Thursday, September 29, 2011

9 Weeks

How Far Along: 9 weeks (our baby is as big as a grape)
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm sure I will get weighed and all the other fun stuff at tomorrow's appointment.
Maternity Clothes: I decided to go look for work pants and found a good deal at Old Navy. So I now have 2 new pairs of maternity pants just waiting for a belly! I also got a couple work shirts non-maternity from Romy, but they have the ability to stretch :)
Movement: I got nothin'
Sleep: I noticed this morning I actually slept until my alarm went off, it was a beautiful thing!
Gender: Obviously it is way to early, but I have the strongest vibe that this one is a boy...
Symptoms: Morning sickness from the moment I wake up until 1-2pm then it lets up a bit (same as last week). I am happily miserable :)
Cravings: Since I am drinking only water all day long I notice when I get home I want something with taste. I bought some lemonade, which has been great, but then I had the weirdest need for chocolate milk...pregnancy craving I think so because I NEVER drink chocolate milk!
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week:  hmmm I suppose our support group meeting last night. After the meeting was over a few of us talked about pregnancy a little and it was nice :)
Freak-out of the week: Nothing too bad...I think that I am trying not to think about this pregnancy as much as possible. I also have some non-baby related things going on that are holding my stress and attention, which I think is good. I think other stress is way easier on me than baby stress... we will see how long this lasts. I will probably freak tomorrow right before our appointment.
What I miss: So so much...there is too much to write here.
What I am looking forward to:  Well I thought tomorrow would be the doppler/heartbeat appointment, but the more I research the more hearing a heartbeat at 9 weeks is very hit or miss. I will talk with our doctor about it, but honestly I think I would rather him not try and find it then to have him try and it be too early. I couldn't stand to hear him say he couldn't find it...can you say meltdown?!?! I really don't know what the nurse was thinking when she scheduled this appointment.
Next Appointment: Tomorrow, September 30, 2011.

**On a side note, I can't believe it's only 9 weeks. I mean are you kidding me? Can't it be April already? I have so many feelings about this and it's hard to put them into words. I find myself so thankful to not be ttc and to be actually pregnant, but I also struggle with bonding with this baby when I just want my Addi.

I am sure it is just a coping mechanism, but it makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty for so much. Guilty for the blm moms who are still waiting for their BFP, guilty for not loving this baby enough yet, guilty to Addison for wanting to love this baby....I don't know how to juggle it all, but I am trying. I swear I am trying. I know it is possible to love more than one child, millions of moms and dads do it every day, but it seems impossible.

I guess I am just having a hard time believing that this baby could really be our take home baby. It seems more realistic to imagine something bad happening. I suppose that is how I "protect" myself. I think after you have lived through the loss of a child that is kind of a normal way of thinking, but I still don't like it. I think I have put more thought into funeral arrangements and things I would do differently than a nursery or anything good like that. I know exactly how awful it is so say goodbye to your baby and plan a funeral, i don't have to imagine how that would go, but to actually bring a baby home...that is foreign to me. That's terrible...such is the life of a blm.

I know most cannot understand my thoughts, but it is what it is. I know nothing is guaranteed and I just don't want any surprises. We never would have tried for another baby if we didn't think a living one was possible. These feelings are just the nature of the beast.

I have had a ton to say this week and just haven't had a chance...okay really the energy to blog. I will try and get caught up soon. If anything I want to write about the TEARS Gala/fundraiser we went to on Saturday.

Wish us luck tomorrow. I freaking hate doctor appointment matter how hard I try to "not think" about things there is nothing like an OB appointment to remind you of EVERYTHING!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TGI Thursday

I know it's supposed to be TGIF, but I LIVE for Thursdays. Thursdays have always been a favorite because every Thursday is Grey's aka girl's night at my mom's house. We make a BIG effort to spend time at my parent's house in the summer, but come winter time we needed an "excuse" to all get together at least once a week. That's when I came up with Grey's night. We all were really into Grey's Anatomy so if we were all watching it separately, why not watch it together. Then my mom added clam dip and Pepsi to the regimen and it never gets missed. We even stick to our Thursday Grey's night in the summer because it's really just a great excuse to spend time together.

Tonight is the season premiere and I am so excited! I am worried about not being able to stay up late enough to watch it though! We also watch Private Practice, but it won't be on tonight since Grey's will be an extra hour long. For the record even though I love this show, we did not name our Addison after the Addison character. I will say that hearing them say Addison/Addi is like music to my ears :) My grandma (who doesn't watch) suggested the name Derek if we have a boy...I had to tell her no. That would be too weird. No one would ever believe we didn't name our kids after the show...I would have to be a super-freak/super-fan! The only thing that would make tonight better...would be a 9 month old making it difficult to watch our show...if only.

Every once in a while it will just be my sister, mom and I and then my brother and dad will hang out for a minute. While we love having extra over I have to say I LOVE those moments where it is just the original 5 of us. There is just something special about that time. After getting to grown-up status those moments are few and far between.

Any other Grey's Anatomy fans out there?

I can picture us having Grey's night 10 years from now when the show is off the air, but we will still call it that!

Now on to my new reason to love Thursdays. Thursday is the official start to a new pregnancy week. I live my life one week at a time. I can't picture anything farther than that. So today we are at week 8. Still very early, but still very hopeful.

I decided I am going to post pregnancy updates on here. I will post them at the bottom for people who want to read and then the people who don't want to don't have to. I have week 4 and up on the private blog, but I will start this blog out with week 8.

How Far Along: 8 weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I was weighed at my appointment on Friday so now I have a starting weight!Maternity Clothes: Nope, but I keep wanting to go look, but then I feel nervous about jinxing us.
Movement: just general tummy rumblings
Sleep: Slightly less tired, as long as I sleep my full 8 hours my days are pretty good.
Gender: Seems so long away...
Symptoms: Morning sickness from the moment I wake up until 1-2pm then it lets up a bit.
Cravings: I don't crave saltine goldfish, but since they help I eat them all the time. I wanted Chinese a few days ago, but I wouldn't call it a pregnancy craving...probably had more to do with not wanting to cook!Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week:  Seeing our baby's heartbeat. It was such a hard moment, but I am so grateful we were able to see that little flicker.
Freak-out of the week: Waiting for the ultrasound, during the ultrasound. So many tears, so much stress and worry. Just before the scan my blood pressure was super high, she wound up retaking it after the scan.
What I miss: I miss how I used to be SO excited for doctor appointments and ultrasounds and now as much as I need them for reassurance it feels worse than watching a horror movie.
What I am looking forward to:  Hopefully hearing the heartbeat since we were only able to see it last time.
Next Appointment: Friday, September 30, 2011. Hopefully our doctor will be able to find the heartbeat with the doppler. I know at 9 weeks it wouldn't be weird if he couldn't detect it, but I know that would send me over the edge. I need it to be there and I need him to find it...and fast!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Livin' on a prayer...and goldfish

I pretty much stopped praying all together after we lost Addison. I'm not angry with God and I'm not against church, but I really couldn't see the point of prayer. I still don't believe any amount of praying could have saved Addi and I don't believe everything happens for a reason. I believe that sometimes shit happens. There are people who are more lucky than others and get to avoid massive amounts of life's shit. Then there are people that get way more than their fair share. It's all one big crap shoot.

I had pretty much decided that I wouldn't ever pray again unless it was for something like the way I "feel" about something. That I believe can be changed, but the actual outcome...not so much. I can pray for strength, wisdom, calmness etc. Those things may have a chance of changing for me.

And then we found out we were pregnant again and the only thing I felt like I had any control over was to pray. So I did. I still don't believe that I can keep this baby alive by praying, but you know can't hurt. When we feel so powerless we need to take a little of the power back even if it is just psychological.

So I'm livin' on a prayer because that's all I got. Oh and goldfish lots and lots of goldfish. I am wonderfully nauseous You will get no complaints from me. This early when there is not much confirmation things are okay, nausea gives me some reassurance SOMETHING is happening. I know it isn't the all clear sign, but again it is something psychological for me to hold on to.

From the very moment I wake up in the morning I am feeling terrible...and it makes me thankful. My friend Jami suggested saltine goldfish. They are perfect! Just bland enough with a little salt and not messy at all like the saltine crackers. They have taken over my life. I have a box by my bed, in my car and on my desk at work. I start eating them from the moment I wake up until lunch time and then I start feeling a little better.

Also, my starbucks water cup is back! I never left home without it during my whole pregnancy with Addison. I am terrible at drinking enough water and this cup is PERFECT for helping with that! I need to be able to measure my intake, plus the straw makes me drink more AND the whole thing goes in the of the best inventions of all time if you ask me. I have four, two grande size cups and two venti. I highly recommend them. You won't see me without it :)

This time around I learned that taking my prenatal after dinner is a no-no. You would think after years of taking them it wouldn't matter, but like they say every pregnancy is different and this one is no exception. I take them at lunch now and it seems to help.

Tomorrow is Thursday, which means the start of week 8. I have no real idea if things are okay or not, but for today I am trying to let my nausea calm me as much as possible.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A flicker of hope

So thankful to all of you for your support over our announcement! I was nervous to blog about it, but let's face it, this next step is apart of our story.

I want to say that this pregnancy does give me hope. Not hope that my life will ever have a "happy ending", but that a baby to bring home and raise could be apart of our future. When we got the news I actually FELT hopeful, more than I have felt over the last 9+ months and it felt like some color was added back into my black and white world. With this hope comes much fear. I am scared

I think as a coping mechanism I allow myself to "forget" we are expecting. Not because I am not invested, but because it's the only way my brain can handle our news. I still follow all the rules, no alcohol, no foods on the no-no list, extra water, extra sleep etc. If it weren't for the morning sickness from the moment I wake up until late afternoon (and sometimes all day I would "forget" much better)!

On Friday we had our first ultrasound. That was something I had been trying to keep as far back in my brain as possible. By Thursday night I had a full on meltdown driving home from work in anticipation of this scary appointment. Friday morning I came into work barely holding it together when my co-worker came in beaming saying how excited she was for me to have our ultrasound. I just lost it. I told her I wished I could be excited, but I was too scared to allow any other feelings in. The last time I had an ultrasound it ruined my life and while I don't believe this ultrasound could be as bad as the last one I knew we could get similar news...."no cardiac activity".

I know she was trying to help with her positive thinking and her excitement, but really I hated it. Brian was really excited about the appointment too trying to stay positive and keep me positive, but really it just made me more upset. It was reality that I needed at that moment, someone to verify that my feeling were legit. So I sent a text to blm friend saying how upset I was about getting sunshine blown up my ass about this appointment. She sent me back this "Here's the is normal to prepare yourself for the worst. I will not tell you any different. You will not relax until you are there and see the heartbeat. I love sunshine, but not up my ass". Oh I love her! She always says just what I need and usually makes me laugh too.

I should also mention that the emails and texts I got of people sending good vibes for our appointment really did help! The appointment was at 2pm so at 1pm I chugged down the required 32 ounces of water in preparation.

When I got to the appointment Brian was waiting there for me. We went in together hand in hand ready for whatever was about to happen. We were prepared to hear our baby had no heartbeat and we decided no matter what nothing would be as bad as what we had already been through.

When I checked in I was called to see the nurse first...I had it marked down as the ultrasound first THEN the nurse intake, but it was nurse first then ultrasound....I was already so nervous/anxious and I had to wait even longer, not to mention that 32 ounces of water was starting to hurt! I decided I couldn't hold it for another hour so I went to the bathroom and then had to drink ANOTHER 32 ounces of water, I thought I was going to be sick (combination of the water and my nerves). I did bring a gallon size zip lock bag in my purse just in case I got sick! Thankfully it wasn't needed.

The nurse wanted to take my blood pressure and I asked she wait until after the ultrasound, she said it would be fine to take it now, so she did and when she saw how high it was decided I was right and she would retake it after the ultrasound.

The wait was really awful, but it was finally time for our scan. We followed the tech. back to her room and I just tried to focus on breathing. We didn't even notice that we passed our doctor on the way in. He followed us back to check on us, which made me feel a tiny bit better.

I laid down on the table, held Brian's hand and waited. At first I saw nothing and I thought here we go, we are still no where closer to a live baby and then…she found it. One little bean. She zoomed into the heart and it looked as if it were flickering. She confirmed it was our baby's BEATING heart. I couldn't help, but cry and cry and cry. I know we aren't in the clear, but in that moment I knew I had a LIVING baby inside me. I was trying to hold my body still while I cried, but I didn't have much control. The lady kept asking if I was okay and I just kept thinking YES I am okay, I am just surprised that there is a real live baby in there WITH a heartbeat.

At this stage we were hoping for a heartbeat between 90 and 110. This baby was giving us 106, thank you baby! I was supposed to be 7 weeks 1 day, but she said baby was measuring at 6 weeks and 4 days...must have implated later...that explains the first negative pregnancy test. I forgot to ask my doctor if that would change my due date, but I am hoping we are still on for a late April induction, but that is so far ahead of what my brain can handle so I am going to try and not think about it.

She took a picture for us to keep, but really it wasn't the picture I was excited about it was that heartbeat, that little flicker, our flicker of hope.

One step closer, but still so many steps to go.

Friday, September 16, 2011

40 weeks and 5 days

40 weeks and 5 days I carried Addison in my body, in my belly close to my heart, my girl and I were one. Today has been 40 weeks and 5 days since she left my body and the 2 of us were separated never to be whole again. How can it be that this much time has gone. That time with her feels as if it was in a different lifetime. Those weeks with her and the weeks since she was taken from us don't feel anywhere near the same amount of time.

I suppose because I dreamed of Addi my entire life that may be part of the reason why her weeks and months with me seem so long when really they were so short. These weeks of preparing myself for a lifetime without her have gotten me 3 steps back for every one step forward I take.

It was easy preparing for her arrival. She was my life's dream. While some want it all I only ever wanted to be a wife and mother. Something so simple for some and yet I can never have my whole family....ever. When dreams are crushed we are forced to make new dreams. I have new dreams, but wow is it hard to let go of the life I had planned.

Our new dreams include more children. Never to replace our little Addi, but to give us the chance to parent a living child/ren. I know it is the right step for us to take, but I won't lie there was/is apart of me that wanted to never have another child. Not for me, but for society. Society thinks that once us baby loss parents have another child we are "fixed or healed" and I guess there is something in me that wants to rebel, throw my middle finger up and say "screw you society" I will never be fixed or healed no matter how many children I have and maybe if I don't have one you will never have the chance to think of me in that way! I know it's childish, but I couldn't help but entertain the idea.

Would I really want to live my whole life and not get to have a living child, no. That would be bad for me and bad for all the people that love me and Addison and Brian. It's not a secret that we have been actively trying to conceive a second child, a sibling for Addison. I knew if we were ever to get the chance at this whole parenting the living thing that we needed to get pregnant.

Getting pregnant along with missing Addison and grieving has consumed my entire 40 weeks and 5 days. It's knowing that getting pregnant is the first step to getting to that place that we want to be, not that it's guaranteed, just that you have to do that part before anything else is even a possibility.

After we waited the recommended 6 months I expected it to happen right away (I mean come on we followed all the rules...again) and then it didn't happen. Three months later and each month bringing a negative test. I know you are thinking it's only been 3 months, but the first 6 felt like part of the plan so really it seemed like 9 months. Plus every month you get a negative makes it feel like that living baby will never be a reality and things will never happen. It's a different kind of torture.

After my last negative test I was angry and bitter and sad really really sad. I just couldn't bare getting closer to Addi's 1st birthday and be no where closer to having a living child. After a few days of serious self-pitty and taking it out on Brian, I pulled up my big girl panties and started my plan of attack for ttc for the next cycle.

****(to my dear blm's please stop reading if rainbows make you sad. We mommas have too much to be sad about without a gut punch from one of our own)*****

After that negative test I was really feeling like things would never happen for us. So I waited for my period to come so we could get back on to the new plan for a new month. I waited and I waited and it never came.

I was home alone that night and decided I would take one more test. I only had one left and didn't want to waste it because let’s face it they aren't cheap! I decided I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't and that I needed the reminder that this was not our month. So I took it. It was one of those digital ones and it took FOREVER. And then it was done and just like that I looked and saw something that said "YES +". I immediately started shaking and then the "ugly cry" was back. I couldn't control my body and the heavy hard sobs.

I started to worry that this kind of crying could "shake lose" any baby that might be in there. I tried to calm my nerves and starting pacing up and down the hall way taking deep breaths and trying not to let my crying get out of control. I sent Brian a text to see when he would be home. He was still a half hour out. I waited and waited and waited. I wanted to share this news in a way he would never forget, but instead of being calm, cool and collected I melted into his arms the moment he walked through the door. He thought something was really wrong, but instead I just sobbed "I'm pregnant" we both held each other and cried together in the same doorway I told him of our pregnancy with Addison. This time with tears instead of smiles.

Brian immediately wanted me to take another test, but by this time it was 11pm. We decided we didn't care and both got into the car to go to the closest grocery store. I grabbed a box of tests, but Brian thought it wouldn't be enough so he got another. Two boxes, two brands...sounds good, right?!? We got to the check out and I am sure the checker thought we were hoping the tests would be negative. Both with bloodshot eyes and very pink cheeks. He didn't say anything...glad it was a guy and not a girl...a girl would have asked!

We raced home and I took the tests. They both turned right away, one with a positive and one with 2 lines. We were in awe. We did it. Holy what?

Well now begins the real wait. We are under no illusions that we are in the clear. My first words to this baby were "please, please don't die" who says that...a baby loss mom, that's who.

I have hated not being able to blog about this and there will be more added, I just needed to get this part out. I will post pregnancy updates on my private blog and I haven't quite decided what to post here. This is all apart of baby loss, but God, I just can't stand this pregnancy bringing another baby loss mom some added sadness. I've been there. It's not that you don't want to be happy for someone else, but when you are too sad for yourself it is just too much. I don't blame any momma that can't be happy for me. Really I don't.

So here I am 40 weeks and 5 days since my little girl was born with another baby in my belly. It's surreal and often times I try not to think about it. It's not that I am not thankful and grateful because trust me I AM. It's just that I shouldn't be. I should have a 9 month old running me ragged and instead I am grief stricken, nauseous, exhausted and hopeful. Let's not forget hopeful.

I know I am leaving a million parts out, but this post is already way longer than a post should be. I will blog again soon.

*****And please NO posts on my Facebook. Private messages, email or comments on here is fine, but this is not something I want the whole world to know. Yes, I know this blog is public, but the people reading this are invested in our story and no other people need to know. I would also ask that if you know me in real life you NOT take it upon yourself to share our news with others. Let's keep it here please.***********

My Dear Addison,
How I wish you were here. Our lives are so different than what we had planned. The new plan is to make you a big sister. I hope you are watching over this little brother or sister of yours. We know this may not be our "take home baby", but we are hopeful. I miss you so very much and would do anything to have you here. I saw a mother at the grocery store with her toddler daughter in the shopping cart and her baby in a car seat. How it breaks my heart that you will not get to be the big sister here with us. It's so not fair. I don't know that I will ever get over the unfairness of it all. You my girl are so loved. Thank you for the very best 40 weeks and 5 days of my life. Our time together was nothing short of blissful.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Nine Months and spreading her ashes

It's the 5th again...I never quite know how I will feel on the 4th/5th day of the month. Today I feel peace, so far anyways.

Brian's parents have been in town from NC the last couple days and it has been beyond wonderful to have them here. It really is a shame to live so far away from people who you really love and enjoy being around!

This trip was supposed to be for them to meet Addison for the first time.We had planned a summer visit because we thought it would be more fun for them to meet a little girl with some personality instead of a crying/sleeping/eating/pooping newborn.

Well I can say this visit has been about Addison, from sharing her pictures, her room and talking about her constantly. No wonder I feel peace today.

I also knew their visit meant something else. We had talked about early on how we would wait for them to spread Addi's ashes as a family, a whole family. We only wanted to spread the "extra" that didn't fit in her urn, her bootie urn will be kept safe and sound until I go. I want to be buried with my girl.

I haven't been able to write about parting with some of her ashes, talk about it or really even think about it because it seemed way to big to handle. I couldn't even settle on the exact date. I needed the day, the weather, the lake to be perfect for her. Here's the thing though, they didn't put them in anything special, a felt type bag with an actual zip lock baggie inside...not the proper place for my girl. I was really scared to look at them. In this whole time, I have never even peeked. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but still not a fun thought.

Yesterday turned out to be the perfect day...well as perfect as something like this can be. Nine months from the day we heard our lives would be changed for ever by those words "no cardiac activity". I was anxious to get going as there was no wind, the sun was out and there were little to no boats out to make noise. We wanted her at the lake, at our favorite place in the whole world, that's where we are and that's where we want Addi.

I bought pink balloons, one for each couple. We wrote on little cards for her, not goodbyes just love notes to Addi. This was not about saying goodbye this was about holding her close. Brian and I had the perfect moment with each of Addi's grandparents, her great-grandparents, her aunt and uncle by our sides. We also tossed pink petals into the lake and then sent our balloons up. Sarah came and took some pictures for us from the dock. It was just everything I wanted without even knowing it. If there were tears, there were few because it wasn't as sad as it could have been. It was just about loving Addi all together and it was beautiful.

Throughout the day the rose petals floated away and eventually started floating back. Everyone got so excited to see them.

So this 9 month mark, I feel peace and lots of love. I feel like Addi counts to those who are most important to us. She is so loved and so missed and not just by Brian and I.

You are with us with every breath we take and now you are forever apart of our favorite place. Your whole family loves and misses you so much. While I wish this weekend was about you meeting your grandparents in a way it kind of was. Not the way we had planned, but still so much love for you! Today is one of those days where I feel like I have accepted this as our story (not that I will feel that way tomorrow), but today I can just be grateful that we even have you as apart of our story even for that all too brief 9 months. Nine months we spent planning for you, nine more months we have spent missing you. I can't believe it has been so long and yet this day nine months ago feel like an eternity. Mommy loves you so much baby girl.

Great-Grandma and Grandpa and Grandma

Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma


Grandma & Papa

The plaque at the lake
A perfect pink sunset to end  our day