave until this baby comes out of me, and that could be a few days to a few months. I will try my best to keep myself occupied.
Thank you dear friends for the visits and delivering magazines! Andrew revived my old laptop, I'm so glad that old thing still works. It hasn't been used in years. 
 Now I can watch endless episodes of Friends.
And maybe finally finish that paint by numbers painting. It's been sitting untouched for months, it may only take me a couple of days to finish now.
I want to thank all of our friends and family who have so lovingly and generously stepped up to help us and to pray for us. Especially to Grandma and Grandpa for taking care of Castle last week. We are truly blessed to have all of you in our lives.

If you are the praying kind, please pray for this baby to continue to stay inside of me, for me to have no signs of labour, for the doctors to feel confident enough to let me go home, and for us to find a good nanny to take care of Castle on very short notice.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! xo

A (Non) Birth Story: So Far

Dear Baby,
Mommy is sitting in a hospital bed and she is thrilled that after 3 days of labour, she is not holding you in her arms. While most of the other mommies and daddies-to-be in the hospital are hoping to meet their cute cuddly babies as soon as possible, Mommy is not because you are only minus 12 weeks old, far too young to be outside of Mommy's tummy just yet. 
Two years ago, your big brother, Castle, decided that it was a good idea to come out at minus 10 weeks old. All of the doctors and nurses were convinced that you were going to do the same because Mommy had contractions. In fact, they were so convinced that they were telling Mommy and Daddy what to expect when we see you later on that day. Mommy was dilating and her contractions were frequent, it looked like you were going to come quickly, just like your brother Castle.
But what doctors and nurses didn't know was that Mommy and Daddy were praying for the best for you, which was for you to stay inside of Mommy for as long as possible. It wasn't just Mommy and Daddy who believed this is possible, all of your faith filled family and friends did too. And of course, that's what God would want for you also.
The first hospital that Mommy went to was not equipped to treat you if you came because you would be so little, so she was sent to another hospital. By later that afternoon Mommy's contractions got weaker and less frequent, and her cervix stopped dilating. God was answering our prayers! You know, when you have God on your side, nothing will be against you.
Riding in the ambulance
Over night everything began to settle down. By morning Mommy only had a few tightenings in her tummy. In the ultrasound room Mommy got to say hi to you and see your lovely face. You looked so cute! And you were moving around so much! Mommy could already tell that you are going to be a rambunctious one. Mommy and Daddy still don't know if you are a boy or a girl. Mommy was asked by the technician if she wanted to find out. Deep down inside she did, but she knew that Daddy wanted to wait, and it would have been such a hard secret to keep!
A visit with the boys.
Mommy had to be moved to an other hospital in the afternoon because there was no longer a bed for you in NICU if you came. So one more very uncomfortable ambulance ride for Mommy across the city. On the second night Mommy still had contractions but they were very mild. But in the morning they started up again and Mommy was prepped to give birth one more time. She had lots of needles and medicine that would help with your lung and brain development, other than that there was nothing the doctors can do to stop you from coming. Once again everyone prayed for you to stay inside of Mommy. Later on in the evening Mommy's contractions slowed down once more and all of her medicines were stopped.
Mmmm, a PMS pill.
Daddy is doing a fantastic job taking care of you, Mommy, and your brother Castle. You need to give him a big kiss and smile when you see him. It's been over two days now since Mommy has felt any contractions, she is off all the IVs, needles and monitors. If you and Mommy keep up with what is going on right now then there's a chance that you will stay inside of Mommy's tummy for a good long time.
The doctors will keep monitoring you and Mommy in the hospital for now, because they are still convinced that you can come out at anytime. But Mommy knows that you are so cozy inside of her tummy, so you are going to behave like every good 28 week gestation baby should and stay where you need to be. Not too soon enough you will get to meet everyone!