Our Blessings

Friday, December 17, 2010

other updates

I'm realizing as I read through my old posts that I've been terrible about updating this blog..

My heart monitor results were normal.. just regular pregnancy stuff, rather than a heart issue or arrythmia. I'm seeing the cardio again on Dec 30 for follow up.

I'm going to have U/S's every 4 weeks to check fluid and growth.. so far, so good! The next one is Dec 28.

My doctor is going to schedule my c-section for 37 weeks. (The last day we knew Kathlyn was ok was at 38 +3... so I'm NOT going to 38...way too close for comfort). Starting at 32, I'll have weekly scheduled NSTs... the baby will be born in mid-February.

As proven last night, I can go in extra whenever I'm worried for more NSTs and checks.

Slowly.. getting there...

how it's gonna be..

I know this was to be expected.. everyone did. The nurses at my OB office have said they are surprised actually how *little* I've called so far. It's because of the doppler... anytime I needed reassurance that the baby was ok, that she was alive, I just used the doppler. Otherwise, I bet I would have been in there twice a week the entire first 24 weeks.

When she finally started kicking, I was constantly praising how often and strong her kicks are.. she kicks so much more often than Kathlyn ever did.. it makes me feel so guilty.. what if something was wrong with Kathlyn the whole time.. what if she was just weak? I didn't know.. I have nothing to compare it too. I didn't know.. I just didn't know.. would have done anything to save her... I didn't know she needed saving. I cried over this many times.. so happy that Glory's kicks seem so healthy but in so much regret for my precious firstborn. I saw Dr. F on Tuesday and he said every baby is different and I should NOT feel guilty over it... all Kathlyn's tests and checks were normal. She WAS a strong healthy baby.. we just dont know what happened at the end.. a horrible, unfathomable tragedy that strikes many full term babies.

So how exactly are all these reports that Glory is "strong, perfect, and looks great" supposed to reassure me? Kathlyn looked that way too. This is why I actually wanted her to have a defect or disease.. something we can rule out with Glory and the rest of my children. Not just "she was fine, and then died for no reason at full term." Fuck. YES, that merits a nasty curse word from a Christian woman. SHE DIED FOR NO REASON - FUCK!

2 days ago, I had to start eating my words about Glory being a good kicker. Normally, when I'm in the middle of something, and realize she hasnt kicked in awhile, if I lay down on my left, she'll deliver. She's so good to me. If I'm already laying down or asleep, and I wake up and she's not kickng... if get up, move around, and then lay down again, she'll deliver. Wednesday night, I was addressing Christmas cards, stuffing envelopes, sticking stamps, and I realized how quiet she was. Laid down. Nothing. Poked her. Nothing. Walked around, got a drink, laid down again... one little flutter that was entirely unconvincing. (It also doesnt help that I could feel Kathlyn kicking after we knew she had died.) Doppler to the rescue... HB 130s 140s.. She hates that thing.. it makes her kick and she turns away from it. My poor sweetheart has been subjected to that thing since she was 10 weeks old. I try not to use it now that she's kicking and I know she dosnt like it. So I tried to do a kick count.. 3 kicks in 20 minutes.. good average.. and I fell asleep before I could finish.

Thursday morning I got my glucose and bloodwork results.. everything was normal except my platelets are low... it's because I take aspirin in case i had a clot in my cord and that's what happened to Kathlyn. Will repeat before delivery and probably have to come off the aspirin. ugh.. how do we avoid a clot close to full term if I dont have the aspirin on board? Stressful. All of this. But anyone having surgery has to come off anti-coags before hand...so I figured that might happen anyway.

I got a great kick count in then.. 9 kicks in 15 minutes when I got that call about the bloodwork. I went back to bed beacuse I was supposed to work Thursday night. Woke up at 3pm.. nothing. Quiet. Still. Even after getting up for a drink. Come on baby... please?! Doppler again.. HB 130s-150s.. kicking at it as usual. I called a friend for reassurance. but she still thught I should go in. It's not just "oh she kicked once, she's ok now. It's a serious pattern change over less than 2 days. Except that I NEED my hours at work.. I need a certain amount in order to earn my full maternity leave. But at what cost? What if I go to work, and she's NOT ok?! My "maternity leave", again, wont be maternal at all.. so I called the office and the instant I say she's not kicking... the nurse doesnt even ask the doctor... with my history.. it's straight to the hospital. Good! I deserve that attention!

As soon as they strap the NST monitor around me, she goes nuts. Of course! Make a liar out of me. But it's such a musical sound.. kicks so hard that you cant even hear the heartbeat over them when she does it ... sweet sweet relief. So as we're talking and waiting for the doctor, in normal fashion, she squirms away from the monitor because she hates it as much as the doppler. So they were trying to find her heartbeat... FUN MEMORIES. Can't find it anywhere... praise God she was kicking... I dont do well with the whole monitor-searchng-for-heartbeat process. Done it twice and that as two times too many. They could hear the placenta too though, (which they couldnt with Kathlyn.. another sure sign it was over.) So the doctor came in and felt around for her, couldnt tell exactly where she was, so he did an ultrasound. SHE'S BREECH NOW. UGH!!!! She was so perfectly head down at 26 weeks. It doesnt matter at all for delivery that she's breech... I'm havng a section regardless.. and since she's moved, thats why we had such a drastic change in movement... we could see her legs kickng into the aminotic fluid, and I couldnt feel it, because sh's not kicking the uterus. Maybe thats why I couldnt feel Kathlyn as much, because she was breech too. So much for my strong frequent kicks from Glory.. they were so reassuring :( So the doctor was saying that she looks great, she's very active, what we got on the NST was perfect, plenty of fluid, all a good report. He said 1/3 of babies are breech at this point. I asked if breech babies are more likely to be stillborn.. more likely to compress the cord.. it's just so hard since we dont have a reason, I feel like Kathlyn maybe laid on her cord? Or tried to flip and cut off circulation? He said, emphatically, no, it's not more likely for stillbirth, but he knows he cant convince me and he kinda wishes I didnt know she was breech then :-/ He also said she could still turn back. After he left the room, I cried and said "I dont want her to be breech, I dont want her flipping back and forth, she's going to get tangled in her cord" and the nurse said "no she's not!"

Kathlyn, I'm so sorry. I didn't know. And Glory, I'm sorry too, that I'm a worried and overprotective mother. I love you both so much.

I have to hand it to those nurses, again. I saw a lot of them (I was there on shift change) and at least a few of them remember me.. they were saying "dont feel bad, you did the right thing, come in any time, better safe than sorry, we're 24 hours, we understand, etc etc." One of them said "see you when it's time!" and I said "no, I think you'll see me a few times before then" and we both laughed, and she said "and that's ok!"

8 weeks to go... let's try for less than 8 hospital trips, eh?

Written on Nov 30th

I know everyone is anxiously awaiting to hear our new baby's name... there are a few things I've been wanting to write about first, but I don't know if that will be futile and everyone will just skip to the end where the name is.. especially since there is a picture :)

Tomorrow I'm having another ultrasound.. my first "growth scan". This is the 4th or so visit since, but first ultrasound since I had the big 18 week anatomy scan where we found out she's a she :) This was a relief for me.. not because I didnt want a boy.. I would have loved my son with all that I am.. but I was so afraid of the task of taking down Kathlyn's things.. her bedding, wall decor, curtains, and packing up her clothing like it's not needed and not loved anymore.

Today I did some nesting and turns out, it's still hard. We took down the "K D" from above her crib and put the new baby's name up. I took the nameplate off the door and put the new baby's nameplate up there too (though there is still a Kathlyn Painting perched above the doorframe, where it will stay forever and ever Amen.) The holes from the K D are still there, of course, and we dont have any more of the yellow paint to cover them, so it makes John not want to move them. He also meticulously put them up there over 18 months ago, and with his hardwood floor project coming up, he doesn want to make NEW holes on a DIFFERENT part of the wall for a "Kathlyn's Wall Area" of sorts. But you can't have it say "K D" over the new baby's crib. So do you move the crib altogether? Should it be in a new place for a new baby anyway? Am I dissing Kathlyn by moving her stuff, or dissing birdie by not making it her own? UGH. It's frustrating and sad.. I said to John in my frustration "why did our baby have to die?" Changes to her untouched and unseen nursery is yet another part of the cruel reality. John was busy trying to figure out how to hang everything. I made a sniffling sound, just because I'm a little congested. He looked back to see if I was crying. I wasnt. Not on the outside. But on the inside, I was. On the inside, I always am. Always. It's just a matter of when it physically comes out, which is less often than it used to be, but still every day. Usually when I'm alone and just quietly for a minute. But just because the physical sobs are less often, doesnt mean it hurts any less. I still need the thoughts and prayers. I still need you to ask about Kathlyn. I still need to hear her name. She still counts. She absolutely cannot be erased just because her sister is almost here. I’m going to talk about her as often as I want, and dare not be the person who thinks my new baby will be overshadowed by her memory. They are both my daughters!

John and I traveled for Thanksgiving and I knew the whole time I would be imagining what it would be like to be traveling with a toddler and how tired I’d be but how much everyone would fawn over her. I didn’t get to show her off to John’s side of the family the way I wanted to. So I brought her memorial baby book and some pictures and I wore her photo necklace so she could be close to my heart. Everyone was so sweet and just loved looking at the book and many of them read it from front to back and cried. It means so much to me when people do that. I can’t be the one who cries ALL the time… it’s so tiring.. I need some to bear some of the burden and cry for me sometimes… and these people, though family, hardly know me or my daughter and still cried for us. It was very comforting.

Thanksgiving Day though.. that physical display of emotional holiday tears came at the absolute worst time it possibly could have… right as we were serving ourselves buffet style and about to sit at the table.. And when I say “the table” I mean 4 tables full of adults.. I was powerless to dam up the impending flood of tears. I could feel it building for about an hour, so I went and sat quietly by myself for a few minutes to just relax in a rocking chair and feel my sweet rainbow kicking… but there were so many people, I wasn’t alone for long and everyone was full of holiday cheer to be reuniting around family and I was the big Thanksgiving Grinch, though hiding it well. ~ I want my baby! It’s not fair! No one got to meet her! She would have been afraid of everyone at first and terrifed clinging all over me, but would have warmed up eventually! I hate this! I want her! ~ So when it was time and I got up to fix my plate, I thought I would calm down, but I could barely compose myself while serving up turkey and cranberry and stuffing and bread and cheese dip. I sat at the table next to John, leaned away from everyone and towards his ear and said “I’m sorry this is coming now, I can’t help it, why now?? I’m sorry” and I got up and fled for the back hallway and rooms. I don’t know if he said anything before leaving the table, probably not, but he left our plates and dutifully followed me, which honestly I wasn’t sure he would do. He wanted to know what happened, what brought this on… NOTHING. Nothing new. It’s a holiday and my baby has died. I want her back and my heart is broken. He was so sweet and gentle; I thought he’d be frustrated with me, but he wasn’t. He did want me to try to focus on family and our blessings and especially our biggest blessing kicking about and growing inside me in the secluded darkness of that very hallway that very minute as we grieved. She is our hope, our joy, but she doesn’t replace my Kathlyn. I just needed to cry for her. And I needed to hear John say that he was sad too.. He said of course he was. And I said “I just need to hear it.. I can’t do this alone, I can’t be the only one who’s sad.” He said he just CAN’T dwell on it.. Or else he’ll be a mess of tears too.. And that he “can’t be the only one who’s happy.” So together, we press on. Happy and sad together. Back to our cold, waiting food plates. I warmed mine back up in the microwave, and John held my hand at the table. On Sunday, he felt the baby kick for the first time. Together… we do it together. I could not do this without him.

Together, we could not have done this without our supportive family and friends and church and without our God. God has gotten us through this. God has gotten me through this. God has helped John help me get through this. All the glory to Him…

And so we are naming our precious new baby Glory Joy Davis, after our wonderful God, and after her beautiful sister. Without God, we’d have neither of them. They are His for eternity.. The strongest prayers of my life are thanking Him for saving my Kathlyn, and thanking, BEGGING Him, to let me take care of Glory.. But she’s still His. His Glory, my Glory, our Glory.

the dragonfly didn't move from above the crib.. the K and the D will be elsewhere in the room..