Our Blessings

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

in other news..

I had my first trimester screen and ultrasound yesterday. It was so much easier going to this appointment since I had already confirmed the heartbeat the night before! As expected though, my doctor teased me about having it. He said "if the baby comes out shivering and shaking, we'll know why." I cant believe he said that! My husband said "he was just kidding!" (ugh, men!), but still... saying that to me of all people, he should know I would worry. So I said "is it really a risk?" and he said there's no proof whether it's a risk or not... but it has lower sound waves than an ultrasound, so the risk is low. Hm. What's "low?" The risk for stillbirth of a healthy term baby is "low" too, by some standards. Crap. I guess I'll be limiting the use to every other day instead of every day. He said he understood how hard it is, especially before you can feel movement, but he said the risk of maternal stress isn't good either.

Bottom line - nothing is easy in pregnany after loss. TWO types of losses. Will I feel safe in trimester 2 because I've never had a loss during that time? Doubtful.

It's a good report though... heartbeat 160s, all bloodwork looks good, I lost a pound (gained a bunch at first because I was so hungry! leveling off now..) my blood pressure is stellar at 118/68. I've never had such good BP as I do in pregnancy! We had a good talk about some plans for later in the pregnancy such as when to deliver, seeing the MFMs, when NSTs will start, what we'll do if there's a questionable one, whether I'll need an amnio/steriods depending on how far I go... I felt really good about the appointment. One of my two favorites is leaving for Iraq very soon, and this one I saw (the one who's not leaving) said he's ok if I just see him while the other is gone (there are 8 in the practice.) I feel most comfortable with those two.. and they will do the c-section. He's the one who delivered Kathlyn, and the other one did Cherry baby's "delivery", so I know they are honored and excited about delivering tweetie bird for me :)

I think it's a girl... some people I know sometimes see the beginnings of a boy at these 11-12 weeks appointments... but nothing here. We'll see.. doesn't matter to me. Next appointment: September 1.

sad with me

i'm sitting here on the couch with my feet up, in my nice, cool, air conditioned house, with the day off, plenty to eat and drink, and the confidence that the miracle inside me is doing just fine. one might say in such a situation, "life is good", but i know i will never speak those words for as long as i live.

i was looking at a picture the other day that i have hanging in our pantry in an attempt to stave off snacking (it doesn't work). it's from july 4, 2001. the towers were still standing. my daddy was alive. i was thin. i had a new boyfriend and we were in that blissful beginning stages of a relationship which, unbeknownst to us at the time, would last forever. we hadn't lost baby. or two. life was good. in other words, we were clueless.

i'm still in that blissful stage. i love him so much. i just cried when he left. that might not be normal for an adult wife, but for me, it's standard. i dont want him to leave. i want to spend every minute with him. i've never been one who needed "alone time" and suddenly, i'm inundated with it. even if he's home, outside doing yard work, or in the garage, or watching something i'm not interested in on tv and i'm doing something else, i'm still not alone. he's home. home is where the heart is. my heart is wherever he is. we have a plaque on our wall, a wedding gift from his parents, that says "when i say i am going home, i mean i am going to where you are."

our doggies are at my feet and they are sad with me. they don't want daddy to leave either. i was going to say, they don't know what they're missing about the baby girl they never met, but they're sad for her because i am. but really, that's inaccurate. when she died, john and i were in the hospital for 3 days. usually c-sections stay for 4, but they gave me the option to leave a day early since it's less than ideal to be surrounded by newborns after your own has died. perhaps the comfort of our own home and bed would be suitable. but i was terrified to go home without my baby. i was being nurtured at the hospital, i could be a victim. if i went home, i'd have to take care of myself. i dont want to take care of myself! i want to take care of my baby! so i was on the phone with my poor mother who had been in my house for those 3 days by herself. (we miss my daddy so much, even more in thes situations.) she said she was too lonely, and if i wasnt coming home, she was coming to the hospital. i just couldnt decide what to do. she then said "your dogs miss you. they are sad. they arent eating." i burst into harder tears than were already endlesslly falling, and i looked at john and said "we're going home."

we have vacationed many times and they've never stopped eating without us. they pretty much never miss a meal. we weren't even home, and they knew we were sad. they knew a big change was coming, which was suppossed to be the baby, and then, the world was knocked off its axis, and they knew. they know what they're missing. they're sad with me. everyone i know is sad with me. God is sad with me.

I can find healing and happiness in my huband, my dogs, in God, in the sound of my baby's heartbeat, in honoring the memory of my daughter, in collecting cherries, in wearing pink, in milk and cookies, an uplifting book, a kind gesture, a new friend, an old friend, a song lyric that could have come straight from my own heart. but the sad will always be with me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


It's so frustrating at this point of pregnancy because there's no way to know if the baby is ok between appointments. My next appointment and ultrasound is this Tuesday, August 17, but there were many days this past week where I woke up in a panic wanting to know if the baby was ok. I dont want to go overboard and call the doctor for a heartbeat check all the time.. so I broke down and ordered a doppler.

I tried it for the first time this morning, and at first, found nothing but my own heartbeat, which was exactly what happened the day we found out Kathlyn died. I tried not to panic because I'm still early and it takes some skill to find it at any point before 3rd trimester, really. After some advice from my friend who's a maternity nurse, I tried a second time and what sweet relief... 161, and it lasted a long time!! John was asleep, so I tried to move into the bedroom to let him hear (he couldnt hear me calling him, hmph), but I lost it after that :( In all the craziness, I forgot to take my progesterone! Crap. I found my healthy baby and then forget to medicate for her correctly :-/ So of course, when I got up again just now, I had to check again... still in the 160s :)

Torture.. but totally worth the reward... just like this entire pregnancy <3

Saturday, August 7, 2010

due date

August 7, 2009 was my due date, 40 weeks. That is, until mid-July when my official delivery date was going to be July 31. Sounds like a whole month in advance, but it was only a week. I was to have my baby at 39 weeks, full term. She died at 38 and 6.

As if I havent written about it 50 million times already.

August 7, 2009 instead was the very last day I ever laid eyes on my precious firstborn, on Friday night visitation. Wearing her white going-home dress and sweet little baby tights and socks, which I never saw, and wrapped in a matching pink hat and blanket. John didn't let me unwrap her, though I wanted to. I didn't know that I could have held her if I had asked. I should have taken a picture. There was nothing left to do but cry. The only words I remember from that open casket moment were from my brother Brian, who just said "oh my God, Beth" in the most compassionate and sympathetic voice I have ever heard. She was too beautiful and perfect to be dead. But there was nothing left to say or do. We were helpless. I don't remember them closing the casket, so I must have blocked it from my memory. I remember Travis said a prayer, and we motioned the director to come close it, and I panicked thinking there had to be something more to do. One more kiss, one more hug, one more "I love you". I remember in my panic literally and awkwardly forcing John's hand underneath mine to touch her one more time. And then it's blank. The casket was closed and I stared at it all night. I looked straight through my mourners to that casket. My baby is in there! I made her from scratch! Someone get her out! This has to be a mistake! Take those pink and white roses and that pink puppy off of there and open it back up. I'm leaving with her; do not follow me. Only John. Do not try to contact me. I want my baby.

I cant see the casket being closed, and it's appropriate because one never, ever reaches closure after an event like that one.

I have been delayed in writing the 2nd half of her birth story and writing about her party because they have to be perfect, and I am too drained for perfect. And maybe because it's another piece of closure that I dont want to be true. If I'm finished with her birth story, there will be nothing left to write. The story of Kathlyn ends there. If I write about her first birthday, then I'm officially in year two. The bereaved say that year two is harder. HARDER THAN WHAT I JUST WENT THROUGH?! How is that possible?! What is harder than grieving a child?! NAME SOMETHING!

And fuck you, fate, because I dont believe in you, you dirty temptress. DONT TRY TO SHOW ME SOMETHING HARDER. I'M NOT ASKING FOR IT! Sell tragedy somewhere else, I'm all stocked up.

I was shocked the other day when a friend asked me how my pregnancy was going, and added "you havent said much about it." Ouch. How is that possible either, because my 3 pregnancies are all I ever think about. ALL I EVER THINK ABOUT. In the past 372 days, has their been an entry or a status update about absolutely anything else? Maybe one about my dad on his birthday (but I probably thanked him for holding my baby for me) or one about John on his birthday or our anniversary, but John IS the other half of my children. It all points back to Kathlyn, my little cherry on top, my little lovebird.

There isnt much to tell about this new pregnancy yet. I want this baby as much as the other two, and honestly, as much as I want my 4th child who doesnt exist yet. But I cant feel her move yet. I dont even know if she's a she, though that's where I'm leaning now, where I first felt I was having a boy. I dont have any way to know if she's alive at any given moment. Even once my beautiful ultrasounds are over, the baby could die 5 minutes later or 30 seconds later or 2 seconds later and no one would be the wiser. I feel more exhausted than ever, after such a draining year, and now a new life growing inside me. The nausea is becoming less and less, which is disconcerting, but the fatigue is more and more. The heartrate at 8 weeks had gone all the way up to 174 from 108 and everything looked right on time. My next appointment is August 17, at almost 12 weeks, for my first trimester screen. Right now, my little baby would fit inside a peanut shell, yet exhausts me, I believe, more than a newborn would.

I welcome it. I would lay down my life for any of them.