Monday, May 31, 2010

Pass the how-to manual

A year ago this weekend, I was at a birthday party. It was this very birthday party that I laid on the floor of the bathroom behind a locked door and poked my belly trying to get our son to move- he wouldn't budge. I hadn't felt him all night, my ankles were swollen and I just knew something wasn't right. I couldn't enjoy myself the rest of the night, you could visibly see that something was bothering me.

That's the last time I was out with friends before we lost Nolan.

Tonight, we were at that very same birthday party. It hit me and it came out of nowhere.

It's that time of year. June is here. June is here TOMORROW. The month I have so graciously put in the back of my mind like it was to be forgotten about. I'm not saying I want to forget the life we were given for 2.5 days. But to forget all those feelings that are going to come tumbling down with no notice. Kind of like they did tonight.

The weather is changing like it does every June. It rains every afternoon, the hot and humid Florida air is back and it reminds me SO much of the days after we lost Nolan. The days I was planning his funeral, the rain never seemed to stop. That weather is back. It's just a grim reminder that time of year is here. It's also the same weather that lasts ALL summer, the same weather those months of deep grieving I went through.

I'm not ready to face the next few weeks. I'm not ready for these feelings. I have done so well disguising them for months. Huge breakdowns seem to be a thing of the past, that was until tonight. They are back, unpredicable and unstoppable.

Does anyone have the manual on how to face these dates, the month, the feelings. I know so many of us have already gone through this. HOW?! Do I wallow in my tears? Do I avoid hugs? Do I go into hiding? Do I distract myself? How do I do it? I know there are so many different ways but can't there be a step by step manual on how to go through these dates being gentle on yourself?

In 11 days, I will face the hardest day yet in the past year. I'm sure it will be a hot muggy afternoon, the rain will beat on the windows and all I will be able to do it replay in my head what happened on that very day exactly one year ago. It's scary, it's raw and I am just not ready to feel it.

I just miss him more than I could ever express, more than I could put into words and more than life itself. I just want to see him kicking again in his isolette. I want to feel that "everything is going to be okay" feeling that I got when he was in the NICU. Never in a million years during those 2.5 days did I think we would watch Nolan slip out of our hands right in front of us. It's just so surreal.

I am going to be a hard person to be around the next few weeks. I know I will "get through" it, I obviously got through a lot already. But it doesn't help the fact that I am going to feel this all over again.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

9 weeks 2 DAYS!

The way I have felt this week, I needed this.

For the first time in my life, we have a bay measuring AHEAD on an ultrasound.

Yesterday was our 2nd ultrasound and I can’t even put into words how nervous I was. As I was pulling into the  hospital my stomach was in knots and I was preparing myself for  the worst news. But then, as I pulled into the parking lot, a yellow butterfly fluttered across and no lie….it put me at ease.

The ultrasound was AWESOME. I love the girls in my office, they seem to get just as excited as we do. We heard the heartbeat and listened to it for a little bit while Ashley (secretary OB) even ran in to hear  it.

Perfect heartbeat and a baby measuring 2 days AHEAD in growth. I couldn’t be a happier Mama. Dr F is pretty happy with how everything is progressing and we are hoping and praying the rest to stay like this.


Next ultrasound, June 11th. ((Sigh)) I CAN do this. It will give me something to look forward to vs. wallowing in my tears, right?

So I said I wouldn’t do any of these belly shots, but when I am the size I am so early I have to in order to prove it. Seriously I look 14 weeks pregnant, just where I was with Nolan. I don’t care how much weight I put on as long as I stay healthy and bring home a healthy baby.

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There is always a little diet Nutrisystem that will take this baby weight away when all is said and done.

Now off to shoot a wedding of my dear friend Izzy today. I can’t wait to come back and share pictures!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Blog: THE Question

Meet Lauren from "[Lauren's Blog] It's my LIFE".
She has a BOMB house that I am still secretly plotting to steal, awesome decor, cute husband and the mother of Quads. Yes, she is a mom to 4 babies in Heaven and she shares on her blog her hurt, loss, hopes and everything involved with LIFE including the fight with infertility after loss.

I asker her to do a guest blog about something she thinks about daily, her fight and all the in between. Why? Because you guys are probably sick of hearing my view and my rants. So with out further ado, meet Lauren.

Follow her, swoon over her house and and I promise you will fall in love with her just as much as I did!

You know when you get asked the question - “Do you have children??”

What do you say?

It can be SUCH a loaded question.

A lot of you out there know exactly what I’m talking about. It is such a simple, innocent question but when I’m asked that now I feel like time comes to a complete stop. All the noise and activity around me stops. It is the most awkward moment ever, and the person asking me has no clue. I feel like I turn white, when I answer “no”.

“No, I don’t have kids…” is the easy answer.

“Yes, I have quadruplets who are all dead…” is the very complicated and socially unacceptable answer.

For those of you who have children up in heaven - Have you ever really answered that question to someone you just met?

I don’t think I could do it. I don’t like to make people feel awkward or uncomfortable, so I just don’t go there. Sometimes when I’m asked this question, I am able to easily blow it off and I quickly answer, “No”. Other times, answering the question with an abrupt “No” makes me feel guilty; like I’m discrediting that my children ever existed. Do you ever feel guilty doing this too?

It’s not until you’ve experienced the loss of a baby, or have had fertility issues, until you start to rethink asking people you meet those simple types questions. You never know what might be going on that you had no idea about. My rule now is, if they don’t volunteer the information, then I don’t ask. It seems like the rest of the world still has no idea that a simple question like that can mean so much. I know people don’t mean anything by it, because they don’t even know me, but getting asked that question often is SO draining.

How do you handle those questions?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Words of Wisdom

If there was one thing I learned this week it was,

I'm not alone.

I mean, I physically know I'm not, but it was nice to hear my feelings were shared among a lot of us. Sometimes I feel so damn irrational and you guys remind me I'm normal. Thank you everyone for your support, emails, comments and all around love and concern. I have a feeling the next month is going to be rough, but we will get through it.

Someone(wish I could remember who) sent this to me this week and I couldn't agree any more. Thank You!

"Don't let worry be the thing you remember from this pregnancy"

So I am going to do my best, because it's so true. So at the advice of my husband, family, & best friends including Amy (Kalli's Mom) is a time to be selfish and not feel bad about it. It's in the best interest for baby and my sanity. And in the coming months, it will get better & relationships will mend and fear will subside. But to get through the summer, it's what I need to do.

Relax, pretend I'm the only one to worry about and distract myself with good. I'm shooting a wedding for a dear friend next weekend, I have another ultrasound on Friday and I have a birthday celebration to plan for our little guy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I need that brown paper bag.

I feel like a mess. It's all starting to hit. Maybe I am hormonal or maybe it's the raw reality of what happened to us last year. The fact we lost Nolan. The fact it's coming up on a year. The fact I am scheduled to work the night, the night that marks exactly a year that Chris and I rushed to the elevator to make it to the NICU to see Nolan as they we're coding him. The exact year at 1:30 in the morning that Nolan slipped out of our hands as we stood there and watched the team back away from his isolette.

Yes I asked off the 11th, but I didn't ask for the 10th in which all reality... that is when it happened, just after it turned the 11th. What was I thinking?

Not only that.

Maybe it's the fact that since being pregnant everyone thinks I am cured and that grieving is a thing of the past. I am SO far from cured, I thought it was a life long process. How could I be, or will I ever be? HELL NO! So PLEASE stop running to me, running to shout out things that you know that I would be sensitive to before I was pregnant. I still need to be gentle on myself for awhile.

Do you think I want to know about your pregnancy, do you think it's not hard for me to hear still? IT IS! Being pregnant doesn't fix that fear, and GOD I wish it did. I want to be genuinely happy for others, but it so hard when your hurting so bad inside and wondering if you will ever make it to the desired spot. I am happy for them and I wish the best for them all, of course. I know it's impossible to be pregnant alone, but why am I a person you feel inclined to tell so soon? Would you have done that 2 months ago? Naw... you know it stings me. Damn my own pregnancy scares me. And I imagine it will be on pins and needles the whole time. Only a BLM REALLY understands this, so I may sound crazy to all the rest of you. (I promise I'm not, I am just a mother who craves to hold my son, a mother convinced this will happen to me every time. No amount of positive thinking will cure that. Just a strong amount of FAITH and HOPE can help us get through these hard months.)

Maybe it's that fact that work got baby last night. Something that EVERYONE will be talking about for the next few days. It's a traumatic event that needs to be talked through. But I could have done with out knowing (although I KNOW it's near impossible). I know everyone is glad I wasn't there and that they want to shelter me. But there will always be that one person that feels it necessary to say SOMETHING (may it be in the 'good intentions). I can't really hide from it, and I am used to that. Sure they all know it was the BEST thing I wasn't there last night, but it doesn't stop everyone from talking about it.

I'm just irritated, hurt, scared and just want to hide the next 8 months. I want to sleep through June, I don't want to feel the feelings that are coming back, it feels like June 11th JUST happened. All that crap about the hurt lessening, IT DOES... But then- it sneak attacks on you. Like now. Like when I realize I am a little over 2 weeks away from June 11th. I look at pictures of Nolan and I have to remind myself that it happened, we lost him. We really did. It started to feel like a dream, I'm not sure if they count that as 'pain fades'. But as much as I am excited to celebrate his little life, I also have to mourn what really took place 2.5 days later.

How will I survive the next month? Anyone else want to jump and come running to me about their pregnancy, or about any horror stories that happened to you? Didn't stop half the people in the fast few weeks. I need to stay on the down low to protect myself, less stress... focus on the good, right? I promise I am trying REAL hard.

I know this blog is all over the place. And that's because that's how I feel right now, my emotions are everywhere. My anxiety is sky high, I can't help it. Just SO much is going on right now. Sad baby stories at work, Nolan's anniversary approaching WAY too quickly, non-BLM running to me to tell me their news. Every new one, sends me spiraling wondering... will I lose that friend too bc I just can't seem to get over the fact that I lost 2 friends last year because they couldn't understand I was hurting. I just needed some time- some time to process what I just entered into, I wasn't ready -JUST YET- for everyone else's. In time, yes... but now.. no. Maybe if it wasn't the month of June quickly approaching it would be easier, but right now. I just want to have some space, some time to reflect and not be bombarded by, well... things that give me more anxiety.

Phew. My tears have dried up since starting this post. Thanks Val for listening to me this morning and yes, blogging made me feel better.

I love my friends, I love that good things are all happening to them. I really am. I may not show my enthusiasm right now, but in time...I will. I just need more time. I need to get through the next month. I need to get through the coming weeks in ultrasounds that tell us if this baby is on the same path as Nolan. I need some time to process what can happen to us again this year and some time to process what happened last year. And in all the joy and thankfulness of being pregnant again, I need to remember our Nolan.

Again, I think I am just in sensory overload.

Thank you for all your sweet comments in the previous posts, they remind me of things I tend to forget, remind me I have normal feelings and reassure me that I'm not alone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Too many things happening this week. I am in sensory overload.
So many thoughts wandering my in head and my anxiety is a triple threat. ((Grabs brown paper bag and starts breathing))
Love my no make-up, bed head look? The face says it all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm afraid. When I first found out I was pregnant I was surprisingly calm. I told myself I would enjoy every second possible. When the people who knew I was pregnant asked how I was doing. I think they were expecting to hear something along the lines of scared, anxious, afraid… and oh ya my boobs hurt, no upchucks YET ect ect.

But I have this fear. I said since day one of my grief journey that I didn’t want to have a pregnancy with someone else ever again. I have lost my friendships of those kind when I lost Nolan. I am not proud of some of my feelings but they were inevitable. Jealousy is a big fat monster. I can’t help but look at their babies and relate what Nolan would have been doing how how big he would be getting. It made me crave my baby here on earth 1,000 times more.

When I found out I was pregnant, I had a dream.

I remember it like it really happened. I was SO happy playing with a friends baby and was a few weeks or months pregnant. I was getting the baby to laugh and I was playing airplane with it. It felt good, it felt like I should feel about babies. Then my friend who I was closely pregnant with Nolan walked in with her baby and came to talk to me. I couldn’t look at her, I couldn’t smile at her.. because I was still so hurt that Nolan wasn’t here. He should be THAT size, he should starting on THOSE solids.. blah blah blah. It was like my subconscious mind was trying to tell me that part of me was still hurting even though I am pregnant again.

Being pregnant again doesn’t fix it. I didn’t expect it to nor want it to.

So now, that I am back in the desired spot I have been happy. Thankful. Over the moon! Until someone broke the news. They are pregnant too. We are due so close to each other, within 48 hours. And as much as I am happy for them. I am TERRIFIED of being left in the dust again. Afraid of what happened last time. Losing friends. Avoiding new babies the size of what my baby would have been. Just afraid of it all. I just can’t do that again. It was one of my hardest spots in grieving.

I tend to hyper focus and this is something that is going to bother me. I can’t help it, I am not proud of it. I know just because I am pregnant doesn’t mean the world stops and I am warranted to be the ONLY one pregnant. But the fact that it is a friend, neighbor and co-worker- I can’t run from it as easily. I am broken.


And so worried of having that dirt kicked up in my face once again. So when people ask how I am doing.. I’m SCARED.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blog Friends Rock

Yesterday we took a trip to Tampa to visit my favorite blog friend Lauren & her husband, Josh. Our original plans were to do Busch Gardens and BBQ but the wee little one and the Lovenox shots changed those plans. I don’t think roller coasters would have been a bright idea.

So instead, we hung out under a cabana at her pool, raced kids half our height to the top of the water slide and lounged in the pool Best relaxing day ever!

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Not only that, we played around with our cameras when we got back to her house, which by the way I fell in LOVE with. I have house envy- it’s just BEAUTIFUL!!! We went to dinner and had some more drinks and came back to their place and hung out on the back lanai for HOURS talking, laughing and tweeting.

Laurens Weekend 228 Chris didn’t want to leave. Yes, I literally had to DRAG my husband out of his chair so we could drive the 2 hours home. I think it’s funny that just a few months ago when I first met Lauren, Chris thought I was crazy for meeting a ‘blog stranger’ at Starbucks for coffee. And here we are, months later… he’s now dying to move up to Tampa so we are closer to Josh & Lauren.

We had a blast guys, can’t wait to do it again. Cheers! (Raises my Shirley Temple) Yes, I am bad ass.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dad’s 55th Birthday Present

In December, we weren’t sure if dad would see his 55th birthday. The surgeon had us worried that he might not come out of surgery. It was the realistic way of looking at it. Sure there was hope and prayers but in all honesty, we were SCARED.

But here he is, thriving and doing awesome. Oh and turning fifty-freaking-five!

So what did we do to celebrate?

Chris and I took my Mom & Dad out for lunch out in a little well established Fish House on the water. It was perfect! At the time both my Mom & Dad had NO clue about our news.

So what did we do?

I gave my Dad his birthday card and watched him get all excited over his Walgreen gift card I got him. HE LOVES WALGREENS. Mom was laughing when he opened it. Then he saw IT.



I wish I could have gotten the SURPRISE FACE. The 2nd picture he was looking at my Mom for the OMG response, but the funny thing is, she had NO CLUE. She just thought he was excited over his damn Walgreens gift card.

So I told him to give Mom the card so she could read it and that was the end. Tears, hugs and TONS of excitement. It was SO much fun to tell them this way and for them to be here in person. They were over the phone last time when we announced we were pregnant before while they watched a slideshow.


This was just perfect.

So Happy Belated Birthday Dad. I wish I could have posted this in my busy week post, didn’t want you to think I forgot about you. I just had to tell the story as a whole because it’s that much fun!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby D #2

Nolan is going to be a BIG BROTHER!


We’re excited, scared, hopeful, thankful and simply over the moon. Here we are starting this journey again, but it already feels SO different this time. 

We have told our parents (which by the way was SO MUCH FUN) and our closest friends have found out. I struggled on when I was going to post this here, but I can’t let fear over power me. If I wasn’t going to post it in fears of something bad happening, well then I mine as well not post until after 26 weeks. Because in my world, just being out of 1st tri doesn’t promise me anything.

It’s about making it to each milestone, each week, each appointment and just getting to where we need to be. I have the best OB I could ask for who is also just so excited for us. She sure does have her hands full for the next few months.

She even said I had her worried that we had twins brewing when she got my beta numbers because they were so high. So there was a sigh of relief at the ultrasound when we only saw one flickering heartbeat. Poor Dr F.  said she already worries with one, let alone two that my body could never handle.

baby (Just a little speck, but there’s a beating heart. SO SO HAPPY)

We got to see the heartbeat, so that’s one milestone down…1 million to go. I started my Lovenox shots, I’m hyped up on prenatals, folic acid & baby aspirin and have many biweekly dates & scans scheduled with Dr F. That’s not including the MFM appointments in between. So yes, I am being watched- VERY CLOSELY.

This blog will stay the same. It’s our family, it’s the way I want to keep it. I don’t imagine this blog will turn into a baby this and baby that blog because in all honesty, this pregnancy will just be different. No nursery plans, no baby showers, and stuff like that. It’s about surviving.

I will always talk about my Nolan, write my fears, hopes and dreams, and most of all, document our milestones.

And hopefully in December this year, we will be welcoming home a little bundle of joy. Yes I have a due date, it’s the last possible day of 2010. I guess Nolan was determined to give us a 2010 baby, I couldn’t be happier. But as Dr F said, there is no way I would make it to that day realistically. I will be sectioned around 37-38 weeks (if I even got that far)and she is just hoping I can get to AT LEAST 32 weeks.

So here I am. Scared, excited and hopeful. Starting this all over again. I decided not to count weeks as closely as I did last time, but now that is impossible after hearing how often I will be scanned. So at this current moment, I am just making it to the next appointment to hear this little heartbeat again.

So Nolan, keep a careful watch on your little brother or sister. I have many people down here looking after me. Not only Dr F & MFM, but friends, family, Chris and coworkers have me in a bubble. So you don’t need to worry about me, just help this baby to grow.

Power of prayer can go a long ways.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I’ve been so busy

It’s been a crazy busy week. I haven’t even been able to sit down and even blog (gasp)!

I almost ran out of gas again while driving around my Mom, Valorie & Jen while we were out dress shopping and this was the Facebook commentary on it. I just had to post this for a good laugh. I guess I like living on the edge when it comes to gas.

gas We welcomed home my SIL’s boyfriend from Afghanistan. Talk about an emotional homecoming. It’s really special to be able to be a part of it. His sister had Veterans, family and even the news to welcome him home. Just awesome to see him back on US soil. It’s so powerful when an airport stops and everyone claps and welcomes a soldier home.connell2

My Father in Law graduated from nursing school this week. He is respiratory therapist, turned firefighter to fire chief, retired man to a NURSE. Needless to say, I think he LOVES school. What man has that many degrees? I didn’t even name them all.

OH and did I mention that he was “Outstanding Student of the Class” award. That darn over achiever!

Seniors Nurse Pinning 165   Seniors Nurse Pinning 177Seniors Nurse Pinning 179                                                                                                

Seniors Nurse Pinning 204We went out to celebrate after and Lauren (best blog friend) was in town so she came by for some drinks. I LOVE hanging out with Lauren and can’t wait to spend the weekend with her and her husband next weekend.

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It’s been a busy week and thankfully it’s distracting me from Sunday. I am pretty down about Mother’s Day and how it will unfold. In the past two weeks I realized Mother's Day was on my weekend to work (calculated my weekends wrong)..but I thought it would be okay. Chris and I would go for breakfast, sleep all day and both go to work. Not a HUGE deal. At least we could go visit Nolan together. BUT then it hit me the other night. Chris is back on day shift for 3 months. So I won’t see him at all. ALL WEEKEND. I leave before he comes home and he leaves before I get home. So now I am just having a pity party for myself over here. I will get over it. But I really wanted to go see Nolan together. I’m sure he will come visit me up at the hospital that night. But it’s not what I expected my day to be like. Hopefully next year is better.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Will Carry You

I have been waiting for this book by Angie Smith to come out for months- and I mean like counting down the days. I have followed her blog since last June shortly after we lost Nolan. She started her blog when she found out her sweet baby Audrey was not going to survive here on earth when she was born. She shares her love, hopes and grief over the few months Audrey was still nestled safely in her belly. Then the raw feelings of grief followed after precious Audrey was born.

She inspires me. She has turned Audrey’s story into a book. It’s heartbreaking, inspirational and a raw insight of what losing a child is like. But is is sharing a life with the world, something I would love to have the chance to do.

So today, I took my book, my new anchor towel from my best friend Jen and my pool floats and spent the whole day at the pool reading. I am half way done and the only reason I stopped was because the Florida sun was frying me. I look forward to finishing it this week.

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I feel like a horrible Mom. I don’t visit Nolan as much as I used to. I get so sad when I see no flowers at his spot. It just looks so dead. I mean the grounds are beautiful and his angel statue is there because of HIM. But it’s still hard to see no flowers at his stone. Nothing. It just looks empty. I miss doing his flowers and arranging new ones every month, it was one thing I looked forward to. I’m adjusting though and ‘starting’ to get used to it, just very slowly.

Val & Amys 034Val & Amys 037 Val & Amys 039

I also fell in LOVE with a house. The backyard faces the memorial garden and I would do anything to live so close to Nolan. I could blow him a kiss every single night. Now I just need to win the lottery, even if it was just $200,000. I would move RIGHT NOW.

Val & Amys 036 That's Nolan's Stone and the house you see in the background is for SALE!

Val & Amys 044 Leaving the Garden

Saturday, May 1, 2010

28 years

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! I am so proud to say I have parents that still love each other, some days. HA! I hope Chris and I can make it to 28 years.

In the past 28 years

My parents had 4 kids.

They have lived in 4 different states and 8-9 different cities.

Survived raising 4 kids and sent them all off to college.

Been on 10+ cruises

Survived job loss more than one couple should

Lost their first and only grandchild

Lived through one of the most complicated open heart surgeries

So I think love has conquered all for them in good and bad. Happy Anniversary and I hope you’re enjoying your week! Wish we were there to toast to 28 years with you!

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