Tuesday, April 27, 2010

32 week appointment

Today was an uneventful doctor appointment day. No, I am not at all complaining! My weight is the same as 2 weeks ago, so I still only have 6 million pounds to lose after giving birth. I am also measuring right on target, 32 weeks. Luckily the most eventful part of my morning was peeing all over my hand when trying to hit the cup. I know, way too much information, but I thought I would share it. I have been getting good at this but the extra belly is making it more difficult.

I would like to make a quit shout out, thanks Christy for the babysitting backup! And thank you Lynn for the book, I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to keep this short, my kids are being very patient for lunch but I'm sure it will not last much longer :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My new reality

I will start this entry out as a warning that I am not having the best evening. I am not tearing anyone down or as depressing as it could be but this is in no way an uplifting post. I debated about even posting it after it was written but am going to go ahead with it.

I am completely exhausted, not because I have not gotten enough sleep though. My brain is tired, my body is tired and I am just drained. I wake up every single day to Olivia moving inside of me, she moves more than any other pregnancy I've had. Usually I welcome this since this is the life she has been given. Today it is a nonstop reminder of what I am going to lose.

I have been told by people that they hope I do not have to carry to term. Why? I'm sure it is out of some kind of niceness. I wonder why someone would wish for my baby to die, sooner than later, I will have to bury her that much sooner if that is the case. I have also been told that people hope I can carry to term. Again why? So I can wake up everyday after a night of tossing and turning because my body is overwhelmed by the extra weight I am carrying. So that I can think about, day in and day out that I am doing all of this for absolutely nothing. The truth is, I do not know what I want. I can honestly say that no matter what happens, I do believe it is the best for me, even though I have NO clue as to how it can be good.

I ordered a book and received it this weekend. The book was intended for the girls to somehow help with their grieving process when it is all done. The book is "We were gonna have a baby, but had an angel instead." I absolutely hate it. The book was not poorly written or poorly illustrated. How am I supposed to read a book like this to my children? It has been a book that was recommended on the support groups but I do not see how it can possibly help. I may change my mind about it later but right now I just hate it.

I was asked today at church if I was going to have another baby. I really thought that of all places, the word had spread there. I am so tired of trying to stay upbeat when asked this question and just bluntly said "Yes, but she is not going to live." Talk about an awkward moment but welcome to my life right now.

I have found out this week that help is not as freely given as it is offered. I have not had a horrible week, my kids have been pretty well behaved, I have enjoyed my family time when Greg is at home but I am just down. I do not ask for help, it is not in my nature to ask for help or even take it when it is offered. There were a couple of days this week that I could have used a little backup or a breather but the opportunity just was not there. I am not sure who to talk to about my problems. I do not want to see a counselor unless there is a counselor, locally, that has carried a child knowing that the baby would die when it was born. I guess I do not need to just talk about it, I just need to talk to someone who really understands. I do not want or feel that I need medication to help ease the pain. My pain is not overwhelming me to the point that I do not want to live my life. Even with medication, the issues would still be in my life. I am still pregnant, waiting for my daughter to die.

I did not feel this crappy yesterday and I probably will not when I wake up in the morning. Once in awhile though it hits me so hard that this is my new reality and as much as painful as it is, I have to learn to deal with it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I will carry you

Earlier this week I received a book in the mail from a new friend that I have met through our journey. Mary is another mother who has just recently lost her daughter, Isabella Grace, to anencephaly. She sent me the book "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith, a woman who found out that her 4th child would not live long after birth and carried to term with that knowledge.

It is so strange to read other women's thoughts and feelings that have gone through carrying a baby they knew would die. This book was not at all an exact replica of what I am going through but to see my thoughts written down in a book that someone else has written is very strange. It helps that I am not alone in this even though I do not "know" anyone that has lost a child. No, I don't mean miscarriage, I have friends that have suffered that loss which is terrible and devastating in itself. I mean finding out that the baby will not live, no matter how far along you get. No matter how perfect that baby can look on an ultrasound, all of the pains of pregnancy are for nothing in the end. We live just down the road from the cemetery that Olivia will be buried in. It is not uncommon to look outside of our house and see a funeral procession on it's way there; I know that in 9 weeks at most, we will be the ones traveling down the road in that line.

My final review of the book: It is a great book and recommend it to anyone who has lost a child or is close to someone who has suffered the loss of a child. Whether it was from miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death, it is a great story of hope and faith.

Thanks again Mary!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

everyday there are things to be thankful for!

Today I am not going to put any of my deep dark thoughts or struggles. God knows that I have them and will continue to have them but today I have so much to be thankful for.

Greg and I were able to wake up to silence this morning. Yes, silence, no Mickey Mouse on the TV, no "mommy, I have to pee!" My lovely grandma took the girls last night so Greg and I could have a date night. Even though the date night turned into a 20 inning Cardinal game and a late night run to Taco Bell with our dog, it was nice to just get some alone time.

I made it to Sunday school this morning, late as usual, only without the excuse of getting the girls ready. I really do not remember too much of the Sunday school lesson this morning but what has stuck in my mind from it is: having a relationship with God, rather than just going to church because it is the right thing to do. (I'm really not sure if it was part of the lesson but we talked about it anyway!!) But back to the relationship, I have not always felt like praying since December 11th, but I do it. Even if the prayer is just "God, give me the strength to get through this day," some days that is all I can manage. God continually answers this prayer. Without my personal prayer and prayer from others, I do not believe that I would be where I am today. I am not always filled with an overwhelming peace and I do not always get through my days gracefully. I do however always know that I am not alone in this and I will not be alone after Olivia is no longer with us.

After leaving church we had a home cooked meal from Subway and I was able to get a 2 1/2 hour nap! Around the girls' bath time I received a text from my friend Yolanda. She was wanting to bring something over. She brought a card and a blanket for me made by a group in her church, God Sightings. I am so thankful for this thoughtful gift. I am even more thankful knowing that there are people praying for our family through this very rough time. Through this, God has blessed our lives with new friends, many of them we will probably never meet but we are still so thankful they have become part of our lives.

I forgot........
We bought an outfit last night. I'm not sure it's "the one." It was just a cute onesie, really bright yellow with bright pink flowers and I liked it. I might buy another outfit, I might not. I decided that every little girl deserves more clothes than she actually needs so if I find 10 outfits that I end up buying, it really will not hurt anything. I will just keep tags on outfits we do not use and donate them. This does not mean I will go buy a ton of clothes, just that I will not be limiting her options to one outfit :) I feel much better about the outfit issue now!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We had a doctor appointment yesterday. He told me that all the sonogram info is nothing to worry about, my pregnancy is progressing normally besides the obvious problem. I was measuring right on schedule this week so now I have no excuse for the million pounds I gained in the last 2 weeks! I do have a plan for the weight gain though. I'm not at all trying to lose weight, just trying to manage the gain my final 10 weeks. My gestational diabetes test came back negative, that night I celebrated with ice cream! BUT, since then, I have been caring about the food I am putting into my body. Sounds like a downer, I know, but I'm pretty excited about it!

I am now 30 weeks pregnant. It's strange, it feels like I've been pregnant forever and at the same time it feels like I just took the pregnancy test yesterday. Whether I go to full term or go into labor tomorrow, we will only have 10 weeks to try to prepare ourselves for the birth. I feel like I have so many things to do before Olivia is born, things that I will not want to do after but we are really dragging our feet on finishing up. I will blame the procrastination on Greg's work schedule and ignore the fact he has Sundays and Mondays off!

We have our maternity photos set up for a week and a half from now. The same photographer that I located through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep will do these photos and the pictures when we meet Olivia. I have never done maternity photos, the thought never even crossed my mind until this pregnancy. I am looking forward to the pictures and the memories they will hold. I am certainly not the most comfortable person for picture taking but I really want them and want them to be great!

I have no monumental thoughts to wrap this up with today, I'm going to just enjoy the sunshine for as long as we have it!

Monday, April 12, 2010


The last couple of weeks have left me drained. I have had so many emotional and physical ups and downs that I do not know what to do with myself when things are quiet. The days go by, I can easily pull myself together for the girls. Quiet car rides, once the girls are asleep or just waiting in line at the grocery store are becoming more difficult. I think alot of it has to do with my pregnancy showing and the increasing questions from strangers.

Saturday I tried to get an outfit for her. I went to a baby boutique to try to find a special outfit. I told the sales lady that I am looking for an outfit for a preemie sized girl. She was excited, took me to a rack to show me something "different." Well, the outfit was different outfit was a zebra print tutu style skirt with pink onsie. I just wanted to scream out that it is for a baby who will die, not a baby I can prance around in animal print tutus. Instead, I quickly said no, a little disgusted so she would try to stick to pretty, pink, girly pieces. She continued to show me outfits that just were not what I am looking for. Then she seemed annoyed with the "no" storm coming from my mouth and asked, "just how small is this baby we are talking about." Then I did it, I started crying...in the middle of the store and told her it is for the baby I am carrying and it will probably be the only outfit she will ever wear.

I knew picking an outfit would be hard, but I had not anticipated this at all. The poor sales lady showed me plenty of nice pink, white and flowered dresses after my start of a breakdown but I left empty handed. I called Greg from the van, I was crying so hard that I could not drive and he was working 45 minutes away. I talked to him long enough to calm down and headed back home to my girls.

I have had a very difficult time praying lately. I miss it and feel happier when I do, it's just difficult. I have not lost faith in God, I still stand by my beliefs but I have lost hope. I have not lost all hope for my life and family just for this pregnancy and any other in the future. I cannot be fully happy for pregnant friends, at least until their babies are born because I know how damaging a loss can be. I have read almost everyday this week of a woman that has lost her child to anencephaly. It is just heart wrenching that so many families are being affected by such loss, loss of a child! I have not even lost my daughter yet. I think of each day as a blessing that she is still with us. I wish I could hold her, kiss her and tell her how much I love her. But for now, I know she is safe and her kicks remind me that she is still so alive. When I finally get to hold her it will be to say goodbye, no matter how long she is with us.

I am not ready, I am scared. I do not know if it is possible to prepare yourself for this. I was laying in bed the other night just wondering if knowing is really so much better. I don't have a nursery set up to have to come home to or a closet full of clothes that will never be worn. But I also have nothing to look forward to. Everyday I wrestle with wishing it was all over and wishing it would never end. I am not ready for the pain of empty arms, no nursery, no late night feedings. I am not ready to put my baby in the ground and drive by a cemetery regularly and know that her body is there and not with me.

I can find comfort in knowing that my daughter will be in heaven but babies are meant to be with their mothers! How will I be able to let go? I do not want to forget my baby, ever. I do not want to carry this blanket of grief and loss around with me for the rest of my life either. I do trust that I will not have to feel such raw pain and anguish for the rest of my life. I have refocused myself back to God in the last couple of days. That has brought peace back into by heart, it does not take away the pain, just softens it. I do know that He is where my strength is coming from, without God, I would not get through these days. While some days are harder than others, I am so thankful to the supportive family and friends that I have surrounded myself with.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sonogram info

Today we had our ultrasound, I am 28 weeks and 3 days. It was so bittersweet to see our baby on the monitor. She is a mover and made it difficult for the poor ultrasound tech to get measurements. It's so difficult to look at Olivia on a screen, see how everything is so perfectly developed but this one major defect will only allow her to live such a short time. I feel like we are missing out on so much. I know how blessed I am to have 2 beautiful healthy children but I just want my baby too!

It was wonderful to get the pictures from the ultrasound since we do not know if we will have this opportunity again. As suspected, I do have extra fluid. Olivia is a chubby little baby but a full month behind on development. My cervix is starting to shorten but we were not told if I have dilated more (which probably explains our little trip to the hospital this week!)

Tonight I am emotionally drained so I will keep this posting short. Tomorrow is Easter, I will enjoy this time with the girls and our families. I am looking forward to church in the morning where we can be surrounded by the knowledge that Jesus died for us and rose again! God bless everyone and this special holiday with your families and friends.