Sunday, October 31, 2010

Charlie Brown & The Great Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!
I said a long time ago, I would be SO happy if we make it Halloween still pregnant- and we're HERE! I really didn't think I would be able to dress up as a pumpkin like planned, but I went all out even adding a damn tutu, which I even made myself.
31 weeks and 3 days!
Charlie Brown found the Great Pumpkin
The mutt as Snoopy

I don't take one week we get for granted, I count my lucky stars for every single one we get. So one more goal down, and we only have a few more left.
  • 32 weeks on Friday- HUGE GOAL!
  • Still be pregnant at the big baby shower on Sunday!
  • 34 weeks
  • The day we turn 37- DEC 10th- C-Section DAY!!!
I'm so excited I could pee my pants!!!!!!
If I am counting right, we only have a few more ultrasounds too! We find out Tuesday how big this stinker weighs. Any guesses?

I still can't believe its Halloween, it doesn't feel real. We went and handed out candy tonight at my parents house. I can't wait until next year when we are in our new house which is in a HUGE family friendly neighborhood, kids will be everywhere! And we will have a stroller with a little 10 month old! It's so real! And tomorrow is November! That means when people ask when I am due, I can finally say... NEXT MONTH!
One last try with Snoopy
P.S. I'm not sure what is up with the Flamingo pose, my sister calls me out on it ALL THE TIME!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mission Crib & Updates

Our crib came in surprisingly fast, so we went to pick it up tonight. We had absolutely NO plans to set it up since we should be in our new house before CC arrives. But having a crib box sitting in your garage seemed so tempting. Plus since the new nursery will be painted the same as Nolan's nursery, it only seemed logical we set it up and see how it all looks with the new bedding. Now all we need is the train stuff I want to decorate with, the crib skirt and the dresser. It's all really coming together and I think the new nursery look already looks amazing and it still has a touch of Nolan. I just love it!
30 weeks +2 days

I can't believe I made it into the 30's! Next goal is Halloween, then 32 weeks is my baby shower and then we are in the last 4 week stretch until C-section day at the end of 36 weeks! We're almost there! This is really happening!

I've been doing pretty good since being off work. My blood pressures are good, no protein dips and my 24 hours have been under 300. I can't complain. I still have weekly ultrasounds between OB & MFM to watch my placenta and his growth. His last growth scan was at 29 weeks and he was 3lbs 4oz! He's a monster!
I am still doing my Lovenox shots and I should be stopping those around 32-33 weeks and switching to Heprin since my C-section is at 36-37 weeks. As of right now the tentative date is December 10th unless I start contracting in week 36, we will go ahead and do the c-section then since it's not that safe for my uterus to contract due to the vertical c-section I had with Nolan. (holy run on sentence) My OB talked about giving the steroid shots around 33 weeks just to play safe and give him a little boost since we're taking him early. We're hoping for no NICU time and a normal hospital experience because that would be a dream to us.

Oh and P.S.
It's confirmed, he has hair!

Friday, October 22, 2010

84 years strong

If there was one man on this earth that believed in Heaven and eternal life, it was my Grandpa. In all the heartache our family has gone through, he always had the right thing to say because he himself has gone through more than you can imagine and still made it to 84. He was honest to God the staple in our family. Especially this past year.
Yesterday, after what we believed and expected to be a routine surgery for his gallbladder, Grandpa went to Heaven to be with my Grandma, 2 adult sons, 7 babies (yes, 7 born into the arms of Jesus or lived a few minutes- I told you this man was strong) Charlie and my little Nolan.

We all had spent a pretty easy week in the hospital with him after a severe gallbladder attack turned into pancreatitis last Sunday morning. He was so impressed with his care from all my nurse friends on the floor he was on and so thankful for his private room they got him. I am telling you, he was such a simple man to make happy. Even the last night he was wanting to tip his darn nurse and tech for giving him a hot shower and a shave. I never expected for the hours I spent with him this past week to be his last.

Yesterday feels like a blur, I stood there watching some of my best friends and coworkers work on Grandpa and fight for him in post-op. It was hard to watch, I was the therapist in plain clothes standing at the end of the bed watching yet another nightmare happen. I'm not really sure how I handled yesterday being so calm, maybe it was the healthcare worker in me kicked in and stayed strong for my Mom and Aunt. But I sit here now at 3am in the morning wondering how in the heck I got through yesterday without getting my own self admitted with blood pressure spikes. Strength? Who knows.

I am just so saddened by it all but the one thing that comforts me is he had so much faith in Heaven. He believed after all his heartache in 84 years, he simply believed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We did what!?

It took us 29 weeks and 2 days to find the courage to order CC's crib. But we did it, well we ordered & Grandpa & Nana actually bought it for CC. We all went after church to make the big purchase- I'm sure the Babies R Us girl thought we were nuts with all 5 of us there making such a huge deal of it. I guess it was just more of an emotional thing than anything else. It feels real now, like really real.
And since it comes in 14 days, looks like we can put it together just in time for this baby shower to happen. I might actually get to know what it feels like to nest and set up a nursery! Well, with our luck we will get our closing date on our new house right AFTER we do all this. Honestly, I am hoping that's what happens, I think it's going to take setting everything up for the bank to finally get it's act together. Sigh.
Chris had fun shopping today too, he was going nuts finding mini me outfits.
And he found this little gem since a certain group of my friends call me a space cadet. I don't deny, I embrace it.

I had an even better night tonight at the Mary Beth Chapman tour, but that's a blog post for another day. Too many emotions to sort out through my head in order to make any sense in a blog post. But if anything, tonight was about Choosing to See.
To be continued...

Friday, October 15, 2010

My lights

IMG_0471 copy

Today is a day that all us mothers in the community of baby loss come together and remember our angels together. It's when all us mothers wished we we're lighting birthday candles instead of candles in memory, but it’s a night we can all remember together.

So tonight, at 7pm I lit my 2 candles for Nolan and Kalli and all other babies that left too soon. I want to name them all but I am in fear of missing some.

Amy and I have had such a strong and special bond from day 1. We we're each other's backbones through some months that we had no one else that understood. Last year, Amy lit candles for Nolan & Kalli since I was at work and sent me the picture.

Oct. 15th 2009

I should be lighting candles on my Nolan's birthday cake next June 8th. But instead we are lighting candles on Oct. 15th for infant loss remembrance day.
But I didn't even get to light that, I am at work and at 7pm I was going to a trauma. So my dear friend Amy lit one for our babies and sent it to me. It made my night.

I love you Nolan and I will NEVER ever go a day and not think about you. I still can't believe you are not here in my arms right now. I guess I am just in shock that this is our new life. I never in a million years thought we would be faced with losing a baby, I really didn't.

So to all the Mom's that I have met since June that are feeling the same thing, I am thinking about you girls today and all your sweet angels in Heaven.

This year, my parents came over and we did the same. It's a tradition that Amy and I will share forever on October 15th. And nothing was sweeter than when I called her tonight at 7, I could hear sweet Kooper coo-ing in the background.

I love you Amy, I love all my new friends in this community. I wish we never had a reason to all come together but I am glad we all found each other. I'm remembering all your sweet angels tonight and hope that the next few years brings us all some new found happiness.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nursery Time

Holy cow! I am 29 weeks tomorrow! That means 8 weeks to go until my C-section. I guess it’s safe to say we need to get this nursery underway! We knew from the beginning that we would not repaint Nolan’s room and if we get our new house (crossing fingers), the room will be painted the same. The question was if we we’re going to keep the nursery the nautical nursery we had planned for Nolan or if we would change it.



If we didn’t change it, all we needed was a crib, dresser and new bedding, since I gave Nolan’s anchor bedding to baby Kooper. But in my heart, that was Nolan’s room, always will be. This baby is different, this baby is a different pregnancy and deserves his own style. But nothing seemed to fit like it did with Nolan. Nolan was a cruise ship baby, that’s where my nautical inspiration came from. Then when I started fight for his life, that very same anchor took a different meaning, HOPE. We never finished the nursery before it turned into a memory room. We never had the furniture ordered, just painted walls and a few decorations. I never thought that when we finally framed the official nautical chart from our wedding, signed by the captain himself that we would be hanging a “in memory” plaque under it. It just doesn’t seem right.



So we wanted this baby to have his own theme, his own identity.

This pregnancy is about me trying to stay positive and saying “I think I can, I think I can” make it to 37 weeks. I know I can do it, even if it seems far fetched. So this little boy’s room will be all about TRAINS! It just seems fitting, especially when my Mom reminded me how much my brother Charlie LOOOOOVED trains. It just seemed as if the puzzle fit. CC has his Uncle Charlie up there routing for him to have one awesome name and a pretty sweet nursery as he holds his big brother up there and takes care of him. I know Charlie is looking down on me and refusing to let us lose another baby. He only has the attention span to take care of one up there. Morbid, maybe.. but it’s how I think of things to make me feel better.

charlie train pics 2 001(3)

Then the kicker was, the other night I finished Mary Beth Chapman’s book, Choosing Too See, about losing her 5 year old daughter in a tragic accident. It’s about her grief journey and choosing to see God through it. Well my breath was taken away reading this last line at the ending of the book.


Well now that 29 weeks is approaching and 37 is not too far away, I think it’s time we hustle down and start this vision I have had. Because I have to keep telling myself, I think I can, I think I can.. and I WILL bring this baby home, even on days when I am convinced this is all too good to be true.

So Baby CC’s room will go a little bit like this…

We are keeping the walls the same. I am in LOVE with the paint job, it’s a small part of Nolan’s memory room that will keep it’s charm. Plus it already matches what we want to do. I want to keep it simple.

I feel in LOVE with a crib, so I guess it’s time to order that. I think I finally feel ready

crib2 We need to go pick up the dresser we found and it’s going to look amazing with the crib.


The bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids & is very simple, plain and no theme, and HOW ironic that the picture from the website is a TRAIN nursery. The picture resembles a lot of what the nursery will look like when it’s put together. Blue, simple and a few trains.bedding2bedding1 

I want to add a few pictures of trains..

train …and a blown up canvas print of the “Little Engine that Could” because that’s what this story is about.

the-little-engine-that-could I want a peaceful room that doesn’t feel like we erased Nolan, but I want a nursery that is something meaningful to us like it was when we did Nolan’s. But I also want a room that we FINISH putting together to call a nursery when we are done. I want to see the crib and glider all set up. I just want to being a baby home to it. I think I am ready to make this all happen, because in 8 short weeks, Baby CC will be coming home!

Friday, October 8, 2010

"I got 3 days" (video of me)

When my church approached me to do a story & video on our Nolan, I jumped at the chance. I LOVE sharing Nolan's story. It may have the heartbreak, but it has a powerful testimony to life. A life that most Dr's said would never take place.

Dr's believed he had a fatal chromosome disorder and would not sustain life at all. We were even offered an option to deliver prematurely for medical reasons. We obviously declined, we were appalled that they would even consider this, especially with not knowing the facts. Sure, we would like to know what he had, but we would never give up on him no matter what the test results showed.

We did the tests, come to find out days later, he was 100% healthy. His amniocentesis came back perfect, he still had a suspected heart defect(we found out at birth was very very SMALL) but he was just too small for an unknown reason. This gave me even more drive to fight even harder to prove to these Dr's that they were

Thank God for my OB because I am convinced she was the only medical professional that believed in hope for our little guy.

For weeks I fought, bed rest, ultrasounds, knowing our son was too small- measuring weeks behind. Every single ounce counted at this point. in order to sustain life.

Even the day before he was born and I was admitted to the hospital, I was told by the high risk Dr's that if he were born "right now", there was no hope, he was too small. Little did we know we would find out hours later, the ENTIRE reason he was small was because my body was failing him. I came down with Pre-eclampsia & HELLP syndrome with in hours, and delivered the next morning.

Nolan was 13 ounces and 10.5 inches. He was the size of a 21 week baby, even though I was 26 weeks. Babies become viable and are given the chance to live around 23-24 weeks. He
wasn't even the size of those babies. But he came out crying, and had APGAR scores better than some full term babies.

Never once was anything wrong with Nolan, he was just too small. But he sure did show this world something miraculous, he was a fighter. A testimony to life, the reason I fought.
Through all the heartbreak and anger that he is gone, I can now look back and say...
We got 3 days.

So here is the link to the video my church did for Nolan. I am so happy they wanted to share our miracle with our parish. It shows how special he is, and even in heartbreak, I can look back and say we were lucky to get the 3 days we did given all the odds that were against him.

But I will say, he was absolutely perfect, just too small.
Here is the story that was so kindly written about Nolan.
Here is the video (I can't believe I am sharing because I am in it), that took me all day to finally sit down and watch. I was just too nervous, but I had tears rolling down my face. He captured his story perfect. Thank you Damien, it's amazing.

Nolan's Life from Damian Hanley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Piper’s Game

Remember Piper’s 5k that Chris and I ran in?

Well tonight, my Mom & Dad came with me to support another Piper event. Packing for Piper was a hockey game played in honor of little Piper, her Dad played on the Alumni team that came back to the ice for Piper. We went to support Piper’s Foundation which benefits the NICU that Nolan was in, and support her Mom, Heather. Heather and I have gotten to know each other over the past 8 months because of our common grief.

The teams introduction had me worked up, watching Piper’s Dad announced back out on the ice for his daughter, the moment of silence in honor of Piper and Heather’s gracious and heartfelt speech pre-game had me in tears. It means so much to me, and touches home when I looked around and realized most those people there were all for Piper and her cause. Just amazing! I honestly love this cause, supporting local babies. And with Piper’s help, she is saving so many babies in the very same NICU that gave me a chance to meet our Nolan, and gave him a fighting chance.

These are the words, from Heather herself that had tears rolling down my face during pre-game. Love you Heather and I am so proud of you, Tom and Piper's Foundation.

So I am here to announce, I was already planning on walking with a stroller next year for Piper’s 5K…but instead, we are going to RUN it. I should be about 11 weeks post partum and I KNOW I can do this. It’s a goal I am setting for myself and I may need you guys to push me come Jan when I am cleared to start training. I can do this! I can do it for Nolan & Piper, for the NICU and for ME.