Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's the Big 0-4! Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Happy Birthday, Big Boy!!  Although I cannot picture you as a little boy, I imagine that you'd look a lot like Josiah only with darker curly hair like me. :)  When I think of you, I think of baby Jonas--not big boy Jonas.  I'm sad that I didn't get to know you as either a baby or a little boy.  I miss you dearly, I'm disappointed that you're not a part of our everyday family life, and I still think it's unfair what happened to us four years ago.  We experienced a terrible part of life.  It could have been worse, I suppose. Was there good that came of it?  You and I both know that Julien would not be here if you had not left.  However, I wish I could have all three of you boys alive and well in our new little house.  I suppose this is too deep of a conversation to be having with a four year old. :)  Happy Birthday, Jonas! Hope you enjoyed your party today and I hope you were able to snatch onto at least one of the balloons we sent up to you earlier.  I love you.









Mommy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Moving Forward

I haven't even checked on this page in almost a year.  Could that be a good thing?  Jonas' 4th birthday is coming up, and the idea that he will be 4 is unbelievable to me!  Since moving to Sidney, I haven't really gotten into the habit of visiting his grave as much as I'd like to.  Being in Germany and then Denver for his first 3 years kept me out of the habit of visiting him often, unfortunately.  I did go visit last week, and his resting place is as peaceful as it always has been.  My parents saw deer out there last week, and my good friend the owl swoops over every once in a while when I'm out there. :)

I suppose I should analyze my grief at this point.  After four years, I have definitely moved forward in my life.  So many things happen in life after four years.  A mind cannot dwell constantly on such a painful part of life for four years straight.  I'd say I go back to "that place" in my mind where I think of details approximately twice per year.  It is sad, but necessary...and I don't cry anymore.  I feel a quick sense of unfairness and bitterness, but then I move on and go about my life and continue to raise my hilarious little guys, Joss and Julien.

As Joss gets older, he talks about death more and more.  He is still trying to understand how Jonas fits into our lives.  Jonas' picture is on our wall along with theirs, and both of them know who he is.  Of course, Julien only knows his name and not his story.  Joss talks about Jonas dying and living in Heaven.  I'm sure it's very confusing to him, because he doesn't remember Jonas since he didn't get to meet him.

My next goal will be to do more in his memory.  I think it'd be great to give the local funeral homes gift bags for those who lose babies.  I'd include all the things I wish I'd had to comfort me when I was planning my son's funeral.  Now I am thinking of all the amazing people in our lives who helped us through that time.  And I will save that for a future post--one where I thank everyone I can think of for all the specific things they did for us. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Dude!

Happy Birthday, Jonas! Today you turned 3 years old! Wow it's so hard to picture you as a 3 year old. You'll always be my little baby, my middle child. Today we sent you up some balloons again--and this time there was *almost* no wind, so every single balloon floated up to Heaven just for you. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and peaceful...birds chirping at the cemetery...turtledoves fluttering around the town. I picked out a Toy Story balloon for your resting place. You've outgrown pastel colors and baby animals. Your brother loved Toy Story when he was 3, so I knew you would too. I love you so much. I miss you so much. I wish more than anything that you were here. I cried yesterday for you, but I didn't cry today. It's your day and I know you're so happy up there, so I'll be happy too. Happy Birthday, Jonas Elliot!

Mommy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

That time of year

With everything happening in my life right now, the days have just flown by. Jonas will be 3 years old on March 12th! (Would be 3? Will be 3? hmmm...) I think we will be doing a balloon release at lunch time once again. I have to work in the morning and then I'll have to head to North Platte for training, but I'll be able to "celebrate" at noon. He was born at 12:05 pm so the timing is perfect. Celebrate? I can't figure out that word as it pertains to how I feel about the day he was born. We celebrate birthdays for our children, but we are celebrating the day they were born and breathed LIFE. We celebrate each year they GROW older. So I'm not so sure that celebrating Jonas' birthday is what we are doing. I suppose we are remembering him, with sadness and tears, but also with peace in our hearts. When we celebrate Josiah's or Julien's birthday, it's such a happy day remembering the moments we held them for the first time. We had visions flashing through our minds of them growing up, going to Kindergarten, playing the drums in band, playing soccer, going on dates, graduating, getting married, and making us grandparents. When I held Jonas for the first time, all those visions faded at once. What is there to celebrate now? The fact that I no longer have that horribly shitty raw grief that was forced upon me in March of 2009? Yay! Except now I feel sadness when I think of him. The ONLY thing that makes me feel an ounce of happiness is knowing that he's safe and sound in such a beautiful place and I will be able to get to know my little boy someday. OH...and now I have Julien, who I would otherwise not have. I've already talked about that battle that I deal with...one baby had to die for another baby to live.

3 years...each year does not get easier on his "angelversary". March 11th will always be a crappy day (the day of the silent ultrasound...no heartbeat). But I will get more and more used to experiencing these two days every year. Perhaps it will get easier. Technically, it's ONLY been 3 years. Am I still allowed to feel pity for myself? When's my cutoff date?

I need to talk about God throughout all of this. I believe I am an intelligent human being who can make sound decisions. I know many have dismissed God as something people have made up to justify violence and war, among other things. I'm not out to prove that God exists. I only know the peace I have often felt during incredibly difficult times in my life. It's not something that can be seen, which is why I feel no need to prove his existence because that's what people rely on. I only know of the love of Jesus during his lifetime, which was the purest love in existence. He was trying to show us how to love. He wasn't showing us what groups of people we should go against, or who to elect as president, or how to be anti anti anti anti everything. I don't care about any of that stuff. I changed a lot after Jonas came...maybe I became cynical. But really, I was freed of a lot of "anti" baggage that tends to come with Christianity. I was able to see the bare bones of my faith and what it means to live like Jesus did. Spend time with the types of people that Jesus hung out with...drunks, whores, and beggars...Yes those dirty bums on the street corners. Jesus would be standing there with him keeping him company. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE...I can't say it enough. Being so anti everything is not loving people. It turns people away. It turns me away...from Christians, unfortunately.

A little off topic, but something I've been wanting to get out. I'll be back on here on Jonas' 3rd birthday. Thanks for listening to another rant from a grieving mama.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Grief in a Jar

Grief in a Jar
By Jenn Widener - April’s mommy

For many years, I kept my grief in a jar high
upon a shelf. All the secret pain, anger, bitterness
and fear were kept inside my jar. I would never
let it out. I would take it down and dust if off
occasionally, making sure the lid was still tight.
Periodically, I would add little bits to it, (it had
a one-way valve, bits could go in, but nothing
could come out). I would add pain from lost
dreams, missed birthdays and shopping trips,
absent first days of school, sibling quarrels and
bedtime stories. As the years went by, my jar
remained on the shelf. I checked on it from time
to time, clenched my teeth, pulled my hand back
and moved away. “Not now,” I would think,
“I’m too busy.”

One day my jar came crashing down. I was not
prepared. “Hurry! HURRY! Clean it up! Don’t
let it touch me!” I panicked. However, the more
I tried, the more it spread. I was soon sitting
in the middle of the floor, surrounded by the
accumulated years of repressed grief. Pieces
of the jar lay shattered all around me. People
walked by, observing me in this state, shaking
their heads. “Not over it yet?” they’d say. “Get
a grip.” I was lost in my mess.

Then suddenly, I felt the gentle presence of
others around me. I looked up to see these new
friends with smudges on their faces. Others who
bore the smudges of dirt I was now covered in!
THEY KNEW! They knew grief like mine, yet,
were not obliterated by it. Not consumed. They
showed me how to clean up the shattered pieces
of my jar. They helped me pick up the shards of
glass one by one. It was not an easy clean up.
It was painful. They showed me a way to turn
the piercing sharpness of my
grief into something else.
Sixteen years after the death
of my child, my grief is still
with me. No longer bottled
up in a jar, it now exists in a
beautiful pot. It holds a flower
that attracts butterflies. To
me, butterflies are a symbol
of hope. Hope grows from my
grief. Hope that one day I will
see my baby girl again. Hope
that I can give her a voice and
hope that together, we can
make a difference.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beware, you may cry...

I found this today, which is actually a song. I changed "sister" to "brother", and the age is a bit different but that's okay. I feel like this would be Josiah's song, if he could write it. Jonas would be 2 years and 9 months old as of yesterday.

i have a little brother
but we never got to play
he said hello and said goodbye
the very same day
daddy was so quiet
mommy cried and cried
grandma took me to the park
my parents stayed inside
i have a little brother
i saw his foot slide far
across my mommy’s belly
like a shooting star
i painted him some pictures
of a rainbow on the bay
my brother took them with him
when she went away
people see my family
my brother and me
they say that we have two kids
but i know we have three
i have a little brother
this year he will be two
i like to think of all the things
he and i could do
we’d strum the ukulele
and race the wooden cars
and when he grew up big enough
i’d teach him monkey bars
people see my family
my brother and me
they say that we have two kids
but i know we have three
i have a little brother
he's somewhere up above
i send him secret wishes
and messages of love
he plays with every brother
and sister who is there
on a rainbow-colored playground
floating through the air
i have a little brother
and though it makes me sad
i like to do my puzzles
and wrestle with my dad
my brother does this wiggle
he dances like a clown
sometimes i don’t mind it when
he follows me around
we are all a family
branches on a tree
my brother is my brother
and he will always be

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beautiful Song

My dad attended the annual memorial service today in Sidney for parents who have lost children. I'm thankful that he could be there since I couldn't. They show Jonas' portrait in the slide show, along with many other babies and children of all ages. He said they sang this song and it means a lot to him, so I thought I'd share it. I love the lyrics. Thanks, Dad!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Missing you

Dear little Jonas,

I've been missing you a lot lately. Maybe it's just the holidays. Knowing that our little family will always be minus one no matter how much fun we're having. Maybe it's all this difficult stuff we are going through. It all started with you. I don't want you to feel bad about that. You had no choice in the matter. I will never blame you. But life has never been the same and never will be. I hate being 2.5 hours away from you. When I want to go see your final resting place, I can't. I can't even make sure it's clean and organized. I hate picturing you under the cold ground. I know it's not you under there...you're somewhere far better. But I wish you at least had a blanket or something. :(

love,
mommy

Sometimes I have to write "ugly". Unless I want to fool myself into thinking that life is totally fine now, even 2.5 years after. It's just not. Yes, I am strong and I have endured so much. It could have been worse. And yes, Julien brightened my life more than anything else has since then. But if I am going to be honest, I need to say that I still struggle immensely sometimes.

Tomorrow I am going to an endocrinologist about the Hashimotos thyroid thing. I am also going to request to have all my hormones, including my adrenal glands tested. Whatever I can do to heal, I am going to do it! I overhauled my diet completely, and I hope I can keep that up as difficult as it is. I will keep everyone updated on my health.

Thanks for listening to such a downer post!

B.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago today, I was ready to meet Julien, my rainbow baby! I would be heading to the hospital that night to be induced. I was so scared but so relieved for that stressful pregnancy to end with a beautiful breathing baby! After a very long and terrifying labor, our little Julien Reese entered the world and entered my arms and entered into a family who needed him so very much. He filled a void in my heart and I'm so glad he's mine. So happy first birthday tomorrow, Julien!

A little update on my long journey to wellness. A couple of years ago I wrote about finally finding the reason behind my long list of symptoms--I had hypothyroidism. I was treating myself for awhile until I got pregnant with Julien. Pregnancy can raise your thyroid hormone levels, so I no longer was considered "hypo" during that time. A few months after I had Julien, I began to notice many changes in my mood. I blamed most of it on the crazy changing hormones that is typical postpartum stuff. But over the summer and very recently, I felt a new low. I suspected thyroid issues once again, but because of insurance issues (or lack thereof) I had trouble getting seen. I finally found a doctor and had my thyroid tested again. I was once again diagnosed "hypothyroid" and put on meds. I also just recently had an ultrasound done of my thyroid, and it turns out that I have "Hashimotos disease". This means that my immune system is attacking my thyroid gland to the point that it is not producing enough hormones which is wreaking havoc on my mind, body, and adrenal glands (stress coping gland). I will be seeing an endocrinologist next month to find out what the next step will be. My thyroid is very abnormal in appearance as well, but they did not see anything that looked cancerous, thank God. In the meantime, I put myself on a gluten-free diet because there is a direct correlation between autoimmune issues such as Hashimotos, and celiac disease. Joss has been on a gluten free dairy free diet for almost a year, so I know all about it and the amazing changes that can come from removing these allergens. I've felt for quite some time that many of my health issues stem from gluten, but I haven't had the strength or will-power to attempt the diet. Joss must be so strong! ;) After finding out about the Hashimotos, I decided that that was the go-ahead I needed to go gluten-free. I am expecting to see some massive changes in my mind and my health...not to mention my appearance, which honestly has suffered because of my unbalanced hormones.

So that is where I am at today! I believe it has all been building for a very long time, and my pregnancies exacerbated everything...especially the loss of my little Jonas, which put me over the edge in a sense. Jonas would be 2 and a half years old now. I almost went to a grief support group a couple of months ago, but it never worked out and maybe I'm not in the right mindset to go back to that place right now. Someday I will be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Memory

Lots of memories flooding back to me as a baby girl was laid to rest today. I feel like I should write something today in memory of one of Heaven's newest little angels. Like me, her mommy's dreams were crushed after 9 months of carrying her within. Something so unexpected that changed her and her family's life forever. Life will never be the same for them. That doesn't mean that it will never be beautiful again, because it will. A different sort of beautiful. But only in time. And not anytime soon.

I'm so sorry this had to happen. Why did it have to happen? Something so unfair with such gut-wrenching pain. No one should have to bury their child. Please don't tell me it's God's will. Because the immediate thought is, "What kind of God would take a child from her mother?" I don't believe it's God's will. I believe it's part of residing here on Earth, which is full of so much pain but also full of so much joy and beauty and love. I believe that because it happened, God will use it for Good...somehow. That's just what I believe. I don't claim to have the answers, though. I will find out for sure someday when I'm reunited with Jonas.

On the subject of grief. It's so complex! Raw grief is the worst. Those first few months. When you wonder if you'll ever stop crying. Every time you take a shower you burst into tears at the thought of what just happened to you. Did this really happen? Is this really my life? It wasn't supposed to happen to me. Why didn't the doctors see anything? Could this have been prevented? if only...if only...maybe it's my fault...maybe it's something I ate...Why why why? (It wasn't my fault, it wasn't something I ate...) Yes that horrible raw grief is the most difficult. And then the grief changes into something different...For me it was a sort of peaceful depression. Mixed with crazy hormones that are trying to get back to normal. The world spins around and around and all you see are babies and pregnant women. Movies are full of everything that makes you sad. Your arms are empty. You find yourself comforting those who are trying to comfort you...no one knows what to say, and you don't know what to say back...sometimes silence and a hug is the best response.

It is by far one of the worst things a person will go through. And I HATE that someone else has to experience it. My heart breaks when I hear about another angel. It's so sad and all I can do is pray my heart out. Not only are you grieving, planning a funeral, and burying your child, but you are also a post-partum woman! Anyone who's had a baby knows that it takes time for a woman's body to heal after giving birth. Your body knows you just had a baby and kicks into full gear producing milk and going through hormone changes. To put it lightly, it's not fun.

The good news? There is healing! Lots of ways to heal, too. What would I have done without my family and friends? Especially my mom. She listened to me burst into tears while talking on the phone. She listened (and still does) to all my woes and angry venting. I was hurt by well-intentioned people during that awful time, and my mom listened when I felt like I couldn't share with anyone else. I can't imagine her pain as well--the loss of a grandchild is also something that no one should experience. As cliche as it may sound, I can't imagine how I would have gotten through that time without God by my side. I remember feeling a sense of peace as we drove to the hospital to give birth to my son, knowing fully well that he would not be coming back home with me. It's during those dark times that you really understand that there's someone greater looking after you. Something bigger. Full of perfect love.

Time has healed, and is still healing, my own wounds. It's been 2 and a half years for me, and I look back at that time in my life and my heart hurts because I remember vividly how dark my life felt. As the years keep coming, though, life gets brighter and brighter. I wish only the best for this family as they grieve. I hope the journey is smooth and bright. I hope they feel peace along the way and seek out family and friends to get them through. Sending loving thoughts and prayers their way.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Long Overdue

I've been meaning to write for awhile now--so here I am, finally getting a small window of opportunity to do so. I've been very sick and in the middle of relocating across the city, so things have been eventful.

I've been wanting to share some photos of Jonas' 2nd birthday. It was a windy day, but a peaceful one. This was Julien's first year celebrating his big brother's birthday.






This year on Easter, we tried to tell Josiah about the death of Jesus on the cross. But how the heck do you explain that to an almost 4-year old? Well, this was his response. He said, "Jesus died like Jonas died. Jonas is in Heaven and Jesus is in Heaven." So, maybe he's starting to understand. I've always been worried about how to explain Jonas to the boys. Josiah is just now getting old enough to understand that he has a third brother who is a baby and who died. Telling Julien will be a different situation. He won't realize until he's much older that he probably wouldn't be here if Jonas had not passed away. I hope he doesn't feel pain when he thinks about that. I hope he realizes that there's a reason for his life. That's the only thing that kept me sane while pregnant with him. I love him so much. I try not to dwell on the "what ifs" because life is what it is and I'm here right now raising two beautiful boys. It's an important calling.

I'd like to get this book for Julien. It looks perfect for this situation.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, 2-year old!

Happy Birthday, Jonas! I wonder what you would be like as a 2-year old. Walking, of course. Talking a lot--maybe some terrible two-ness. You would be so cute and you'd probably be picking on your older brother a lot! I'm sure you two would fight, but that's what brothers do. I can't believe it's been 2 years. Last year on your birthday, I told you that you were going to be a big brother. You were a wonderful guardian angel and now Julien is here being a cute little chubby baby like you would have been. He is excited to celebrate your birthday for the first time! We'll be going out to the cemetery soon to release balloons and give you a few other gifts. We love you so much...we always think of you...we'll always be a family of 5, not 4. Happy Birthday, sweet little boy!

Love,
Mommy, Daddy, Josiah, and Julien

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's that time of year again

February means that March is quickly arriving. March means that my baby Jonas will turn 2 on the 12th. It really came up quick. I've been so busy with the new baby that I hadn't even thought about this sad day coming up. Which might be a good thing. Last year, I dreaded it for months and months. This year I have my new blessing, Julien, to help get me through that entire week. The 11th will always be the most painful day because that's when I found out. Last year Jonas' birthday was a very peaceful day, so I anticipate that every year will be peaceful.

It used to be that seeing babies made me sad after I lost Jonas, but now when I see a 2-year old I still feel a slight pain in my heart. Sometimes I don't even think about it, but other times I can't help but think that Jonas would be that tall and that terrible. ;)

I know that with each passing year, the hole in my heart grows smaller and smaller. I don't think it will ever be gone for good, but just not as evident. Like I've said before, Julien brought with him so much joy and peace for our family. I see both Josiah and Jonas in him. I look at his face and thank God for bringing him here safely. I don't take him for granted. Whenever he cries a lot and I get a bit frustrated like any mother does, I quickly retract those feelings and enjoy hearing the sound of a baby crying.

Sometimes we slip up and call Julien "Jonas". Sometimes we call him "Josiah". My dad still calls my sister Brianna "Brittney" and vice-versa. It's kind of funny. Julien is about to outgrow all of Jonas' baby clothes. At first I felt weird about dressing him in Jonas' clothes that he never got to wear, but Julien also wears Josiah's old baby clothes and I don't want to have painful memories associated with clothes. Now I will remember Julien wearing them. :)

Recently I read the book "Heaven is For Real". It's a book of the accounts of a little boy who says he went to Heaven during a life-saving surgery. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who plans on reading it, so stop reading this if you plan to. The boy's mother had a miscarriage before she had him. He didn't know this, but told his parents that he met his sister in Heaven and she kept hugging him. She told him that she couldn't wait for their parents to arrive in Heaven so she could be with them.

I couldn't help but feel so much joy reading that. If it's true for them, then it's true for us. Jonas is anticipating our arrival. That means that he is probably spending time with our relatives who have already passed away.

I haven't written in awhile for obvious reasons. Julien will be 4 months old already in March! Life is good right now. Next month will be difficult, but it must come and go like it did last year and like it will forever.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life is Good!


It really is. Sure, I've been experiencing some major hormonal shifts right now, but that's a natural part of the postpartum period. The first month after having a baby is NOT fun as far as how my body feels, but it has almost been a month since Julien arrived and that means things are quickly going back to normal! A new normal, that is. No more anxious thoughts about being pregnant and no more poking obsessively at my baby to feel movement. It's freeing. Of course I still worry about my baby's safety and we constantly check to make sure he's breathing, but I think that's a normal "new parent" thing to do.

Julien is very healthy and is gaining lots of weight. He was born 8 lbs. 3 oz, but went down to 7 lbs. at his checkup a few days after birth. Then two weeks later he was at 8 and a half lbs. So he's doing very well.

During the Thanksgiving weekend we went to Sidney and stopped by the cemetery to visit Jonas. It was a quick visit and I didn't bring anything for him. I felt a little guilty about that, but it's harder to do those things with a new baby. My mind is all over the place lately. But of course I'm sure he's forgiving. :) In a few years, my boys will be able to pick something out to bring to their brother. I think they will enjoy doing that for holidays/birthdays.

Josiah loves his new brother! At first he was a little confused and sometimes called him Jonas. But now he's beginning to understand that the painting on our wall is Jonas, and this baby is Julien. I don't think he'll fully understand for a few years, though. Whenever we drive by a cemetery, he always says, "Look at all these Jonases!" haha...it's cute--and funny seeing how a 3 year old understands things.

Well, baby calls so I've got to wrap this up quickly. I'm not sure what direction this blog will be heading in. It is still meant for Jonas, so I will focus on him as much as I can.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jonas is a big brother!



Well, he's here! Born November 4th at 9:18 pm, weighing 8 lbs. 3 oz. and measuring 20 inches. He's absolutely perfect, and we can't stop staring at him. He's got light brown hair--my first brunette baby! We'll see if it stays brown. His eyes could possibly turn hazel like Zac's. He's so beautiful.

The labor/birth of Julien was very long and traumatic at the end. Everyone expected him to come quickly, since he's my third. Things progressed slowly, even though I demanded to be able to get up and walk around and move through the labor. That's what helped things go smoothly and easily with Jonas, so I knew I had to have that again. I did move a lot, but I was still uncomfortable. It was a typical hospital birth--hooked up to tubes and monitors and looking like a sick patient. I kept saying over and over that this is just wrong! Births weren't meant to be this way. I just wanted him here, though, so I was willing to do anything. I was induced slowly Wednesday night and was even having regular contractions before they started anything. But we found out later that Julien's head was laying sideways against the cervix, so only part of it was dilating. That's why it was taking so long. When I was about 8 cm, the nurses became frantic and were calling people in. Julien's heartrate was dropping after each contraction. They said it wasn't too serious as long as it didn't keep happening. Well, it did keep dropping and so they actually "refilled" the amniotic fluid inside me, which had broken earlier that afternoon. They wanted to keep him suspended so it would help the heart rate somehow. I'm so glad I refused to have them break the water first thing that morning. Knowledge is power and I knew that rupturing the membranes could possibly slow things down, and in my case Julien could have been in further danger. Then they attached a heart monitor to his head so they could get a more accurate reading. It began dropping lower...and lower...and they were panicking and started moving me around onto my sides trying to get it up again. Zac and I were unbelievably terrified. They put an oxygen mask on me. I came close to hyperventilating out of fear. The sound of Julien's heart slowing down to almost silence was the worst thing I've ever heard with one exception--the silence I heard on the heart monitor when they were searching for Jonas' heartbeat. I prayed and prayed and kept begging God, "Don't do this to us! This was supposed to be a safe and uneventful birth!" (But God doesn't DO things like this to us...that's another topic, though). I begged the nurse to do a c-section--get him out of me! I was about 9 cm and so very close, which is why I think they were waiting. I didn't care though. I prayed that I would feel the urge to push, and God answered me. I felt Julien descending and began to push. I pushed so hard that I almost passed out. I wanted him out NOW because his life depended on it. Finally he was born and when they put him on my chest, I cried out with joy.

Joy! It's something I haven't truly felt in awhile! It's been almost 2 weeks since he arrived (even though the date of this post says the 10th--it has taken me awhile to get this written out!). He is melting my heart. Breastfeeding has gone fairly well, besides the initial pain that comes with it. He has made it way easier on me than Josiah did. He has such a happy look on his face and doesn't cry too often. Not that crying is bad or anything, but this baby seems very peaceful. *knock on wood* Of course it IS only the second week, so we'll see how it goes.

Giving birth again definitely brought back many emotions and memories of Jonas. It's those little things that I remember. The smell of witch hazel pads will always remind me of birth. It has always made me feel sad, but I'm hoping I can now find peace in the memories of all three of my sons' births. I feel sad thinking that Jonas never got a chance at life besides the 9 months I carried him. But then I feel peaceful knowing that he was only making room for Julien's arrival. I see both Josiah and Jonas in Julien's face. He definitely has his own distinct features, though--different from the other two. He's beautiful. He is the perfect gift from God.

I will never be able to say that the hole in my heart has been filled. If Jonas were here, it'd be filled. That can never happen, though. But I can say that God has overflowed the rest of my heart with so much joy and love by bringing this baby here safely. I will always feel sad when I think of my baby boy who was too beautiful for Earth. His coming and going has shaped me into the person I was meant to be. But so has the births of Josiah and Julien. Everything falls into place eventually.

Welcome to our family, baby Julien Reese! We are now complete, and our empty arms are now filled. Just as Josiah lit up when he saw you, I know that Jonas was just as happy to become a big brother. You and Josiah are very lucky boys--you've got your own guardian angel up there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let's Try This Again

This agonizing week is officially over at 8pm tomorrow night! I'm so ready. I've got a few nesting urges to clean tomorrow, but other than that, it's definitely time.

I told Zac today that I don't care about the fact that I will be up all night feeding Julien and that sleep-deprivation is right around the corner. Don't care about the poopy diapers. I don't care about the physical pain I'll be in after the birth. I don't care that I gained 40 lbs. on top of the 20 lbs. I wasn't able to lose after having Jonas. All I really care about is being able to hold a live baby in my arms. A pink baby screaming and crying and needing me!

I have been more paranoid the past few days than I have any other time during this pregnancy. I'm so scared. I constantly poke my little guy until he moves. He's probably irritated because I keep waking him up and won't let him sleep. I use my doppler every night just to be sure his heart is still beating. One more day. Just one more day, sweet baby!

My mind is a wandering mess lately. I can't focus on anything. I didn't vote because I don't know who any of the candidates are, which is unusual for me. If any of them could get my baby here safely, I'd vote for them. ;) When I look in the mirror, I can see how much I've aged over the past year and a half. It's sad, but that's what life and death does to you. Unfortunately, it happened earlier for me. I am confident that I will gain my youth back again.

Well, I will keep everyone updated! And I will share a picture of my rainbow baby as soon as I can. Thanks for keeping me and Julien in your prayers.

Also--I had to share these sculptures made by a woman on Etsy.com. They are very powerful and they make me cry every time I look at them. I'm definitely going to collect these someday.These can be found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMidnightOrange?page=1

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Disappointed, But Still Okay

Well I suppose an update is in order. Don't panic--it's nothing horrible! Most people already know this, but I feel like I should update this anyway. I had the amniocentesis this morning, fully prepared to learn that Julien's lungs are mature and that we could go ahead and induce tonight. Things didn't quite go as planned. We learned that his lungs are NOT fully matured, which is unusual for 37 going on 38 weeks. We were slightly shocked and very disappointed. We have EVERYTHING ready to go for baby's arrival. They scheduled two more NSTs (non stress tests) within the next week and have postponed the induction for next Wednesday evening. I was pretty upset. I am in a lot of physical pain due to Julien being so low and putting pressure on everything down there. I panic if I haven't felt him move in awhile, so I was very much looking forward to getting him here a week earlier than planned. Of course I don't want him to be in the NICU hooked up to machines because his lungs aren't ready, but I also don't want something worse to happen to him in my belly. It's so frustrating. All I could think about was how there was no way I could do this for another week! But I have to--no way around it. There's a reason, right? There's a better time and day for him to be born. God knows what He's doing. I'll try not to question His reasons.

I've got to mention how horribly awful the amnio was this morning! I was nervous, that's for sure. But I did get calmed down enough to get it over with. Unfortunately, that didn't matter. As soon as she got the needle through my belly and it began to poke the uterus, I hunched over and gagged! Every time she tried to get it through, I gagged and eventually started throwing up. Zac got to hold a bed pan for me to puke in, lucky him. They said I have a very sensitive uterus HAHA...they wanted to know if I wanted to stop, but if I stopped then I definitely wouldn't have been induced tonight. So I went to my happy place and they finally got through the uterus to get a sample. It was so uncomfortable and weird. My belly was so sore afterward, and they hooked me up to monitor the baby's heart and my contractions. It's still pretty sore and it hurts to stand up. So after all that, Julien won't be coming tomorrow anyway--of course! haha...So that's my amnio story. It was great fun.

Once again, I'll keep this updated. Thanks everyone for thinking of me and praying for me today--you'll get another chance soon enough!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Next week is Julien week!

So, major update.

I had an ultrasound today, which revealed that Julien is doing well, is still a boy (I got to take home a great penis shot! lol), and apparently has lots of hair already! But it also revealed that the placenta is very large and "matured". They said it's a grade 3 placenta and has some calcification on it. So basically, it is almost like it is much older than Julien is. Like it's 40 weeks along and Julien is only 36 weeks. It's very strange--I've never heard of that until now. The problem with an "aged" placenta is that it can begin to no longer function. That's bad, because the placenta is pretty much what keeps the baby alive. If it begins to deteriorate, that means baby isn't getting the nutrients/oxygen he needs.

Soooo since the recommendation was made to this already terrified preggo girl to induce next week, when I am exactly 38 weeks along, I readily agreed. My doctor, who is considered one of the best, if not THE BEST high-risk doctor in Colorado, said they'd need to do an amniocentesis the morning before. It will show if Julien's lungs are fully developed, because if they aren't then we'll have to wait. But at 38 weeks, I'm thinking he'll be ready.

I am so afraid of the amnio! If you don't know what it is, it's a gigantically long needle that they will poke into my belly to extract some amniotic fluid. I've heard that it makes the uterus contract and CAN be painful, although some say it's not so bad. Either way, I'm scared. Please don't poke Julien! That's also a scary thought. They use ultrasound to do it, though...and like I said, they are very skilled doctors. Still.....I always swore I'd never get an amnio. Too risky, I always thought. Unnecessary...but seriously, what option do I have? No way in hell would I risk another stillbirth. I've got to just do what I need to in order to get him out here safe in my arms.

Anyone willing to pray that Julien decides to come early on his own? That'd be amazing....although, not typical with my pregnancies. Time to work on some natural induction methods and make last minute preparations for baby's arrival!
Love this picture. It's totally how I feel right now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Watching Closely

From now until I deliver, I'll be going into the doctor's office to have two non-stress tests per week. Basically, I get to sit in this huge comfy leather chair while they strap a fetal heart monitor and a contraction monitor onto my belly. There's a basket full of snacks and juice that I can pig out on, which makes the baby active so they can get a good view of his heartbeat. So far, I've been twice--one last week and one today. The next one is Thursday, and after that it's every Monday and Thursday in October. I actually enjoy going, because it's so calming listening to Julien's heart beat. It can take up to an hour depending on how active he is, but so far I've only had to sit for about 20 minutes because they have been able to get some great info very quickly on how he's doing. I don't enjoy driving downtown twice a week, but that's just because I'm a small town girl trying to make it in the city...haha that's a song, right?

So today I met a nurse who hasn't worked with me yet. She asked me about Jonas and when that happened. She told me how sorry she was, and that she also had a full-term stillbirth 31 years ago. She said she went on to have two healthy children after that. She said there's nothing worse than what we've gone through, and she understands everything I am going through right now in these last few weeks of my subsequent pregnancy. She said she just delivered a stillborn baby the other day at another hospital, and the girl just looked up at her and said, "I don't understand! I can't understand this..." Such a reminder of how I felt when I found out. I was the same way. Questions like, "Why me? Why so late in the game? This isn't happening...how did this happen...what did I do wrong?" I felt like I was in another world. This COULDN'T be my life! Oh that horrible disgusting pain that I only rarely take myself back to these days, because I literally feel it all over again. It's so easy for me to talk about my baby Jonas, but it is SO hard going back to that painful moment of finding out--even harder than the moment I gave birth to him.

She showed me the printout of his heart rate and explained what they look for. Each time he moves, the heart rate should go up just a little bit and then quickly come back down. Julien's heart rate was just like they want it, so that's definitely reassuring. She said that if they move and the heart rate stays the same or shoots down and that happens frequently, then the baby could be in trouble. There could be problems with the cord. She said that if our babies had been monitored like this, then perhaps something could have been done. The sad fact is, Jonas' heart rate WAS monitored for 30-45 min. once a week for about 8 weeks. It's standard practice in German hospitals even if you're not high-risk. It's so confusing to me--why didn't they catch anything? Did they just not know what to look for? That along with ultrasounds every week those last couple of months...what was the point? I know....frustrating questions that don't really mean anything right now. What happened, happened. I don't blame anyone. But who wouldn't think of these things?

Something else stuck out to me that the nurse said today. She said that her sub pregnancies just felt different. This pregnancy does feel different to me. When I was pregnant with Jonas, I really didn't buy much and like I said I didn't have a shower. We didn't take a tour of the hospital. It was an unplanned pregnancy, the result of Zac returning from his deployment. ;) I was terrified of having two boys who would be less than 2 years apart. Zac was scheduled to deploy again shortly after the birth, and I didn't know what I would do in Germany without my family there for support. Lots of worries, but I was still happy about it. Towards the end, I did have that very brief thought that something would go wrong. I remember where I was when I thought it. I was driving in a traffic circle on the base.

But with this pregnancy, even with all my fears, it has been so different. I have bought a lot of new stuff for Julien. The other day I was talking to Zac about it, and we both have a good feeling. We know that he is going to come home with us. I am constantly aware of his movements, but I wasn't with Jonas...I didn't believe that being "paranoid" about kicks would do me any good. This time, I KNOW the paranoia is a good thing. It's good to be concerned and to overreact if necessary. It's better to be safe than sorry. I've had a few instances where I couldn't remember when I felt him last. I poke at him and talk to him and drink water--eventually he starts moving. If I'm REALLY scared, I have that wonderful fetal doppler where I can actually hear his heartbeat myself. It's been great!

So other than the usual aches and pains of pregnancy (heartburn, knee pain, pelvic pain, back pain, insatiable thirst, always being hot, trouble getting comfortable at night and when I finally do having to pee 10 times a night, always being out of breath, stretch marks, weight gain, crazy emotions, big feet), I'm feeling pretty good! I'm trying to update this as often as possible since this week I'll be 36 weeks and I feel like this is a major event that is unfolding on my blog. I know lots of people are praying, and so I want to give regular updates. :)

Just for fun, a picture of me before life got TOO complicated. :) 2006, age 22
And Zac, around 2003
And this is us with Joss this summer. I was about 24 weeks pregnant.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy


I'm 34 weeks, going on 35 weeks on Thursday! I have been feeling very optimistic lately. I'm getting more and more convinced that Julien will arrive here safely. The clock is ticking, and I've almost got everything ready to go for him. The diapers are washed and the crib is ready to go. Took a tour of the hospital, had a baby shower, packed the diaper bag and hospital bag, and have been organizing the apartment like crazy. Just a few things left to do!

The baby shower was great! Thanks Krista and Brianna! And thanks to all my friends/family who could make it and who gave such great gifts. It was really special. Oh and thanks for the ice cream cake, which added about 5 lbs. to my weight in a week. ;) My sister has some pictures from the shower, so once I get them I will share a few.

I started going to a prenatal chiropractor last week. She is Webster Technique certified. The WT is great for moving babies into the best position for labor, especially if they are breech. That isn't why I started going, but it's a bonus. I've been having some pelvic pain. Things are stretching pretty far and very easily down there. It hurts. It feels like all my pelvic bones are bruised and it's like I've been kicked down there by a horse or something--not cool! So she did a thermal scan of all my vertebrae, and she showed me a color-coded image of my spine and what was out of place. Red is bad, and of course my entire neck and shoulders were red. She told me I have way too much stress there and I need to loosen up-HAHA...I'd have to agree. :) But unfortunately virgin margaritas aren't doing it for me! So anyways, she's been working on all my bones and it's amazing! The WT makes the baby move a lot because she is lining things up in there that are off-kilter and creating more room for him. I LOVE all the movements--it's very reassuring.

The hospital tour really impressed me. There are DVD-VCR combos and flat screen tvs so I can finally watch my Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion VHS! lol...There are jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms and I'm planning on spending a LOT of time in them. Room service too! I was so happy to hear that I do not have to be hooked up to a fetal monitor the entire time I'm in labor, which will allow me to get up and walk around. I've experienced two types of labor/delivery--the pitocin (induction)-IV-fetal monitor strapped to belly-epidural-lying in bed for 25 hours birth, and the free to walk around-labor in tub-16 hour labor-easy recovery birth. I'm REALLY hoping for the latter type of birth, only shorter since it will be my third. I really don't know how it will go, just as no woman can plan her birth experience. Obviously, I just want him here safely and I'll do anything to make that happen.

The postpartum rooms have beautiful mountain views, which I think will be so peaceful and so surreal for me after giving birth to my rainbow baby. I'll never forget the view we had the day that Jonas was born. It was a typical rainy German day. So cold and so dreary. The curtains opened up to the German hillsides--so green, but surrounded by fog and a gray, wet sky. It looked exactly like the way I felt. Some sun could have done me well, but there was none to be found for at least a month. Such dark days...it's still so difficult remembering what happened and how crushed I was inside.

I find myself begging God to keep Julien safe and to please, please let me get to take him home and keep him and feed him and bathe him and swaddle him...when I think about the worst, I think that no--there is absolutely no way I could go on anymore. This is it. This is my last pregnancy. I can't handle another one. So please God...protect my little boy.

I was in Sidney last weekend for the last time until I have Julien. I spent some time alone at Jonas' grave and decorated it with some Fall flowers and a scarecrow. I told him to watch over his little brother. I told him that he was not being replaced and that we'd always love him. And finally, I told him that the next time we visit, he'd get to meet Julien. :)Joss leaves a pine cone for Jonas each time he visits. :)

Josiah loves to visit his brother at the cemetery! But it's so hard catching him when it's time to leave!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

30 Weeks

Technically, almost 31 weeks as of tomorrow! 30 is a big one for me. I feel like the countdown is really on now. Since I will be induced at 39 weeks "just in case", I only have 8 weeks left. Julien will be here in two months. I've been nesting like crazy, buying little things here and there. My mom and dad ordered his crib, so that should be here soon. I've been getting lots of nursing supplies together, because I really struggled when I began breastfeeding Joss. I ended up being successful for 14 months, though. I am hoping this time will go smoother in the beginning, and now I will have some things that would have been useful during that trying time with Joss.

My cousin Krista and sister Brianna are planning a baby shower for me in a couple of weeks! I couldn't decide if I wanted/needed one since I've already prepared for two baby boys in the past 4 years, but they talked me into it! ;) I didn't have one for Jonas because we were in Germany and were never able to travel back home during that pregnancy. I always felt a little sad that he didn't get that celebration, which is why I kind of feel guilty that I get a shower for Josiah and Julien. And yet, how difficult would that have been to have had all these gifts for Jonas and not know what to do with them when he passed away? I have a few outfits that were given to me for him and some that I bought, and I still tear up when I see them. So it was definitely a good thing that I did not have a shower for him. I really don't think he minds, anyway. ;) THANK YOU Krista and Brianna for planning my shower! It really means a lot to me, as this pregnancy is definitely something to celebrate!

Okay I've got to get this off my chest. If one more person comments on how big I am already, I will freak out! I mean, it's just rude! Please, just leave the large and uncomfortable pregnant woman alone--you do not want to mess with her! LOL....oh, and while we're talking about comments, I'm also really getting tired of this question, "Is this your first baby?" by complete strangers. EVERYWHERE I go, seriously! Three times just this week. Of course, I'm sure this happens to every pregnant girl, but most don't have to struggle with their answer. I've been saying it's my third, because that's the truth. I know I always talk about this in my blog, but that's because it's the one thing that continuously comes up and that always makes me feel a slight twinge of pain in my heart. It's fine when that's the end of the conversation, but lately it has led to, "Oh, how old are your other two?" (They're 3 and 1 and a half.) "Oh so you're going to be SO busy!" (yep, sure.) "Boys or girls?" (Boys.) I know that people mean well--pregnancy is a great conversation starter. I don't wish harm upon them, don't worry. But honestly, I just really want to be left alone lately. I hate the attention I get this time. Probably because of the fear surrounding this pregnancy. While most people are so happy and glowing, I am a total downer and I know I'm not a joy to be around. This pregnancy has been so demanding both emotionally and physically. I wanted it to be very peaceful and stress-free, but it hasn't turned out that way. It has been the most stressful pregnancy of all three. And that scares me. There are many reasons why I am under a lot of stress, but I don't want to share them here. I wish I could hide under a blanket all day with no one around me and just enjoy complete silence. I need some sort of peace right now, but I don't feel that it will come to me anytime soon. I just want my little Julien to be free of my dangerous body and safe in my arms. Not yet though...wait at least 6 weeks, little guy, and then come meet your anxiously awaiting parents. :)

Thanks for listening...

B.

30 Weeks pregnant with Joss, Jonas, and Julien, respectively

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kick me all you want, baby!

I'm 28 weeks now! As soon as I hit 30 weeks, I will feel relieved. I've said that with many weekly milestones..."as soon as I hit 13 weeks (chance of miscarriage goes down)...18 weeks (my big ultrasound)...24 weeks(the baby has a chance of survival if born now)...and now I'm thinking 30 weeks. Not sure why. Maybe because it feels so close to the end! At 28 weeks, I am getting so close. Just a few more months to go.

I started doing kick counts yesterday, which is exactly when I turned 28 weeks. I printed out a chart to keep track of them everyday. It's nerve-wracking. I never did them with Josiah or Jonas. I always felt that it was silly and that everything would be fine and that it would just make me paranoid. I read a story after Jonas was born about a woman whose baby survived only because she had been keeping track and noticed changes in the baby's movement. She immediately went to the hospital where an ultrasound discovered that the baby's heart rate was deteriorating and they needed to get him out NOW. That baby's life was saved just in time. So now I know that there is a good reason to keep track of baby's movement. I've thought many times that maybe Jonas would be here if I had kept track. But that's one of those thoughts that just can't be in my mind anymore. As overused as this phrase is, I believe it--there's a reason why Jonas came and went through our lives. Something that I've been thinking about as well is that Julien would not exist had Jonas not come and gone. That sounds so unfair for Jonas, though. Although I think he's okay with it. He's safe and sound in Heaven and I don't have to worry about his safety or health. There's also a reason why Julien is coming. He has his own purpose on Earth.

We now have Julien's car seat/stroller! Since this will be our last baby, I wanted to buy a new one. I buy almost everything used when it comes to baby stuff, so I thought I'd splurge and buy this new. My awesome parents are going to buy the crib soon. I've been putting that off the most. Maybe because Jonas' empty crib was the hardest thing to look at. Thankfully our awesome friends Brandee and Chris took it down for us while we were home for the funeral. But anyways, maybe I'm afraid to put it up? The other part of me (the crazy nesting preggo part of me) is telling me to get going so everything's ready! I've still got lots to do.

It's interesting how me being pregnant always leads people to ask how many kids I have or if this is my first pregnancy. Of course those are natural questions to ask, but wow I get so sick of the ongoing battle inside my head on what to say. Last week it happened at the dentist a few times. What I've been saying to people like this, whom I will most likely never see again, is that this is my second pregnancy/baby. I flat out lie. It's easier than dealing with more awkward questions-"How old are your other two?"-Which I've done and it felt so weird talking about Jonas like he has always been here with us--Or telling them that my second baby died, which either leaves them speechless or apologizing thus making me feel pitied. However, I'm hoping that someday I will reach a point in my life where I will say something like, "Two at home, and one in Heaven." When someone loses a parent, they don't deny that that parent ever existed. So why should I hide the fact that I have three sons?Josiah Liam, 2 months

Jonas Elliot 3.12.2009
Julien Reese, due 11.10.2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

25 Weeks!

Time for an update. Julien kicks all the time--he's even kicking now! It's such a beautiful feeling, and I treasure it now more than I ever did with my past pregnancies. I'm getting so excited about the life growing in me. I know that these months are going to be my most peaceful moments. The last month will be extremely difficult, so I am relishing the second trimester. Here are some fun 25 weeker comparisons of my pregnancies with Josiah, Jonas, and Julien, respectively.
The past few weeks have been very difficult in other ways, though. My grandma passed away on July 17th, and the funeral was the following Wednesday in my hometown of Sidney, NE. My grandpa hadn't been doing well for over a month and was in the hospital about an hour away from there, so he couldn't even attend the funeral. It was so sad. Then, two days after we buried my grandma, my grandpa passed away. They died within a week of each other. My grandma had Alzheimer's for the past ten or so years, and it got progressively worse over the last couple of years. I barely recognized her the last time I saw her in the nursing home, which was in June. But now she is freed from that disease! My grandpa's funeral was exactly a week after hers, and it was a very difficult service. I think that because we were still grieving over my grandma, the pain of losing my grandpa was intensified. I hadn't been to a funeral since Jonas's, but I feet like I've been dealing with death for a year and a half already, so I already knew how to deal with this new grief/pain. We have many treasures that my grandpa left behind. He was an amazing woodworker and had given everyone pieces of his art. I treasure them even more, now. I am also very glad that I have a picture of my grandparents holding Josiah. Jonas is very lucky because he has his great-grandparents to play with him in Heaven. They loved children, so I'm sure they're enjoying that. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Julien Reese

He has a name! We were going back and forth between two names for awhile, but finally settled on Julien. Picking a name is SO hard...seriously...I find it humorous that I had a girl's name picked out for almost 10 years and NO boy names in mind. Now we have all boys! :) Julien means "youthful" and Reese means "enthusiastic". We didn't pick his name based on the meaning, but I'm thinking he's going to be a happy little boy with those meanings. We didn't even know the meaning of Jonas until after he was born--I'm not sure why I never bothered to look! But it was a pleasant surprise in the midst of everything.

Since I'm well into the 2nd trimester, I'm constantly hungry and have started packing on the pounds. I wasn't gaining much at all up until a few weeks ago when my body decided I needed more poundage. I won't stress about it, as the previous pregnancies have taught me that I cannot control my weight and pounds=healthy weight baby. Plus, breastfeeding will do wonders for the extra weight I put on with Jonas and this baby. I didn't realize how quickly it makes you lose weight until I compared Josiah's birth, where I lost 30 lbs. in the first 2 weeks, and Jonas' birth--where I lost 10 lbs. in a month because I wasn't able to breastfeed. So, I'm looking forward to that experience again.
Julien moves all the time! It's a beautiful feeling. He's very active, and I'm so surprised how well I can feel him this early. At 21 weeks, Zac could feel him move from the outside. That is WAY earlier than last time! I love it.

I finally began preparing for Julien's arrival. I've been so hesitant. It's not that I didn't have faith, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. One of the most awful experiences was coming home after Jonas was born. That empty crib in a decorated nursery was unbearable. The drawers full of baby clothes that I had so nicely folded for him. Everything was in its place. Everything except my baby boy. He was supposed to be in the "nest" I prepared for him. I remember being angry and crying while taking apart the bassinet in our room. I shoved it in a closet in anger and collapsed in tears. There was so much that I had done in 9 months that had to be undone. Everyone who was awaiting news of Jonas' arrival had to be told the tragic story. My name had to be deleted from "due date clubs" on forums. When WIC called to see how the new baby was doing, I had to tell them what happened. So many awful horrible situations had to come my way! And I had to plan a funeral and bury my son and then leave him in Nebraska while I went back to Germany. This is why it's been so difficult for me to pull out all the baby clothes again and fold them into nice little piles for Julien. In my head, I have more than once asked, "Am I doing this in vain? Are all my preparations going to be for nothing again?" It's such a sad thought, so I try to clear my mind quickly when I think that way. I just know that I couldn't bear such pain again. As the weeks go by, I have more and more hope. Deep down, I know I will be taking my baby home with me this time. :)

Well that's all for now! Here's a belly pic of me at 22 weeks. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm Officially on Team...

BLUE! Like I said in my announcement text his morning...So much for instincts! hahaha. I just laughed when the ultrasound tech told Josiah that he was going to have a little brother. She said exactly what was said when we found out Josiah was a boy--"That is DEFINITELY a boy!"

Am I disappointed? Nah. Surprised? YES! I was so sure this was a girl based on how different this pregnancy has been for me. I guess things just change with each subsequent pregnancy. We're super excited, of course. I was so sad when Josiah would no longer have a little brother to grow up with, and now that excitement is back. So what if I already put a ton of pink and purple cloth diapers on my amazon baby registry? I'll just have to change them all to blue and green. :)

So now I must say my goodbyes to the Juliana I have always pictured in my head, and welcome my new little boy into my life! I wasn't meant to have a daughter. Instead I have the wonderful opportunity to raise two boys who will know how to treat women and who will learn to be respectful and grateful for everything they're blessed with. It's going to be a fun adventure!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brownies and a Flower for My Little Man


This photo was taken by the organization "Say it With Flowers", which is very similar to the name in the sand organization. They do this as a gift to bereaved parents. I think it turned out beautiful--I love the white flowers!

I also submitted a recipe in the fall for a cookbook being put together by bereaved parents/relatives for the Miss Foundation, which is a grief forum that I have visited since I lost Jonas. It has helped me tremendously, and I thought it would be nice to have a recipe dedicated to him. It's a brownie recipe that I've made since I was little. My dedication says,

Our Thoughts of You Will Always Be Sweet
In memory of Jonas Elliot, born sleeping on March 12th, 2009. You were just too beautiful for Earth, our sweet little dove.


It's been a year and 3 three months since our little Jonas came. I can't believe it's already been that long. Zac and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary, and tomorrow we find out if we're having a boy or a girl! Definitely nervous as usual, but tomorrow's ultrasound will be an in-depth look at how our baby is doing so it will give me lots of reassurances. They'll be looking for all sorts of issues, and I expect none. I will always fear that earth-shattering silence instead of a heartbeat, but I am feeling very optimistic. The main reason is because I can now definitely feel some little kicks in there! It began a few days ago. I know I felt some little "bubbles" at about 14 weeks, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. I haven't felt movement after that until now. It's very reassuring.

Also, I've been trying to focus on relaxation. I ordered this cd, called "Heartstrings: Visualizations for Pregnancy." So far, it's been wonderful. If I start to feel stressed or overwhelmed, I grab the ipod and listen to this. It's a mixture of instrumental music and affirmations. There's a woman who says things like, "My body is a safe haven for my baby," or "My baby is surrounded by peace and joy." Slightly cheesy, yes...BUT it works. It's what I need, and I'm so happy I bought it. The fears aren't going to go away, but things like this can help calm them.

Well, I'll be updating this tomorrow for sure after my appointment! Once again, please think of me and pray for me. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rollercoaster


I feel like I'm on one! Some days are so wonderful, but others are so difficult. This pregnancy is so scary. I feel that paranoia until each appointment I go to. It's like I live for the next appointment and I can't breathe in between. I am so scared that my baby is no longer alive, even though very deep down I know she'll be okay. I no longer possess the happy ignorance that most pregnant women have, unfortunately. I long to be ignorant again. This type of ignorance is a good one because it allows you to have a peaceful, worry-free pregnancy because stillbirths only happen to OTHER people. So, since it's already happened to me, you'd think I'd be off the hook, right? I'm hoping so. I'm praying every night and everyday. I pray that I'll go into labor 2-3 weeks early on my own because I hate being induced. But there is no way I'm allowing myself to be pregnant past 39 weeks, because that's around the time Jonas passed away. So if I have to be induced, I definitely will for peace of mind.

There is an organization called Tiny Heartbeats - www.tinyheartbeats.org - that rents out dopplers for free to pregnant women who have lost a previous pregnancy. You have to get a prescription from your doctor, and then they mail you the doppler. The purpose of it is mainly for peace of mind. I can listen to my baby's heartbeat just for comfort. I got the prescription at my last appointment, but I'm on a waiting list to get the doppler. Hopefully I can get it soon. It will especially be needed during the last couple of months.

Well, if you haven't entered a guess in my baby pool, you should do it soon! It's on the right hand side of this page. I find out next Monday (14th) if it's a boy or a girl. I'm hoping the baby cooperates so we can find out. I need to know if I'm on team pink or team blue. :) Oh, and at 17 weeks 3 days, baby is the size of an apple (that's for you, Brianna!).