Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Faces of Loss

I'm proud to say I have been featured on a new website that puts faces to loss, connects moms with moms similar to themselves and a place that can also bring hope. I encourage you to visit, the creators of the website are also in the works of making the website and resources available to new families of loss.

Something that I hold so near and dear to my heart after we lost Nolan was connecting with those that wore the same shoes, it made it a tad bit easier. Finally a place we can all connect and help others.
If you want to read my story, click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Uncharted Territory

From day one of this pregnancy, I considered uncharted territory beginning at 26 weeks and 2 days. It would be the official "I have never gotten this far point" but I was SO wrong.

Today, I realized I am in a whole new game and new things are happening even at 21 weeks.

Yup, Yours Truly found herself at the hospital today being checked for contractions.

First off, ALL IS WELL!

For the past week I thought I was having Braxton Hicks contractions, even mentioned it last week at my appointment. She offered to check me, but I felt I was over reacting and said I would be fine. The "contractions" got worse over the weekend, I could feel my uterus tense up and mild cramping. Then today it started to feel consistant and more of a gas type pain. She told me to call if they got worse, became more frequent or rhythmic.

What can I say?... I was being careful. I would rather be safe than sorry in my situation. I know too many horror stories and too many bad things seem to find me so I felt it was in my best interest to put my mind at ease and call my Dr. Which in turn, I was sitting in the office 30 minutes later.

So on I went, I bought myself a delightful internal, and a cervical check on ultrasound. Everything checked out 100% perfect! Holy cow! Something in my life looking NORMAL, say it's not so! I declined the NST option since I wasn't feeling what I was feeling earlier in the day, so I didn't fee it would benefit. My OB was thankful I came in and reassured me never to worry about bothering them. They rather me be safe than sorry.

But her explanation is what made me realize how I am in a totally different game plan this time. My cramping, pains, Braxton Hicks or whatever they may be are being caused because my uterus is reaching a size it never has before. Even though I made it to 26 weeks last time, my uterus was used to a 13 oz fetus, a barely there placenta and absolutely next to nothing amniotic fluid.

Even though I am 21 weeks and 4 days, this baby boy is growing with a normal size placenta, normal fluid and already grown to a size his big brother was born at. I am officially bigger than I was with Nolan. The way my c-section was cut (vertically) and how recent it is, I am going to feel these things and some of the feelings are probably 100% normal in pregnancy. But they are things that I never felt with Nolan. Hence why I am in uncharted territory.

I guess if I had these pains, and I was a normal pregnancy, I wouldn't have thought twice about them. But as we know, I am FAR from normal with a tad bit of anxiety and know all the bad things that can happen so I tend to lean on the "safer, yet look like an anxious freak when I go to the hospital" but hey, if it saves me or my baby- I did the right thing.

So on to pains, symptoms and experiences I never had before. I accept them with God's Grace and hope that all 1,786,240 visits to OB triage and my OB office in the coming weeks results in a healthy baby boy in the end. I just has to, right?

At least through out all this... Baby "I need to announce his name" has been kicking up a storm the past few weeks. But in the past week Chris & I have felt kicks harder than we have ever experienced before and even have recognized his patterns. It's a little bit of extra reassurance.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giving away a piece of Nolan

When I got pregnant with Nolan, millions of fun images flooded my head. Our first ultrasound, baby shopping, nursery planning, you name it- I dreamt it.

I lived everything baby, I was constantly thinking of the best stroller to register for or most practical diaper bag to buy. But most of all, I was obsessed with his nursery. I literally spent HOURS online finding inspiration for the perfect nautical nursery, he was our cruise ship baby.

What color should the walls be? What type of things should we hang on the walls, and OMG.. BEDDING! I have to find the perfect bedding. I think this was the only form of nesting I ever got to do.
Oh and let me tell you, I found the PERFECT bedding. Yup, I spent $250 on freaking nursery bedding. I just HAD to have it! Chris thought I lost my marbles when I choked up how much I spent on my Gap Baby bedding. But it was PEERRRRRFECT! Simple, not cartoon-y, blue and matched the exact color I wanted to paint the walls.


I was so darn excited about Nolan's nursery, it was my sense of normalcy I think.

But come June 11th, all that registering, planning and dreaming went out the door. I had to face the pure cold fact that none of that mattered anymore, we weren't bringing a baby home. We weren't going to set a crib up, not going to need that stroller we registered for and most of all his nursery was no longer a nursery, it was a room of memory.

"We also finished your old nursery tonight and it looks so perfect Nolan. I stood there in the middle of the room and just got so sad thinking about how it's not the same without a crib and changing table. I'm heartbroken I have a nursery for my son that you will never see. But I can tell you, it's absolutely perfect. I am so happy we didn't change the color of the room after we got home from the hospital. I will ALWAYS think of that room as YOUR room, even when you have a little brother or sister, it will still be your room. We also hung your nautical chart, and it looks awesome. But today was also hard putting away all your perfect little clothes I started collecting as soon as we found out you were a boy. I didn't look at any of them, I just quickly threw them in a tote and shoved it in the closet along with your bedding and mommy's maternity clothes. I hope we get to use all them again sometime in the future."
(a piece from this blog post)

All that is missing is a crib, his bedding and Nolan. Otherwise his room would have been perfect!

Weeks passed and all his stuff was shoved into his closet not to be seen for a long time. I couldn't bear to look at it, let alone get rid of it. But there is one thing I thought I could never part with- his perfect nautical anchor bedding.

I had thought about things to do, sell it, do a giveaway and raise money & awareness to Preeclampsia, throw it out. I didn't know. Nothing seemed right, or maybe I just wasn't ready. We never got the crib, so it was just sitting in the closet still folded perfectly into the plastic cylinder. There was questions if I would ever use it for a future baby, but now that I am here especially with another boy, I don't want to use it. I don't want his little brother to have Nolan's stuff. That was Nolan's identity, Nolan's things and this baby deserves his own. Not saying a little of Nolan's things here and there won't hurt. But his bedding is too near and dear to my heart.

Until I started thinking, it does me no good for perfectly good bedding to go to waste for the next 20 years in a closet. Anchors or not, I need to do something with it. But what to do?

I decided if there was 1, and I mean 1 person on this Earth that I would want to have his bedding, it in no way would be a stranger, coworker or shoot even an acquaintance. I feel it has more meaning to that, and no stranger could ever understand why I would have tears rolling down my face as I hand them crib bedding. Who would do that? Cry over nursery bedding? A mother who has lost their baby that was suppose to use that. Me.

So I am giving this bedding to Baby Kooper. My best friend Amy understands this more than any stranger ever could, she understands the meaning to it. I told her tonight that I wanted Kooper to have Nolan's bedding for when he comes home and she was so touched. She said she feels like he will have an extra watch over him using that bedding. I just feel like he is the one baby that deserves his bedding, that I feel comfortable parting with this bedding. It's a piece of Nolan I am ready to give, it just had to be to the right person.
And that's my dear friend, Amy.

I look forward to hearing all about Kooper's nursery and seeing pictures. I need to get this in the mail soon, because that little guy is coming home soon and it's so freaking exciting!

So I am proud of myself for letting go of a small piece, but most importantly I am proud a miracle baby gets to use Nolan's anchor bedding. A baby with a Mother that unfortunately understands loss all too well.
We miss you Kalli & Nolan, more than you kids will ever know!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

21 weeks

On Friday I turned 21 weeks.
On Thursday we had an ultrasound that confirmed that this lil guy is offically Nolan's size.

13 ounces.

It's so bittersweet to imagine that Nolan was this far behind in growth, remember he was born at 26 weeks, he was such a miracle that he even survived 3 days at his size. Bittersweet that his little brother is already his size 5 weeks younger.
I miss my little guy. But I am praying his little brother keep growing and will be over 2lbs at 26 weeks.

So here is Nolan, born at 26 weeks, weighing 13 ounces and 10.5 inches. A true miracle.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Busy week.

It's been a long week.
A trip to Chicago.
A sad funeral for an Uncle.
Many trips to Culver's.
Delays in boring airport terminals with no computer.
Back home just in time to go back to work for 2 shifts.

My best friend Erin, who by the way makes AH-mazing headbands. At least I got to see her while I was in Chicago.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dear Nolan,

Everything reminds me of you. And I mean EVERYTHING, especially this weekend.

The clothes we see at Carters are still some of the same ones we bought for you and have tucked away in your closet upstairs.

Every nautical nursery set or decoration strikes an urge to buy it for your room.

The trip we made to Babies R Us takes me back to a time me and your Dad would wander the aisles with our scanner guns wondering what the the best thing was to get you.

The red stroller Aunt Mary bought your little brother just today, just happens to be the SAME one we registered for you.

Dad called the new baby by the nickname we had picked out for you had your name been Christopher Joseph III and I cringed because it was weird to go back to the day when your name was different.

There are so many things in the past weekend that has struck a cord with me. I put my big girl panties on and bit the bullet to go look for stuff for your little brother. Even though it was hard and I was anxious, I had fun. It was exciting to think about when we get to use all the stuff, but it makes me sad at the same time because I never got to use it with you. I never dressed you in your baseball outfit or took you for a walk in your red stroller. But I know you and Charlie are working your butts off up there to make sure we get to being your little brother home. So I have FAITH that this is really going to happen, I mine as well start looking and be prepared.

I just miss you. And now that all this new stuff is happening, it makes me miss the things that we didn't get to experience with you. All the preparing in the world never would have prepared me for the loss of you. I guess that's why I don't care all that much for it. I know your Grandma, Val and Aunt Mary will have all that extra stuff covered when the time comes anyways.

Your doing an awesome job baby boy. Charlie was the only person who met you here on this Earth and has cradled you up there in Heaven, so I know your in good hands. He loved you more than I can even explain, he just thought you were awesome.

I love you Nolan, keep an eye on baby "you know the name"

Your Mommy

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sumo Baby

2 mornings in a row I spent some time at the hospital for the wee little one. OK, OK... BIG ONE (more on this later).
One day was planned, one not so much.

I woke up for my first shift on my new schedule and took my BP like I do every morning after I get up and going, and I got a sky high diastolic reading. I took it again on the other arm, same thing. The pulse correlated with the heart rate, so I made the call and they wanted me to come in right away.

20 minutes later we we're sitting in my Dr's office worried sick if I was starting the path to preeclampsia again. My BP was elevated but thankfully it wasn't anywhere close to what I got at home. They checked some labs and those all came back 100% PERFECT. So I was cleared to go to work and continue on my day.

Today at my normal appointment, we found out this baby is over a week ahead in growth, 70% to be exact. He weighs about 10 ounces at 18.6 weeks and is YES, still a boy. My placenta is behaving and LOOKS like it has not invaded the uterine wall through my c-section scar (yet) and we are hoping it stays that way for the remainder of this pregnancy.

All good news, something we barely got with little Nolan. When Nolan was 18.6 weeks, he was 3% and falling off the charts. So I am sure you can believe I almost fell out of my seat when she mentioned 70%. Baby 'hopefully we stick to the name we picked' stays on this track- if so, I am in for it. Guess this explains why I have grown to a size we didn't see until I was 23 weeks with Nolan and how I constantly feel this baby kicking. Bliss. I'll embrace every second of it.

Bless this baby, but my family is convinced he is coming out the size of a sumo baby, just like my little sister Molly.
Molly Catherine
10.5lbs and throwing gang signs out of the womb. .
Yes, she is this bad ass.
And NO, she was NOT a c-section. Poor Mom

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Sometimes, I just have nothing to say. Nothing to share. Nothing to give. Sometimes the grief is overwhelming, the fear is infinite and positivity seems non existent.

This week has felt like it's one foot in front of the other, just like 13 months ago. But now I am doing this journey along with my Mom and it's so hard to watch. So much in common and it's simply heartbreaking.

It's hard when people tell you
"Everything is going to be fine, it HAS to be because all you have been through"

But how do we know that? We don't. Heartbreak doesn't give you good luck, promise or happiness no matter how much you go through. I wish it did. I feel stronger than I was last year, I am a different person than I was last year and I have more appreciation for life than I did last year. But what else would it take to have a promise of "no more bad" when I feel like we have been drowning in it the past 13 months?