Sweet Asher memory

09 December 2010

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Sweet baby boy, your expression today as you sat pounding the drums while the girls ran upstairs to get away from the noise, was excruciatingly beautiful. As you sat there with a huge pout on your face, sad-sad puppy dog eyes and your hands pressed against each side of your bowed head, I realized just how much you love your music and want to share it with everyone.

You were so devastated that you couldn't even bring yourself to walk back upstairs, you wanted me to hug you and carry you up the stairs. You kept asking why your friends left and wanted them to come back down to play drums. You just couldn't understand how drums could ever be too loud.

Oh sweet boy of mine, I love you so! Please never lose your love of music and the need to share it with everyone!

potty boy

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Asher, I just wanted to post about how proud I am of you! We've been experimenting with the potty now for a few months. You like to climb on and 'toot' and then clap your hands, but it wasn't until last few weeks where you really started going.

At first, it was hit or miss. We weren't really trying full time, but occasionally we would put you on the potty, pour warm water on your dangly bits, per your request, and you'd go. Some times you would just sit there and push as hard as you could getting redder and redder n the face! That was funny. I always had to look down so you wouldn't see me laugh! But then Saturday hit and you went all by yourself...and then Sunday, all day you went with only 1 accident, which you felt the wet and then held it until the potty...since then, you've been dry! Both yesterday and today you even called out to me from a different room 'POTTY MAMA!!!!' and ran to the potty, pulled your pants down and went!

I know this is probably silly to post and in time you'll be embarrassed that I've placed it up here on the W.W.W., but for me, this is exciting. I think mainly, because you did this on your own. I wasn't hounding you or forcing you. It hasn't been a struggle or frustrating. And really, I'm just super proud of you. You're becoming such a big boy! You're so loving and nurturing...a little wild, extreme and rough, but your heart...it's solid gold my son. You ooze love and laughter and fun. And I'm just so proud of you. Way to go buster brown.

I love you, Mama.

sweet baby cookin' boy

06 December 2010

I've secretly, or maybe not so secretly, been putting you in the corner. I've tried not getting attached to the thought of you. I've tried to love you at a distance, as well as I can, since you're inside of me. I feel you move and hiccup, I see you wiggle and squint during ultrasounds, and I should be jumping up and down with excitement, but there's a part of me that pushes that feeling away.

But I want you to know. I love you. More than I want to admit. More than I want to let on. I'm scared. I'm petrified. Every. Single. Moment. I want you here. I want you in my arms, but I'm so afraid of how you'll come...how you'll be in my arms. Will you be a wiggly, warm, screaming little boy? Or will you be cold? Still? Pale? Blue?

Sweet baby boy, I've realized that I only have to wait 8 more weeks...give or take a day or two. 8 more weeks. You're nearly 32 weeks old...gestationally. You're low, really low. In my hips low...not engaged, but nearly there, kicking my bladder, rubbing my organs. You're pushing out with all your might and starting to get fed up with the outside pushes your big brother likes to share with you. And I just want you to know that I'm starting to let my fear fall away a tad. I'm starting to have hope. I'm starting to think, even though I know there's no 'safe week' or day for you, that maybe these next few weeks will be OK. Though my mind knows the 32 week mark is another high stilbirth week, I'm allowing myself to be hopeful.

I started cleaning out your room this weekend. I've moved in your dresser and Grandma and Grandpa brought your new bookshelf home. Asher even helped me fill it up with books and toys for you this morning. Before his nap, he brought up a box of books especially for you. He's so excited to meet you. Every day he tells me that he wants to play toys with you, read you stories and hold you. As soon as he sees my belly, he bends down to kiss you, he says 'baby!' in a typical grandma 'baby' voice. He rubs my belly and talks to you.

I just want you to know, I'm scared and worried and at times I try to not feel the love I have for you, but there's no denying it babe. I love you. With all I have. Your Papa loves you and your big brother loves you. We can't wait to see you and meet you and kiss you and get to know every inch and aspect of you. We're getting ready for you, my sweet little bean. We're so excited to meet you. Nobody puts baby in the corner.

Asher update

01 December 2010

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I feel as if I've slacked in the Asher update department so here's another installment.

  • You seem to get crazier and crazier every day! You crack me up and scare the daylights out of me each moment!!
  • You are still rocking the drum but have also fallen in love with the guitar. You're a natural and the moment you picked it up you knew how to hold it and strum and even rock star it out!
  • You also love to play the recorder which you call your 'horn' and march around the house with your big green foam MSU finger. You'll also just hold onto the recorder so you can 'sing' the MSU fight song. You go around and around and around the living room wall, marching like the marching band. You often ask Mama or Papa to accompany you. Sometimes you kick your legs up high like the drum major does. It's great to watch!
  • You're talking ton, so I won't list your words, but I do have some great Asher translations that I can never forget about...seat=dick. yup. Can't figure that one out. drum=um, guitar=car, drum sticks=d-ticks, Kara=caca, Bryan=Monee, Henry=Onee, wiggles=booty (I think because I say shake your booty or wiggle your booty), whenever you see a bee, you say 'bee-ow' (because you have to point to your finger and show that a bee will sting and it hurts, hot chocolate=hot doklet, flamingo=ingo, wwwwhhhhhhyyyyyy?, and last but not least, when you think something is yours you say 'my coco'. I have no idea where you got that one and can only assume you mean that it's 'your thing.'.
  • You answer most questions with nyes (yes), NO, Bo, apple or apple juice. When I squeeze your cute bum and ask 'who's bum is this?', you proudly answer 'BO's!'
  • You love to watch the Wiggles and Pooh. No longer do you want to watch your beloved PBS shows...now it's always 'Booty!' or 'Pooh!' You also like to watch 'bus' which is The Polar Express, 'no-man' (frosty the snowman) and Ho Ho Ho (Santa Clause is coming to town).
  • You love to say 'Come on!', or 'Do This!!!' before leaving the house. You're Papa taught you to say Let's Do This...Mama's not too excited about that one! You also tell us to 'come on!' when you want us to go somewhere and 'comin'!' when we're waiting for you somewhere.
  • You have to 'Do that too!' with every thing that gets done around the house. You're telling me that you want to do it and you push me away. 'No! I do it!'.
  • You have a robe that you cherish. Every night after your bath, you put it on, wrap it around your belly and strut to your room where you dance in front of your mirror. The whole time checking yourself out and smiling.
  • You're obsessed with your boo-boo's and Mama has to smother boo-boo butter over them.
  • You love to spray people with the hose. You even sprayed the neighbor with her own hose this summer!
  • You are starting to recite books and songs when Mama reads/sings them.
  • You go through phases with your songs...This summer Mama had to sing is the Bo song for every nap and bed time. Bo is a 'friend' of yours but you rarely hang out together and when you do, you fight, so we can't figure out the obsession...but there definitely is one. The Bo song is to the tune of I met a bear but goes 'I have a friend, his name is Bo. He is the coolest boy I know' 'We like to play at the park. We swing and run, and splash and climb'...sometimes we add that he has a sister and he's so nice and how you search for frogs and turtles... That song turned into a song about Johnny Poppers (just some crazy song Mama made up) and then Pooh Bear and Henry and Brian (Papa sings it to Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer) and now it's the Little Drummer Boy. But every nap...every night, we have to sing a particular song. If Mama doesn't listen to your pleading, you press your face against hers, so your lips, gums and teeth are pressing into hers and continue to ask for your song. It's so gross, but it cracks me up every single time.
  • You started sleeping in your big boy crib (crib with the front taken off and a small bumper to stop you from falling out) on 21 August 2010. That first nap was a little difficult, but ever since then you've been a champ. You stay in your crib for naps, never leaving the bed and at night, sometimes you'll climb out to get a book or toy, but then crawl right back into bed to play with it. It's been a super easy transition. In late October you got your big boy bed and you love it. Whenever Mama tries to climb in you complain and ask her to get off.
  • You're obsessed with Johnny Poppers, which for you is any tractor or riding lawn mower. Any time you see one, you scream 'Mama!!! Papa!!! J-Popper!!' We have purchased a few tractors for you and they're your prized possessions.
  • You love to read. Which is surprising since you are so active, but you'll sit for a long time if someone is reading you 'stories.'. You love Richard Scarey, Max Lucado and Nancy Tillman books. For as much of a wild man you are, you really surprise me every day with the amount of story telling you want. I love it!
  • You are a huge lover, but you don't know your own strength. At times you remind me of Hugo the Abominable Snowman. You can love something a little too rough. You like to give hugs by tackle. You like to give kisses by face smashing and you like to say hello by a swift smack on the buns or back. But you mean all the love you have when you do it...it's just a bit rough!
  • You LOVE your little brother and every time you see Mama's belly you exclaim, 'Baby!' and then press your lips against her belly, smooshing it in tight. You tell people that Mama has a baby in her 'tomach'. And you just can't give her tummy enough hugs and kisses, though we wonder what your reaction will be when your little brother actually comes into this world.
  • We think that you're starting to understand that you can't nurse anymore but the baby will. When Mama asks you what the baby will eat, you proudly exclaim 'baby nurse!'. When she then asks you if you'll nurse, you say 'No, suckers and apple juice!'. Now what we don't know is if you'll asks for suckers and apple juice every time the baby nurses!
  • You have just started to pout and you have the best grumpy face ever.
  • You're a bit dramatic son. You really are. If your shoe comes undone, you cry out and fall to the floor as if the world was ending. It's hard to keep a straight face.
You are 1o days from turning 2 1/2. I can't believe it. You bring me joy each and every day. We love you so much and can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. You are going to be an amazing big brother. I love you baby boy.

Why, why, why?

23 November 2010

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I really, truly try my hardest not to get pissed off at God, but it's just so damn hard sometimes. I need someone to blame. I need someone to scream at and hit and be mad at. And I don't know who else to take this up with. I know He gives and I know He takes away and we're suppose to be OK with that, but some times I'm not. Whatever that makes me, I'm OK with...because I don't think being OK with babies dying is OK. The whole process of it. The baby's death, the family's anguish, the fear, the darkness and guilt that comes next...I just don't get it.

My friend found out
today that her baby had passed. She was in her second trimester, not that is really matters. Not an early loss...not a late loss...but a loss. A devastating loss. After a previous loss.

My heart aches for her and this journey that she's about to embark on. Walking through the darkness, trying to find the light and yet even when you find it, you push it away because it pisses you off so much. An ache that's indescribable. An emptiness that feels as if you've literally been eviscerated. A hunger for warmth and love and joy that seems so far from your reach that life can at times feel pointless.

And I ache. I ache because as she was finding out this horrible news, I was having a brilliant morning with my son. The first in a few days that had zero yelling or tantrums...only joy and laughter. And then as I thought that I hadn't felt the baby move in a while, I went upstairs to listen to my baby's heart. A sound that she would have killed for, I'm sure. A sound that I heard as she only heard the dreaded words...'this is the heart, and I'm sorry but it's not beating'. My day was wonderful. Filled with joy and laughter and love. Her's was a nightmare.

I remember when we came home from the hospital after losing Jorai, how surreal life felt. How nothing felt right. It all felt so damn fake and I couldn't figure out how people could be functioning as my life stood still. Nothing mattered. I felt nothing. I was numb and gutted and lifeless. Yet all those around me were happy and living and moving on.

Now, another friend has to feel this pain. And it kills me. I now know why people who have lost loved ones to cancer and other diseases, fight so hard for legislation and research so that they can find cures. I wish I could do something. I wish there was a way to monitor babies and stop neonatal death. It's so devastating. And it just doesn't need to happen. It pisses me off.

I think one of the hardest things actually happens months-years down the road, when people start to think you should be over your child's death...I mean you never really got to be with them...you never really got to know them or spend time with them...They just don't understand that a child is a child and it doesn't matter when you lose them. They were your child and now they're gone and it sucks. I wish people would understand that. I wish every one would remember our babies as we do...though I understand it's hard and I'm understanding because of that...but in my perfect little world, I wish everyone would remember the child that once was.

I don't know. I'm hurt and gutted for my friend. This is my fear. This is why I run up to check for a heartbeat every day...multiple times a day. The fear that it will happen again. It happens. Every day. To people we know. People we don't. It happens.

I am so sorry my dear friend. I love you and I'm praying for you and thinking of you and I just want you to know that I'm here. I know your pain. I know your fear. I know your emptiness. I know the cold, dark place your in. And I'm sorry you're there. I wish I could pull you out and give you back your joy. I wish. I'm sorry. I'm here.

'Final' resting place

22 November 2010

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I've always hated those words. Final? Really? I don't know...and I've always hated urn's. The ones a normal person can afford look like tombs and the kid ones are usually boxes with angels or fairies or butterflies or worse, teddy bears on them. I just don't get it. The cool ones, ones that are art, fused or blown glass, artfully carved boxes...they all run upwards of $1000 +. All for about 2 tablespoons of ash.

There's a part of me that aches to have something nice. I mean, it's for my daughters. What does money matter? But then I think $1000? For that? Really? My child just died and your going to make that much money for that? It urks me.

A few months after Jorai passed, I found a proper container for her ashes. I actually found it at a normal store and I believe it's just a little decorative storage box. But it's pretty and red and shiny and it fits in with it's surroundings. It doesn't have huge arrows pointing to it saying 'look over here...at me...yup...here are the ashes!!'.' It's pretty and I love it, yet it's understated.

For the past year...nearly...I've been trying to find something for Selah and I just can't find it. And now, I want both of their containers to go together a bit. I want them to sit together and compliment one another. But I've been at a loss. I can't find anything.

But then all of a sudden last week, I thought, Jorai's container is big enough for both...what if I open her's up, and place her sister in with her so they can be together? I talked to Steve about it and he liked the idea, but I"m still not sure.

For all my baby-loss mama friends out there, what do you think? There's a part of me that wants 2 individual containers, one for each of my girls. I want the world to know I have 2 daughters, I want them both on my piano, separate. I want to honor them both in their own space. But I also think it would be cool for them to be together. They're sisters and what better place for them to be than to be together. Forever.

In the end, I also want to be cremated, after the doc's use up my body as best they can, and then I want my ashes to be placed in a casket with Jorai and Selah and Steve...and any other family member that passes. I want us to be together, as one.

And really, I guess it doesn't matter as I believe this flesh is just a shell and we'll be together in Heaven...but still. For now, how do you, if your child(ren) have been cremated what do you do? Do you think it's wrong to open up Jorai's 'resting place' and place her sister inside?

This really shouldn't be such a difficult decision, but for some reason it is. It's probably a normal reaction to the death of a child. But it's hard. And with her birthday coming up in a month, I just feel the need to place her in a proper spot, rather than have her continue to sit there in that white plastic box.

transluence

21 November 2010

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When I started this blog, I had very little followers. I used it to vent and laugh and post about things I found brilliant and funny and things I believed in. As the years went on, more people found me and started following my posts. Posts about little things, funny postings and work woes, my best friend turned into love and then a wedding and a pregnancy...and then we lost Jorai and the people who followed my blog exploded. As with probably any community, the babyloss community is a huge one, but at the same time, a super small one. And in just a few weeks, people from all over the world started to follow my loss journey.

I've always felt so blessed to have so many caring people follow my ramblings. I can feel their love and laughter, pain and sorrow through their comments. I feel a real connection to people and it's a wonderful thing. I can honestly say that I have friends out there whom I've never met physically.

I'm 100% translucent in my writings, in my emotions. And it's a good thing. 99.99% of the time I am thankful for being so translucent. I want all of my family and friends to see what it's like to walk in my shoes. Feel my joy and laughter, as well as my pain and sorrow.

But the day I became a mama to a living child, something changed. I realized as much as I wanted to continue to post about Asher and our happiness and joy, there was always a hesitation. I knew that so many of my blog friends longed to have my happy ending. I knew my words at times would only bring them pain and that was hard for me. I was in a world where I wanted to shout my joy at the top of my lungs, while at the same time, keep silent so I don't cause my friends pain.

And then I decided to feed my blog into facebook and even more people have access to it. It wasn't like my blog was private. Anyone could have found me if they googled me...but now it was posted for all my 'friends' to see. So now, there are additional times where I want to bleed my emotions out there, but find myself holding back.

It OK. It's such a small fraction of the time where I feel I can't let my emotions flow, but it seems that those times are the ones where I really, need to talk. I feel like my insides are tearing apart and though I'm screaming, nothing is coming out.

I guess it's hard for people who typically write all their feelings down to keep them in. Every thing is fine. Every one is fine. I've just finally realized that relationships aren't always what you think they are. People are more selfish than I ever thought was possible and just as the all, too well known, bumper sticker says...Mean People Suck.

Some times it's really hard for a translucent person to be private. Even though I know it's best for all involved. I want to be selfish and vent. Guess it's a good thing I'm not selfish.

29 weeks

Well, we made it. 29 weeks. It's far from over and my anxiety is still high, but we made it past 3 of the 4 high stillbirth weeks. 32 is next and the 'last' scary week...and well...I actually know tons of babies who were born still at term...some even over 40 weeks. So, I know with that knowledge, that I'll be a bundle of nerves until I hear a scream and feel a warm, slimy baby placed on my chest. But there's something about making it trough the 24th week and now the 28th week that's a bit refreshing.

Yesterday Steve's Aunt gave us gifts for the new baby. They are the first we've received. I've purchased a giraffe that makes noise and I have a muslin sleeper that I purchased for Selah, but other than that, I have refused to purchase anything. There's something about receiving these gifts for the new baby that makes it all so real. I sat upstairs today playing with the crib piano and feeling the new stuffed owls and giraffe...reading the book...and it hit me, the fact that I may actually be bringing a new little one home in my arms rather than a plastic box. I may get to read to him and kiss him and smell his warm skin. I may actually get my dream. I may feel the joy again.

This realization has made me want to start preparing. I mean, I'm nearly 10 weeks from having this child, and I've done nothing to the room. It's a mess. The closet is full of Asher's old clothes, the room is stacked with boxes and junk. And today, for the first time, I want to start thinking about cleaning it out, decorating it, putting the crib together. It feels so strange to me, to even have these emotions. I've tried to hold back my feelings. I've been trying not to get attached to this baby growing within me, but I'm now thinking about new born pictures and healing baths and newborn baby necessities. It feels so strange...but it's a feeling I welcome and it makes me a bit anxious and excited.

I'm 10 weeks 3 days from my 'due' date. And the time will fly with the holidays coming up. Am I ready? All along I've thought I'd lose this child too...maybe this time I won't! Maybe we'll get our dream fulfilled. Maybe through the loss, there will be joy. Maybe. I think it's time to let in the joy. Not be afraid of it.

Come on baby boy. Keep growing strong and healthy. Keep kicking me and making my abdomen as uncomfortable as you want. Give me heartburn and back pain, rib pain and sleepless nights, and push on my hip as much as you want. Just grow and thrive and take a deep breath, because I want to hear a big bellowing scream when you enter this world.

cutest lil' monkey in the world

08 November 2010

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How many kids do you have?

07 November 2010

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Today as I was getting entirely too many donuts for one person and my pregger belly was hanging low, the cashier asked me how far along I was. After I told her, she asked if this was my first and I simply said 'no, it's my fourth.'. Her only comment was 'Holy crap!'. I of course chuckled and waddled away.

As I was leaving the store, I realized that she thought I had 3, nearly 4 living children residing in my house. And the mere thought of it, made me so filled with joy that I could explode. Maybe even filled with pride. I do have 4 children, though some aren't here on earth. But in her eyes, I'm the one with 4 kids...here...with me and Steve...laughing and loving and learning and wow...laughing.... I like that.

We never wanted 4 children. Our goal was to always only have 2. And hopefully we'll have that under our roof come February, be really, we truly have 4. And see, usually when I'm asked if this is my first pregnancy and I say 'no, it's my 4th.'. The next question is either 'boys or girls?' or 'what are their ages?'. And then I have to explain that we've had 2 late term losses...and then I have to see the pity look on their faces and then ... blah.

But today...today was so entirely different. In 1 person's eyes, we have 3, nearly 4, beautiful, breathing, lovely children here on earth. And that little sliver of a peek, into a world I will never know, is beautiful.

Behavioral changes

03 November 2010

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What do you do when you have a child who is acting like nice kiddo one moment and as soon as a friend comes into the room, he acts like a complete neanderthal? I don't get it. I don't understand how the mere presence of one child can change the behavior of mine so drastically that we can go from a fun filled morning to a complete breakdown and have to leave the situation. What do you do if it's a good friend? What do you do if it's a good kid? How can you change the behavior of a 2 1/2 year old when he sees a different behavior being exhibited by another? And what is acceptable and what isn't?

It's so bizarre to see how his temperament and actions have changed over the course of the past month or so. Everyone see's it. It's gentler and calmer and plays nicely for the most part...so to see his behavior change from the nice boy I've molded over the past few weeks to crazy toddler boy all within 5 minutes of a friend walking in, is so discouraging.

Maybe I'm being too strict. Maybe I expect too much for my very active little boy. I don't know. How do I teach Asher that one child's behavior may be OK in their household, but in our household it isn't? Can a 2 1/2 year old even comprehend that? I never realized how difficult being a parent really is. It's one thing to feed and clothe and love a child, but to teach him right from wrong and self-control and what is acceptable and non-acceptable behavior is so hard. I never knew that months of teaching your child something could be taken away with one afternoon playing with the wrong influence. And I'm not even saying this child is a bad influence...I'm just starting to notice how differently, in a bad way, Asher acts when they play together. And I don't want to separate them. But how do I rectify the issue? How do I teach Asher that he can play with his friend but not emulate him?

I don't want a perfect child. I just want him to be a child. I want him to enjoy his childhood and never feel pressured. I've never boast about how talented or smart my child is. I think that sets them up for failure and it drives wedges between friends. I don't need to know how many colors your child knows or that they can count...every one learns things at different stages. Your child isn't brilliant. Face it, he's a normal child. I'm not going to push my child into school or sports or anything just because someone else thinks I should. I just want him to enjoy his childhood, his innocence. I'm a pretty laid back mom. But I'm not OK with him acting like a
neanderthal either. Even at 2 1/2. I've realized lately that with him, I really need to be more strict in the discipline department because I can see him pushing his boundaries and testing me. When I ask him to come, he walks the other way. And I see other kids doing this too. Older kids...and I've realized, that will be Asher of I don't stop this behavior now. But it's so hard. He's still such a young little boy. How much do you push? How much should I expect. I have a very energetic child...can I expect him to drop everything and come to me when I call? I don't think so...but how do I find the middle ground and how do I separate one child's actions from my child's?

Sorry, so many questions. I guess I just have a ton on my mind and I needed to mentally vomit them all out here. I love being a parent. I love being a parent to Asher. But man it's hard. Trying to make the best choices for your children while making your household a safe and happy haven is hard. I now fully understand mama guilt!

baby boy update

01 November 2010

I had another ultrasound this morning and everything looks great. He's big. He's measuring about a week older than he actually is. Which because I know when we conceived, I know he's just a big boy...have you seen his brother lately!?!...so that means 1 thing, he getting a ton of blood and nutrients! That is a good thing. The cord must be big and open and so he's nice and healthy. It's reassuring.

In saying that, I'm still a basket-case. I've been using my doppler all the time. This kiddo is an active mover, but then out of nowhere, he will turn quiet. Moving here and there minimally. It freaks me out. I'm checking for movement and blood hourly and I worry about Asher pressing too hard on my belly. I just can't wait for February.

I've been kinda frustrated with the perinatologist I saw a few months back. He told me something completely different that what he told my doc. He told me that
at 24 weeks I'll start having weekly bio-physical profiles through at least 28 weeks. If the profiles show stress on the baby, I will be given steroids to move the baby's growth along and then deliver as soon as we can. What he told my doctor was that I was to get monthly ultrasounds through 28 weeks. period. So I guess one at 24 and one at 28. He then wanted me to go through, I believe, monthly non-stress tests. Thankfully my doctor rocks and changed his recommendation to bi-weekly ultrasounds from 23 - 28 weeks . It just seems so strange to me...why tell me something so differently than my doc? I just feel blessed to have the doctor I have. I know she truly cares not only for me and the health of this baby, but for my mental well-being as well. So, I'll have an ultrasound at 28 weeks and then she wants another at 32 weeks, which is another high stillbirth week. And then I think we'll start the non-stress tests.

So there it is. I'm currently 1 day shy of 27 weeks. 1 week shy of when we lost Jorai. It'll be a stressful few weeks, but I can do this...I can do this...

emotional rollercoaster

20 October 2010

I'm having one of those days where my anger is getting the best of me. It's been an emotional few days. I've been really worrying about the baby. He's normally a mover and shaker but for the past few days he's been pretty quiet. I've been checking his heartbeat and everything seems to be hard and steady , but I still worry.

So maybe it's my heightened emotions that are allowing my anger to peak, I don't know...maybe it's just a frustrating day. I just know that Asher's disobedience has been very trying for me today.

He's really been testing me. I tell him to stop and he runs. I tell him to stop doing something and he continues to do it. I ask him to come and he runs the other way. Today it was away from the car and through a parking lot. I know part of it is that he has friends who are runners. They'll just take off. No amount of yelling will bring them back. And he's just emulating them. I used to be able to yell 'STOP!' and Asher would stop cold...but now, he runs...just like his friends.

How do you train your children that a certain action is unacceptable in one household but OK in another? And how can a 2 year old even understand that concept? It's hard. You want your children to play with others and enjoy their friendships, but at the same time, their friends can ruin all the 'training' you've just accomplished. It's such a balancing act.

Anyway...today I yelled at him. I spanked him. I grabbed him by the arm multiple times. He just wouldn't listen. And with him running away, and me pregnant, I lose it. I feel horrible. It's been one of those fun, yet horrible days where I'm sure he went to bed thinking his mama hates him since the entire day I spent yelling and disciplining him when all he was doing was 'having fun'. Days like this make me feel spent and a horrible example of a mother.

It will be a lovely day when my hormone levels are finally back to normal and my emotions are in check. I just feel so crazy some days with all the hormonal changes, fear, anxiety, guilt, hurt, heartache, love, laughter and hope all flowing through me at the same time.

girl talk

18 October 2010

This is your warning boys...


My boobs are huge. And I'm not saying that just to put it out there, but it makes me wonder...I wasn't this big with Selah. And unfortunately I can't remember when I was pregnant with Asher what they were like and even if I did, they were different back then...pre-nursing boobs...oh how I miss you! But I do know that there's a major difference between Selah and this new babe. Which makes me think. Could my 'problem' be a hormonal one? Or maybe something else? Now, when we lost Jorai, my milk did come in. Majorly. It was horrible. But when I lost Selah it never came in...and Asher had even started nursing again. But for the past month, my breasts already feel full of milk. They're heavy and I've grown out of my bras.

I guess it could be the weight gain. I've gained weight over the past 6 weeks...more than I probably should...so it could be that. But they're warm and heavy too. It just makes me think. I wanted to talk to my doc about it last week, but I forgot. I'm only meeting with the NP next time...so I'm not sure if she'll have any answers. But I'll bring it up. I just think it's strange. I guess it could all be a fluke...but what if it's not. What if there's something my body doesn't produce when I get pregnant with girls? I could be totally out there, I just think it's interesting.

Oh my dear boy

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Why is it so fun to remove your pants and diaper? Why is it so fun to feel the cool breeze on your boyhood and stick you booty up in the air for all to see your goods? Don't you know that diapers are placed on you for a reason?
Asher loves to remove his pants and diaper. Luckily, he's never removed a dirty one, just ones soaked with urine. But I know one day I'll walk up to his room and there will be poo smeared all over. This is not something I'm looking forward to...at...all!

Today as I was waiting for him to calm himself and settle down for his nap, I casually looked over at his video monitor (and this is another reason why I love it so!) only to find his booty stuck straight up in the air. He normally only takes off his diaper after his nap, so this is a new trick to get me back up in his room. The stinker! And it's not like I can ignore it. I really don't want to clean up poo and/or urine from this carpet and bed. I have to go back up there. Oh my, what a stinker.

In nursing news, even though we haven't nursed for a few months, he still asks for it. When he sees 'the girls' out he reaches for them or tries to get close enough where he can latch on. Today at a friends house he saw a little girl nursing and couldn't stop talking about it. He then proceeded to lay down in my lap and press his mouth to my clothed boob. I think we're going to have a bit of a jealousy thing happen when the new baby comes. Which is why I stopped nursing him in the first place. I didn't want nursing to be a fight. Oh my.

He's such a darling boy. But man, oh man, can he be a handful!!!

juicy

I just wanted to document this some where. Today Asher and I started Juice Plus+. We eat pretty well, but I know we're both lacking in the veggie department and I'm lacking a bit on fruit. And with all of my pregnancies and nursing for 2+ years, I know my body is depleted, so I wanted to try it. I currently take a prenatal vitamin, DEHA and Vit. D and I'm going to continue taking them, but I wanted to add this to my regimen as well. I think I'm going to keep Asher on his multi and definitely on his DHA and vit D.

So, I'll keep you posted on our health and energy...not that Asher needs any more energy!, but I'll document our journey. I want to keep us on them for at least 6 months after giving birth...so about 1 year, and then I'll re-assess. But I'm excited about starting this new journey...and as I say this, I've just gobbled up a whole bunch of chocolate/chocolate Trader Joe's O's! I have issues!!

update on me

17 October 2010

I haven't been posting lately. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I'm tired...maybe it's because I feel as if I'm complaining too much. I don't know. I just know it's been awhile. I keep thinking of logging on and letting all these thoughts leave me head, but I never do.

I think it's time for an update.

Asher is hilarious and is changing daily. He's a lover and a bit violent in his loving moments at the same time. But we've been working together and watching how others act around him and it's been amazing how much he's changed. I think when you pay attention, real close attention and find a discipline that works for your kid, amazing things happen. He
can still be a stinker, don't get me wrong, but for the most part, he's really turned himself around.

He's talking a ton more now and stringing words together. It's been fun talking with him, though his favorite word lately has been 'why?'...he says it after everything. Over and over and over again. I finally just have to start ignoring him. I feel bad about it, but how do you answer why a car is a car? Or the why he ate something? Silly kid.

He's having his boyhood surgery in mid November and I'm freaking out about it. It scares me to death. I hate that he has to go through this and I feel bad that he'll be in pain and probably scared. Plus since I know someone who had a devastating reaction to anesthetic, I'm most nervous about that. But I know it's the right choice and we just have to trust the doctor to do his thing....there's that action that haunts me...trust.

As for me and the baby, every thing seems fine. I've been a basket-case for the past few weeks. I can't stop thinking of loss. I can't stop thinking that, the last jab I just felt will be the last. I'm 24 weeks. The week I lost Selah. 4 weeks from when I lost Jorai. I can't get away from the fear. People keep asking me at what point will I start to relax. And the truth is, not until I hear a loud scream coming from my wet squirmy baby boy in early February. I've started my ultrasounds...every 2 weeks...for a while and then I start bio-physical profiles and nst's. He's a squirmier and kicker and puncher. I feel him move around a ton. Which is nice. He also likes to show his boyhood. A lot. It's always the first sight I see in an ultrasound. Thank goodness we wanted to find out the sex this time around. The minute a tech puts an ultrasound probe on my tummy, I see legs spread and little boy bits waving hello...now do you think I can get a look at his cute little face? No way. Penis yes, face, no. Hence the lack of ultrasound photos. I seem to have a plethora of leg, hand and penis shots, but no profiles. What a stinker.

That's about it. I've been trying to fill my day and mind with Asher. I find comfort and laughter and love in our time together. I try to focus on us. And not think about what may come. But fear does sneak in, daily, hourly. One thing I've been surprised about, is that I'm already getting excited about Christmas. I'm already thinking about how we can celebrate with Asher and I feel a sense of peace and happiness that surprises me. I thought Christmas was ruined for us since we lost Selah on December 21st. But it seems, that maybe, though it will be hard, I think we'll still be happy and feel blessed this Christmas. And that brings me joy.

So that's it for now. I'll try to check in more often. Cheers my friends.


22 weeks

28 September 2010

In a few days, the baby hits 22 weeks. I've been feeling strange lately and it scares me. I'm hopeful. Hopeful! Having a potential name picked out and dreaming of holding a wiggly baby is seriously making me believe that this may truly happen. Which of course scares me. I know that things can go wrong. I know I could lose this child. I know all the bad stuff...but again, my hope has been over riding the fear. Strange.

It's a wonderful, yet petrifying feeling. But I'm going to run with it. Here's to a healthy baby boy. Oh, and the name...we're thinking seriously about Judah.

Dinner ideas

I used to love cooking and baking. I loved creating new and exciting and healthy meals for me and then for Steve. I loved trying new recipes and planning a night full of yummy food...I would bring leftovers to work for my lunch, I would bake yummy breads and cakes and cookies. But then Asher came into our lives and though my fondness of preparing meals still lingers, the energy and drive to do it is much lacking.

I know I've talk about this before, but I need to change. I need to get my act together. I feel as if I'm a huge failure in the dinner department. My husband rocks. Seriously rocks. And could honestly care less if all nights are FFY nights (fend for yourself nights). But I want to honor him with healthy, yummy meals. I want our child(ren) to have yummy family meals as I did growing up...minus the fish soup, liver and cornbread and beans...sorry mom! I want us to sit around a table and eat a meal that I cooked. Not something I've thrown together at the last minute.

So, I need your help. Share your ideas and tips and experience with me. How do you prepare? Do you use menu plans? Do you wing it? Do you have especially yummy, healthy and easy to make dinner recipes you can share with me? Let me know your thoughts and ideas. I need help. And with the addition of another, probably completely rambunctious, son on the way, I really, truly need help! Please help me...please!

trust

25 September 2010

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I had a huge slap in the face moment at Riv tonight as Noel gave a message on worry. I'm actually not a huge worrier...with the exception of 1 thing...death. Not my own. But Asher's and this new little boy growing within me. I think I have good reason, but I also know that if I trusted God, my worry would be easier to deal with. Or at least I would know that I could always go to Him with my worry.

But what finally came crashing in on me was this...I don't trust God anymore. I mean, I trust that His plan for my life and for Steve's life and for my children's lives, will come to fruition. I trust that. His will, will be done. What I don't trust is that I'll get the outcome that I want. In fact, I feel as if there's nothing I can do, to get the outcome I want. And normally it wouldn't be a problem. It's not a job I want, or a bigger house, or a puppy. It's not money or power or a dream to come true. If it were...then I'd be OK with the lot I've been given. But what I want, is life. I want my child's heart to continue to beat. I want my children to breathe and live and create and grow and learn and love. I also don't trust that my prayers are worth more than just simple words.

So what do I do with this? I know now
, after 9 months of wondering, why I can't seem to let my wall down for Christ. I now realize that there's a reason why I can't read His words or talk to Him with any ounce trust that my words are even being heard.

Day after day I hear of another child being taken away by death. My heart just can't comprehend the logic of all this death. All this heartache. All this suffering. I know in my heart that God is all loving and I know that I need to trust that, but if I'm being truthful, I don't feel loved. And so, how can I trust? And if I can't trust, how can I be OK with another one of my children dying? How can I just look my grief in the face and say 'OK Kim, this is what God needs you to go through...this trial is not too big for you to handle, this is good because his will is good." How do I even start to feel OK with all of this?

I want to get back. I was actually there after we had lost Jorai. I was OK. I felt that there was a reason. That God was going to use me through this. But after losing Selah, I've lost it. I feel as if the ability to trust in God's will is just out of reach, but at the same time, I fear I'll never reach out to grab it. It just seems so far away...too heavy to pull in.

Noel's 'task' for us was to share this sin area in our lives, so there it is. I guess it's a pretty big one. I mean...I don't trust God. Saying it kinda scares me. And I even feel ashamed to admit it. But there it is. I don't trust the one person I should. So, here's to trying to push away the fear and find the strength, to reach out and trust the one Man I should.

Sweet boy, you're going to be the death of me!

22 September 2010

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Oh, my dear son. I love you so. You bring my such joy and laughter, such pride and love. But there's one more thing you bring me...closer to my death bed each and every day! My goodness child! You are a crazy, wild man who looks at fate and laughs! You're a dare devil. You like all things dangerous and the word fear has never entered your mind. You run and jump and dive and fall into anything. You are trusting of both yourself and others to always protect you. You freak me out!

This summer I witnessed you several times, jump from the top of your 3-foot toddler slide, and fall into a belly flop into your pool. I've watched you learn to ride a bike with training wheels...and keep up with a 3 1/2 year old! I've watched you want to climb a tree already (thanks papa for entertaining him and placing him high up in the branches so now he wants to do it on every tree!). I've seen you leap a good 2 feet in the air on the deep end of the pool, sink under the water and then pop back up sporting a huge smile across your face. Let me remind you...YOUR 2!!! I don't want to even imagine what you'll do next summer or the summers beyond that...and to know I'll have 2 boys. OYE! Remember to always be good to your mama! And know those gray hairs on her head are there for a reason my dear child!

I think last night I lost a few good years in about 30 minutes. Your papa called to tell me to get an ice-pack ready because you had taken a bad fall and was bleeding. Of course I yelled at him to take you immediately to the ER and I hung up the phone, ran around the house like a frantic lady, trying to find the car keys, and t
hen drove like a maniac to the ER. As I ran into the lobby, I heard you crying and when I got to you I swept you up and calmed you down. You were so brave. I was so worried. You looked so sad. So broken. But you weren't. You were fine. In fact 30 minutes after you settled down, you were dancing and running around the lobby! Though today you have been pointing to your sad eye and saying 'ouch mama, eye brake'. Sweet boy.

Papa says you were having a ball at the park chasing your buddy Bryan, when you tripped and landed face first against the side of the
sandbox. You landed right on the corner of your right eye and gave yourself one huge abrasion. You also have abrasions on your nose and forehead and well as your upper cheek. It has also caused you to have a black eye. You look like you got into a bar fight and lost. Every time I look at you, it makes me sad. Poor buddy.

But you're OK. Nothings broken. Nothing s
hould scar. Not even your daring nature...for you decided to throw off the couch cushions this morning and jump from the couch to the floor. You also fell off your bike twice today and climbed a tree. Remember my dear son, you're only 2. You have your whole life to chance fate. How about you take it easy for awhile...please? And remember this sad, sad face the next time you want to chance fate.

sweet baby punkin' buns

20 September 2010

OK, so I don't have a nickname for this little guy growing within me...if I'm being completely honest, I haven't even started his pregnancy book, which I've had for all 21 weeks of pregnancy. But I need to do both.

I'm thinking stink for a nickname, but I want to wait for a little longer. Why stink? Because he's a stinker. He likes to lay low, all stealth like, freaking me out the entire time...but the minute I pull out the doppler and place it against my skin, he kicks or punches or headbutts it off. I barely even press down and he goes crazy. Little stink. He'll also go crazy if Asher sits on my lap. But most days, all day, I barely feel him. Which I know is normal. I'm only 21 weeks...but it still freaks me out like nothing else. Which is why it's such a lovely thing that I purchased that stinkin' doppler. I love that thing! I know it may make some a bit more anxious, but for me, it was worth every penny spent.

I keep getting asked how I am. I never know how to answer. I mean I'm OK, as far as I can be, seeing I've lost 2 of my 3 birthed babies. I'm OK physically. I'm starting to feel tightness in my right hip and some lower back pain...my digestion has slowed way down and so I seem to feel bloated most the day. I'm happy. I have a seemingly healthy babe growing within me. I keep thinking positively and dreaming about Asher having a living sibling. Asher keeps tickling and kissing my belly and he thinks he has a baby in his belly too. He wraps his arms around his belly to 'hug' his baby brother all the time. But I'm freaked out too. In 3 weeks I'll be 24 weeks, the point I lost Selah...I'm in the stillborn phase of pregnancy. Losing this child would be horrible. But the thought of miscarrying seemed so much 'easier'. The miscarriage phase has ended. The thought of that cold hospital room with all the silence, haunts me. Nearly every day, every night, it's there. The memories, the smells, the emotions, the emptiness.

So how do I answer that question? I am OK. But I'm petrified too. I don't want to travel any where for fear that I'll lose this child and have to travel home knowing my child has passed within me. Which I know sounds silly, but I lost Selah in Big Rapids. I found out we lost her in a hospital I used to have such happy memories of. I lost her in my parents house. A house that always brought me love and comfort. Now there's loss there too. I lost her during Christmas celebrations...I don't even want to go there...I just don't want it to happen again. I'm scared. But happy and trying to live in the moment and not what could possibly happen.

So, here's to the next phase in this pregnancy. The scary phase. The stillborn phase. The multiple ultrasounds and possible drugs and c-sections...and hopefully the birthing of a healthy, live baby boy!

Día de los Inocentes

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This year, we are celebrating a new family tradition. Día de los Inocentes or The Day of the Innocents. It's the first day, which there are 3, of The Day of the Dead. It begins on November 1st. We'll be celebrating Day of the Dead as well on November 2nd.

I never knew much about the holiday itself, other than it was from Mexico and involved a lot of sweets and skulls. Growing up in a small, very white, farming community, we didn't learn many things out of our own 'culture'. But come to find out, it's a super sweet Mexican holiday that focuses on gathering family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have passed.

Last year, a friend of mine asked if she and her family could include Jorai in their Day of the Dead celebrations and it was then, that I really learned what it is. And I thought, how brilliant! Not only do we have another opportunity to remember and share our daughters lives with our son(s), but we'll have opportunities to share other loved ones lives with them as well. Both of Steve and my grandparents of passed, I have an uncle that passed at an early age, my mom lost a sister at birth, I've lost a dear friend to suicide...the list goes on and on...unfortunately. But what a cool thing to have a celebration of their lives as well as share their lives with 1, hopefully 2, amazing little boys who will never get a chance to meet them here on this earth.

I have a month to plan our festivities. I need to get some pictures together and a decision on a cake or cupcakes...but I'm trying to think of what else. Do any of you have traditions for Día de los Inocentes and Muertos?

trust

16 September 2010

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I wish I could trust like I used to. I wish I could have faith like I used to. Before we lost our daughters, I felt as if my faith was unshakable. As if nothing could rock the trust I had. And then June 3rd, 2007 came...and I was rocked...not to the core...but still rocked. My faith came crashing in. My faith hit a road block. But after the initial crushing pain dissipated a bit, I realized that maybe, just maybe losing Jorai happened for a reason. Maybe there is something positive that could shine through this darkness. And for awhile, my trust didn't seem to be so distant. My faith, I realized was still standing.

But then came Selah and once again, I was rocked to the core...though this time I felt different. I felt a darkness I've never felt before. I felt it to my core. I felt torn. Ripped actually. Ripped from my faith. Ripped from my trust. Though I know Truth and Love...I know it stands waiting for me to return, I just can't seem to trust it.

I wish trust came easily for me. I wish I could be like others...others who have gone through loss and seem to only use it for good, seem to only become stronger in their faith. Why can't it just be easy for me...why is it so hard? Why is it so hard to open His word? Why is it so hard to talk with Him? Why is it all so hard. It was never hard. But now...now it's just so hard. I just wish it wasn't so hard.

When I read about Job, I feel crappy. As if my faith must never have been firmly planted. How could he have gone through so much pain and suffering yet still call out to the One he trusts and believes in. I have friends who've gone through losses that have also pushed the darkness away, the fear away, and trusted. How do they do it?

Here I sit. At 20 weeks. The point of no return. The point where if I were to lose this child within me, if I were to lose my son, I would have to deliver him and hold him and see his all too tiny and silent body. I wouldn't come home to balloons, holding a sleepy baby...I'd just have an empty soul...and in time another plastic box filled with a tablespoon of ashes. It shakes me to the core. It scares me beyond all I can imagine. Don't get me wrong...I do think positively of this pregnancy. I think of what it will be like to watch Asher and his brother grow and laugh and play together. I dream of the chance to hold his warm body and hear his cries. I dream of bathing him and nursing him and rocking him to sleep. I dream of watching him sleep and listening to him breathe beside me. But I fear that none of those dream will come to fruition. I fear I will spend another horrific day and night in the hospital to deliver and hold a lifeless child. The fear grips me. I try not to let it take hold, but it does. I try to shake it, but it returns. I try to trust that things will be OK this time, but I can't. I can't trust.

I just can't.

Just sitting here, at the end of my rope.

13 September 2010

Today has been one of those mornings. A morning where you're embarrassed that you're a mom to a child like yours and the mere thought of that, makes you sick and ungrateful as well.

I have loving and tolerant friends. I know they love me and put up with my child, but I'm afraid that a day is coming where no one will want to play with us anymore. And that saddens me. I would totally understand it. But it saddens me.

Asher is a loving, good kid. I love him dearly and madly. But at times he can be an aggressive bully who pushes, pinches, bites and hits. We've tried all kinds of discipline. We've tried calmly talking to him, time-outs, punishing him back, yelling at him...nothing helps. We've started instituting a new rule where if he fights over a toy, uses it as a weapon or throws it, he loses it for the day. Which seems to be working...but what do you do when it only involves him being violent to another child? We're going to start giving him 1 warning and 1 warning only. If he touches another child with his teeth, hands or feet in a non-loving manner, he will be taken away from the situation for the rest of the day. If we're at the park or someone's house, we will leave. If it's at our house, he will be taken upstairs where he will play alone until people leave.

Today he lost his privilege to play with any friend or watch any tv for the rest of the day. Which will make an interesting day since we're also down 1 drumstick from him throwing it at me earlier. But I'm sick of his behavior and I sick of feeling like a failure as a mom and I'm sick of worrying if my friends will stop playing with us because my son is so violent.

I'm just at a loss. I know it's partially a boy thing. I know it's partially a personality thing. But I'm sick of making excuses for him. I no longer care if my day is ruined by having to spend it locked in the house, alone with a toddler. I'm just not going to deal with this behavior any longer. And I'm sick of being on edge and at times, losing it and being violent back at him. I must confess, after watching him push down and then slap a 1-year old across the face today, I picked him up and slapped him hard across the face back. I felt horrible. I felt like everyone was watching me and judging me...I felt like I just scarred my child. But what do you do? What do you do when your 2-year old slaps another child across the face? And how does he even know how to do that? I'm just at a loss. I'm a wreck. I feel awful and I'm just sitting here crying.

It makes me feel like a failure. Who raises a child to act like this? It makes me feel abusive. Who slaps their 2-year old back? It makes me feel like an ungrateful bitch. Who loses 2 children and is still embarrassed with her only living son? It makes me feel undeserving to even be pregnant with this child...and it makes me wonder if this is why God keeps allowing us to lose our other babies. Maybe he knows I'm a crap mom.

I just don't know how a loving, happy, sweet child, can turn, and out of nowhere be a mean kid. I want to help him direct his aggression. I want to help him love on other people, not be cruel. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Angels

26 August 2010

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I've never gotten the whole angel thing when someone dies. I've heard it all. Supposedly, I have two angels in Heaven...watching over me...protecting me...waiting for me. Especially when babies or children die, they are immediately changed from a child, to an angel.

Don't people really know what angels are? Have we, as a society forgotten that angels aren't pretty little cherubs with wispy wings that hover above clouds or sleep upon flowers? They're not the cute, tiny pastel colored little angels that flood Hallmark stores. They're strong and bad-ass. They're so overpowering that they bring fear in people and talk with direct orders from God. Most times, when an angel is mentioned in the bible, people freak out. They don't look at the angel and want to hug it. They freak out and fall to the ground. In one of the most famous angel encounters, one we hear every Christmas...in Luke 2:9-10 it reads "And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people." The folks that saw this angel were freaked out! In Luke 1:12-13 it reads, "Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard...".Zacharias was gripped in fear!

So why, when we know that angels are messengers of God...messengers that bring warning or good news or directions...and that quite frankly, aren't very...welcoming...why do we translate that into our babies? Our children?

And why on so many babyloss websites are there floating pastel 'angels' covering the pages? Why do people tell me I now have an angel in heaven? My girls, aren't angels. They were alive...and then they died...and now they live again in Heaven with Christ and I can't even imagine the party that happens every day up there. They're waiting for us. I believe they can check in on us...watch us let's say for a lack of a better word...but I don't think they're protecting me. I don't think their floating on clouds with wispy wings attached to their backs.

I don't know. I just don't get it. My babies, were babies...just babies.

The stillbirth roller-coaster

22 August 2010

As I was sitting in church last night I worried about my baby. I'm in this phase where I can feel movements at times but not at others. It's normally little flutters and bumps but never anything large. No big movements or jabs to really put my mind at ease. So though I know this is all normal and that there may be hours if not days where I don't feel anything, it still freaks me out. It makes me want to run to the hospital which in itself is silly since this lull in movement is expected and if the baby did pass, there's nothing they can do...but still...

So I sat there, trying to listen to the message, but not being able to. My fear kept me only thinking about death. But then, as fast as the dread hit me, it lifted and within seconds my fear was gone and replaced with the knowledge that in a few short months, we will be bringing home another child, another son. There was no question in my heart. We will be bringing home a child.

This roller-coaster of emotions is an almost every day occurrence. I'm freaking out one moment but a few moments later, I'm thinking of buying things for the baby or dreaming about our delivery, ending with a screaming, warm, slippery child in my arms. My emotions are all over the place.

Life is all around me, but so is death. Another mama from my OB-GYN's office lost a baby full term a few weeks ago. Just Thursday I met a woman who's friend lost her child at 25 weeks about 6 weeks ago. It surrounds me. Infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths. There is so much pain. But there is so much happiness too. I'm in an up-down ride that at times makes me nauseous. I can't wait for this all to be done.

I'm thinking of purchasing a doppler for my own ease of mind. I was talked out of it with Asher, but now, I think it could really help. Just knowing when I don't feel movement, that he's still OK in there...though I know it can be hard to find the little heartbeat sometimes, I still think it may bring me some calm moments.

the baby's bedroom

14 August 2010

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I started cleaning out the baby's bedroom this morning. It's been the dumping ground for just abut everything...but mainly pregger clothes and stuff Asher has already grown out of. It was clean as of December '09. And then we lost Selah. We lost the hope that she would occupy the room, so I started using it was a dumping ground.

I had mixed emotions about cleaning it. I kept thinking about when I cleaned out the room for Selah...and then that made me feel as if I'm tempting fate...starting the downward spiral that's inevitably going to hit us. Another part of me got a little gitty. I started thinking about refinishing the dresser, choosing the pictures I would hang, and deciding what to do with the guest bed. Then I thought about starting to bring up some of the newborn clothes and necessities...but then my mind went dark again.
I found the box of little girl clothes and the clothes my mom gave me from when I was an infant. All pink and knitted, dresses and strappy sandals with flowers. I put a sweater into Jorai's memorial pile as I had purchased it for my first daughter...and had kept it in hopes of another...but what should I do with the rest. Sure I have friends I could give them to, or Shared Pregnancy, but can I? I mean, it's silly to keep them...but how do I get rid of them? I never purchased them for the girls...they were just stuff that I got...and why keep them? What would I do with them? But how do I throw them away as well? It's a small reminder that we had little girls...for a short time anyway. And the child I'm now carrying is a boy...and even if we lose him...I don't think I'll ever become pregnant again. At least not because we were trying to. So why keep them?

And then I found the muslin fish sleeper I purchased for Selah. Should I pass it down to her little brother? Or do I place it in her memorial box. It was the only thing I had purchased for her yet why just put it in a box to rest next to her blood stained blanket?

I wanted to continue cleaning up the room, putting things away, keeping certain things out, and day dreaming about the possibility of having it occupied by a permanent resident in early February...but then I remembered my track record and couldn't go any further. I want to be positive. I want to only think happy thoughts. But I can't. My mind always seems to go there...to those cold hospital rooms. The silence. The smells. The drugged, ripped apart at the seams, feeling. The emptiness. I know I feel so full right now. My belly is round and I feel more and more movement each day. I think of names and what his personality will be. I think of holding him and kissing his warmth and crying at his screams. But I fear the cold. I fear the silence. I fear that ultrasound tech, telling my ears what my heart already knows.

I'm 15 weeks. I have just 9 more until I hit 24 weeks. 13 until I hit 28 weeks. I only have 4 more weeks to miscarry...after that, I'll need to deliver. 19 weeks will be the start of my own personal hell on earth. I don't think I'm ready for it. I want to be positive. I want to be strong. 4 more weeks. Am I ready for this journey? Am I just as ready for the heartache as I am for the joy? Can I be? I just need to keep breathing.

Baby brother

11 August 2010

We had our appointment with Dr. Notsonice today. We started with the ultrasound that was suppose to check for downs and other chromosomal abnormalities. As I already knew. I'm too far along to check. But we were able to see the baby, we were able to see the heartbeat and the hands and feet and PENIS!!! Yup, we're having another boy. It seems so strange to know the sex. It doesn't seem right. I was so happy to hear that Asher was going to have a little brother. It's so cool...but I have to admit that there's also a small part of me that wanted a girl. But having 2 boys...there's something cool about that.

The second part of the exam was the consultation with Dr. Notsonice. I was bracing myself for it. I had all my comebacks ready...I walked in knowing that I was going to be pissed off in a few moments. The kicker? The appointment went really well. Seriously well. And Dr. Notsonice, was kinda nice. Really.

He tried to talk me into getting the quad test, which he didn't succeed...and surprisingly, he was OK about it. And we came up with a good plan. We're having an extensive ultrasound at 19 weeks. It will check everything. The placenta, the cord, blood flow, the baby...everything. At 24 weeks we will start having weekly bio-physical profiles through at least 28 weeks. If the profiles show stress on the baby, I will be given steroids to move the baby's growth along and then deliver as soon as we can. It's not the best...but if it brings this baby into the world alive, I'm all for it.

This appointment brought me hope. I'm still nervous. Real nervous. And bummed that I'll have to be watched so closely and have all these extra ultrasounds, but if it brings this child into the world kicking and screaming...I'm all for it. I'm hopeful...and that's a good feeling. I never thought I'd say this, but Dr. Notsonice, was nice and he gave me hope today. And we're having another son. Asher will have a little brother.

Guess it's time to start figuring out a name!

what to say?

08 August 2010

I never knew that the subject of children could ever be so bittersweet...

'Is that your first?'

'How many children do you have?'

'How old are they?'

'I bet you hope the child you're carrying is a girl since you already have a boy!'

If I don't answer honestly, I feel as if I'm dragging my girls names' through the mud...as if I'm not honoring them...I'm ignoring them. But if I answer these questions honestly, I get the look...the apologies...and I also know that I've just made the questioner extremely uncomfortable.

My answer? Usually, I tell the story. An abbreviated one. "This is our fourth child", "we have a son at home and two daughters in heaven"...depending on the situation I may go into our story a bit, or it may end there.

Tonight in the Lowes parking lot, we ran into a very nice couple who was waiting patiently for us to load Asher into the car, so they could get into theirs. The conversation starts...'Oh, no rush...we have kids at home...no worries!"..."What are you having?"..."Oh I bet you're hoping for a girl since you already have a boy."

'Yeah...I think I'd give my left leg for a girl. But not just any girl...not any girls...and no, actually we're hoping for a boy since something happens to girls when they're growing within me and they die. We're hoping for a boy because that will give us a slim sliver of hope that we may be able to hold a warm, breathing child, rather than a cold, tiny, lifeless one.'.

OK...so that was a conversation that only played out in my head...my real response? "We're actually hoping for a boy...I think it would be cool to raise boys.'. No lie. Just not the full truth either.

I think this is the hardest aspect of being a mama to Heavenly babies. The constant questions. The never ending mother questions. Describing your family...filling out forms of all kinds that ask to list family members...it's non-stop. It's a constant opportunity to share my sweet baby girls lives with others...it's a way for me to honor them and love them from 'the grave'...but it's also so, very, hard. Not that I ever...ever, want to forget...but it's also a constant reminder.

sensitive subject...

01 August 2010

Labels:

I've been going 'round and 'round in my head of whether to post on this subject or not as it's kinda one of those areas, people don't seem to talk about. But I've finally decided that I need the support and reassurance that what we're doing is 'right'...and ...well...since when have I not talked about something? right?

So today we'll be talking about testicles. Asher's right testicle to be exact.

The day after he was born, our doc informed us that his right testicle wasn't descended but that it's normal and that within the first year, most descend. We never thought much about it.

It still hasn't descended. Well, that's not true. It can descend, it just doesn't stay down. At his two year check up, our doc decided to send us to a pediatric urologist. We had that appointment on Monday. I got a strange vibe from the guy. He was quiet and not very friendly and he didn't interact with Asher at all...which is strange for a peds doc...but whatever. He poked and prodded at my boy and then immediately started talking about surgery to pull it down and secure it. Which of course freaked me out! All of a sudden, this is a big deal?

I got on-line finally and yeah, it can be a big deal. In adulthood it could cause sterility of that testes, it could become cancerous or a whole slew of other things. But that's for an undescended testicle...Asher has one that can be drawn down and when hot, has definitely come into place...from what I've read, that is called a retractable testicle which requires no treatment. So the questions are...what does he really have and what's the best form of treatment?

He had an ultrasound today, which he was a rock star in! I'm so proud. He just laid there as some lady ultrasounded his boyhood. He laid all content with his John Deere tractor DVD. But the ultrasound never found his testicle. Which I found strange. It's there...the doc pulled it down and showed us on Monday. So what does that mean?

Sorry that I have to put all this out there about my boys' bits and pieces, it's just taken up a lot of my thoughts lately. I'm worried for him. I'd hate for this to affect him in the long run, but the thought of surgery scares me too. Has anyone out there had to deal with this? Anyone?

Pretty pusher hospital gown

Look at how pretty this is!!!I think I'll just have to go buy one! Plus it looks so much more comfy than those ugly, scratchy light blue gowns you get in the hospital. And it's cheap! Yay! So excited.

Jesus in Shantytown

31 July 2010

Hey friends. My dear friend started a blog that's beautiful. Well, I think it is anyway. It's all about her walk with Christ and the Church through her eyes. She's a beautiful soul, woman, mother, friend as well as an amazing writer, singer and song writer! Here's how she describes her blog:

Mandie Oliver
I am a writer, a Christ-follower, and formerly homeless. Yes, that's right. I used to be one of those people you wouldn't give money because you "know" they'll just blow it on a bottle of Schlitz Malt Liquor. Today, when I encounter the American church I feel homeless again-- disconnected, misunderstood, out of place. I'm Mandie and Jesus is my life support. I'm smitten with His mission and in love with His Church, warts and all. This blog chronicles my reflections on American Christianity through the eyes of a former spiritual vagabond. I hope to provide a space that allows the plight of the poor and marginalized to be seen in the light. Here's to finding the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jesus). Welcome to the conversation.
Go check out her blog and giver her some lovin'.

Discipline

I feel like I'm at a loss. Some days, I even feel as if I'm at the end of my rope. Some days are fine...but other days, I find myself angry at my darling child. I love Asher. He seriously is the coolest kid I know...though I know I'm biased. He's super smart, and witty, and spirited...so very spirited. He loves on people, all the time....all the time! He loves to give hugs and kisses so much that there are times I see him pinning down 7 year old friends to give kisses! He loves to snuggle and share his snacks and drinks, his laugh is infectious and he's super sweet to babies.

But there's this other side of him that can be discouraging. He's a brute. I don't think he means to be...but with his nearly 40 pound, 40" stature, he kinda just is. Last night was a perfect example. We were at the East Lansing Concert Series down at the fountain having a grand ol' time...singing...dancing...when all of a sudden, a little 12 month toddler came by to say hi. Asher, having to show his dominance, smacked the kid on the cheek and then proceeded to cram his granola bar into the kids mouth. So, one part of me thought, wow...he wants to fight this kid, but within the next moment, he wanted to share his snack with him...so what is he doing? What is he thinking?

I think sometimes he smacks kids as a 'hello'...which I'm not sure where he gets. He likes to smack peoples butts or backs as a hello. But he doesn't do it softly...And all of a sudden, especially when he's excited, he'll reach out and smack a child's face or grab a hold of their cheek and pull. I of course feel horrible and embarrassed and I don't know what to do to stop the behavior. And more importantly, where does he even get this behavior from?? And lately, he's been running up to someone and ripping a toy out of a child's hand...which I think he may have learned from a friend...but still...how do you stop it?

What do I do? How do I discipline? I'm at a loss. We do time-outs, and yes, they remove Asher from the situation, but a gentle description of what he's done wrong and time by himself, doesn't seem to phase him. We talk about his behavior, I ask him why he's acted out, I ask him to go apologize and give hugs or show gentle touches....but seriously some days, not a few moments later, he's acting out again. He does great in time-outs. All I have to say is go to time-out and he'll find a place to sit down...and he stays...but the whole process doesn't seem to change his behavior.

I don't like hitting. I think it's silly for us. I don't condone it...and I think there are situations where it may be the best choice, but I think it's hard not to over do it when you're angry and I don't know what I'm teaching my son if I'm telling him not to hit, yet I hit him as a response to his hitting. How can I say, don't hit...but then hit. In saying that, I've tried smacking him. I've smacked his hand and his bottom. The other day as he continued to hit a 10 month old's leg with a plastic spoon, I chose to show him what it felt like...again though, I instantly thought, 'what am I teaching him?'.

I don't know where this behavior comes from. We're not violent people. We never spanked him, or hit him, or grabbed at his skin as an infant...so where does he get it? I sometimes wonder if it's because he still doesn't have a large vocabulary...maybe it's his way of communicating...but how do I re-direct it into a positive touch, rather than a brutal one?

I think the hardest thing with me is that I get sick of being around him. After disciplining him day after day and seeing no change in his behavior and having no break until Steve comes home or the weekend hits, I just get burned out. And I hate that feeling. Not only does it make me feel like a crappy, mama. But it also makes me feel totally ungrateful and selfish because I have too many mama friends who would give anything for a living child...and the worst part, is when I'm feeling angry and I'm yelling at my wonderful child...I think about what Jorai and Selah are thinking about my behavior. I wonder if they're looking down at me disappointed. It's a horrible feeling.

For all of you mama's out there with spirited, and sometimes aggressive children, what do you do? How do you re-direct their bad behavior into positive behavior? How do you encourage their spirited nature, yet change bad behavior...and how do you keep your sanity in the process. I think the worst part in all of this, is how I feel after I lose my cool. All I want is to give my child the best, most nurturing, loving, open and caring upbringing as I can...yet sometimes I feel as if I'm damaging him with my anger and yelling. It's the worst feeling. When I look into those big brown eyes of his, I feel as if I've already failed him. And that is my worst nightmare.

ignorance

26 July 2010

I wish I could be ignorant. I think about it every day. How wonderful it would be to be a blissfully, ignorant pregnant woman. I wish I could be hopeful and gitty about every little thing. I wish I could go to appointments without fear of hearing the dreaded words 'this is the heart, and I'm sorry to tell you that it's not beating'. I wish I could take medications without a thought...without fear. I wish I could only think about the future...I wish I could start preparing the baby's room and start buying the baby things. I wish...

But I can't. Even as I type this, I look up to see the pictures of my babies...one dead...one living...another dead. The odds are stacked against me. The positive side of me says 'well, it's the order to now have another living child'...but I know the odds. I'm no longer ignorant to the hell that can come.

Here's a current dilemma. I have asthma. It's really only sports related...or is aggravated by high humidity or altitude...in pregnancy people with asthma either see it completely go away or see it get worse. Mine, for all 4 pregnancies has gotten worse. Way worse. From the minute I get pregnant, I feel as if someone is sitting on my chest. I never have had an attack, but it's a constant, feeling as if I'm breathing through coffee stirrer. I'm suppose to be taking singulair to open up my airways...but it scares me. Everything scares me. Even tylenol scares me. The thing with singulair is that one side effect in kids is depression and suicidal thoughts. In my mind, I wonder about what effects of me taking it could happen in the developing brain of my baby. So...I try not to take it for a while...but the thing is, the brain is always forming...it's mostly forming from conception to 28 weeks, but even from 28-40 weeks, stuff is happening and nerve cells are forming connections.

So I'm constantly at odds. Do I take it, because I can't breathe..which not only makes me feel crappy, but I know that if I can't breathe super well...the baby isn't either...or do I not take it because it's a catagory B drug, which hasn't been tested on pregnant mothers and they have no idea what it could do to a developing child?

This is where I wish I was ignorant. In my pregnancy with Jorai, of course I was careful..and weary of drugs, but if my doctor told me to take something, I would have. And I would have left the office with a big fat smile on my face because I 'knew' everything would be wonderful. That's no longer the case. I even refuse the diabetic test @ 28 weeks because we lost Jorai 3 days after that test. Though I don't think the test caused her death...the stress of all that sugar couldn't have helped.

It's been nearly 13 weeks now in my current pregnancy and I'm struggling. I'm breathing. But I'm struggling. I almost broke down today and started taking the meds. But I didn't. I'm no longer ignorant. I'm freaked out about every little thing. I used to love being pregnant. I no longer love it. There are things I love. Many things. But I'm also scared...all the time. And for that, I hate it. Is there a way to catch the hand of ignorance and hold on for dear life?

baby 4.0

18 July 2010

I'm trying really hard to be excited about this baby. Really hard. I feel like a horrible mom by protecting my heart like this. But I can't help myself.

I'm 11 weeks 3 days. Nearly out of the 1st trimester. 8 weeks away from the point where I'd have to deliver this child if we were to lose it. That is the scariest thing for me. I can't go back there. I can't do it again. Can I?

I had an ultrasound on July 8th. I was 10 weeks. We saw the heartbeat and the little bean. It was such a blob...a blob with little arm and leg buds. It was cool seeing our child at that stage, because I know the next time we see him, there will be legs and arms and fingers and a face.

I'm being sent to the perinatologist soon...not sure when. The local doc is a jerk, so it'll be interesting and I'm already preparing myself to walk out of his office...but hopefully it will go well and he can be professional and caring. He'll do a high resolution ultrasound and look closely at the cord and baby. And of course we'll find out the sex. Which is such a strange concept to me. I'm unsure about it, yet excited at the same time . We never found out with Jorai, Asher or Selah...but I think I may relax a tiny bit, if I find out that it's a boy. Maybe a little.

I bought a belly book journal a few weeks back and yet it still sits unused. I know I need to start it...it's just so hard. I keep talking to Asher about his baby brother or sister...but every time I do, I also wonder if I'm just setting him up for sadness. I want to be a normal happy pregnant woman who is gitty and buying fun things for her child...but how can I be, when I know the possibility of loss is so great?

That's where I am. I'm happy...but cautious...guarding my heart. I want to start preparing the baby's room, but I know that it may be for nothing and that petrifies me. I feel car sick all day everyday and exhausted and though I know those are good signs...I was sick with Selah for a long time too. I want to only feel joy, for I have so many baby loss mama's who don't have a living child...or can't get pregnant...or keep having miscarriages...so I am trying really hard to be happy...but I'm just cautions and really trying to guard my heart. But how can't you feel a bit of joy, when you have a little piece of heaven growing within you? That's truly amazing.

I'm just so utterly scared that this little piece of Heaven will be ripped out of my arms again. That's a pain that scares me beyond words or descriptions. How do I train my heart and mind to ignore the truth? How can I become ignorant again? Can I pretend the fear away? I just hope and pray that this child will come to us screaming and pink and warm...and SCREAMING! Let me hear those lungs my child.

Nursing my boy

17 July 2010

Well, it's been nearly an entire week since Asher nursed. It's a bit bittersweet...mostly nice and freeing..but a little sad. It's something we've shared for over 2 years now...minus the 6 week break we took between the time that I originally weaned him and when we lost Selah.

He's doing really well minus the few times where he saw others nursing. He still asks for it, but when I tell him no, he's fine. There's no fussing or crying, he just goes about his daily destruction. It's almost as if he's testing me to see if I'll give in and whip it out for him.

It just seems so strange...to be done. Really, truly done. I wonder, if I lose this new child I'm carrying...will I see if he wants to nurse again? I don't know. It gave us both the comfort we needed while grieving...but I don't know. I shouldn't even let my mind go there...but it does...for obvious reasons.

So yeah...for memory purposes, the last time I nursed my sweet boy was at 8am on 12 July 2010. He has become more of a cuddler now. He wants me to sit on the couch with him so he can lay his head on my shoulder or on my chest as he watches curious george. I like it. Snuggles are such a blessing.