Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Fun

So even though Mommy is stuck in bed, Rhiannon has been a busy girl this fall. It's the time of year for fall festivals! My favorite! The first one on the list if Mule Camp Market in downtown Gainesville. Rhiannon attended with her Mimi and Papa this year. Sadly, I wasn't able to go but I did send Russ to get funnel cakes later on in the weekend. Here are some pictures of Rhiannon at the petting zoo set up at the festival. She didn't quite understand why she couldn't brush the turkey.

This is what she wanted to wear. . .

Later on that weekend, she went to Burt's Pumpkin Farm with Papa Sweet Pea and YaYa (my dad and stepmother). Her cousin Sawyer went too. They picked out pumpkins and road the hayride. Rhiannon is still talking about it.

This weekend of fun with grandparents ended up stretching through the entire next week because on that Sunday Russ was diagnosed with swine flu. He went to his parents house to stay for the week and Rhiannon went to my mother's house. Since I'm pregnant and Rhiannon was premature, we were extra cautious. Luckily, neither she nor I got sick. It was a very lonely week for me though. The whole family is back now and Rhiannon and I have appointments to get vaccines next week.

Progress report on Baby #2: I'm 24 weeks today. At my appointment this week, there has been no change which is good news. I've been on bedrest now for 4 weeks. Only 13 more to go! Thanks for your prayers. This is one lively baby. I'm not sure if it's really more active than Rhiannon was or if I can feel it more since all I do is lay around. Either way, there are nights when it's hard to sleep because Jelly Bean is kicking so hard. You can even see my stomach move with his kicks!

Happy Halloween to all of you. I'll post pictures of Rhiannon this weekend.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baby Names

Parents put so much thought into baby names. Do we want something unique? Classic? A family name? How do we spell it? It's maddening. For Baby #2, we have a girl name picked out. And a couple variations of the boy name. This time around, we have decided to keep the name a surprise, just as with the sex of the baby. All information will be released when Jelly Bean gets here and hopefully, that's still months away.
This post is more on Rhiannon's name. It's definitely unique. People are constantly pronouncing it incorrectly or asking us how to spell it. Her full name is Rhiannon James Crain. How did we come up with it?
Well, from our first date, I knew Russ was my love. It may have taken us 4+ years to get married, but we both knew we had found The One. We were discussing baby names within the first year. Russ declared one day that he wanted to name is little girl Rhiannon that first year we were together. And I loved it. We even have a "Rhiannon" sign that Russ' parents brought home for us from a trip to England before we were even married.
Rhiannon is song from the band Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nix, who wrote and performed the song, often says that the song is about a "Welsh Witch". The name comes from Welsh folklore about a Goddess, Rhiannon.
Rhiannon, the Celtic goddess of the moon was a Welch goddess. The goddess Rhiannon's name meant “Divine Queen” of the fairies. In her myths, Rhiannon was promised in marriage to an older man she found repugnant. Defying her family’s wishes that Rhiannon, like other Celtic goddesses, declined to marry one of her "own kind".
The entire story can be found here.
But Rhiannon was strong and loyal and forgiving. She suffered hardships and heartbreak but was respected for her strength and forgave those who wronged her.
The story of the Celtic goddess Rhiannon reminds us of the healing power of humor, tears, and forgiveness. The goddess Rhiannon is a goddess of movement and change who remains steadfast, comforting us in times of crisis and of loss.

So our girl first name was in stone.

We through middle names around for years. It was tough to find a name that sounded right with such a long first name. But the night we found out we were pregnant, the middle name came to us.
James is a family name. It was the name of mother's father. Russ' uncle is named James. And, it's the middle name of my brother, Timothy. I was 7 when Timothy was born. My parents moved me out of my room and created this beautiful pink room with my own bathroom in the basement. However, I refused to sleep there. Partly because I was scared but mostly because I enjoyed sleeping in the little twin bed in Timothy's nursery to hear him breathe at night. My step-father would sing James Taylor's song, "Sweet Baby James" to him as a lullaby. And that is what we wanted to sing to our baby girl. So, James would be her middle name.
And sing to her we did. This song (along with "You are My Sunshine") is a song we have sang to her each night since the day she was born. I printed out the lyrics to make sure I had them all correct to sing to her in the NICU. I still have that printout in my journal from that time. Of course we do change the song a tad. Instead of "Sweet Baby James", we sing "Sweet Rhiannon James".
Now that Rhiannon is older, she asks for the song. She calls it, "On the Range". And she sings it. Word for word.
Here are the lyrics to the song. And just below that, a video of her singing the first verse.

There is a young cowboy he lives on the range
His horse and his cattle are his only companions
He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change

And as the moon rises he sits by his fire
Thinking about women and glasses of beer
And closing his eyes as the doggies retire
He sings out a song which is soft but its clear
As if maybe someone could hear


Goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby james
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Wont you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby james

Now the first of december was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from stockbridge to boston
Lord, the berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go

Theres a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me

- chorus -

Friday, October 9, 2009

Half way there!

Well, the good news is that we are now at 21 weeks along which puts us over the half way point of my pregnancy.  The baby is healthy and strong.  All limbs are accounted for and he/she is even a little big for his age.  The bad news is that at my bi-weekly appointment last week, we discovered that my cervix has already started to funnel, or shorten.  At only 19 1/2 weeks this was very scary for us.  But, we now  know that Rhiannon's prematurity was caused by my incompetent cervix and it was not just spontaneous premature labor.  So, I was sent again to the high risk doctor in town, Dr Allaire, and it was decided that I would need an emergent cerclage.  Sorry to throw around so much medical jargen.  I'll do my best to explain.  A cerglage is basically a stich that keeps the cervix closed.  It can be performed early in pregnancy (12 - 14 weeks) if there is a known issue.  Since we weren't sure what caused Rhiannon's prematurity, we did not take that option.  An emergent cerclage is performed later on in the pregnancy when an issue is discovered.  It is not as successful as a cerclage done before cervical changes but combined with the progesterone shots that I'm already receiving and bedrest, the doctor hopes we can make it to 34 weeks.  So, I was admitted to the hospital that evening to be monitored and the procedure was performed the next afternoon.  So, I'm home now and in bed for the hopefully the next 17 weeks (37 weeks is a full term baby). 
Russ and I are still optimistic but also disappointed and scared.  When we discussed having a second child we knew the risks.  The worst case would be that we lost the baby.  The second worst scenario was that I could be on bedrest for a very long time.  And we worried about how that would affect Rhiannon and our families.  But we decided that it was important for Rhiannon to have a sibling and we would put it in God's hands and pray for the best.  So, now I'm on bedrest.  And worst still is that unlike before, I'm so early that at this point the baby wouldn't even survive if it were born today.  We're faced with our 2 worst scenarios and we're scared. 
We know how blessed we are.  We know the baby is healthy.  We have our families so close by that take turns staying with me and Rhiannon 6 days a week while Russ works.  We both have jobs and I'm able to still get a paycheck while I'm out of work.  So, we need to remember how blessed we are.  And remember that this is in God's hands.  I believe that He knows that we're strong enough to make it through this or He wouldn't have given us this challenge. 
So, I will be updating you on the challenges of bedrest!  So, far I am caught up on all the CBS soaps.  I'm a little bummed that Guiding Light went off the air.  I am also way into all the teen trash that comes on in the evenings.  I have joined Net Flix and will be beginning my movie analysis tomorrow.  I have books and lists and my computer.  However, there just isn't a lot you can do lying down.  Even working on the computer is difficult.  Plus, the doctors want me to keep my stress level at a minimum.  Have they met me? 
Rhiannon is doing great.  I think she actually prefers that I'm here all the time.  She doesn't seem to care too much that I'm always in bed or lying on the couch.  Yesterday, she came in the bedroom and told me to "Get up and go lay on the sofa".  Bossy little thing.  But she makes a good snuggle buddy.  Here we are watching t.v. together. 

Russ is an Angel.  This is his last semester in college and now he has to take on my part of the day to day.  Luckily, he did all the cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping anyway.  Now he has to bathe Rhiannon every night and get her ready in the morning but that's just fun.  He's such a wonderful Daddy and Husband. 

Here are a few pictures from our latest ultrasound.  Jelly Bean likes to cover his face.  Little stinker.