Monday, March 26, 2012

Baby Shower

*I started this post last week and am just getting around to finishing it up and adding pictures. Sorry for the wait. I feel like I should write more, but I don't know what else to say, so here is!

 
Where to begin...Sunday was it...Baby Shower Day. I think the fact that it was so last minute REALLY helped me. I didn't have much time to get worked up about it. I was nervous of course, but not completely freaking out.

I kept telling myself it was just friends, cake and presents...what is scary about that?!? I started the morning moving everything (except furniture) from the nursery to the guest room...why didn't I think of that earlier? So much easier than boxing everything up (for now). This way it was ready for Brian to paint while I was gone. I really didn't want to be around for that so it needed to be ready for him.

As much as Brian has been hoping I would get the nursery ready for him, I think when he really saw how empty it was, he didn't like it. Plus then he knew it was up to him to take it from there...not so easy when the ball is in your court!

Two of my friends road with me to the shower. It was nice having the company and not having too much time on my own to think. We got there early and just the host, her daughter (my O), my sister and Sarah were there setting up. Wow, do I have great people in my life. I didn't have to do a thing, but they were busy little workers! People slowly started to arrive and that seems good. Just one person that I love after another. It wasn't until almost everyone had arrived and they were all in one room that I walked into and felt like throwing up. I was totally overwhelmed. I just wanted to hang out in the kitchen and not come out. I felt like I had a "deer in the headlights" look on my face and everyone could tell (although I have been told otherwise thank goodness). It was so weird because if I actually looked at any on person in the room it was like oh yeah I LOVE this person and the person next to them and so on, but just the room full of people was a lot.

There were also SO MANY GIFTS! We had to start by opening presents just to make some room in the living room! It was really a moment of wow...look how many people love this baby boy SO much already. He is so lucky! It was also great getting so much blue, I didn't think it would be, but it was nice knowing I wouldn't have to dress him in pink for the first year of his life lol.

I think it was a really good thing for me to have a day and things that were/are JUST for Mason. He is his very own person and I needed to have this day.

After presents we had a yummy homemade cake by the host, requested by yours truly. It was a lemon and blueberry cake...so delicious! O did the decorating. She also made the diaper cake! O will be 9 in June, which means she is exactly as old as I was when my brother was born. I really think O and Mason will have a special connection.

We had no games or cutesy baby shower type shenanigans, which was exactly what I had asked for. It was so nice seeing everyone, I just wish I would have had more time with each person. The day was success, there was no crying and I really feel good about the fact that we did it...and that it's over :) I am really happy to have the memories and photos to share with Mason someday (please let be able to share this with him)!
Mason's super cool height chart my cousin Jesica made!
Diaper cake by O
 
Just some of the blue!

Another cake decorated by O "MAC"

Beautiful flowers my friend Kim brought for Addi <3

Lots more pictures, but it's hard to decide what to post!


I came home to a half painted nursery and a defeated husband. He had been so pumped to get the nursery together and I think actually doing it was much harder on him emotionally than what he was expecting.

Apparently there was a paint spill mishap that really made a mess...Brian thinks that was Addi's way of protesting the painting of her pink room...I have to admit, that made me smile. He was disappointed that he didn't finish, but I was happy with what he had done.

Once the car was unloaded, we both put on our jammies and crashed on the couch. Both completely exhausted and mostly for emotional reasons. Good, productive day that was all about Mason. Phew!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Or in my case hair was gone yesterday! I thought this process would be a bit more emotional, but it was actually not too bad. I went to a new hair stylist who had been referred to me. I wasn't sure if I would share the reasons why I was cutting my hair to donate to Locks of Love, but it came up...of course it came up.

Surprisingly this stranger I had never met before started talking about her cousin who has 5 children, well 4 living as soon as she said that I thought this was going to be an easier trip than expected. I asked about the child her cousin had lost and she told me it was a little girl who was stillborn at full term...sound familiar?!?! So then of course I told her all about Addison and how hard it is to be pregnant again with all this fear. She seemed to "get it" in a sad, but refreshing way. She also told me about her cousin got very involved with Molly Bears! I told her how we recently got ours and how much we love it!

Now I don't believe that everything happens for a reason, but it did seem kind of perfect that SHE was the one cutting my hair!

I wound up being able to donate just under 13 inches of hair! My hair is a bit shorter that I would have chosen if I had been cutting it for me, but I wanted to be sure not to go under the required 10 inches.

It felt nice to know that this very special hair that grew with me while Addison did was going to go to a child in need. My BLM friend Brandy donated her hair several months back and left me the comment of "It was my innocence, my grief, and my renewed hope all in one" so true Brandy, so true!

After my appointment I went to decorate Addison's spot with Easter decorations. Then I came home to work in Mason's room with my mom. I took it easy all day and had only a hand full of contractions. So thankful to NOT be in labor yet! I have to say that labor scare did put me in a better mindset to get things ready for Mason. Before I was just sure that he wouldn't come before 38 weeks and now I am getting into gear, just in case. Nothing like an "Oh my God, my baby is dead...again" moment to throw yourself into action...ugh. I'm trying my best to do the things I can without pushing myself too much. Once you think you can't or won't be able to get things done it really makes you want to! Don't you hate that?!?

So here are the hair shots for your viewing pleasure ha!
Holy Little House on the Prairie!

Possibly the shortest I have ever had my hair

Front view

The final braid to be donated!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One thing after another

*I wanted to start this post off by saying that this morning things feel good, I am still pregnant and Mason is kicking and squirming just as he should, but yesterday/last night had me scared out of my mind, here's why:

The day started off like any normal day. I had my second NST that afternoon and this time Brian was able to come with me. It didn't feel nearly as scary or as hard as the first one. After the nurse got me
all hooked up and left the room Brian was like "that's it" "this is all you have to do" I think he expected the test to be a bigger one than just being strapped to a monitor. I was feeling bad for making him come with me because yes, this is all it is. I couldn't tell if I was more relaxed because I had already gotten the first one over with, because it was in a different room or because Brian was there. Either way I felt silly for dragging Brian out.

The test is supposed to last 20 minutes, but I thought the nurse forgot about us because I was hooked up for almost 50 minutes! Apparently the doctor who had to look over the results was busy with a patient so we REALLY had to wait. There was a couple that came in after us and they got to leave before us, which I was super irritated about. Finally a different nurse came into our room and said they had a few concerns with our test...oh, why didn't I figure that out on my own!?!? That's why it was taking SO long. She tried to explain that they weren't "really" concerned, but because of my history they weren't taking any chances...I felt like she was trying to downplay things as to not freak me out.

The nurse told us that we would need and ultrasound and because their tech was off for the day we would need to go to the hospital to get it...oh God...not the hospital! That seemed WAY too scary. Brian asked if their tech had already left and if she was still there to let her know who was here and see if she would stay late (he is so smart)! The nurse caught her and when she found out it was us she took us right back (I guess there is a small bright side to being so well known).

Mason passed the ultrasound test right away. She was really pleased...as were we on MULTIPLE levels. Almost 2 hours later we finally left our 20 minute appointment...I am just SO thankful Brian was with me and everything turned out okay, but still that was WAY more excitement than I needed.

We went to Costco afterwards to grab a few things. Including a piece of furniture I want to put in the guest room when it becomes the "play room" that has a lot of easy access storage. During the last week or so I have been having braxton hicks contractions. I have been putting them in my phone to keep track that I don't have more than 4 in one hour. As we were walking out to our car I had a bigger one that stopped me in my tracks. It didn't hurt, but it did take my breath away.

Once we got home I had another one so that was only 10 minutes since the last one. Brian made me go inside put my feet up and drink water while he unloaded the car and got dinner started. I kept having them...more and more. I was started to freak out as 34 weeks 1 day seems WAY too early for any of this. I called the on-call doctor and she said to keep doing what I was doing and try taking a warm bath.

I got off the phone and asked Brian to pre-register us at the hospital (just in case) while I took a bath. At one point my contractions were every 2 minutes for an hour. They finally started to get some space between them, but I was sure we would wind up in the hospital. Once they were 10 minutes a part I fell asleep.

I woke up at 1:15 this morning to go to the bathroom and once I got back in bed Mason didn't move...like at all. I could feel his legs and when I pushed them they moved easily...lifeless. I completely panicked and ran for the doppler. I found his heartbeat right away and after that he started to move, but for a few minutes I was sure he was dead. After that there was no going back to sleep. I stayed awake for an hour or so feeling him move and trying to calm down. I finally went back to bed just before 3am.

So far this morning things seem normal again, but I will be taking it easy. Brian was getting ready for work and just happened to put on the shirt he was wearing the day we lost Addison (it was a Saturday) I asked him to please wear a different one. He was shocked out of all things that I could remember what he was wearing that day, but quickly changed it for me. I am hoping today is an easier day. The only thing I have on my list is to get my hair cut.

Oh and today, March 24th is also the day we found out we were pregnant 2 years ago with Addison...wow. Those two line sure changed our lives FOREVER.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

34 Weeks

How Far Along: 34 weeks (our baby is as big as a Cantaloupe).
Maternity Clothes: New jeans. My mom and I tried really hard to find something new for me to wear for the shower, but just came up empty handed everywhere we went!
Movement: This weekend it was a lot less than normal. I was busy and stressed so I know that played into my worry, but I am not good with this! Getting back to the normal work week seems to have sparked the normal movement. I did have to get the doppler out one day this week just to be sure.
Gender: A brother for Addison, Mason Alexander.
Symptoms: Runny nose seems to be about it this week.
Cravings: Strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries...crap now I want some strawberries!
Belly Button In or Out: Still in, getting more flat!
Best Moment this week: Shopping with my mom was pretty fun this time. Seemed a little easier and we found some lake stuff for Mason. For some reason lake stuff is easy and exciting for me to buy. It feels more natural and not scary. I may not be able to buy the regular stuff, but swim shorts, hats, lake towel, life jacket etc. Mason is set! Probably because the lake is my happy place so I am around all things lake when I am the happiest. Also the baby shower was really nice, it may have been overwhelming, but it was still really nice to see so many people I love.
Freak-out of the week: hmm well I didn't really freak out about the shower because it was last minute (thank goodness) I did feel a little weepy after it, but managed to just go to bed and shed no tears. Saturday night I had to break out the doppler as I had been having braxton hicks contractions that day and hadn't noticed Mason moving as much. Then Tuesday at the doctor's office I cried all through my NST...this was hard week. I think the closer we get the harder these weeks will feel.
What I miss: Going to the doctor appointments and NOT crying. Remember when a simple NST used to be simple? I do and I miss that blissful ignorance.
What I am looking forward to: In a way I am looking forward to getting my hair cut on Saturday and in a way it makes me a little sad to know that the hair that was with me while Addison was will be gone too...silly to think like that, but I do.
Next Appointment: Friday, March 23rd I have my second NST, this time Brian will be there. Our next doctor appointment is Friday the 30th and I really can't wait to see and talk to OUR doctor, wow, I really missed him!
Something Else: Like I said before, the appointment with the new doctor went okay. She was neither dismissive nor thorough. I knew it wouldn't be the same without MY doctor. What I didn't say it that her nurse was also pregnant...what is this an epidemic?!? Anyways she was nice enough, but when she took my blood pressure she held my arm between her arm and her belly so I was literally touching her belly. I wanted to say that just because I was pregnant didn't mean I was okay with her being pregnant, but I kept it to myself and my BP wasn't too high...ugh. I was not prepared to be held against her belly!

Saturday was St. Patrick's Day. Normally having a drinking holiday on a Saturday would be really exciting (I'm not a big drinker, but I do love an excuse to go out with friends). Since I am not drinking anything, but water these days it wasn't exciting and the thought of having to go out and deal with crowds was less than appealing. I was supposed to clean out the nursery that day and since I spent it shopping with my mom I really was behind. I had decided when Brian got home we could work on it together. Once he got home we weren't in the mood to do anything...including cook so we did go out to dinner with my sister where they each got a single green beer...I got water. Then we went straight back home and landed on the couch...not very productive! Brian was excited to see what my mom and I had bought Mason. Since I do so little shopping for Mason, Brian is always excited when I am able to do something.

Sunday morning was my shower. I got up early with the dogs so Brian could sleep in and then I decided to take on the nursery. I decided that I didn't have to go through it as meticulously as I had originally thought. All I really needed to do was empty it out so Brian could paint. So I pretty much just moved everything from the nursery to the guest room. Brian was amazed when he got up to see what I had done...and also surprised it was that "easy". I tried not to think about what I was doing as I was doing it and more or less just got it done!

I started getting ready for the shower and just kept thinking all I was doing was going to meet a few friends, eat some cake and get some presents...that seemed easy enough. Once I got to my friend's house where the shower was easy too...it wasn't until everyone showed up that I started to feel overwhelmed. I really will try and do a shower post soon.
Monday was a hard day at work, just felt really blah and then Tuesday was the NST test that had me all kinds of emotional, which you can read more about in the last post. We also had our 3rd childbirth class that night. It was okay. Brian didn't protest quite as much about going until we got there, then he wanted to know if we could sneak out at break...he thought going home to watch NCIS would be more fun and honestly I couldn't really blame him. We did stay through the whole class, but I am still undecided if it has been worth it or not. After class we talked to the instructor about taking the infant CPR class (we tried to take it THREE times before Addi was born and it kept getting cancelled). She said there was one the weekend before we are hoping to induce...so I guess the 4th times the charm...I hope! She also asked what room Addi was delivered in. Next week is the hospital tour and she didn't want to take us into THAT room. I thought that was so sweet of her to think of. She is really a bit flaky so it really surprised me that she even thought of it. We told her we were in two rooms, but if we did go in them again it would be okay as we only had wonderful memories of our daughter in them. The one room I WON'T go in would be the NST room in L&D.

Last night I actually went through some of the mounds of presents Mason got on Sunday. I made a pile of things to wash, took tags off and tried to separate the toys from the gear. I got about half way through and I was happy with my accomplishment. Brian worked a little more in the nursery. It is half blue and half pink so there is still work to be done. For some reason Brian painted Mason's name on the pink part...I don't know if that was for me to remember that it's his room now or just because he was bored and got a wild hair...let's hope for the wild hair. The room is pretty much a disaster since all the furniture had to stay in! Little by little.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NST PTSD

NST machine
I will eventually write about the baby shower we had on Sunday, but until I can get to all of that I wanted to write about today's NST. Our appointment with the different doctor on Friday went okay. I didn't have to go crazy on her, which was a bonus. She wasn't dismissive, but she wasn't thorough either. I left feeling like I didn't get what I needed. I called the office later to have my real doctor call me when he is back.

This was my very first NST (non-stress test) I have had this pregnancy. I have been dreading it because the last NST I had made my whole world come crashing down.

My NST's are scheduled twice a week until Mason is born. One NST a week I have to go to on my own because Brian can't get the time off work. I haven't gone to a single appointment without him, let alone THE appointment I went to where they couldn't find Addison's heartbeat.

My first NST was on a "no Brian day" um seriously...what the hell was I thinking? Clearly I wasn't. I was really nervous when I got up this morning. Luckily Mason was squirming around in my belly so I knew at the very least he was alive.

Brian left for work and I left on my own to the appointment feeling...scared, anxious, lost etc. I checked in at the OB's office and also asked for a copy of my last ultrasound results. I waited for my name to be called and read over my results. They looked good as far as I could tell.

A nurse I have never seen before called me back to the NST room.  Now the last NST I had where they couldn't find Addi's heartbeat was at the hospital so this wasn't THE room, but it was the room where I had the only NST where Addi was alive and well. I hadn't been in that room since my daughter was alive. It felt odd in there. The nurse was chatty and and I am sure a little confused why I looked like I was about to pass out.

When she asked how I was,  I said  I was nervous. I tried telling her that the last NST I had they couldn't find my daughter's heartbeat, but she went on and on about how that happens often and she would get me all hooked up...no lady I mean they NEVER found it! After a couple more attempts I finally had to spell it out, my daughter is DEAD, this baby is my son, my second pregnancy. Then she felt terrible...I didn't mean to make her feel bad, but she just wasn't getting it. As if no one warned her about me.

She found Mason's heartbeat right away and I have to say I was quite pleased with how well he cooperated the entire test. The nurse kept coming back to look at the print out and every time would say "look how pretty". Like she wanted me to know how well things were looking.

When she left me the first time, she asked me to drink the water I had brought with me. So I did. All of it! It was cold and I couldn't help, but notice how the cold felt as it went down my throat and then as a contrast how warm the tears felt that streamed down both sides of my face.

I was quiet about it, no ugly cry, but I cried through the entire test. I couldn't help, but think that the last time I was in THIS chair in THIS room staring at THESE tiles on the ceiling I was listening to my perfectly healthy ALIVE baby girl. If only I had known that her passing that test with flying colors would mean she would be gone 3 short days later. Those tiles really made the tears flow.
my ceiling "view"


These tests don't make me feel better. I still want to do them, but do I think they will keep Mason safe, oh hells no. Nothing will.

When the test was over the nurse commented on how great the results were, that they don't usually see such great cooperation. On one hand I was thankful not to have anything new to worry about, but on the other hand I know that doesn't guarantee me a take home baby.

My one shining moment came when I heard my doctor was back in the country today. Maybe I will sleep a little better knowing he is here if I need him.

33+ weeks pregnant and it is just getting harder. I seriously think I suffer from NST PTSD among other things!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

33 Weeks

How Far Along: 33 weeks (our baby is as big as a Honeydew).
Maternity Clothes: I tried to get something new, I failed. Well actually my mom did get me a tank top since my dryer ate my favorite one and I finally got a new bra...I only had one that didn't look like some sort of torture occurred after wearing it and we all know one is not enough!
Movement: I noticed the "crazy all over the place movements" changed to slower, larger ones. Then at our ultrasound on Monday we were told Mason is finally head down (I know we still have time, but it was bothering me) so now that we know he is head down, it makes sense that his movements feel different. They are still sometimes painful and take my breath away.
Gender: A brother for Addison, Mason Alexander.
Symptoms: Runny nose, light heartburn is back and forgetfulness. I actually had to pull out my calendar when asked how many weeks I was this week...what is wrong with me?!?! I count these weeks like crazy, write posts about them and I couldn't remember if it was 31 or 32...I am a nut.
Cravings: Reese's miniatures. They have to be this specific type (not the full size, not the eggs, just the miniatures)....don't ask me why.
Belly Button In or Out: Still in, can't see it unless I bend over! I notice when Mason is stretching part of it pokes out. I can make it flat really easy!
Best Moment this week: I think the ultrasound on Monday. Even though we still don't have confirmation that all is well, the look on the tech's face of relief was pretty nice!
Freak-out of the week: Sunday night I had a pretty good meltdown. Just everything caught up to me and I needed to let it out.
What I miss: Being excited to work on the nursery and for things like baby showers. I WANT so badly to be excited like I know I SHOULD be.
What I am looking forward to: In one breath I could say I am looking forward to the baby shower on Sunday and then in the same breath I could say how much anxiety I feel about it. Bottom line is that I have AMAZING friends and there will only be people there who love and support me...so there is no real reason to be anxious. BUT then there is the whole baby shower aspect and since I spend a lot of energy not thinking about everything, this will be a very "in my face" day of A BABY IS COMING kind of thing. Plus I am sure I forgot to invite a few and that makes me feel so bad, I tried to rack my brain as much as possible, but if I forgot you, please forgive me! Are you busy Sunday?
Next Appointment: Friday, March 16th. This will be our first and only (hopefully) appointment with a doctor other than OUR doctor. I am super nervous about it. It is just a regular follow up appointment, but we will be going over the ultrasound results (well we better) and I hate the idea of someone who isn't invested in us taking care of us. I have heard that this doctor can be abrasive and I just hope she takes into account what we have been through and is gentle with us. Old me would have sat back and just been uncomfortable in a bad situation, but new me will have no problem telling her exactly what I think and need....For her sake she better be kind to us or I can imagine a really ummmm colorful day shall we say in the doctor's office! I really hate that our doctor is gone...just knowing he is close makes me relax in a way I didn't even know until he left.
Something Else: I think I detailed the weekend's events pretty well in my last post. I am thankful that I was able to do some work in the nursery and that my mom and I went shopping for Mason and only Mason. Those were some good steps (hard, painful and sad), but still good.

Having that ultrasound behind us makes me feel good, but knowing we have an appointment coming up to talk about it makes me nervous, especially since our doctor won't be the one explaining it to us. It better have been looked over by a doctor because if I have to wait longer to hear, I will throw a real life grown-up/crazy mom tantrum.



Then there is the baby shower...I seriously can't believe the majority of my friends are able to come at only a moments notice. A few of my friends can't come, which I know we could reschedule for another day, but the more I think about this "last minute" party the more I think I can't handle knowing it is coming with a couple weeks of anticipation. Let's get this over with quick and dirty! Okay not dirty, but you know.

When I think about seeing all my friends, it just makes me happy, but when I think about the baby shower aspect, that's when I get a little crazy. Too bad there can't be drinking! I know I want to do this or at least that I don't want to not do this. So we are doing it....ready or not!

Sleep was really hard this week. I am tired ALL day long and then bedtime comes and I just lie there wide awake. I moved to the couch twice this week! I roll to the right and after a while my hips hurt, so I roll to the left and then back and forth. Each move seems like I disturb Brian. It isn't an easy move because...I don't flip over quite like I used to and there are pillows that need to be rearranged with every adjustment I make. Covers get shifted and I know Brian's sleep is not interrupted. He doesn't complain though and still prefers I sleep in the bed and not leave for the couch. He is a good one. I think the only happy about my move to the couch is our lab Annie "ol faithful" as we call her will camp out on the floor next to me just as happy as can be.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baby Steps

So this weekend I actually got a lot accomplished...not a lot by a normal person's standards, but a lot for a BLM's standards.
Saturday my sister came over and we worked a little in the nursery. Cleaning/organizing and we got all the clothes for Mason in a pile and washed everything...I still miss the pink lint ...the blue looked a lot like when I wash Brian and my clothes. I also folded them and separated by size. That night we went to the Goodwill to drop off a load of stuff and also went out and bought some baby boy wrapping paper to line the inside of the dresser drawers.


Sunday I spent a little more time in there and and lined the drawers with the new blue paper and put the clothes away. I decided to leave the pink under the blue and not take it out completely...feels a little better that way.


That was the extent of the work I could handle. I thought I might actually try and shop a little for Mason. I was going to go by myself, but my mom happened to be available to go with me, which was way better.

We went to 4 different places and found a few cute things for just Mason. It felt weird to shop for him...I can't really explain it. My mom bought everything we picked, which was SO nice!  It was wonderful and sad for me to see her in the grandma role that has been stolen from her.

We both had a hard time steering away from the pink side of the aisles...especially with Easter season upon us...holy Easter dresses, bonnets and gloves oh my! I wish I didn't love those things SO much.

I wish I could have been more excited about what we were doing, but the tears felt too close for comfort. The thought of shopping for toddler sundresses and sandals was all too "in my face".

We decided to meet up with Brian and my dad since they had been chopping wood ALL day for our fireplace. We went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. It was a nice end to the day.

My friend who is planning the baby shower sent me a text freaking out because we were originally planning it for THIS Sunday and now we waited too long to send out invites. My mom and I were checking the calendar and there really isn't a great time between now and our due date...I don't really want to have it once Mason is here because well...that's a lot of germs in one room! Plus I want to be able to buy what we need before he gets here and I need to know ahead of time what it is that we need.

We decided to send out emails and just see if by chance anyone would be available Sunday to do this. I wound up getting a lot more yes answers than I expected. Holy procrastination batman! I actually think this might be the best case scenario...I won't have too much time to stress about it and it will be smaller because not everyone will be able to come. It just might work! I really just want cake and friends so this is perfect.

Once Brian and I got home we were ready for bed! He was exhausted from the physical aspect and I was drained from the emotional aspect. Not 2 minutes after climbing into bed I could hear Brian's breathing switch to that "sleep" breathing and that's when the tears started to flow. I tried to cry as quietly as possible, but after almost an hour I need to get more tissues and not hold it in so much. I quietly got up to move to the couch, but it woke Brian up (he always freaks out when I get up) I think because I switched rooms that night with Addison, he is always worried when I leave. I told him I was having a "sad" night and needed some time, which he seemed to understand.

When I got out to the couch (I still can't sleep in our perfectly wonderful and comfortable guest room since that's the last place Addison was alive) I grabbed the box of tissues and let it fly. I just kept thinking about how much I miss Addison and the life we should be living. I kept thinking how ironic it was that it was MY crying that was keeping me up and not hers. After a really good cry I slept on and off until 2AM and then moved back to the bedroom.

I really could have used a personal day, but I can't waste my leave time. I made it to work and pushed through the day. We had our follow up ultrasound this afternoon and it went well. We still have to wait for the radiologist to go over our scans, but our tech. was very pleased with what she saw. Her excitement over the scan made me feel good. Our doctor appointment is Friday so hopefully we will get to talk about it then.

I actually feel like I took a few "baby" steps in the right direction this weekend even with the massive crying episode.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

32 Weeks

How Far Along: 32 weeks (our baby is as big as a Squash).
Maternity Clothes: Maybe something new this week...we will see.
Movement: Less all over the place movements, more large and sometimes painful ones. Still most active after dinner and at bed time.
Gender: A brother for Addison, Mason Alexander.
Symptoms: Runny nose is the most consistent. The others all come and go. Back to only one bathroom break a night...not sure how I am getting so lucky on that one!
Cravings: Double stuffed oreos...and milk....the milk makes it a healthy choice...right!?!? Oh and strawberries! I would eat strawberries every day!
Belly Button In or Out: Still in, I still can't see it unless I bend over! It may be more flat that in...I'll have to check again!
Best Moment this week: It was a quiet week at work and I really REALLY needed that. If only every week could be like this! Plus I got the nicest email from our nurse who helped deliver Addison. She is really trying to make sure she will be able to be our nurse for Mason. This brings me the only real relief I have felt in a long time, if we can have her AND our original doctor I might actually be able to do this.
Freak-out of the week: Probably anticipating the childbirth class and then actually being there. I really get myself worked up about these things. No major Mason freak-out...I still have several times a week where I am convinced he isn't moving and something is wrong, but that is a weekly/daily occurrence. I just got the call changing my next doctor appointment to a new doctor because my doctor is leaving the country! I knew this was coming, he gave me plenty of warning and I am so happy for him because it really is for a wonderful reason, but man I am nervous about not having him even just for one appointment. We haven't seen a different doctor this entire time. Hopefully it will be a quick trip and he will be back soon. I just have to be grateful that this isn't happening when I deliver...well hopefully nothing happens while he is gone...agghhhhhhh.
What I miss: I miss being one of those blissful ignorant parents in the childbirth class. I envy them so!
What I am looking forward to: Sleeping in on Saturday...this week has been go-go-go and I am exhausted! Also the follow up ultrasound we have scheduled for Monday. I mean I am nervous about it, but also ready for some more answers.
Next Appointment: Ultrasound is Monday, March 12th and our next doctor appointment is Friday, March 16th.
Something Else: If we are able to induce at 38 weeks that means that we could be a mere 6 weeks away from meeting our son...this doesn't seem like a reality to me at all. There are still times when I question if this is the real deal...am I really pregnant?!? The bulging/squirming ball in my belly says yes, but my brain says no. Six weeks really isn't a very long time and yet it feels like a lifetime away.

Gifts for Mason are arriving in the mail and I haven't written one single thank-you note...so unlike me. I got as far as buying thank-you cards and that's where it stopped. That part shouldn't be so hard and yet I can't seem to make myself do it!

Brian asked that I get the nursery ready or at least cleared out so he could start painting by next weekend...I thought he had given up on that. Guess not. I have had offers to come and help me do this, but if I don't know what I want or where I want things how am I supposed to to tell other people what to do in there? I really don't think I can do this. It's pretty bad when your husband is the one nesting and you don't want anything to do with it.

Then there is the car seat situation. It's getting to be that time that they need to be taken out of the closet and installed in our vehicles. I think I did this a good 2 months before Addison was born...just in case, you know?!? I loved looking behind my seat and seeing it there. After she died I couldn't get Brian to rip them out fast enough. I had them installed by the professionals because that's one of those things I don't want to take any chances on. They are only available once a month to do this. I think the next time is 3 weeks away so it wouldn't be too long before he is supposed to come, but I still think it will be hard to have it in there. I suppose I can just have the base in there and leave the car seats in the closet until last minute...that will probably be the best option.

I still have yet to do a single load of tiny blue laundry and that baby shower I have been talking about was originally scheduled for next weekend...since I haven't gotten invites sent out that isn't looking promising. Wow, I really suck this go around!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1st Childbirth Class...

We did it...completed the first childbirth class out of 4 and it was more of a disaster than a success. Here's why:

1. It is at the hospital where Addison was born, when we tried to find the classroom we were told to go to Labor and Delivery as that was where the class was being held...WHAT!?!? Turns out it wasn't, but we had to go there just to be told the next rat race to follow to get to it. Happy families all over waiting for babies to be born...alive of course. ugh.

2. We were super early as we had come from visiting my grandma (who is doing great so far). So looking for the class wasn't as easy because no one had come yet. It wound up being in the basement of the hospital in a totally random location. Plus the door to get in had a card reader on it so we weren't sure how to get into the room. Finally a few people started showing up and confirmed that we WERE in the right place. Still so weird. I guess because the hospital is under construction that's why the odd location, but it felt like a treasure hunt...with no treasure!

3. The class is about half as big as the one we took with Addison. This could be good, but to me it seemed worse because that means there are less couples to scope out!

4. Hello meet Mrs. Judgmental (that's me). I couldn't help, but have an opinion about every couple. Too young, too happy, too whatever. Then once we announced what we were having boy/girl the options dropped by half (no baby girls for me remember).

5. One mom was someone I had known before getting pregnant either time, but I hadn't seen her in years, that was awkward too. We are not friends, but we know each other...sort of...just weird.

6. The instructor asked how many of us were NOT first time parents. Brian and I looked at each other a raised our hands. Along with one other couple. She asked the first couple how many children they had already. That was easy! Then she asked us, we said one. I thought YES! That was way better than all the scenarios that were playing in my head, but then it wasn't over...she RECOGNIZED us! Oh God. She got all excited and said she remembered us from her class before and asked how old our first was. I panicked. My face got red. I just mumbled that we would tell her about our daughter after class. Her face changed, she changed the subject. Thank God. I could have handled it better, but that's what came out. Brian leaned over to me and whispered "well that was awkward". At that point I was really regretting my decision to go to this class. Caroline you were right...I should have just said she passed away and left it at that.

7. Our husbands/birth partners were asked to introduce us, say what we were having, when we are due and and what the highlight has been. Then the moms were asked to say one highlight and one not so highlight of the pregnancy. Brian did well then it was my turn....the highlight...the highlight...my mind was racing...I couldn't come up with one. I said my highlight hadn't happened yet, that I was looking forward to bringing him home. And my not so highlight was easy! It was simply how much I worry. Brian was upset with me for not saying a highlight...ugh.

8. At break we walked by the instructor and she asked if we had lost our baby. We told her the story and she was shocked. She was really nice and apologized for asking us about our baby in front of everyone. She basically offered up anything extra she could do for us, which was sweet. She even offered to take us to see our favorite nurse. I told her we were already friends on FB and keep in contact regularly. Still very nice. I doubt she will forget us now. Not really what you want to be remembered for!

9. As class was wrapping up I was surprised at how well we did seeing the other couples, listening to her talk about the "wonder" that is having a child and the videos of live birth. Of course there were lots of looks between Brian and I throughout, but nothing to interrupt class.

10. Leaving class I felt a bit defeated. Yes, we did it, but it didn't seem like it was going to be worth it in the end. Part of me wants to go again next week (maybe because I like to torture myself/maybe there is still a part of me that is hopeful/maybe a little of both). I don't know. We will see what next week brings.

After class I had a text waiting for me from my friend Julie from our first childbirth class. She must have known I was missing her! Reminded me of why we were doing this again. I don't think I talked to Julie until the 3rd or 4th class so maybe there is still a chance of this being worth it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Squeezing it all in this month

While the nursery, guest room and baby shower seem to be to hard to handle, there are SOME things I have been able to accomplish.

1. Sign up for childbirth classes

2. Sign up for camera classes

3. Schedule a hair cut

4. Continue support group meetings

5. Two different grandparents in the hospital for surgery stays = a granddaughter aka me visit for each of those days.

6. Attempt to go to/complete the items listed above

Looking at this month on the calendar is a little overwhelming. There is something planned for 9 out of 22 week nights and 17 days out of 31 there is something going on. It looks like the high lighter threw up all over my calender! Oh and some days have double bookings. I guess this is what they call cramming it all in at the last minute.

First on the list, childbirth classes. There are 4 different classes + 1 for breastfeeding + 1 for infant CPR=6 total. This one still stuns me that I did this to myself (and to Brian). Do we need help on how to birth a child, nope. Been there done that. The reason I am subjecting ourselves to this torture of a room full of ignorant/happy pregnant couples is to possibly make a connection like we did the first time. I really want to be able to have a couple or two outside my normal group of friends to have play dates with. Something we missed out on with Addison and I don't want to miss out on it again.

I'm nervous about a lot of things, but I keep thinking it COULD be worth it. We could meet some great couples like we did the first time (not as cool, but somewhere close). My fears include being asked who has additional children. I can't NOT raise my hand, but at the same time this is not the place to drop our bomb. Normally I am all about just saying it no matter what, but in this case where we are specifically going to try and fit in, I shouldn't ruin our chances by making us the lepers of the group right off the bat. Still how do I deal with that...I guess I just keep hoping it doesn't come up.

Then there is the part where I avoid pregnant chicks...and I am putting myself right inside the shark tank! This is where you can tell I have obviously lost my mind because I can't possible be in the right state of mind to do this to myself. I can also almost guarantee we won't be making friends with anyone having a girl. That I can't do. No girls allowed...only boys. Anyways I am super anxious about this class, but I won't know till I go. I suppose if it is beyond what I can handle, we can leave and never go back. There, problem solved...kinda.

2. We bought this fancy Nikon camera when we were ttc Addison. It came with 4 classes on how to use it. We use it a lot, but other than point, click and shoot, I really have no idea what it is capable of. I figure there is no time like now than to learn how to use it. If we ever do bring a baby home you know we will be taking a serious amount of pictures. Plus the classes are free (with the purchase) and once Mason is here (please oh please) our evenings will be devoted to him. I looked up the class schedule and finally made the call to secure our spots...wish I would have done this months/years ago! So lets do this!

3. My hair has gotten really long. Almost too long for my liking (and I am a fan of long hair). I have said since Addison was born that I wanted to donate it to Locks of Love. I was going to cut it when I got pregnant for the second time, but I chickened out. I figured that could somehow jinx us. So here it is almost time for Mason to come and still no hair cut. My family really likes it and keeps telling me not to, but here is the thing...the hair that is "on the chopping block" is hair I grew while pregnant with Addison. This was by far the happiest time in my life and I would love for it to make someone else happy too. It just feels like one more thing I can "pay forward". So today I called and made the appointment. My appointment day just happens to be the day I found out I was pregnant with Addison 2 years ago. That day seems right, don't you think?!?

4. Support group meetings. These are still a big part of my life. I didn't think I would still need them as much after the first year and maybe I don't, but now we have made friends and they really do help. We missed last week's meeting and I really feel bummed about it. There are 3 meetings a month, all different places and mostly different people. They all offer their own support. While part of me feels weird about still going to so many, so often, the other part of me feels like this is a constant in our lives that I need. They help so I continue to make them a priority.

5. Grandparent no. 1 out of surgery this morning (hip surgery) so far all is well. Grandparent no. 2 surgery on Thursday. I always try and visit as often as I can, but when they are in the hospital I make the effort to go each day. They would do it for me, it's the least I can do for them.

So there's my list for this month. I would take a picture of my overly highlighted calender, but I probably shouldn't post on line exactly which nights I won't be home...although I do have an excellent security team in place aka 3 big dogs. Still better not. Next month will hopefully be the month we meet our (living?healthy?) son. That doesn't seems possible...good thing we are so busy this month, I need the distraction!

Monday, March 5, 2012

15 Months

Our 8 pound teddy bear
Fifteen months of missing her. Each month feels like such a big number and this month is no different. I can't say that today feels any heavier than any other day, but I did feel more aware that the 5th was coming this month. Like each time I looked at the calender I willed the world to skip over it...much like if it were a "Leap Year" kind of date...if we could only have the 4th and 5th come by 4 times a year or even once every 4 years...that seems a bit easier to handle. No such luck though because here we are again.

As I was getting ready for work this morning I heard on the news that a 15 month old girl had died. My first thought was not "oh those poor parents" or "I can't believe it" it was simply, oh what I would have done to have 15 months with my girl. Of course my heart is broken for her family, but I can't help, but be jealous of the 15 months they got that we didn't.

We have spent more time this month with babies around Addison's age and while I can enjoy them for the children they are, it is so hard not to picture the missing girl that belongs to me. I struggle with the fact that I feel like I belong so much more in their world than that of my friends with newborns. Here I missed out on everything and should be looking forward to the wonder that is a newborn and yet I find myself so sad to be in a place that feels like we should be past already. I should be missing those stages, not anticipating them.  I want to spend this summer swimming in the lake with my toddler, going to the park, going for walks and walking slow enough that our daughter can walk herself, but at the same time running from here to there to catch up to my curious child. Don't get me wrong, I am ever so grateful to have a second chance to have a child, it just doesn't feel like where I am supposed to be.

I have to say this 15th month was not as hard as some. Still no fun, but just slightly easier than the last. I know there is no rhyme or reason to them and just because this one was slightly better doesn't mean anything for the next. It is what it is (my stand by phrase).

Friday we got our Addi bear in the mail from Molly Bears (handmade bears stuffed with the exact weight of your child). It came while I was at work and Brian was home. He sent me a text with a picture of the box. I asked him to please open it and send me a picture as soon as possible. I have been feeling especially anxious to get it. I really wanted it here before Mason came...not really sure why, but it was something nagging at me. I had signed up for one in January 2011. Finally it was here! I was really worried about what it would look like...I am more into the simple looking teddy bear than the overly bedazzled looking ones. While I was just thankful to have it, it's hard not to want a certain thing especially when it is associated with your child.
Brian sent me a picture and while it was wearing clothes and had a rose ironed to the front, it looked almost as I had hoped. Brian text me that he couldn't believe how heavy it was and that he didn't remember Addi feeling so big. His text to me "it's kinda cool" aka he was surprised that it was nice to feel her weight again. I couldn't wait to get home to hold it too. Once I got home the first thing I did was take off the clothes (it's not about thinking it's a baby to me, just to feel the weight is all I wanted). Holding that bear in my arms was a strange/wonderful feeling. I am really glad to have it. I don't really know what I will do with it or where it will go, but having it feels nice.
At any rate, it was an extremely nice gift to come home to and I am so appreciative to Molly Bears for sending it. It's not just anywhere you can get an 8 pound bear!

Dear Addi,
I miss you so, so much. I continue to ache for the life that should have been ours. I continue to dream about the way things could have been. I can't help it, you are constantly on my mind. The closer we get to your brother the harder it is to believe and accept that this really is our life. Still so lost on how we got here. I am dealing with so many emotions. So thankful to get another chance at parenting a living child and in the same breath I can't believe he could possibly come home with us either...if you didn't, why will he be able to?!? None of it makes any sense.

Yesterday I stood in the middle of your room...your brother's room and it looks like a bomb went off in there. It used to be my favorite room of the house and now everything is so out of place. Still so many of your things, but also a mix of your brothers. None of it seems to really belong. I stood there for a good 20 minutes just trying to take everything in and decide where to start. Last weekend when your dad's friends spent the night I did something I never do...I closed your door. Not because I was worried about them feeling uncomfortable, but because I was embarrassed on how disorganized it had become. Your dad came home and noticed right away, I could tell he didn't like having your room shut. I really want all your things meticulously organized so they are easy to find and easy to get to, but that seems like more than I have to give at this point. If I can't do your things at 100%, I don't do them. Then there is the part of me that wants to get things ready for your brother, but I just can't. At this point of 31 weeks pregnant with you, that room was perfectly set up for you and it doesn't seem right that it has so far to go before being ready for Mason. I'm not going to force it, it will happen when it happens.

I'm still waiting to dream of you, to see you alive in some way. I have dreamed of your brother twice. I'm not sure why I can't see you. I'll keep waiting and hoping.

It's been so nice to have your headstone complete. I visit often and it is always decorated. This month you are all decked out for St. Patrick's Day and yes we are actually Irish...there is some in there somewhere! This month is one that makes me smile as it is the month we found out we were pregnant with you. I can't believe this will be our first "2 year" milestone. Seems like such a long/happy time ago. Love you baby girl.
Love,
mommy

Thursday, March 1, 2012

31 Weeks

How Far Along: 31 weeks (our baby is as big as a Pineapple). How is it Thursday again? This week has flown. I think I have been in a haze all week.
Maternity Clothes: Same stuff
Movement: The normal evening dancing has slowed a bit. His movements are bigger so there isn't as much "crazy all over the place". I have been noticing I'm wincing more as some of his movements are painful...not so much that I cry, just takes my breath away for a moment. This kind of movement is new to me.
Gender: A brother for Addison, Mason Alexander.
Symptoms: Runny nose, my hips pop when I get out of bed, light sciatica and heart burn are kicking in again, thicker hair (or at least less is falling out in the shower). More day time bathroom breaks and last night I was up 3x so my night time bathroom breaks are increasing. Pregnancy brain, dropping stuff and feeling more tired.
Cravings: Sweets...I hate to admit it, but I need a chocolate something after dinner.
Belly Button In or Out: Still in, still "looks down towards the ground". Also, I can't see it by just looking straight down. I see the top of my belly and nothing else without bending. I need to lean forward to see my belly button...and my feet too.
Best Moment this week: Another fun weekend with friends.
Freak-out of the week: Friday when we found out there maybe something wrong with Mason's kidney. That was no good.
What I miss: What don't I miss???
What I am looking forward to: There is a pregnancy after loss meeting this week and I have to say, I am actually looking forward to that. It's such a small world to find other parents like us, but to meet others who lost a baby AND are pregnant again...well it just makes things feel less lonely.
Next Appointment: Friday, March 2nd.
Something Else: I have this calendar that I write in nightly (just a little something for Mason to have someday) you have to fill in the date and even after 31 weeks, I still only write on the dates for one week ahead...I don't have the confidence to fill it in all the way. I also take a weekly "belly" shot and print off the weeks in groups of four (that's how many fit on one page). I still only do that 1 page at a time. On one hand I know I won't "jinx" things, but on the other hand...why chance it.

After getting the news that there may or may not be something going on with Mason's kidneys, it put me in a funk, but probably not the one you are expecting. I am torn by feelings of worry and then feelings of OF COURSE there is something wrong. I guess I just expected there to be...I mean what are the chances of having 2 perfect/healthy babies?!?!? I don't really know what to say about it. It is what it is, we have to wait and see and I guess that's where I am at.

Just doing this update seems so draining. I had to make myself sit down and do this. I am sure I am forgetting things to add, but the fact that there is an update at all is all I have for tonight!

Oh and that baby shower list I was supposed to do weeks ago...still not done.