Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A year ago today....

Oh, Dear, Sweet Baby:

You were due on this day in 2007.
You were the first of my losses, but not the last.

Sometimes, when I am feeling especially bitter, I think about how I should have a one year old crawling around in my house right about now. But sadly, I don't.
It still pains me that you are not with us. I still mourn for you, baby.

I am so very sorry that you never got to meet your parents, your big sister, or your grandparents, or take your first breaths here on earth. You were gone before we got the chance to say hello or goodbye, and it absolutely devastated me. I remember begging and pleading, crying out to God to spare you, and save your live somehow - but you were in His hands, dear Baby, not mine. It seemed so cruel that He would take you away so soon - but I know that He is sovereign, and He has bigger plans for us. Your death, no matter how difficult it was for me to go through, has taught me several valuable lessons, including how to be a better mother.

I have a special birthstone ring on my right hand that I got especially in remembrance of you. It is the one tangible thing that I have of you. I never take it off. (Even though my fingers are now swollen every morning, I still refuse to take it off, along with my wedding rings.)

I miss you every day, little one, and I think of you all the time. I hope that somehow you know that. Whenever I listen to the song "Glory Baby", I cry, and think of you. You are still loved so very much.

Even though a younger brother or sister will be joining our family soon, they will never take the place that you left empty and broken in my heart.

I love you so much, dear one.

Love Forever, Your Mommy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkins & Pictures.

Had a really deep discussion with my mother last night about pregnancy and parenting. My parents have been through so many hardships, it sometimes amazes me that they are still together! And it's funny: the older I get, the more I understand and appreciate my mom. She has been so supportive of me, especially through my miscarriages, and I just can't thank her enough.

She's planning to come visit in a week and a half. I think we'll have an all-girls weekend: mom, me, and Hannah!

WHY do people say annoying/rude/insensitive things to pregnant women?! Yesterday I had 3 different people make comments on my size, and tell me that I didnt look big enough to be seven months pregnant. I replied with something like "Don't worry, I've gained plenty of weight, and my doctor says Im perfectly healthy."

Actually, it is funny they would say that, when I found out just last week that this baby is measuring at least a full week BIGGER than average! So there.

And now for some pictures of our pumpkin-carving fun:

Hannah didnt like the yucky, sticky insides of the pumpkin, but she watched us carve them. Surprise: She did enjoy eating the pumpkin seeds!

The finished products. Can you guess which pumpkin belongs to which person?

Mike and I also had a funny conversation last night about having more children.
He joked "Maybe you can be pregnant next year too!" Oh no, not likely, buddy!!!
Yes, we do want more children - just not immediately. That sounds like a bit much to me. I feel like for me, having kids much less than 2 years apart is really pushing it. How would I stay sane?!?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sunday Brunch:
After quite a hectic morning, including a rushed, lame breakfast of cold cereal, then a mad dash to church and Sunday school.... Hannah and I came home to a very quiet house (Mike was sleeping this afternoon, after working all night).
That's when I had the bright idea of "Why don't we make pancakes?"
So, she helped me gather the ingredients, we mixed up the whole wheat batter, and I even let her dump choclate chips in it, too. (They were healthy pancakes by default - I ran out of white flour today.) I added some yogurt and fruit salad to our plates, and we had an almost-balanced meal.

FUUNY MOMENT: Hannah actually FELL ASLEEP while I was cooking the pancakes on the stove! Crazy little girl!

Still, we had a fun day together. After lunch we rode bikes around the block and down the street... Hannah went almost a whole mile around the neighborhood!

Mike woke up around 3pm, and that's when things got even more fun: We carved our pumpkins! (The ones we bought at the pumpkin farm, in PA.) Hannah was scared to touch the yucky pumpkin insides. She screamed and yelled "NO!" whenever we waved our sticky, pulp-covered fingers at her. But she did play with the seeds. She even tasted them! She LIKES pumpkin seeds. Just not the orange, sticky, stringy stuff. I think her favorite part was placing them on the front porch, and putting a candle inside each one. She loved seeing the pumpkins all lit up like that.

I talked with my mom tonight, and she is planning to visit us in a week and a half. It is always fun when she visits. I think she will be the last one to stay here, in the "guest room", before it is officially turned back into a nursery again.

Friday, October 24, 2008

31 weeks.

At 31 weeks pregnant, I have gained about 25 lbs total. Im really happy with that - especially since my diet has not been so good lately, with all the vacations we've been taking. I am hoping to keep it around 30-35 lbs altogether, so that means I'm still on target. My bp is still amazingly low, which is WONDERFUL news, especially with my history of pre-eclampsia. Everything is going great! Im just so thankful for our good health!

Had another ultrasound on Wednesday, and it was amazing! Saw & Heard the heartbeat (which has been a steady 150 bpm throughout the pregnancy). Even got some great head/face/profile shots, in 3d! And our New Baby has hair - peach-fuzz kind of hair, but still, I saw it! The u/s tech was really nice. She said "Believe me, not all babies are this cute and cooperative!" Baby is measuring 1.5-2 weeks bigger than average. At 31 weeks s/he is 4.5 lbs already! :) So, this one will certainly be bigger than Hannah, but Im sure I can handle it.

Everyone is convinced that this baby is a boy, but we still don't know the gender. Hannah still wants a baby sister. But we just don't know yet. It's our Christmas surprise :) Funny, it seems like everyone we know is having boy babies right now. Is this some sort of bizzare 2008-09 trend?

I wish our scanner was working, so I could share some pics. I don't know why it's not working! Everytime I plug it in, I get a weird error message. Oh well. One of these days I'll get around to copying all the ultrasound pictures.

Last night I hosted a Craft Night at church. It was just me and Melissa and Hannah who showed up, but we still had fun. I completed the first four pages of my pregnancy scrapbook. Now I need to print hundreds more pictures of our beach trip, and our family trip last week, and some belly shots of me for the other pages.

This morning I attended the southern MOPS group, and helped make crafts for a Christmas fundraiser they are doing next month. It was nice to see all those moms again. I feel like I need more of a social life, outside of Hannah and our babysitting/playdates. It makes me sad that so many of my friends live far away...!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Trip, in Pictures.

First thing on the agenda: We spent a weekend in Pittsburgh, with our favorite college friends, where Mike and I first met. It was bizzare, like a walk down memory lane - except all the buildings have changed! But it was really great to hang out with old friends - some of them we hadnt seen in four or five years!!!

Our happy little family.

We went to a pumpkin farm with Mike's family.

Hannah was kind of grumpy, can you tell?

Hannah's favorite part was pulling the cart. She picked pumpkins just so that she could pull them around in the wagon.

She was super-spoiled by her grandparents, and got plenty of attention from aunts and uncles and friends, too. We ate so much candy at Nana and PapPap's house... I felt like I gained ten pounds last week!

We also got to spend a day at Hershey Park!
Reese's pieces are my new favorite candy.

Believe it or not, Hannah took this picture

She had a great time on the kiddie rides.
The park wasn't very busy, so she got to ride everything 2 or 3 times in a row!

And last weekend, we stayed with my parents in Maryland.
Since my dad's heart attack, he has been doing AMAZINGLY well.
Last month, in September, he lost 20 pounds! He looks great, and feels fine, too.
So... My crazy father and insane husband decided to go for one more swim before they closed up the pool. I didnt eve nwant to out my hands in - the waterfelt like ice!

They let Hannah "push" them in:

It was SO COLD!!!

My mother kept feeling my stomach: "Is that a hand or a foot? Or maybe the butt?"

Ummm, How in the world should I know?! There's a baby in there! That's all you really need to know!

Everyone keeps telling me that I'm having a boy this time. All of my relatives think so. I'm trying to ignore them and keep an open mind, because really, we don't know. It will be a nice Christmas surprise.


TWO MORE MONTHS until our Miracle Baby is due! :)
That means 4 1/2 more weeks until full-term!
I've been having a lot of scary dreams lately. For the past seven months, I have dreamed about going into labor early, and delivering a preemie. First I dreamed that the baby would be born at 28 or 29 weeks, now, in my dreams, it's 32 weeks - which, in reality, is coming up really fast. As long as we make it to 36 weeks without complications, I know it will be fine... I'm just nervous. My dreams keep getting worse though. It's harder for me to sleep at night. Combine braxton-hicks contractions, abdominal cramps, and charlie horse, and you get = not much sleep.

Oh well. Pregnancy doesn't last forever. Right?!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Moronic Me....

You may or may not know this, but I am INCREDIBLY clumsy.

Today I proved myself yet again: I washed my cell phone.
As in, it went through the washer. I didnt realize it until it got to the spin cycle! I saw something vibrating/flashing in there, and fished it out the best I could. Im still not exactly sure how it got in there... I dont usually leave things in my pockets.
I don't know if this is fixable. I feel terribly guilty!
It's practically brand new! I've only had it for a couple of months.
I'm afraid that Mike will be angry with me when he finds out.

Worse: Not only is my cell phone out of commission, but so is our landline! I can't receive any calls at all! Ahhhh!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our "Attic Project." Contractions?

This morning, Hannah and I executed what I called "an attic project". Her father let her go into the attic with him one day last month when we were getting ready for our beach trip, and she's been begging us to go back up into the attic ever since.

I really didn't see what the appeal was (a dark, dusty attic with narrow stairs, filled with Christmas decorations and old baby equipment: how is that fun?), but today, I let her come with me.

We put away our beach equipment, summer things, too-small clothes, and suitcases. ((But at the end of the morning, I realized that we will need the suitcases again this weekend! Ooops! Haha! That means another trip into the attic!!!))

Then we dragged out alllll of the 3t-4t winter clothes. I had NO IDEA that we own so many girls clothes! There are enough for 3 or 4 little girls, really! Im going to share them with a friend.

Plus I got down a box of newborn baby items to sort through. I keep forgetting what exactly we HAVE up there in the attic, so I thought it would be nice to unearth the basic baby necessities. I know there are clothes, sheets, towels and blankets, but I was fuzzy on the details. Did we save any bibs, socks, burp clothes, or did they all get stained and thrown away? Not sure.

I couldnt even remember if we had a crib/sheet set or not.

Today I found the answer: We don't. Hannah used MY old bumper pads, that my mother fixed and resurrected from her own attic. They have stars and hearts and rainbows on them. Hey, it worked. But I would like to get a cute bedding set for our new little one. Hannah will help me pick it out! Still undecided on the nursery theme.

Mike hasnt given me any input so far. On anything.


Changing the subject:
For the past couple weeks, I've been having dreams about dialating in the middle of the night, having complications, and waking up to a big, bloody mess... it's a very scary nightmare. Makes me really nervous!

I've also felt super-tired and just not-quite-right this weekend. Yesterday afternoon I felt cramping, like I might be having contractions... Hannah was begging to play outside and run around, but I couldn't chase after her. I had to take it easy. Drinking lots of water and laying down seems to help. Baby was still kicking away, just as active as ever.

This afternoon, same thing. I bent down to pick toys off the floor, and triggered some kind of painful reaction. It HURT! Braxton-Hicks aren't supposed to hurt!?
After an hour in bed, I felt MUCH better.

Now I just won't be able to sleep tonight, since I was spoiled, and took a nap.
Oh well, I'll deal with that later. It's not like I have to go anywhere important tomorrow.

I am 29 weeks pregnant now. I dont know if anything is really wrong, or if I'm just being weird and paranoid. I called the doctor's office, but only succeeded in playing phone tag with the nurses all afternoon. Oh well. If it gets really bad, and I start to have a lot of painful contractions, I can always drive over there and force them to check me out.

Still, I keep having thoughts/dreams/nightmares that something will go wrong. I don't know if these are true premonnitions, or just fears stemming from my previous losses.

Nevertheless, I am scared!

But you know what I learned this week? God is bigger than my fears. I have to keep trusting in Him.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fireproof. Who's Kicking Me?

Watched the movie FIREPROOF this afternoon, with some friends from church.

Very good movie. Two Thumbs Up!
Anyone who is married should watch it.
Now I want to buy the Love Dare book!

Almost 29 weeks pregnant now. Our Miracle Baby is kicking much harder these days. Sometimes it can be quite painful. Mike & Hannah can often see the baby moving around, underneath my skin. It's kind of bizzare. Like an alien being with uncontrolled movement. Every couple days, the movement gets higher and higher. S/he is almost against my ribs. But I am not complaining! I love it!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A God-Moment.

I forgot to mention this part of the story yesterday.
But I really think it was a God-moment!

Here is what happened at the end of my doctor's visit yesterday:
I saw the fertility specialist who worked with me earlier this year.
He was going into a patient's room as I was coming in. Then, when my bloodwork was complete, he was walking out too, so we got the chance to talk for a few minutes.

I never could have forgetten his face. He was so concerned and dedicated and caring as he helped me through all the bloodwork, tests, and diagnostic procedures in January. (I say dedicated, because one week I was at his office THREE TIMES to go over test results, and he juggled his schedule to make sure he could be there with me.) During one of the darkest seasons of my life, he helped me tremendously, and gave me a lot of hope, which I desperately needed. He was also very impressed with the knowledge I had about TTC and fertility issues (I even taught him some new lingo: he had never heard of "TTC" before!), and completely understanding about the huge loss of my three pregnancies.

Yesterday, he recognized me, and said hello. I told him I am 6 months pregnant now, and he was genuinely SO happy for me! He said "thank you for reminding me about your situation, I really appreciate you talking to me" and even gave me a hug! I think I made his day! It was really nice.

The weird thing is that he usually works at the main hospital, not that office location. I've never seen him there before, I guess he got clinic duty today? Anyway, I really feel like it was a God-moment, seeing him today.

Now that I write this, I am wondering what he believes about God. Maybe he is a Christian, and maybe not. I wonder...

It makes me feel like I've come a very long way since the beginning of the year. My emotions and personal outlook are SO MUCH Bettere than they were 9 months ago.

Thank You God! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

28 weeks.

Still not sleeping well this week. Im averaging 4-5 hours a night. I don't know why! I'm not really complaining though, I feel fine - just lazy. I did have some terrible nightmares on Tuesday night: vivid, gruesome car accident scenes. Yuck.
This afternoon Hannah and I "took a rest" (she is allergic to the word "nap") and fell asleep in the master bedroom for an hour. That was really nice.

Poor Mike just started another grueling round of work - he will work 14 days straight before he gets any more time off. I guess that makes up for the ten days that he had off in a row during our beach trip. The good news is that we get to spend a week in PA/MD when his awful work rotation are over!

So, my doctors appointment went really well... other than waiting an hour to see a midwife. It has never taken so long before. (Also, I didnt exactly appreciate sitting in the waiting room for an hour and half with a three year old! That was a waste of time. She was completely well-behaved, just restless.) My blood pressure is nice and low, the same thing it's been for the last six months, which is wonderful. No pre-eclampsia worries yet!
I did my gestational diabetes test, and had a whole list of bloodtests done too. They should have the results on Monday. I'm not too worried though :) I feel just fine! I keep thinking about how blessed I am, to have a healthy pregnancy. Now that I've made it to 28 weeks, I feel like I've passed a HUGE milestone, and that this time, it will actually have a happy ending. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself, to think that we will actually get a healthy new baby out of it! Some days that is easier said than done.

It's been six months since I stopped taking anti-depressants, and every once in a while I can feel those dark emotions trying to creep in. I pray that PPD won't be an issue this time, either. My thyroid levels have been fine. Just another thing to watch for.

I am looking forward to playing with some MOPS friends tomorrow. Our little group is doing well. (Thank You, God!) We did a creative, introspective bonding activity on Tuesday night, about the road maps of our lives. It was really neat. I am very much looking forward to getting to know these moms and their families better!
On Saturday we are going to a craft/scrapbook party (Hannah's coming too, she LOVES crafts), then going to see the movie "Fireproof" with friends from church!

Have a good weekend!