dreamland

31 May 2008

i got little sleep last night and the sleep i did get was riddled with bad and strange dreams. my first dream was that i had the baby and i must have taken her to the doctors...but then i forgot all about her. when i got back to the doctors and realized that i'd left her all alone, all the other moms were telling me what a horrible mom i was. i was astonished. how could i forget about my baby? i picked up my babe and walked over to a seat, but it was right next to a pit of water in which the baby fell into and i couldn't get her out. i instantly woke. thank goodness. i wasn't sure where that one was going but i had to get out of it. what a horrible dream mother i am!

later in the night i had a dream that i went to take a shower and we had this mammoth shower. i'm talking 10 feet long and 6-7 feet wide. we had to use multiple shower curtains to fit around it. it was amazing. i want that tub/shower!

those are the only 2 i can remember right now. strange, strange dreams.

blog postings

30 May 2008

i realize that are days in which i tend to blog a bit more than usual and today i finally figured it out...not that it's rocket science, but the realization did hit me today. i think it's because i'm at home, alone. not that i'm bored. i do have stuff i do throughout the day, but when i get back home, i have no one to tell it to. my dear husband gets many calls everyday telling him all the stupid little things that happen to me, as if he has to hear them while at work...but i have to tell someone!

i used to talk to my friends at work. i would work things out with them or tell them about the silly things that happen to me and then only a smattering of those things actually made it on my blog. but now, it's a different story. i come home to a quiet house, which is lovey...i don't feel alone and i have no intention or longing to get back into the workforce, not at all! but, i think that's why i blog so much on certain days.

it's my way of telling someone all the silly little thoughts that run through this brain of mine. for some reason i feel i have to share. i can't tell you why...i just do. so, any way...that's my 2-cents...i hope i don't bug ya too much...

can i hold your baby?

i'm nervous about this question. i already have people telling me that they can't wait to hold our baby. there are certain close friends where i can't wait to hand off our child for them to hold, but there are others where i just won't feel comfortable for awhile. how do mom's and dad's handle the people who are so upfront about holding their children? i don't want to be rude! but if we bring our child somewhere when he/she is only a week old, i don't want 10 people holding him.

i ask this because i know it depends on how i feel, but i really don't want to miss riv's first night in the new building. so unless i go late, we'll probably be bringing our little one to church when he/she's still super young. i was thinking about wearing our child in a sling to deter some people, but i know there are still some that are very, ummm, direct and have no people skills, that would walk up with their arms open and say 'let me hold the baby!'.

i've always been the person that wants to share our child and i won't have a problem handing them off when they get a bit bigger and stuff, but i'm not sure how i'll feel just handing my child off to tons of people within the first few weeks/month. i also don't want to hurt anyone's feelings either.

the whole situation makes me want to stay at home and only have my close friends come see me, but then i'd miss the opening night at riv and that would blow. argh. decisions, decisions...

i guess i'm just a different type of person, but i wouldn't go up to someone, unless we're super close and ask to hold their child when they're only days/weeks old. in fact i usually stand back until i'm asked if i want to hold a child that young because all mom's have different views about it...man i don't know...

my friends will be holding my child whenever they want. but how do i handle people i hardly know or who i know, but am not close to? why do some people think the minute you pop a child out of you that, that child is everyone's property? it's such a strange thing. i know now why some people do a baby moon for a month or two so they don't have to deal with the situation.

here i am freaking out already and the babes still safe inside. i'm going to be a basket case, aren't i?

etiquette

lesson number 1:

if you're at someone's house, don't floss your teeth in their living room while watching tv...and especially don't then drop your used nasty floss in your popcorn bowl for me to find the next morning as i'm doing dishes.

lesson number 2:

when at someone's house, don't chew your fingernails so loudly that it disrupts everyones television experience...especially don't then take the nasty chewed off finger nail out of your mouth and wipe it on the couch, blanket or spit it on the floor.

that ends our etiquette lesson for the day.

hopeful thinking?

last night we went to bed at 11:30. i slept until 1:40 when i had to get up. this is usually how it goes. 1-2 hours of restless sleep and then i get up..then another 1-2 hours. last night, after getting up and falling back to sleep, it wasn't until 6:40 when i woke up again. i don't even remember tossing. i got up, knowing the alarm would wake us up in 20 minutes...all of a sudden i woke up to look at the clock...it was 7:41! we slept through our alarm that had been going off for 41 minutes! steve made it to work on time, which was unbelievable, and i went back to bed. i'm usually up by 8:30 at the latest...today my mom woke me up at 10! 10! i got a solid 2hours then 5 hours and then 2hours! is this my bodies and God's way of giving me a bit of rest before the baby?

it was wonderful getting so much sleep. i feel totally refreshed.

then, i went shopping and spent about $75 bucks without spending a dime! i heard about a new nursing bra at v.secret that was super comfy so i used a gift card i got at one of my wedding showers...after the purchase i still have $10 on it...then, i went to wally world for some simply juice, cereal and a clothesline...i had a gift card for there too! how exciting! it's been a nice day. i love spending money without spending money! gift cards are a good thing!!

memorials

29 May 2008

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gutted. i've been gutted all day. i've always said that when i die, i want a party. a good party. with music and dancing and great food. chocolate fountains and italian deserts, expensive wine and imported cheese. i want people to eat and dance and laugh. i want a party. i told steve about my plan and he was concerned that people would think he didn't care i was gone...like he was so happy i was gone that he just had to throw a party! so you've all heard it from me...the party was my idea!

after today i wonder if my plan will work. would people really come and laugh and sing and eat and dance? or would they hug and cry and be sad? maybe they would do both. i've always hated saying goodbye. goodbye to me doesn't make sense. not to someone you love or respect. i can't say that i get mad at God for taking our loved ones away, it just doesn't make sense to me. i know they're in a better place. i know it's where i would want to be. in perfect health and with our perfect Father with all of our loved ones who left before us. truly what could be better. it's us, or maybe just me, that has to stay back without my loved one wondering why they had to leave. wondering what good can come of their passing. wondering why i have been left to walk this path.

today, i saw all of these amazing people who were touched by Susan in her brief 30 years on this earth. the church was packed. i witnessed 2 good friends beautifully singing for her, which totally amazes me. i couldn't get through even a half of a song without crying...how they sang is beyond me. it was beautiful. i heard the cracked voice of a pastor deliver an amazing message and a brave thank you from a grieving husband. i saw people weeping and you could tell they're trying to make sense of the loss. such a loss. how do you start to make sense of it?

my tears were for Susan and the enormity of her loss...but i also think they were for my daughter. we didn't have a memorial for Jorai, because truthfully, we didn't even think about it. it wouldn't have been us to do one anyway and honestly, there's no way i could have been apart of it. i would have been a crumpled mess in the corner. i've never been good at saying goodbye.

i've been to too many young peoples funerals. i went to a classmates funeral when i was in 9th grade. i went to my friends after he decided to take his life at 18. we went to a friends husbands funeral just a few years ago. he was in his 30's. we lost our own daughter...and now Susan. after losing Jorai, i believe that funerals will have a completely different meaning to me. i think in some way, she will always be at the funeral with us. i think i'll be mourning the loss of the person who was taken but also i will once again mourn my daughters loss. i know those emotions of losing her are always right below the surface just waiting to come up.

i also think that knowing what people are going through raises old emotions to the surface. i know the walk they are starting on. and it saddens me. i want to take it from them. but i know i can't. i want to lift up my friends and deliver them from the pain, but only Christ can do that.

as Christians we know that we should praise God for taking our loved ones. we should celebrate because they are home and happy and are in the splendor of the King. but it's so much easier to say and want to do, than to actually do. because for us, there will always be this hole that only one person can fit into. it's all just so hard.

grief is such an interesting emotion. it feels good to cry one minutes and better to laugh the next. but you never know what feeling to feel until you feel it. laughing could make you cry and crying could make you laugh. sometimes there's this pressure that seems to be all consuming around you and other times all you notice is the light. and with a flip of a switch everything can change up again. it's a hard road to walk. up one minute, down the next. being side swiped by any little thing could smack you back down on the cement in an instant. today, i feel as if i was side swiped.

it's been almost a year since we lost Jorai. 3 days from when we lost her, 5 from the day we held her. Susan's passing has opened up old wounds. old pain. old emotions. that have been here all along, just under the surface, but i feel them bubbling up. i miss Jorai. i wish she was here with us. but the emotions i'm feeling right now, aren't about my loss, but about the pain i know so many of my friends are feeling. i just wish i could protect them from the pain. it's such a strange emotion. wanting to protect my friends but knowing i can't.

but that's where i am. i'm at a loss because of a loss. wanting to do something i have no control over. so to all my friends, i love you. i'm here if you want to cry. i'm hear if you want to laugh. just know, that i'm here.

labor?

i thought i was in labor last night...the baby was moving around in ways i hadn't felt before and it kept putting a lot of pressure on my bladder and cervix. it felt as if the baby was trying to push his way out! i told steve about it but also said not to worry, that it's probably just me hoping the birth was coming...but then we went to bed.

about 15 minutes after laying down i started contracting. i couldn't figure it out because it didn't feel like normal contractions. it felt more like i really had to go to the bathroom, but when i got up, nothing came...then my mind went reeling...i've heard going to the bathroom is a sign the birth is coming...so then i thought, well, this is it! the contractions though were never ending, just one long continuous ache. they stretched over the front of my belly and towards my back...it was surprisingly uncomfortable...

i kept pacing and rolling on the ball trying to figure out the sensations i was feeling and trying to focus my mind away from the pain. but then my mind went to steve. when he went to bed last night, he said he was achy and i just had this feeling that i was going to go into labor and steve was coming down with the flu. great!

the contractions went on for about 30-40 minutes. after i finally went to the bathroom, some of the pain was relieved, but the contractions still kept coming. i laid down on the couch for about an hour and then finally decided to go up to bed because they had settled down to the point where i could sleep.

by the time i went upstairs, steve had a fever. he woke up freezing and put on sweats, a sweatshirt and socks and then crawled back into bed. we both we waking up every 2 hours or so...my contractions were getting less and less frequent but his fever was getting higher and higher. this morning they're both gone and we both feel pretty normal. crazy!

i don't know what happened last night...if we both ate something that our bodies didn't agree with or what...but it was crazy! so now, steve keeps telling me to keep the baby in until the weekend. i hope he doesn't get too bummed if the babe doesn't arrive for another week or so...i think we're both so excited. when i first felt the contractions last night i was excited...and then a bit scared thinking about what's to come...now that i'm no longer contracting, i'm bummed a bit...i want our child's birth to come. at the same time, i'm scared to become a parent of a living child...

maybe i'm just going crazy!

le bebe

28 May 2008

just got back from the dr.'s. all is looking well. we had an ultrasound this morning and they have predicted that the baby is measuring 39 weeks 2 days, i'm really 38 weeks 2 days, and is currently measuring 8lbs 6oz. steve and i think i'll probably deliver a 8-9lb baby. nice and healthy but not too big.

i'm still feeling great, but am really getting excited to deliver and hold this little bundle that keeps kicking my ribs! i'll try to post the most recent ultrasound pics later today...the babe's a bit scrunched in there...but with a little finesse, you can see the babes' face.

i can't wait to meet our child!

rotavirus

27 May 2008

i need to talk to steve, but i think i just nixed the rotavirus vaccine off our vaccination schedule. although it's super common in the us...it's super common in day care settings and since we're not putting our child in day care, i feel pretty comfortable nixing it. plus, with the benefits of breast feeding, the chances of our child contracting it is low and the severity will be low if they do contract it.

from my research, i've seen that the main point in giving all these vaccines is to wipe it out of our population. which is cool...but if the vaccine could be potentially harmful, why would i risk my child's health for the one day possibility of the disease no longer being around?

kinda like the whole chickenpox debate...we're trying to get rid of a pretty annoying but rather 'safe' disease so that parent's don't have to take time off work. which would be a good thing...but isn't that all a part of being a parent? i can understand giving the vaccine later in life to prevent a super bad case of chickenpox...but starting at 1 year just doesn't make sense...plus it's a live virus, so the chance of getting it from the vaccine is pretty high.

i hope i'm not pissing anyone off by these posts. i'm truly not trying to judge or condemn anyone for their choices. each parent needs to do the research and determine what's right for them and their family. i just find all of this so fascinating. the more i read and research things out, the more my eyes are opened. i started with thinking that my child would be fully vaccinated...and so far we nixed 4 and delayed 5.

now on to the vitamin d supplements in breastfeeding debate...i've heard more about how silly the recommendation is than it actually benefiting babies...but i want to do my own research...anyone out there have an opinion?

pregnancy comfort

sometime in the wee hours of sunday morning i flipped over in bed, replaced the pillow between my legs and squeezed. a loud pop and a bit of pain occurred in my pelvis. although this was nothing new, this time it was a bit more intense than usual. but, this popping has been happening since early in my second trimester so i didn't think much of it. it wasn't until half way through monday when i realized that for the first time in months, i had no pelvis pain. none. my lower back still aches a bit, but other than that, i have to say that i feel somewhat normal. there is no popping when i walk or turn over in bed. no pain in the unmentionable areas! it's wonderful!

i can walk! i have a little swagger but not nearly as much as i did. my lower left back and butt cheek hurt when i stand and first start to walk, but again, it's nothing compared to the pain i've had for months!

i didn't think it would last, but again today, i feel great! i'm 38.5 weeks pregnant and for the first time in months, i feel like i can endure the last few weeks. i can even enjoy them! isn't that crazy?!!?

in fact i was even thinking about what i'll miss about this pregnancy when the baby's born. too funny! it's amazing how your attitude changes when you feel better. i still can't wait to have this babe. i wish i could go into labor tonight!!! but for the first time in months, i can wait. i'm not in pain. i'm not in such a hurry to feel back to normal. i can enjoy the last leg of this pregnancy!

this truly makes me happy!

advice vs criticism

26 May 2008

i've always liked advice. i know a little, about a lot. but really, for the most part, it's just enough to cause problems, so good advice is welcomed...but there are some things that i feel i've done a lot of research on. three things are breast feeding, vaccinations and bed sharing. i know there are some things we're doing that are against the grain of society...go figure...and i know there will be people out there with their own opinions, but come on! i still like talking to people about this because i can always learn more, but what i hate are the people who pretty much come out and say we're bad parents for not vaccinating.

i've never understood why people can't do things the way they choose without getting harassed by people. i think some people think they're giving good advice, but really, they're not. my favorite comment i get when talking about bed sharing is 'aren't you afraid of rolling over your child?' ok, do you think we'd choose to do this if we thought we'd roll over on our child? another is 'aren't you afraid of sids?' no, in-fact bed sharing decreases the chances of sids.

my mom, for some reason, has a huge beef with me breast-feeding. the only thing i can think of is she's projecting her guilt of not breast-feeding her own kids onto me. she keeps trying, in her own way, to discourage me from breast-feeding no longer than 3-6 months. she tells me there are no benefits, that my boobs will sag, that it's against societal norms....you name it, she says it...of course i come back sometimes with the right info, but most times, i just let her have her say and hope it doesn't come up again...which it inevitably will and someday i know i'll blow a gasket and put her in her place.

see for years she has told me everything wrong that both my sister in laws do with their children. i wouldn't do everything they do...but i don't talk about it because it doesn't matter. every parent does their own thing... and my sisters are amazing moms and they have great kids. so they must be doing something right! but i've heard all about their wrongs for the past 7 years...so i'm just waiting to hear about mine. the difference between my sister in laws and me...is that i'm extremely up front and have no problem sticking up to my mom...this will be a very interesting journey!

another comment i love to get is anything about our choices on vaccines. i laugh at the 'aren't you scared they'll get sick?' comment...again, if we were, do you think we'd make the choices we make? but the last comment i got made me really laugh...when i told someone that we weren't going to get the chickenpox vaccine until later in life, if needed, i was told 'well, i wouldn't tell many people that because if your child spreads chicken pox to someones child, they'll be very angry.' ok...so if you don't have faith in the vaccine working, then why do you get it? you'll be angry at me because my child gave your vaccinated child a normal childhood disease? that's great. that makes perfect sense to me.

any way...i think advice is great, and i love getting advice, but what's hard is the criticism for how we choose to parent. what makes one mother any better than the next? don't we all make the best possible choices for our children with the information we're given and seek out? don't we all want what's best? why are there so many parents who look down on how others parent? where does that pride and judgment come from?

whether you circumcise or not, breast-feed or not, vaccinate or not, spank or not, send your child to daycare or not...you name it, if it's right for your family, do it and don't be ashamed. if it's not right for your family, don't do it. but don't confront someone because your parenting style is different. that's silly...maybe instead of putting someone's choices down, you could learn why they think it's best for their family.

anyway...that's my 2 cents...

you're going to be parents!

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those were the words that came from my mom in laws lips once again this past sunday. we're going to be parents. what makes a parent of a stillborn child, not a parent? i know i keep going back to this subject, but it gets so tiring hearing it over and over again. we are parents! my mom said the same thing on saturday. 'you're going to be a mom!' i got to hear it twice in 2 days from 2 ladies that held my daughter.

i want to scream at the top of my lungs 'shut up!!! you held my daughter! how can you dare tell me over and over again that i'm not a mother!'. i have to bite my tongue every time it happens. if it happened once or twice or if it was someone who didn't hold and know our daughter, i would have a bit more patience with it, but come on! if Jorai had lived for a day or a week or a year or a decade, and then she died, would i still not be considered a mother? where is that line in the sand?

i looked at both my mom and my mom in law and as calmly as i could i said, 'we're already parents, this will be our second child.' i also told my mom in law that she keeps saying it and it really hurts me. i had to.

i can't wait to never hear those words again.

feet

25 May 2008

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my feet and legs have started to swell. my feet and legs started to swell about a week before i lost Jorai. i know my thoughts shouldn't go there...i know swelling is very common in pregnancy, but i can't help it. my mind's going there. i want to go into the hospital to make sure all is ok, but how silly is that! they'd probably shoo me out as soon as i tell them why i'm nervous.

i can't wait for this baby to come. i can't wait to hear the screams and feel the warmth. i can't stand this waiting game any longer. i can't stand my anxieties.

life in the balance

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last year we lost our daughter Jorai. in fact it will be a year next sunday. a year. it's hard to describe what this year has been like other than to say it's like the proverbial roller-coater. and as i type this i'm waiting for our second child to be born. should be this week or next. one life lost and another about to come into the world.

this afternoon i was gutted with the news of an acquaintance's passing. she was only 30 years old. gone. a husband and child left here without her. we weren't close. but she was the person where you always thought 'man, i want to get to know her better, she seems amazing.' but it never happens and then it's too late.

when i heard of her passing i was numb. simply numb. i couldn't believe it. it didn't make sense. i guess, news like that never makes sense. but it was hard. i keep thinking about her husband. how horrible it would be to lose your best friend. i can't stop thinking about steve and how i'd feel if i ever lost him. it rips at my heart. there were no tears that came. there was just a void. this utter black void. my emotions took me back to the void i was in a year ago. the black, numb, silent void of grief.

Susan was one of those super generous, amazingly strong and caring women that you want to emulate. She was a women i wish i would have taken the time to get to know better and it really pisses me off that she was taken from us. from her family. from her friends. death like this makes no sense to me. i know God has His plan. i know His plan is good. but it just doesn't make sense to me.

life comes. and life goes. i know this all too well. i've endured the death of grandparents and family friends, but it's the senseless loss of the young and amazing, that stings all the more deep.
i lost a dear friend of mine when i was 19. i lost my child when i was 31 years old. and now i lost my chance to truly get to know an amazing woman. but what stings all the more, is knowing the darkness and quietness and stillness that her husband, friends and family are going to be enduring in the coming months. that kills me.

i wish i could take that pain away from people. i've been there. it's cold. it's all consuming at times. there's a silence that's deafening. i wish i could wrap the grieving in my arms and protect them from the pain. but i know i can't. and i know that only our Father can truly take away the pain. i also know it's a pain that He wants us to go through for some reason. but it sucks and at times, i hate His plan.

death is all around us, as is life. and though death should be celebrated the same as life, because we're selfish beings, most of us can't celebrate it. we want those we've lost with us. laughing and living. what's hard for us to believe is that they're in a better place. they're living it up with Jesus. what else could be better? what's hard for me to believe at times is that God's plan is better.

for me...although i know Jorai is in a better place, i'd rather her here with me and her father. but then i think, if she was here, this new child wouldn't be.

i know Susan touched so many peoples lives. i know her life and passing both had meaning. though it doesn't make sense to me and i hate it and it sucks and i'm gutted, i have to hold on to the knowledge that she's up with Jesus and that she was taken for a reason.

the problem with grief is that your mind, heart and emotions are all on separate playing fields when dealing with the loss of a loved one. though your head believes one thing, your heart is aching and your emotions are reeling. again, i wish i could spare people from their grief. i wish people didn't have to walk through that fire. but i can't take away people's pain. i can't make this better.

my heart aches for her family and friends. my heart aches for their loss. i'm gutted by the enormity of it.

stillbirth legislation

22 May 2008

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blog family,

we're super excited to say that there is some cool legislation for family's who have delivered a stillborn child and all who are currently or thinking of becoming pregnant that being presented to congress. currently there are no standardization's for the definition of stillbirth or methods in which stillbirth data is collected so research can be conducted. a stillborn child in many states isn't even recognized as a child. The below legislation is a first to be brought to congress and it's super exciting to see that someday in the near future there will be more research and public awareness of losing a child in utero, which is much more likely than SIDS. according to stillnomore.org:

on average there are over 2,000 SIDS deaths in the us every year. stillbirth deaths numbers are close to 30,000 babies
one in every 115 deliveries is a dead baby. if deliveries were aircraft landings, phoenix sky harbor airport, with about 700 landings daily, would have 6 fatal crashes every day. how long does one think the faa would allow that to continue? twenty-four hours? and yet as a nation we tolerate 80 pregnancies on average "crashing" daily in the us.
please take some time to read through the below letter and if you're moved to do so, contact your congressmen. it takes as little as a few minutes. there's even a letter you can cut and paste below.

thank you for reading this! ~ kim, steve and Jorai Mae

Dear Friends,

We have exciting news!

Representative Peter King from New York has introduced a bill to raise awareness about stillbirth that seeks to standardize the definition of stillbirth, and the method in which stillbirth data is collected, so there can be a national repository for stillbirth data with which to conduct comprehensive research efforts. The bill also authorizes a campaign to increase public awareness of good prenatal care practices that may decrease the risk of stillbirth, including monitoring movements during the last trimester. To view the actual bill and supporting documents, please visit the First Candle website.

Now we need your help! We are asking that you write a letter to your Representative asking them to co-sponsor this bill. The more co-sponsors the bill has, the more likely it is to pass. Please note, this is for the House of Representatives only. Do not contact your Senators at this time.

If you could do this within the next couple days to one week, we will be able to maximize the momentum Representative King has initiated!

Members of Congress receive hundreds of messages from their constituents every day. This communication is important to them because it helps them better understand what issues are important to those they serve. Through your requests, congressional leaders will support legislation, add their names as co-sponsors or even introduce legislation to assist constituents in their districts.

The compelling testimony provided by parents at First Candle’s 2007 Advocacy Day-on-the Hill is what prompted Representative King to introduce this important bill!

  • The first step is to identify the Representative for the District you live in. If you already know that, or have had direct contact with him/her, you are one step ahead of the game!
  • If you do not know who your Representative is, or if you do not have contact information, you can find that information at https://forms.house.gov by putting in your 9-digit zip code (if you do not know your 4 digit extension, you can get it at http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp.) You will then be able link directly to your Representative’s website. There you will find all the information you need, as well as the ability to email directly to their office.
  • Once you have the contact information, write your letter. We have provided a sample letter below, but encourage you to add your personal story where indicated. Personal stories always have a greater impact and are taken more seriously than form letters! Of course, you can write your own letter if you have the time or desire. Just remember to keep the statistics and information about the bill consistent with that of the sample letter.
  • Sending a hard copy or email letter are both equally effective. If you are mailing a hard copy, feel free to send along the documents attached to this email. It is not a good idea to attach documents to email letters, as they will most likely be rejected. Do not let this discourage you from using email though, as the vast majority of constituent letters do not include supporting documentation. Your email letters can be sent directly through your Representative’s website.
  • First Candle would very much appreciate knowing who you have sent a letter to. This way we can conduct follow-up if and when that becomes necessary. Simply send an email to jennifer.johnson@firstcandle.org with your name and the name of the representative or staffer you sent the letter to. Hard or email copies of your letters are also welcome!
  • And finally . . . please share this email with anyone that you think would be interested in supporting this effort, including family, friends, your favorite support organizations, groups, websites, etc.
  • If you have any questions regarding the bill or this process, feel free to contact Marianne Adezio at 703-741-7053 or madezio@golinharris.org.
We thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this important matter! By working together, we stand to gain the most in our quest to spare families the devastation of stillbirth . . . in the belief that every baby should live.

Sincerely,
The Board and Staff of First Candle

Sample Letter


Dear Representative ________________:

I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor legislation that would help the CDC and researchers better determine the risk factors associated with stillbirth and convey those risk factors to expectant parents.

House of Representative Bill 5979, the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008, was introduced by Representative Peter King of New York in an effort to address the lack of standardized data collection nationally with regard to stillbirth.
Each year more than 25,000 babies in the United States are stillborn. More than 50 percent of these deaths occur in the last trimester of pregnancy and 15 percent occur during labor and delivery. Due to a lack of autopsy/investigation and inconsistencies in diagnosing these, more than 50 percent of all stillbirths remain unexplained.

With standardized investigation and reporting of these deaths, researchers would be better able to determine the risk factors. H.R. 5979 would both standardize the definition of stillbirth and the method in which data is collected, in order to create a national repository of stillbirth data to assist researchers in conducting comprehensive studies in to the causes of, and possible preventive strategies for, stillbirth. The bill also authorizes a public awareness campaign promoting good prenatal practices, including monitoring movements during the last trimester of pregnancy, to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

This legislation is important to me because (insert your personal story here)

Thank you so much for your consideration of my request.
(insert name and contact information here)

pregnancy confession

20 May 2008

after learning this morning that i'm group b strep positive i decided to drown my anger in a tall glass of milk and 2 qd donuts. for lunch it's a nice slice of pizza...i have a feeling that it may not be a great nutrition day!  good thing i had that tall glass of milk!

belly progression...

19 May 2008

i didn't start taking pictures until 17 weeks and then i didn't take another until 30...but cool still. man i'm a biggin!


peta fall-out

in the past few months riv has been hit twice...once with the whole riv brew thing and now for a fundraiser where we cooked some pigs.  when it rains it pours, i guess.  i just got onto the peta website where they have a nice dialog going of very angry animal lovers bashing us.  it got my blood boiling and reminded me of the time while i was in washington when a local native american tribe was given their rights back to hunt whale in their native hunting ways.  of course this pissed off peta, and a peta girl decided to try and make the tribe's long boat capsize. thankfully it was being protected by the marines, who ran her ski-do over and broke her arm.  after getting done at the hospital she decided to show herself in a reservation bar where she didn't fare too well...white girls, don't think you can just walk into a rez. bar unless you know someone and especially if you just tried to kill a hunt that brought the entire tribe together.  silly girl...


being an animal lover and x-vegetarian i can see someone's opposition to the roasting of pigs...especially since their foul animals...my personal opinion...but this has gotten way out of control and i truly don't think it was ever suppose to go this far.  it makes me realize how careful we need to be with our speech and convictions.  what is one person's conviction may not be an other's and if we don't speak with love and understanding and don't have mutual respect to each others convictions, well...then the shit will hit the fan.  

i know a lot of time people get sick of my love everyone crap, but i thinks it's so true.  i feel that we're all out there with our own agendas and we don't really take into consideration where the other person may be coming from, let alone, allowing them to have their beliefs and letting things be.  if i told everyone of you all the things i disagree with you about, we'd be in a world of hurt.  but what i've learned in my brief 33 years on this earth, is there are things that matter, and there are things that don't.  and i think that it's all the little things in this world that we get so bent up over, that kills us as a society.  we need to love one another where we are, not bash one another until we all agree.  as if that would happen anyway, we'd just be bruised and bloodied with the same damn opinions because that's just how stubborn and pig headed we are...sorry about the pun.

we should be able to talk to one another about our convictions and beliefs in a civilized manner and unfortunately, as i've read on the peta blog roll, people simply don't care about anything other than their own agenda.  i think that's what's so frustrating.  why do we all need to have an agenda?  why can't we take people for who they are, love them where they're at and not try to find fault in all they do? 

i feel really bad for how distorted and discombobulated this whole thing has gotten.  i know with one snap decision, you can make a world of hurt for yourself and i truly feel bad for the fall out. whoever wrote the original letter, i thank you for sharing your opinions and convictions.  i know your heart was in the right spot.  what saddens me are all the people who have perverted one persons personal feelings into the aftermath we see now.  it's all those negative, belligerent, false statements made by people who have no idea what riv stands for or does, that makes me remember back to the day i made my way into a porno for pyro's concert through a tunnel of 'christians' yelling at me that i was going to hell.  

no matter what your convictions are, no matter where your beliefs lay and no matter now right or wrong you think you are, when you speak with venom, no one will listen.  i wish we lived in a world where people would open their hearts more than their mouths. 

5 am snoring session

i woke my husband up at 5 this morning with my snoring. i'm trying desperately to be quiet. i have nose strips and a humidifier going...i don't know..i can only do so much. i feel bad, but there's nothing i can do about it. so since he threw himself out of bed, i've been awake. feeling bad that i'm so loud, trying to fall back asleep but letting my mind catch hold and thinking about all the things that need to be done.

it's sure hard being pregnant. i'm starting to think that men just don't understand. i can understand the lack of sleep and frustration about it because i've been living it for months now. depending on how late i sleep in, i get around 4-6 hours a night. last night i got 5. if the babe isn't kicking, i wake up in a pile of sweat or having to rush to the bathroom or my hip is asleep or heartburn is burning through my chest...it's constant. i can understand the lack of sleep...but do men, truly understand what their wives are going through?

so yeah, i've been up for an hour and a half. i watched the dawn come and i listened to the birds...now i'm going to enjoy a slice of rhubarb cake and address some thank you cards. i'm thinking it'll be a nap day..which sucks since i have so much to do...but alas, just another day in the life of a preggers.

cloth diapers

18 May 2008

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i did it.  i finally ordered the rest of my cloth diapers and accessories.  i was dreading it.  there's such a huge up-front cost to all this and of course, the penny pincher in me spent hours calculating the best prices at tons of on-line stores.  because some stores had some of my things but not all, i ended up ordering from 2.  jilliansdrawers and abby's lane.  i wanted to use a local gal i just met, but she didn't have a lot of the stuff i wanted.  bummer.  


i ordered just over an hour ago and abby's lane has already called to say that 3 of my diapers were on back order...which sucks, but i just put the order in a little over an hour ago!  now that's what i call great service!

i'm still confused with the laundry detergent debate.  i ordered allen's natural powdered detergent, but i wish that bum genius would just come out and say 'buy this',  instead they say only use detergent that's free of yadda yadda yadda...well there's a lot of detergent out there that's free of stuff that some people think blogs up diapers.  so what's the best.  some think this one and others that one...some even use tide...which i know isn't the best for the environment, so i don't know.  guess we'll just try out the allen's.

but yea!  another thing crossed off my list.  diapers, wipes, detergent and liners are now done!  i went with kissaluv's, bum genius and pre-fold diapers... a little something of everything. kinda...

tomorrow it's a 'stock up' day at target.  i'm trying to get all things in order before kix decides to grace our lives. and i have to stop at lorann oils to get some citrus, lavender and calendula oils for deodorant discs for the diaper pail and wipe solution.  

busy...busy...

did i say that i just made rhubarb cake tonight too!!  maybe the nesting has hit a bit!

contractions n such

17 May 2008

i've been contracting a lot over the past few days.  they go away the minute i relax...so i think i'm doing too much, but there's so much to do!  i'm also getting sharp and steady aches and pains in my front and left side of my belly.  i think i've decided that it's the baby pressing really hard against my uterus/belly.  when i touch the place where it hurts, it's all baby pushing out.


i used to love feeling the babe move around within me, and i still do, but now it hurts.  it's not the fun 'oh! feel the babe!!!'  it's 'ugh, that hurt, what are you doing in there!'.  i actually feel worse for the babe than i do for myself.  i can't image how squashed he/she must be.  poor little thing.  i'd be pushing out too!  i think the babe's butt is against my belly, which is a good thing..but it does hurt when the babe decides to stick out their booty!

i feel the time to birth is coming soon.  when i say soon, i mean 1-2 weeks...so don't get too excited.  but i do feel my body preparing.  with the contractions and even the way the babe is moving, i just feel different.  

it makes me worry a bit....am i ready for a baby?  this is the moment i've been dreaming about for 30 years!  and it's right around the bend...i can almost see it and touch it...i just hope i don't break it!

girth

15 May 2008

i never thought the day would come that i would feel my tummy rest against my legs when i sit. the day has come folks. i can now warm the top of my legs with my stomach. i am truly a sight to be seen!

ahhh...the joys of pregnancy!

skype

steve and i were thinking about using skype when the babe comes and both of our folks are outta state.  it's a free web video thing that allows you to have a video conference for free.  we thought it would be super cool...and then someone told me that we could use the same service to make calls.  so i tried it out.


for $2.95/month, you can make unlimited calls anywhere in the us. it's actually free to call another skype user... you just talk right through your computer.  and if you don't want to talk through you're computer, you can buy a cordless phone or even a blue-tooth thingy to use!  super cool.  if you want a number for people to be able to call and leave messages for you, i think it's $4 extra/month.  

the sound is pretty good.  not as great as a land-line, though it may get better if we get an actual phone rather than just using our computer.  and so far, we love the service.  you can sign up and pay month to month so you can always stop service...there's no contract!  go check it out here! i've been trying to use it exclusively to save on my cell minutes and i love it.   

almost time for birthing!

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well, i had about 12 hours of feeling semi-normal...now i'm back...or i guess my back pain is back.  it's better, i have to admit that, and my pelvis is better.  but the pain is still there too.  it will be such a relief when i deliver my child and get the weight off.  i remember taking a walk 2 days after delivering Jorai and it was the first time in 7 months where i could breathe and i wasn't waddling and i could walk more than 1/4 of a mile without contracting.  it was nice.  


i just can't wait to stand up without pain.  get outta bed without pain shooting up my back.  and roll over without my pelvis snapping back into place.  that will be nice.  

i've placed a shower curtain on the bed in case my waters break while sleeping.  it sure doesn't make the bed very breathable...i wake up in a sticky, sweaty mess most times...the sheet is all swampy...it's kinda gross...but then i think about amniotic fluid all over our mattress and it makes me think that i made the right decision.

i only have about 2-3 weeks left in this pregnancy.  i thought when we hit the 28 week mark that i would be extra nervous and time would creep by as in the first 2 trimesters, but it was the opposite.  i can't believe the time to bring this child into the world is just around the corner.  i'm 37 weeks...if the dr's are right about how the babe's growing i'm 38 weeks 1 day... it excites me and scares the crap outta me at the same time.  i have no idea of how to be a good mom.   my daughter doesn't live on this earth.  i'm a momma to a baby in heaven.  God's taking care of her...so i never got to learn.  what if i do something wrong or make the wrong decision...although i'm uncomfortable, the babe is safe within me right now...when he/she comes out steve and i'll be responsible!  that's really scary!  i know steve will be amazing.  he's such a natural...but i worry about me. what if i can't comfort my child or breast-feed right?  what if i don't notice something and don't take the babe into the dr. on time...oye...this is a scary adventure we're about to partake.  

please know...you may all be getting lots of frantic calls from me in the coming weeks!!  maybe it is a good thing that my mom is coming to stay with us for a while.  even though we have completely different philosophies about babies, i know she's a wealth of info...if i can just swallow my pride and listen to her!

massage duex

13 May 2008

i just got back from my massage and i have to admit that i feel almost normal.  i can sit normal and stand normal and though i still have a little waddle, most of that is gone too!  my pelvis feels better and my lower back is 90% better.  it's amazing.  why i didn't do this sooner, i have no idea.  i feel lovely.  


now the question is, how long will i stay feeling this lovely?  is there a way to keep the effect going for longer than a few hours?  i'm going to make sure i stretch tonight to prolong the looseness.  man, i feel good. 

massage

12 May 2008

an amazing friend bought me a prenatal massage for mothers day!!!  i'm going in tomorrow at 1.  i'm so excited.  it will feel so lovely on my back.  i hope it takes some of the pain away...to have just an hour of relief will be lovely!!  


on a side note, we have a car seat in the scion.  us...steve and i...it's in our car.  a part of me thought i'd never see that sight.  i came out of the store today and noticed the car seat in the back and immediately thought it wasn't my car...but then it hit me, this is my car!! that is my car seat!!  we are having a baby!  so cool!

mother's day to a mother of a stillborn

11 May 2008

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when i was telling my mom and my mom-in-law, happy mother's day today, they both said to me...'happy almost mother's day to you'. almost mother's day? i'm not mad. i'm getting really used to the cruel comments and am getting really good at shrugging them off, but to be honest, it also kinda feels like they've forgotten about Jorai. that they've forgotten about my daughter...that i had a daughter...that they had a granddaughter...that i am a mother.

yesterday someone asked my mom what number this grandchild will be for her. she said 5. she didn't count Jorai. of course, i immediately corrected her right in front of the women who asked. and she agreed, that yes, it's actually 6. after she apologized she admitted that it's easier to just say 5. but we were in a group of women who all knew what happened to my daughter. that really bothered me. first my dad chooses to go off fishing instead of being with me as i delivered my child then my brother brushes off my loss with jokes and now my mom starts ignoring the fact that she has 6 grandchildren...she ignores her own granddaughter. it may be easier to say that i never had a mother once my mom dies too, but i'd never do that.

i know this is all new for so many people. it's hard. i understand that. if there's one person who understands, it's me. but what people need to remember is that moms of stillborn children, don't have much to hold onto. they have brief memories of holding their lifeless children. but even those are shaky since it was such a traumatic time. they may have the clothes and blanket that touched their child. maybe footprints and a few pictures...but there's not much more. what we do have is the recognition that we had a child. a child that was so wonderful that they were taken too soon. a child that we'll never meet in this lifetime but one we still love and think of everyday. a child that we only held for a brief moment but will be in our hearts for a lifetime.

we may be moms to a child that doesn't live on this earth, but we're still moms. and as hard as these days may be to some of us, surprisingly today hasn't been rough for me, wishing a woman who has gone through a child loss, a happy mother's day will touch her more than you know...ignoring her or the short life of her child will only bring more hurt.

i want to say thank you to all my friends who have wished me a happy mother's day. it's wonderful to hear and know that though my child is no longer with me physically, i will always be her mother.

to all you beautiful mothers out there, happy mother's day! you all do so much for your families, you're giving and loving and faithful and i love each and every one of you!

internet/phone

08 May 2008

we went over in our phone minutes last month.  with my first month home and steve trying to sell the car, it wasn't pretty.  we normally pay $70 for our cell phones...last month our bill was $143...ouch!


we've been trying to find a better internet provider and we're thinking about getting a home line too, so i can call people and not rack up a huge phone bill.  i need to call at&t and find out if they have more than 1.5mbps.  i'm thinking that wouldn't do much...we currently have 6 and sometimes netflix movies don't work...but i don't know anything about that crap.  

a home line would be so nice though.  i'm sure in the first few months of having this child, i'll need a lot of support.  we have no idea what we're doing and i'm sure that i'll be calling my friends to say that the baby's doing this or that and what do i do!  so i think a home  line would be beneficial.  

any thoughts?

sleep

i slept from 11-3:30am this morning.  it felt nice.  though when i woke, i barely made it to the bathroom.  that wasn't fun!  then it was tossing and turning for the rest of the night.  waking every 30 minutes to an hour.  i was hoping to sleep a bit better since steve chose to sleep in the spare room and i was so exhausted last night, but alas.  i woke up at 7 and couldn't get back to sleep...so i crawled outta bed by 7:40ish.  i'm still sleepy, but what can a preggers girl do?


i have to spend time on my message today anyway. so an early day awake will hopefully help since my exhaustion grows remarkably as the day crumbles away. somedays i really miss coffee.  beaners and starbucks call me...they tempt me...but i know caffeine is the last thing this child of mine needs.  i think one of my ribs would definitely be broken if i introduced that much caffeine!

exhaustion

07 May 2008

i worked at ele's place today then went shopping and out to lunch with steve and then a bit more shopping. by the time i got home it was around 2:30 and i was exhausted.  i went downstairs to watch a bit of tv an relax and i woke up 2 hours later.  that was 4:30...it's almost 7 and i still feel like i'm walking around in a haze.  i want to hang out with the girls tonight, but i don't think i can drag myself out of the house again.  this exhaustion is really starting to wear me thin.  i know i'll be exhausted when the little one comes...but i wonder if i'll feel this exhausted.   sometimes i can barely move, let alone think.  ugh...i feel like a lump.

body image

06 May 2008

my folks were up for a few days and it was a good visit, although the entire time i kept hearing 'quack, quack' come form my father lips every time he saw me walking. yes, i'm waddling.  ya know it doesn't help that i've had hip problems since birth and already have a bit of a swagger...add to that my increasing girth and a painful pelvis issue...those tend to make one waddle a bit...oye!

this morning i found out that i've only gained 24 pounds so far...pretty good...they tell you that a healthy pregnancy weight gain is 25-35 pounds.  so, i'm right where i should be.  which was a nice thing to remember after seeing the scale about crack underneath me this morning at the dr's!  HA!  no, it didn't. now, that would devastate me!  

but what made my day even brighter than finding out that i'm not a lard?  getting an email from my brother telling me how great i look after seeing the photo my father sent out to the entire family.  a  photo he took in target when he thought i looked particularly large....nice 

but what a wonderful comment from my brother, who would prefer to tell me that when he was outside the other day he was surprised to see that there was an eclipse...but then he realized it was just my stomach that was covering the sun.  yes, he really told me that in my last pregnancy.

i love looking at my pregger body.  i think it's cool. and i surprisingly don't feel huge and yucky...but what i do feel is tired and run down.  so to hear i look cute or good or really anything other than huge, or wow!  are you having twins? ...it's sure a nice thing to hear.  

so thank you, to all of you that have commented on how cute i look.  it truly is a wonderful thing to hear.  

disappointment

02 May 2008

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we toured labor and delivery last night.  it didn't go as expected for me.  i was under the impression that you delivered and then stayed in the same room...that is not the case.  so instead of going to the mother/baby part, we went to the same place we delivered Jorai.  i don't know why i didn't think of that before...it was haunting.  we walked right past the door we delivered her in and my heart sank.  that was the only room we saw her and held her and touched her.  it was hard not to run off down the hall and get away from it.  it was also hard not to open the door and sit in the corner and cry for her. it was just hard.


the tour actually started off with getting introduced to our tour lady.  she was probably in her 70's and she was very hospital...very unnatural and very annoying for me...which could have been my hormones pumping or all the thoughts of Jorai, but either way, i wanted to walk away.  the first place we went was triage.  this was the place we had to see Jorai's heart on the monitor, still.  no movement on the screen.  we walked right past the room we were in and i saw us in there.  me on the bed, steve on the chair, in shock.  it was horrible.  i saw me on the phone with my parents, crying and in shock...and here i had to remember that this is a new baby and we're preparing for this new experience...but it was hard. 

then we went in the birthing room.  as soon as i walked in i wished there was an alternative.  everything was cold and sterile.  i instantly saw the stirrups and all the contraptions...i had this vision of the mother/baby rooms which are homier and a little less sterile...i was wrong.  and of course the tour lady was talking about getting an epidural and the few of us that asked about baths and walking she was instantly negative, saying that we think we want to deal with the pain now, but we won't later.  the typical hospital person who can't think of any other way to birth than to be drugged to the tilt and lying flat on your back as they tell you when to push since you can't feel jack. 

then we got to see the c-section area...i know it's part of the tour, but that sucked...

then off to the nursery and mother/baby.  the tour lady suggested if our child was crying that we should give them to the nursery so we could sleep and to stay at the hospital for as long as we could...i know these were only her suggestions, but it made me feel yucky.  here i am, been waiting to hold my baby in my arms for 16 months now, and you're telling me i should hand my child off to a nurse that will put them in a plastic box and let them scream until i want to pick them back up again?  ugh.  it just made me sick. when one woman asked if she could wear her own clothes in the room, the nurse said 'why would you want to?' ummm...i don't know, to be more comfortable. oh, then she said that the baby will be taken to get their first bath and that 'we could watch if we want'...excuse me?  i will be washing my child thank you.  the whole thing made me a bit negative.

i don't know, it just sucked.  i had my vision of where i was going to birth and stay and the reality wasn't what i envisioned.  and i know i need to get over it.  i can make my birthing room into something better.  i can make it less cold.  but i guess i was just disappointed...and it brought up so many memories from last june that it was hard on me.  

then i fell asleep and had horrible dreams all night.  i dreamt that i gave birth and i remember seeing my mom hold the baby, which is funny since she won't be in the room, then the baby was gone.  i never delivered my placenta.  i just got up and went to a baby shower.  which steve left to go party with friends.  i finally realized that i didn't have my child nor did i ever contact my doula for her to be there at my child's birth and i instantly thought 'if she was here, none of this would be happening!'  i tried to call the nursery but i couldn't get through.  i couldn't get my baby out of the cold nurses hands.  it was horrible.

then i went home to find steve drunk, which i've never seen before, and totally not caring about the fact that i just birthed his child.  so i kicked the side mirror off his car and threw it at him.  then i woke up.  such a joyful dream.  these dreams are so ridiculous too.  especially the parts with steve being a jerk.  he would never act like that.  it's crazy that my mind goes there while sleeping.  

i think it was just a stressful night.  and touring labor/delivering last night, really made me passionate about the idea of having a birth center attached to the hospital.  there are tons of women like me out there that won't feel 100% comfortable birthing at home or at a free standing center 15-20 minutes away from a hospital.  but who also hate the idea of birthing in a hospital setting.  i know grand rapids has one and ingham is close...at least they have midwives at the hospital...but it would be absolutely lovely for those of us who want a natural birth in a hospital to have that option.  

but for now, i need to make peace with this hospital, let go of my disappointment and fears from last june and settle in with the fact that the one thing that matters, is that we bring home our healthy, bouncing babe.  that's all that truly matters right now.  that needs to be my mantra. i can't let all this bother me.