Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 days away!

It feels like we are in the final countdown now! I can’t believe we have made it this far, it’s such a blessing.

So much to do, so little time yet it feels like these last 10 days are DRAGGING. I admit I am still waiting for something bad to happen. I freak out when I wake up and he’s not moving. I know I need to eat breakfast and such, but the anxiety is overwhelming. I will be so happy when he arrives safely! And don’t even get me started about how nervous I am for my c-section. I didn’t have time to be scared last time, it happened so quickly. But this time I have the fear of something bad happening, the placenta not being in an ideal position but better than expected and my old incision being vertical. As my OB said, nothing is definite until she gets in there. It’s just scary thinking about it, but I have faith we will all be okay.

Tomorrow is my last ultrasound with Vicki and it feels like I am graduating. I have seen her every 2 weeks plus some extras that were here and there so it’s weird saying tomorrow is my last scan with her. I can’t wait to see how big this lil guy is!! Then I have my pre-op paperwork afterwards and an OB appointment…. AHHH it’s so real!!!!

It’s getting so close! I just can’t believe it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

15 days and THANKFUL!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade is on, the Christmas tree is lit, baby gear is all over our house and I have a little 5lb baby boy dealing with hiccups and pushing his little butt into my ribs. I love it, every second of it.photo(8)

I could sit here and write all the things I am thankful for…my amazingly patient husband, ruby slipper nail polish, an almost finished nursery, a Glee Christmas CD, a best friend bringing home her NICU grad this fall after 100+ days, my family, all my friends being pregnant and giving little CC besties, Short Term Disability paychecks and my AMAZING OB Dr. Fish… I could keep this list going. But there is one thing, one HUGE thing that in the wake of all our heartbreak this year that I am most thankful for, our growing baby boy.

I really have no clue how in the mist of all our loss this year, my family could have kept going with out our little CC growing and our faith that the end of 2010 is going to be a good one for us. He is the light of our dark year, our hope for renewed happiness and and our chance to feel normal again. I can NOT wait for Dec 10th! We have 15 days left, and every day he stays put is even more hope for no NICU. You will NEVER hear me want him born any earlier than he already is because I truly understand the miracle of every day.  I can wait 15 more days, it’s so close anyways! So I am hoping and praying he waits until December 10th. It’s going to be one big Birthday Party at Healthpark that day and I can’t wait!

15 days!!!!!

Our holidays will be different this year. I’m not avoiding the celebration or the joy because this year is a year to celebrate and Nolan, my brother, Grandpa and my Uncle along with all my other loved ones would want to see our family smile this Christmas. CC is going to make that happen especially when we dress him up in his Carters Santa outfit and take him to Midnight Mass! I am so stinking excited. He’s going to be our little Special Delivery.

So raise a glass, stuff your face with turkey and say a little prayer that CC waits 15 more days! I made it to Thanksgiving still pregnant! 2 more ultrasounds, 3 more appointments, a pre-op appointment next week and before we know it, he will be placed in our arms. OOOOHHHH so so so so close!

My Dad wrote a Thanksgiving letter on FB this morning, and I just have to share it because it really sums it up, 2010, the grief and the new hope. Love you Dad, you said it best!

A Letter to Our Friends,

It seems so wrong to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving when it seems there is nothing to be thankful for. Our beloved Charlie is gone, my wonderfully smart and funny brother Michael left us, and the anchor of the Bartens , E.H., could not hold on the life’s chain anymore. This is the start of the “Holiday Season” and I feel like, so what.

Well I’ll tell ya so what; I have a beautiful wife and 2 ladies at OSU! I have a daughter and fantastic son in law that loves her dearly, who are also prego with their 2ND child. I have a wonderful and sweet adopted daughter (thank you Charlie). There is Trina’s sister who is the best aunt these kids could ever have. I have my brothers and sisters and their families, up north. On Dec. 10th I will celebrate 1yr of successful heart surgery. Oh! December 10th, is also the day that my 2nd grandchild is to be born.

So yes , there are things to be thankful for. I am alive, I have family, friends, and a new baby coming. This does not mean I am not still mourning our losses. There isn’t a day goes by that I do not wish that my son, brother and father-in-law were still here with us. Living day by day is so difficult at times. But I am also thankful for a renewed Faith that keeps me strong for the rest of my family.

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for and take good care of what you have. Thank the Good Lord this Holiday Season and ask him for the strength to renew faith.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless,              


Happy Thanksgiving friends, I love you all for your continued support, encouraging words and the love you have given my family this year. I am thankful for every single one of you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


::grab brown paper bag and breath in and out::

I am so overwhelmed to the point I am sitting on my couch in tears with 1,000,000 thoughts racing through my head. I feel like we are so not ready for this baby when it comes to the logistics of things. I mean, I know we are SO ready for him emotionally. I’ve been feeling this way since the baby shower when we got all these fun things for him and half of it I don’t know what to do with it, do we have too much, too little of this, what about that? Oh did I mention we are running out of room in this house too? I am just so upset this afternoon, I’m trying to research stuff and I am so frustrated with the fact that I should KNOW this stuff or at least SOME of it. I am a mom! But I never got to act as one outside the NICU. So when I feel so clueless about this stuff, it reminds me how Nolan isn’t here, wasn’t here and I have no clue how to take care of a baby at home, so I just don’t feel like a Mom. I know it will all come natural to us when he comes home and we will learn as we go, but I can’t help feeling this way.

God forbid the person that says… “Your finally a Mom” when CC arrives because it will send me over the edge.

I’m trying to take it easy, I was looking forward to that today sitting on the couch watching movies with a best friend but plans fell through. I have no desire to go anywhere, get dressed or do anything. I just need a day of NOTHING. But now that I am doing a day of nothing I feel so lonely. Yea yea, soak these moments up while I can because in 19 days there will be no such thing- but I can’t wait for that. But I am going to be the happiest tired Mom on the block so that excuse doesn’t work for me. You will never hear me complain about sleep, exhaustion or any of that because I want this so bad I don’t care about all those things.

Chris and I haven’t even taken any baby classes. Why not?… Who the hell knows. Maybe I was so guarded on that stuff it slipped my mind. I mean I JUST started feeling comfortable signing up for baby samples and stuff. Now I feel like we are in the last minute, things are going to be happening and I have no clue about anything. Can you tell my thoughts are racing, welcome to my little brain of ADHD. To sign up for the baby care class on Dec 2nd or no, is it even worth it? Ahhhhh!

The nursery doesn’t seem complete, I have no idea what we will do for bottles or feeding (that’s a whole other issue), I am undecided on where to put stuff, what to wash, what to get with our gift cards because I know we need certain things or do we? AHHHHHHH!

This momma needs a good Culvers butter burger and chocolate malt to calm me down, but of course Florida has NO CULVERS! For the love of a crazy hormonal wife, how does Chris even deal with me!?

Back to your regularly scheduled program, I am going to go cry off this anxiety and hopefully fall asleep so I can forget how lonely I feel today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deck the Halls

It feels so good to be back in the spirits this year. Last year was so hard on us and we just didn’t have it in us to drag out a Christmas tree, hang all the lights, listen to music or anything. We just wanted to fast forward through the cheerful part of the holidays since we never expected to be grieving our son over the holidays.

This year is a whole different story. It’s before Thanksgiving and I broke the rule of throwing our tree up early. Who cares, really- especially since I am known to do this in the past. I want our baby boy to come home to a decorated house full of Christmas. I want to celebrate Christmas more than anything this year and I was starting to think, if I didn’t get this tree up now- will I miss our chance. Let’s face it, I could be hospitalized again in the next 3 weeks, then he comes, then we get home 10 days before Christmas and is it really in our cards to get a tree up with a newborn? HA!

I will admit, it was the damn Glee Christmas album that triggered the bug up my butt to do this today. I downloaded it, previewed it and immediately wanted to blast it on surround sound and get all tangled in lights and unwrap all the ornaments. So I did. I called Kelli and asked for help since I am suppose to be taking it easy and with in hours, my house was transformed into Holiday central.

I’m just happy.

I’m excited this year is going to be different. I am stoked that we get to take family Christmas pictures in front of the new tree. I am just thankful this year is different, despite all our heartbreak in the past 6 months, this little guy has been the light in my family this year. He has given us hope in times we felt there was none and we are so ready to meet him…in 23 days and not any sooner hopefully.

So here we go..

Our Family Christmas Tree 2010.


I ditched the colored lights for white, skipped the garland and went with ribbon, and only used the ornaments that really meant something to us. It’s like we have a whole new tree with a new look and I love it!







Last but not least… Ya I am huge and I love it, I have one big boy growing in there!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Boring news is good news

All has been quiet on the home front. THANK GOD!

I was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon after a fun two day stay on monitors, I got used to hearing his heartbeat 24/7. It's amazing how a hospital admission lowers my blood pressure, it must be because I feel I am in the safest place for this lil one. Although, I don't think Chris would have gone for another night in the ever so popular fold out Dad bed.
So since being home, CC has really perked up again and has slowly been getting back to his normal self. I had a follow up BPP ultrasound (4th ultrasound in 6 days) and he checked out perfect. My fluids are still hanging at a lower normal, but he passed the rest with flying colors.
Talk about a sigh of relief.

Chris and I started to organize the nursery, lets say it's my attempt to nest. We have found out we won't be in the new home by Dec 10th so he will for sure come home to this house for a few weeks. We sat on the floor in the tornado of baby stuff in amazement of how much we have, how much we don't know and how insane it is to feel like this is really happening.
24 more days!
Chris is going to go pick up the big dresser this week and spend the next few days setting everything up for real. The nursery at this house will keep a lot of Nolan's decor since it's there and I haven't really found anything I am looking for in the train dept. I have ideas, but can't seem to settle. So it will be fun really setting up the new nursery at the new house when that time comes.

The next 3 weeks are going to go by SO fast! I have weekly ultrasounds, appointments, NST's and MFM appointments and before we know it, CC will be here. Now if we can only settle on what we will "call" him when he arrives. We will just figure it out when we meet him, I'm sure it will be a no brainer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Admit #2

I would give my right arm and left leg and look like a hobble if it meant we could go full term until CC arrives. I get so irritated when people whine and beg before 37 weeks for their baby to make their grand appearance just because they are uncomfortable and bored with pregnancy. Are these people crazy? There are pregnancies out there DYING to get that far. Such as myself.

So here we are, admitted back at the hospital in hopes of getting this monster to full term. I had felt off all week, I know it was a pretty busy week with the baby shower and surprise guests. But that landed me in triage early Wednesday morning with increased BP’s and headaches. Most everything checked out okay, but he had a significant decel and that bought a BPP ultrasound. He checked out fine, he took some practice breaths, moved a little bit, had lower than normal fluid and heart rate was acceptable. I was sent home and had a follow-up BPP and appointment yesterday.

I knew he had been sluggish in movement all week, my OB knows that too. I wasn’t expecting him to not pass yesterday but it doesn't surprise me with the motherly gut instinct that something hasn’t been right all week. I’ve just felt off and I am pretty good at listening to my body.

So he didn’t pass the movement and tone part of his BPP yesterday with his normal ultrasound sonographer who I trust with my life, so he got an unscheduled NST. Which my kid is lazy and decided to not move during that leaving the test un-reactive and buying me a nice flat bed on 2 South with bad TV but constant monitoring. Thank you sweet baby Jesus.

I was 1,000% content with this decision, plus my OB knows me better than I do, she knows I would have ended up back in her hands this weekend if she dared sent me home with a follow-up BPP in triage next morning. God I love her.

So last night, CC decided to have some decels that were enough to call my OB at 2am. Thankfully he perked up a little after but he still has been sluggish all night and even this morning. Something just feels off. I had my follow-up BPP this morning which was my ticket out of here if he passed, but he didn’t. Again, my kid is being a lazy. I started contracting a tiny bit this morning but nothing to write home about and the tech mentioned my placenta looking a little too mature. (not good) considering Nolan’s super aged and unhealthy placenta.

Well Thank You lady, because you just made my anxiety go up to the sky. Bless my poor OBs heart when she came in to discuss the plans and I broke out in Niagara Falls. I was terrified of her wanting to send me home, when how can I think about going home?! I have no desire to, I am terrified that something will happen, like worst case scenerio. I will feel his last kick, he will get wrapped up in his cord, his placenta will fail, something… something can happen. Sure, I know WAY too much, but I was adopted into this baby loss community where some of my closest support the past year has lost their babies in similar ways. I am so blessed to have the OB I do, she feels confident that CC is doing okay, his decels were normal last night since his strip looked reactive.

When I say, I just have this gut feeling something isn’t right despite the good monitor numbers. I am so glad she has no problem watching me longer until he starts to perk up to his usual self. I don’t think that he will be born early, nor do I want that. AT ALL. I am avoiding the NICU mess at all chance, but I am so scared of something happening in utero.

SO when I say this to her, she isn’t shocked and understands and was going to keep me anyways BUT that’s because she has been through this journey with us. She stood there and gave us the bad news of Nolan at 18 weeks about his growth, it was my first time ever seeing her at the practice. She sat on my bed with an ultrasound the morning of June 8th and told me how sick I was and how NOW was the time. She left her appointments the morning of June 11th and came and wrapped her arms around me and cried with me after we lost Nolan. She was excited for this new pregnancy, she has fought to get me to every milestone. Given me every test under the book, scanned me more times than I can count. She took me in first thing the morning after Charlie’s accident just to check me out and give me a peace of mind. She was there the week my Grandpa died. She knows everything we have been through. So when I say, how can I feel confident when we have so much misfortune, she can honestly say, I can’t argue with you.

So since my test was not the best this morning and even though my monitor looks decent with everything it should show, she is being an angel and keeping me 1-2 more days. She’s doing it because she rocks, she knows my fears and if there was ONE thing we want this year is to make it to December 10th. I have been given the steroid shots just in case, and switched to Heparin a week early just incase CC changes his plans. I am in good hands and have amazing nurses who all remember Nolan and what we went through and I can’t thank my lucky stars enough.

Again, I will do anything for this monster baby to wake up, be himself and give me the confidence to say I can make it the next 3 weeks and 6 days. It’s just so hard when our family attracts the worst luck and you have a gut feeling. I think my cozy room on the 2nd floor is home until CC decides that he is wide awake and ready for action again. Then I will go home with confidence to countdown the last 27 days.


I can’t forget this lil guy on my bedside table, I know he was closely watching his little brother that I so desperately want to bring home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sand & Triage

It was a beautiful day out and I couldn't resist taking my out of town friends to the beach. We had a great time, sat at a beach bar and I sipped on tons lemon water. I didn't bust out my bathing suit because I just wasn't in the mood. I was pretty comfortable in my shorts and top. It didn't stop Amy & Shellie from digging a hole in the sand so I could lay on my belly and relax. The 60 year old guys sitting behind us got a kick out of it.

32 weeks +4
I had a great time seeing my friends and I am so happy they all flew in for the baby shower. The past few days have been so much fun. Unfortunately I think it all caught up to me last night and we found ourselves back in OB triage at 4am. To make a long story short, I felt "off" all night, BP's were slowly climbing, but I wasn't too concerned since I had a GREAT appointment, NST and labs just that morning before the beach. But we all know how fast I went down hill last time. So when I woke up with some HELLP symptoms and BP's 143/103, I bought myself a room in triage.

My pressures came back to normal, my labs looked GREAT, he had one decel that went pretty low so I had a last minute BPP on ultrasound and he scored an 8/8. But after a few hours and lots of monitoring, tests & some meds we got to go home. I'm just happy everything looked good and I went in just to be safe. Plus I kinda freaked when I started getting those high BP readings, I haven't seen those since the day before Nolan was born.

I have another appointment Fri for follow-up but I am banking on everything being okay. I'm thinking positive over here, we only have 30 more days!!! We can SO make it! It looks like a lot of rest and being lazy in my near future. I won't complain.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby Shower! Choo-choo!

I don't have enough words for the gratitude I have for yesterday's shower. It was simply amazing. It all couldn't have come together without my best friend Valorie, she is the one who begged me to let her throw me a shower back in August, knowing I didn't want a shower this pregnancy. I was still hesitant given we started planning Nolan’s last year just before everything happened. She insisted and with everything we have been through together, I knew it meant a lot to her. The past 2 months she has dreamed of trains, had aqua & red throw up all over her house and spent countless hours at the sewing machine. She is a gem in my life, my best friend and has a heart of gold and made this party one of a kind.


She got news on Friday, 2 days before the big day that her Daddy passed away. For all the times she has taken care of me, held me and wiped my tears away I wanted nothing more than to hold her and fix it all for her. I love her to pieces. We were ready to either cancel the shower or try to make the best of her vision so she could go be with her family. But after post-poning her travels due to other reasons, she decided to still make this party happen. I never once expected her to be there since hearing the news, but having her there made my day that more special.

She is amazing. I can't thank her enough and I know how much it meant for her to see her vision come together. She put her heart and soul into this, she knew how much this day meant for the both Chris and I.

Here I am at 32 weeks and 3 days and I am writing a post about OUR baby shower! I am just so damn thankful! I really never thought I would see the day of a real baby shower, for US.

I wish I could tell you all how amazing it was, but I think I just need to show pictures since there are no words with how much thought went into this day.

To make a long story short..

There was a Welcome Table that had prize scratch offs, guest book and a photo booth to take tons of fun pictures!

7IMG_1986 IMG_2016 IMG_2014

There was a table-o-sugar aka the Candy Buffet and Dessert Bar that was a HUGE hit!







We BBQ catered from MacDaddys, it was YUMMY!



There was even a diaper train!


Tons of friends came to the shower…





And CC got spoiled, like REALLY spoiled. He is one loved little boy! I won’t bore you with all the pictures from opening presents. There are a TON more pictures from the entire day on Facebook.


  But this gift was the tear jerker. It was a very nice outfit with anchors on it and I just couldn’t stop crying at what should have been yet what what will be and how anchors hold such a special spot in our hearts forever.

IMG_2113 IMG_2114

I can honestly say, the shower was never about the gifts, desserts or even the awesome party details. Our baby shower was a day we felt so loved by our friends and family. I know I sound all puppies and rainbows, but I had convinced myself I would never be the guest of honor at an event like this. I am just so thankful SO many friends and family came to celebrate with us. We had friends fly in from Chicago, Ohio, drive from Tampa and even had a special friend send something from Canada. CC is on popular little baby.

Rainbow babies, Lauren my blog bestie from Lauren’s Blog.


I just want to thank everyone who came yesterday form the bottom of my heart. Thank you for making our baby shower one of a kind and spending the time with us.

I couldn’t resist the flamingo pose when there was THAT much excitement!val3 


And Thank you to Valorie, Erin and my parents for making this party more than I ever could have wanted and more. I love you guys!



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bittersweet realism

I have to say, next to my fear of an early delivery and CC coming too early. My next biggest fear is when this all finally happens, I will be in so much shock it won't feel real. The past week or so, I have laid in bed at night and I day dream in my head what I believe will happen on December 10th if we make it.

I pre-play getting ready in the morning, doing my hair and getting last minute details together because I realize the next time we walk through those doors together, we will be a family of 4. I play in my head all the emotions and details of pre-op and getting ready to finally meet our 2nd born. I wonder what we will be feeling in those minutes of delivery. What will Dr Fish and I talk about this time and what will fly out of my mouth under the influence of drugs. I know I was a hoot last time and that was under terrifying circumstances. I think about how CC's Godmother Ashley is the OB nurse who will catch CC from Dr Fish and take care of him, and I imagine her bringing him over to Chris and I for the first time. Will I cry? Will Chris even shed a tear? Will I hold him right away? Will we get that amazing family picture in the OR? It's going to be one happy OR when this happens. And I can't forget, we will finally figure out what the heck will we "name" him?! We know what few ideas, but decided to wait until we meet him to see what fits. Christopher, Trey, Charlie???

Ahhhhh! It's so close, so real, yet still feels like a complete dream that this might be happening. I won't lie, I am scared of what I will feel in those first hours. I'm sure I will see Nolan in the little guy and I will be overwhelmed with happiness yet bittersweet sadness. I know this probably makes no sense, but to a Mother who held her first baby with no heartbeat, what will it feel like holding a baby full of life? What will it feel like when I realize my brother won't be walking in begging to hold him? You have no idea, Charlie was OBSESSED with visiting Nolan in the NICU. He went everyday and he loved him so much. Will it finally hit me that he is really gone?

What will it be like to see Chris hold him? I think about the first time my family and best friends meet him. I have a small group I want at the hospital that morning, knowing that the next few days, he may just possibly be the most visited baby of the week. That poor 4th floor. But I am SO okay with that, I will want to show him to the world, just like I did his little brother. We even have a photographer coming to take pictures the day before we are discharged to capture all the hospital moments. I want to savor the details that are so easily forgotten after leaving the hospital. The moments that we never got with Nolan, the visitors, the swaddled baby, Chris and I holding him, the bassinet. To some it may be overkill, but this is the next biggest day since our wedding and Nolan and I don't want to forget it.
I got the idea after coming across this photographer's blog, and a local photographer is going to make this very same type of session happen. It was funny, when I emailed her inquiring about the strange request, I found out she has been one of my blog readers for awhile. Ironic? Naw, just means it was meant to be. She has read our struggle, our ups and downs and fully understands with out re-explaining how important this is for us. I am just so darn excited for this!

All these thoughts are just making it more real, more concrete and it's like a dream is really happening. Nolan is going to have a little brother.

This Sunday is the baby shower, the very same baby shower I swore up, down, left and right I would NEVER have. I just didn't want the hype just to be let down again. But as this pregnancy progressed, I promised myself I would try to let myself enjoy what all pregnant women are entitled to. My best best best friends, Val & Erin and my parents have planned one huge party.

I am shocked at the amount of people wanting to come celebrate, it seriously warms my heart and reminds me how much our story impacted my friends and family last year. But really, I could care less about the presents and games, no lie. I am just so excited to see all my friends, family and co-workers that I haven't seen in awhile. I'm dying to show off this party that Valorie has put her heart and soul into planning the past 2 months (Valorie is party planner of the century) and more than anything, I am overjoyed to celebrate the fact that this pregnancy is so far healthy. Despite hospital admissions, numerous Dr appointments, ultrasounds, nightly Lovenox injections for 8 months, many 24 hour marriages to the orange jug, fear, anxiety and days where hope seemed absent... We will be 32 weeks, one of my biggest goals other than making it to our C-section date. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate.

This is real.
It kind of feels like in those emotional songs where the band is having an instrumental solo part of the song building up to the big chorus. That's exactly how it feels, we are in that instrumental build up. The chorus is so close!
5 weeks and 2 days. Only 37 days left until we meet this little guy.