Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I never imagined

 I can't help it tonight. I don't know if its the cold weather that takes me back to the raw grief or just the fact that I look in the mirror and I can't help but stare. My belly is almost exactly the size it was the last time Brody was inside.

I miss him so much and it hurts like Hell tonight. I never imagined what it would be like to love so deeply for two babies. It sometimes feels like I'm being torn in two. Physically, as I sit here and tears run down my face and I start to feel my heart racing and it becomes difficult to  breathe. My belly shakes and I stop. I have to tell myself that crying this hard cannot be good for the baby who I am carrying right now but the baby I carried before him pulls at my heart strings.

Part of me dreads the day we take Isaac to his brother's grave and another part of me can't wait till I can tell him all about Brody.

I try to imagine our first family vacation on the white sandy beaches of Siesta Key. I feel Brody so much when I'm there. I can't even begin to imagine the feelings I will have with Isaac beside me and Brody all around us.

I never imagined I would have to imagine these scenarios.

And then...I get this scary reminder tapping me on my shoulder reminding me that Isaac isn't here just yet and I should be jumping the gun on imagining these things so soon.

I knew when Brody died that this wasn't going to be easy and I knew when we got pregnant again that it would be difficult but I never imagined all of this...

Week 27

Week 27 was looking so promising. I crocheted some new hats for the upcoming craft show that my friends and I are doing on the 10th and I even took the dogs out for a fall photo shoot.

Our huge pumpkin

I actually took a lot more pictures but I will spare you, but for a moment as I was trying to get Cloie and Maggie's attention while snapping their pictures, I imagined that someday soon I will be snapping pictures of Isaac and that made me smile.

I should have known that on days that I feel like I have some extra energy, I still need to tell myself to take it easy.

The very next day, we were sitting at dinner and I started having some pain. Different pain but there was something familiar about it and it scared me. When we left the restaurant, I realized the pain was coming and going in waves. It started in my belly and then went into my lower back. Crap!, this was looking scary to me, these were like a calmed down version of the pain I had when I had my abruption. I then reached for my phone to time the pains and realized, Crap! Im having contractions.

I called my doctor and of course was advised to come into the hospital. When we got there, I was scared and I guess I must wear my fear on my face. The receptionist told me that I looked terrified. I don't know if it was the hormones or the familiarity of it but I started to cry.

She asked if this was my first pregnancy, I told her no and followed up with my usual "I delivered my son stillborn last year" routine.

She stopped typing and reached for her name tag and showed me her name, She told me that she was named after her aunt who had been stillborn. I almost said "That is so cool" and then after thinking about it, came to the conclusion that "cool" was the wrong word choice. I said "That is very special".

She told me that it wasn't going to be the same this time and they took me back right away.

A nurse came in and hooked me up to the monitor and asked a few questions and told me that my other nurse would be in soon.

After hearing his heartbeat, I felt a little relieved and I laid back and waited for my nurse.

I didn't wait long and before I knew it I was staring at a cute little short girl in FROG scrubs. I couldn't make this stuff up, seriously...I should write a book.  I looked at Adam and we both started smiling and shaking our heads. I totally wanted to ask her if I could take her picture but Adam said it would be really weird of me, so I resisted the urge and instead just asked her if she liked frogs and told her all about Brody.

So after all that "cool" stuff and a few "not so cool" tests, it turns out that I was just having some Braxton Hicks contractions. I was sent home to relax and drink lots of water.

Week 27 belly picture and we got to take it outside because it was 80 degrees in western pa in October.

This is the week 27 drawing. I REALLY wanted vanilla lattes but I was instead chugging water like it was my job.

As I sit and type this, I am already in week 28. THIRD TRIMESTER! I'm anxious about the next few weeks for so many reasons. One, my shower is this weekend. I decided to have it early to avoid having it in the middle of the holidays and maybe deep down I just wanted to make it to the shower before I reach the dreaded 30 weeks, and 1 day. Two, I'm approaching the dreaded 30 weeks and 1 day. The closer I get, the more nervous I become about laying my head down to sleep. Part of me knows that the chances of my placenta abrupting at exactly 30 weeks again are slim to none but another part of me just wishes I could skip right over these next weeks and have my baby in my arms.

Everyone keeps saying that in the womb is the safest place for him but for me, it feels like he is being held hostage in there and my placenta is a ticking time bomb.

I can do this. Deep breaths.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Week 26

Okay, So... I feel like I have so much to write about but some will have to wait for the 27 week update but I can talk about my doctor's appointment at 26 weeks!

It started out with some routine test like the ever so popular glucose screening. I actually didn't think the lime drink was as bad as the girl next to me did so that was a plus. I also had a little blood work then went up for my ultrasound.

Isaac was measuring perfect at exactly 26 weeks and was approximately weighing in at a hearty 2 pounds, 2 ounces.

Now, the actual appointment was a little intimidating. I guess I just wasn't expecting it because everyone had been so calm and reassuring about this pregnancy up until now but I noticed things changing at this appointment. Unfortunately, it didn't take me long to figure out why. At my prior appointments and ER visits, they were worried about me because frankly up until a few weeks ago, there wouldn't have been a whole lot they could do to save Isaac's life if something had went wrong.

I had two people in the room with me asking a whole ton of questions about how I was feeling and Isaac's behavior. It actually what I had been waiting for this whole time. I wanted, or needed rather this "royal treatment" because Um, my baby died last time...REMEMBER?!

Things are really starting to get serious and quite intense actually. I will be getting a growth ultrasound every four weeks to measure all his parts and check on my placenta, I will be seeing the doctor every 2 weeks, and twice a week I will be going in to get a non stress test. To sum it up, the non stress test is to monitor Isaac's heartbeat in a certain amount of time to make sure it isn't going too far up or too far down.

We talked a little bit about my contractions and I was told to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate to try to keep them at bay. And to rest of course. P.s. my contractions take a unexpected turn in week 27, but I will get there when I get there.

As of now, if things are still going good, the plan is to induce at 38 weeks, however, I think we are all in agreement that my anxious baby, anxious uterus, and anxious self think that he will be here sooner than later. She told me at 34 weeks, we can all take a sigh of relief because if I go into labor at that point, they will most likely just deliver instead of putting it off.

So with all that being said, I was feeling extremely tired in week 26 and I tried to relax as much as possible. Hence, this week's drawing of me falling asleep during my favorite activities...crochet!

Isaac was about the size of a head of lettuce but I'm telling you, this boy can pack a punch. Everyday, I am in shock about his movements. I love them because it lets me know that he is okay but at the same time it is really starting to make me think about the lack of moving that Brody did. And that of course, gets the wheels turning in my already over thinking and otherwise obsessive mind.

Yay, I love belly pictures where I can muster up enough energy to shower and put on make up. They make pregnancy look so much cuter on me that any other given day of the week.

I will be trying to get week 27 in soon. I have some nice fall pictures to include along with the (oh, is it 7th or 8th) trip to the ER. Everything is fine obviously, but it was the most "exciting" trip thus far.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Week 25

Hi All! I apologize ahead of time for the short post. It turns out sitting at my computer really hurts. Which is really sad for me because I love to research, pin house and baby ideas, blog, and of course...Facebook! I'm just beginning to feel so unsupported in the belly area while sitting here and then I start to cramp up.

Annnyway. This kid seriously cracks me up. I'm convinced he is having his own party in there. He goes for days straight and then seems to pass out due to exhaustion for a few days. Needless to say, I'm either feeling like I'm getting the crap beaten out of me or I'm frantically searching for a heartbeat with the Doppler.

I really, really want to tell you guys about my recent appointment but it will have to wait for the week 26 update because someone (*cough, me) likes to procrastinate on blog posts.

Week 26's belly pic really displays my husbands silly attempt at taking photos. He really likes to try to get me in between pictures making a weird face, telling him how to take the picture, or just trying to take me off guard.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing here. I might be looking down to observe Isaac's kicking skills or checking to see if my shirt is completely covering the belly. Either way, I thought it was funny.

And the weekly drawing...

Isaac was said to be the weight of a rutabaga and as you can see, I'm in shock that he is moving this month and is THIS strong at 25 weeks.

I'm so excited to share week 26 with you about the appointments so stay tuned...

Monday, October 15, 2012

A day of Hope. October 15th 2012

October 15th 2010. I had no idea. No clue what "1 in 4" meant. Oblivious to the fact that all over the world people were lighting candles to remember the lost.
"The lost"
Not so lost at all. I know where Brody went, I know where all babies go who die. Heaven. Now, I know!
If they were miscarried at 6 weeks or 12, if they were stillborn at 23 or 30 weeks and 1 day, if they lived only 3 short hours or 16 days, they would all be remembered every day to their parents, but all over the world to many on October 15th. Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness day.
I received an email the other day from a woman who said I had given her hope to have another baby after her daughter had been stillborn at 41 weeks. She is pregnant now. Her daughter will never be forgotten. Not on October 15th and not on any day before or after...Ever.
I got another email from a woman who lost 8 babies. She recently adopted her precious little daughter and now has hope.
Isn't that what we are all looking for?
A little bit of hope. Somewhere. Anywhere?
Hope can be found in the early stages of grief in the strangest places. The bottom of a wine bottle? Your exterminator's soothing voice when he tells you that your baby is with Jesus. And you believe him. In staying up way past your bed time desperately searching for someone whose story looks if only a little like yours because you just simply cannot be the only person to ever suffer this horrible tragedy. You cannot be the only one feeling this dark and this scary while you watch your tears gather on your t shirt... right?
Later, hope may take the form of writing your baby's name in the sand or a rainbow on Christmas day. Hope is not letting go, hope is hanging on. Hanging on to the memory of your baby.
Hope then some day may mean helping others, sharing your story in hopes that it will let others know that they are NEVER alone in this. Hope can be watching 21 balloons disappear into the heavens, 61 shells released in the names of angels, and 24 candles lit on a crisp fall evening and stories of each being shared out loud as well as their names.
A friend of mine and a fellow BLM (baby loss mommy) and I got together tonight to remember over 30 babies gone too soon. We lit the candles and talked about them all. We let them burn and said each of their names out loud as we blew out the candles one by one.
And of course, we took pictures.
The big candle shown below was lit to remember all babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.

This year, I noticed more "1 in 4" stickers on Facebook, I noticed more candles lit for the wave of light, I noticed more initials and names with hearts. October 15th is about breaking the silence of Pregnancy and Infant loss.
 October 15th is now a day I know. I live it. I breath it. I am 1 in 4.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

my reoccurring nightmare

Have you ever had those reoccurring nightmares or dreams that sneak up on you when you're least expecting them? I used to have one where I was continuously late for my  high school English class. This was years after I had graduated and I always woke up in a sweat. Then I used to have one where I would accidentally drive off of a cliff. I used to be able to feel my ears popping on the way down. Eeee, so creepy.

I couldn't sleep last night. Just as I got all 7 pillows where they need to be and got my pregnant belly situated perfectly where it needs to be to rest, my head hit my pillow and like clockwork the image of me holding my lifeless baby popped into my brain. The look on the doctor's face when I delivered the placenta and he said it was one of the worst he had ever seen. The tears dripping even pouring from every one's eyes except mine, the love that was visibly seen when everyone took their turn holding Brody mixed with the utter agony of loss. I remember being such an overprotective mom telling Adam to sit while he held him in fear that he might drop him. I remember kissing his little forehead only to be surprised that he wasn't cold.

I had feelings that I'm pretty sure one should never have. Instead of wanting to hold my son for hours on end, I wanted him to be taken away before he turned completely purple.

At the time, nothing seemed too sad, it was more of a matter of fact gloom. I was presented with things that were just done. "Did you have a name picked?" "Yes, Brody Michael", The name of the funeral home popped into my head, where he would be buried occurred like I had been thinking about it for 71/2 months, everything was oddly easy then.

But NOW, now that the shock has been washed away and I see through clear eyes, it all is so incredibly sad. Actually, I can't think of a whole lot that is more sad than being asked by a nurse if you want your baby to have an autopsy. I looked at Adam and she told me that if one was done, he would have to be cremated. "NO", I said "NO AUTOPSY THEN". Nothing sadder than being moved out of the ICU and into a suite that would normally house a mommy and an alive baby. I asked to be put where there were no babies in sight or sound. Sad doesn't even describe driving home and glancing back into your empty back seat, no carseat, no baby. Nothing more cruel than your body just assuming that your baby lived and preparing itself to feed and nurture him when in fact, your putting on your black maternity clothes and wrapping your breasts tightly to attend his burial.

I know that I blogged last night that happy posts were my favorite and it is true. Brody makes me happy, he makes me proud, he makes me who I am today so even though its the saddest thing I can think of, the memory of those days takes me closer to him.

October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. I'm not remembering those days to torture myself or to make you all sad but I am remembering my son to honor him and to break the silence.

If you want to help in the efforts to break the silence and you have been through loss, I would love to hear from you. If you feel like no one wants to hear your story, I do. I know all too well that as sad as it is to hear that someone else went through the heartache, in some ways its healing to know that you are not alone.

Just a reminder, a fellow baby loss friend and myself will be holding a candle lighting ceremony on the 15th for babies gone too soon. You can add your angel here, email me at or you can find me on Facebook and message me on there. All of that info is under contact info on the main page.
Forever and always, my sweet boy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

week 24 update

Hello Everyone, here is week 23 drawing as promised. It was one of those weight compared ones so that's what the mango is all about. I of course was focused on food. I have developed quite the obsession for cinnamon life cereal.
Week 24 was good and boring, just how I like it. I was trying to relax and "take it easy" as much as possible. Which is really starting to get boring but I know...totally worth it!
There is actually a whole crap load of stuff going on in my life right now that I could totally just sit and complain about but I hate when people complain so I will spare you all and just say that I feel completely and utterly blessed with everything that is going the right way and that I am, count em. 2 weeks away from my third trimester!
I keep reminding myself what Brody has taught me and that is that no matter what goes "wrong" in your life, like all the small stuff like house projects gone wrong and etc etc, you have to focus on what is right, focus on what you are blessed with and most importantly focus on God.
Anyway, back to week 24. Here is the drawing:
 Isaac was the length of an ear of corn and was probably weighing in over one pound! He is such a big boy now and um....Strong! I cannot begin to tell you how much this child moves. He is so busy just like his Dad. Adam said to me the other day "I think Brody would have been our calm one". Brody was always so peaceful and calm, Isaac, on the other hand, um, a bit like our little hurricane ;)
 I've been sharing stories with him about his brother almost every night, I think he really enjoys it, although he probably knows more about Brody than I do.

Week 24 belly pic: I was actually dressed up and heading out to dinner with some friends for my birthday.
I like not having to type about hospital trips and being scared. Happy posts are my favorite!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

23 week update and more

Week 23 belly pic. I don't have the 23 week drawing....Sorry! I will post it when Regan gets back from vacation though, maybe with week 24 update or sooner.

I have already shared most of what week 23 looked like. It started out pretty normal and boring but the day this picture was taken was the day we took are 6th trip to the ER. I'm convinced there is something behind all of these trips. Like it is some sort of lesson or a possible test of my patience. Or maybe it is just my mind's way of saying "a perfect pregnancy doesn't always end perfectly so perhaps one that isn't perfect at all will end blissfully" By blissfully, I mean with a breathing screaming baby to bring home.

Isaac is incredibly active and Adam and I had a conversation about it. Neither of us remember Brody being as active. He never wanted to share his kicks with Daddy. I think Adam only felt him kick one time. I remember clearly watching the belly of a pregnant friend with disbelief about the way her baby was hopping around and Brody was so still. Is it significant? I don't know and I'm not dwelling on it. I just know that his brother Isaac is a mover and shaker and perhaps that's just how all babies are.

Moving ahead a bit, today I am almost 25 weeks along and it is my 30th birthday. Last year, on my birthday I was on laying on the beaches of Siesta Key, Florida totally caught up in the fact that I felt like I could reach out my hand and almost touch Heaven.

This year, I feel like Heaven is closer to me. I have felt Brody so close to me. Last night while I was laying in bed watching Isaac flip and flop, I could feel Brody smile and feel his happiness all around us. I told Isaac that he was soooo lucky to have Brody as a brother and as his own personal angel and that he would watch over him for a very long time.

Some days, I cannot believe how special Brody is and how many lives he has impacted, changed, and blessed. My sweet boy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

still taking it easy

Hi There again everyone. I want to keep everyone updated on what is going on with Isaac and I. We had an appointment today and as it turns out, I have an "anxious uterus". So I am not the only one anxious to have this little one in my arms, my uterus feels the same way. I am having little contractions. Nothing to warrant a hospital stay as of now I am under instructions to take it easy. Just as I had expected and just as Isaac was trying to tell me....Slow down!

We went over of course everything that would happen if I would go into preterm labor. Isaac is able to survive outside of the womb now however we would like to put that off as long as we can so while I take it easy, I will be watching for signs of contractions that are all over instead of "patchy". These are all words he used, I'm not making them up. haha. If I do happen to go into labor, I need to get there asap so they can stop contractions and start steroids to get Isaac strong enough to live outside unless by that time he big and strong enough to do it on his own. Lets hope for that latter version of the story.

I had a bit of a breakdown in the room for a few reasons. The doctor was "the doctor", the one who delivered Brody. He was super nice this time and I fell back in love with him, buutttttt....Seeing his face always yields tears. Secondly, the ultrasound tech was not there to do the ultrasound so I didn't get to actually see my sweet little guy today, so I have to wait till the 17th. Thirdly, the doctor ever so nicely reminded me that even though we will be doing an ultrasound, it is unlikely that if an abruption is in the future, we would see it on ultrasound. He reminded me how rare my abruption was and that it is very unlikely to happen again. They can only check for abruptions that have already happened by looking for blood clots, and of course by then, I would already be in pain and in the ER with blood. As you can imagine, that didn't put my mind at ease at all and I just broke down. I wanted him to wave a magic wand over me and tell me everything would be such luck.

So there is the update in a nutshell. The short and not so sweet version. So, it looks like I better start loving the way my husband mixes whites and jeans...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time to slow it down

Hi Everyone. I am gonna try to make this post short and sweet. Eh, maybe not so sweet. I am behind on updates (as usual) but as of today, I am 24 weeks. I will get week 23 posted with pics as soon as possible but for now it has been a sit and relax situation for this momma.

Adam and I made another ER trip on Saturday. They suspected another UTI and had me hooked up to the monitors and checked my cervix for dilation (sorry, TMI) Everything looked good and I was sent home with more antibiotics.

That evening, the next day and today has sort of been down hill. I started noticing that everything that I tried to do as far as house work or moving in general brought on some cramping sooooo... I called my Doctor today and we are heading down to the hospital again tomorrow.

Before everyone starts worrying (believe me, I'm doing enough of that for everyone), Isaac's heart rate is perfect and his movement is crazy as usual. Actually, I laugh because he seems to "just know" when mommy NEEDS to feel him kick for peace of mind.

I am foreseeing an ultrasound for tomorrow, which was originally scheduled for October 17th to make sure my darn placenta is doing its job this time and to make sure there are no clots forming.

I feel like I know what is coming but I will wait until my appointment to let everyone know for sure what the plans are from here on out.

Needless to say, the monitor, the exam, and the whole situation on Saturday had me a little freaked out and I suddenly came to the realization that I had maybe taken on too much for this pregnancy.

I had started on a new adventure with selling Tupperware, which actually has been pretty awesome. It helped us really get some house projects underway and some things that Isaac needed too for his big arrival. Not to mention, I was having  a lot of fun doing it. started to get a little cooler, and everyone and their mother decided they needed a hat. Which had me feeling great since I love to crochet and it was really cool to see B Bands take off for another season.

With that all said, I was becoming increasingly busy and lost focus about something that should have been right in front of me. I seemed to forget that I am a high risk pregnancy and my health and Isaac's health was and is the most important thing right now.

So, I decided to slow it down. I am sure the doctor will decide how slow I really need to be but for now, I am putting up my feet and relaxing as much as possible and trying not to fret about my husband's laundry routine because in the scheme of things, it really doesn't matter if whites get mixed with darks...right? Right?

I promise to keep everyone updated as much as possible but for now, its back to bed for me and my jumping bean.