Thursday, July 15, 2010

Appointment, Result & a Whole Lot of Talk About Urine

If you told me a little over year ago I would have a blog I would have never believed you. If you went on to tell me I would discuss my pee on it I would have thought you were crazy & laughed in your face...on that note heres the latest preggo update :)

Yesterday I had a regular visit with the high risk OB. For this pregnancy I will only be seen by her. I was nervous going in because I was worried what the results from the 24 hour urine catch would be. This was done because they found protein at my last visit & they also wanted to get a baseline reading for future reference throughout the pregnancy.

I had convinced myself that if there had been a problem with the results they would have called me. Each time I picked up my phone to call for the results I would change my mind. I was so worried that the results would come back & there would be an issue with my kidneys or liver or even one of the worse results I had read online. I try & keep a balance on how much research I do. I believe info is power but when you have anxiety it can sometimes do more damage than good.

The results of the catch came back normal. Everything was in normal range. What a relief that is! I had both the nurse and doctor give me the results.

The dipstick test they did at the visit did show trace protein. This can be normal. The kidneys which regulate the protein excrete substances in different rates throughout the day. The present of protein can also be caused by stress or hypertension. My blood pressure is controlled for the most part but stress…considering this past year & the emotions that come along with this pregnancy…stress is very well present. I am grateful the 24 hour test was done as it has brought some relief. I am sure this will be repeated a few times. I will be monitored very closely & this will be as well.

Speaking of my blood pressure we had a good reading this visit! It was 124/?. I was so relieved that it was good that I forgot the bottom #! I believe it was 74.
The nurse found the baby’s heartbeat rather quickly & it was 166 beats per minute. Jess from Epic Fail had sent me a home doppler & I have been trying to find the heartbeat at home. I thought I had found it a few times & it was in the same spot the nurse had found it yesterday.

The doctor did mention progesterone shots but we both agreed I wasn’t really a candidate. Progesterone is given to women with a history of delivering a premature baby. Its also given early in the pregnancy to women who have suffered numerous miscarriages & those who have gone through IVF treatments. I personally do not have that history. My son Jayden was a few days late & the only reason Janessa was born early was because of the placenta abruption.

The shots would be given at 16 weeks through 36 weeks. I was surprised she mentioned it but it intrigued me to look up some info. I found that in a study they did on pregnant women where some were given progesterone & others given a placebo, in the group that had the progesterone shots, the babies of those women were less likely to be born prematurely, be stillborn, die soon after birth, have breathing problems or other serious complications. I asked the doctor if there was any downside & she said the shots could do no harm but she would read up on some literature pertaining to placenta abruption & progesterone & discuss this further at my next appointment. Right now I am on the fence about this. I may lean towards the shots because of my blood pressure issues. There is a chance I may have to deliver early & if the research is correct & those who had received the progesterone had babies who had less breathing issues I’m not sure the shots would be such a bad idea.

So as of right now all looks well. Our little "flutterbug" is doing well. Call me crazy but I swear I can feel some very tiny movements! I felt my son at 18 weeks, Janessa at 16 weeks & they say each time you can feel them earlier. That also goes for showing earlier too! I am still in the stage where I look like I've gained weight but not quite pregnant yet, depending on what I'm wearing for an outfit. Looking forward to moving out of this stage soon!

On another note, we will not get the NT scan (well actually the blood test) results until August 16th. That also happens to be the day we find out the gender!
 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Janessa's Name Inked

My sister in law, Yajaira, stopped by our home last week. While she was here she asked for a copy of Janessa’s memorial program. She said she needed one of the quotes from it. I got one out and handed it to her. She then went on to say she was getting a tattoo & it took me awhile to realize she was getting a tattoo in memory of Janessa. I was speechless. I could not convey my feelings because I was too shocked. She was leaving on vacation to Florida the next day & I assumed she would be getting the tattoo there. She had one done on her last vacation there.

That was until she showed up at our house late that evening with this on her back:




The quote says “Loved with a love beyond telling, missed with a grief beyond all tears”. Underneath it has her name. To know that she is loved so much it so heartwarming to me. I remember her showing up at the hospital the night Janessa died. I was in labor and refused any visitors at that time. I could hear her sobs through my door. She came the next day & held Janessa. I remember seeing everyone’s look of devastation on their faces. I had never witnessed pain such as that.

Janessa is a part of this family. I feel at times I work so hard to explain how she was real, she was a person, she was & is loved & how very missed she is. I think I am getting to a point now where I know who loves her & who feels her absence. I’m also realizing that despite my efforts there are some who don’t & will never understand. There is not much else I can do at this point. I know who will carry her in their hearts.

How amazing that she has people here dedicated to her memory. What that does for my heart is indescribable.
 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spilling The Beans

After our 12 week ultrasound which was our NT scan, we decided we would finally tell our son the big news. We had decided to wait awhile before sharing this with him. Although I have never experienced a miscarriage we wanted to veer on the cautious side in case we could spare him the hurt if that was to happen. We do know that just because we passed the 12 week mark we are not in the full clear for miscarriage…in fact no one ever is. We are not in the clear for anything. But we decided to wait until the high risk time for a miscarriage passed before we included him in the excitement.

After the appointment we picked him up from my mother’s and when we got home we told him the news. He was sitting on the couch with my husband & I was standing in the kitchen behind our “island” that looks into our living room. We said “You know how you are always asking when we are going to have another baby?”…He yelled “Were gonna have another one!?” We told him “Yes we went to the doctors and they told us that we were.” He replied as he squirmed into the couch a little, “I hope this baby gets to take a breath of our air…cuz Janessa‘s heart stopped working and she couldn‘t breathe.”…silence…"Yes Jayden so do we….the doctors are going to watch the baby very closely so we can hopefully bring this baby home. There is always a chance something could happen but we are going to do everything we can to make sure the baby is healthy"….He said "I knew it…I saw your belly getting bigger & I knew you were pregnant." We laugh. “Why didn’t you ask Jayden?” he answered “I didn’t feel the pressure to ask.”

Not much gets by Jayden.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Other Baby

Brittanie at Loving Cora Rei said it well a few weeks ago with her post, “The other baby”.

You see, I was pregnant with one of my good friends, Julie. We have been friends since I was in high school. I met her at my 1st job. She ended up dating a friend of mine, Chris. We clicked & it felt like I had known her forever. We have been friends since. We may not see each other as often as I would like & life just seems to get in the way but I know she is there & am grateful for the time we do spend together.

She had struggled with infertility & I always tried to imagine how hard & emotional that struggle must be for them. I remember telling her I was pregnant with Janessa & feeling like I was stabbing her in the chest. She of course never let on to any emotional reaction she may or may not have had. We found out shortly after that she was expecting as well. We were due only 10 days apart. I was so overly excited for them. They had waited for so long for this & I knew they would make amazing parents.

I imagined all the play dates & the summer we would spend together after they were born while she was on maternity leave. I found out we were having a girl & I openly wished she would as well so they could be little best friends. It turned out that they were expecting a little boy. I imagined how we would tease them about how they would grow up & get married.

When we lost Janessa everything in our lives changed. Obviously all the plans we had were gone. I wasn’t na├»ve to the fact that I would have to deal with her pregnancy in a different way now. I of course was still overjoyed for them. I was also in deep mourning & grief. I could not attend her baby shower. The thought of it would put me in hysterics. I sent her a gift along with a letter with my mother. It broke my heart.

About a month later Julie developed INTRAHEPATIC CHOLESTASIS OF PREGNANCY (ICP). Due to this a couple weeks later she was induced at 37 weeks for the health of her & the baby. I remember being so worried for them. I had just learned how unpredictable life can be & how pregnancy can take a turn for the worse no matter how far along you were. Their son Dylan was born on June 26th, 2009. He was healthy & besides a short stay under an oxygen hood everything was good. He was also born with a “stork bite” & an "angel kiss" birthmark. We like to think it was from Janessa. My son was born with both as well in the same exact spots & we thought of his from my father.

I remember feeling so relieved & so incredibly mixed with emotions that I was not ready to start sorting through. It had only been 6 weeks since Janessa died. I remember thinking how I thought I had 3 more weeks until I had to face this.

I knew I wanted to go see them. I had already missed the baby shower, one of the most happiest moments in her life & I was not going to miss this as well. I knew that I was a mess but we were friends & I would have to take this head on sooner or later. I didn’t want to hold any strange feelings towards Dylan. I knew he would forever be a reminder to my Janessa but I wanted this reminder to be a good one.

We decided to take the drive out to see them at the hospital. I managed to take about an hour to pick out the flowers & ended up with a plant. I knew I was stalling…I knew I wasn’t sure about what we were doing. Before all this, one of my favorite things I looked forward to doing was visiting a precious new baby in the hospital. Things had now changed & I couldn’t imagine looking at/holding a new baby…who was breathing & alive.

We purchased the plant & headed off for the hospital. A little more than half way there I almost had my husband turn the car around. The silent tears were flowing & I wasn’t sure they would stop. They did & when we arrived we made it to the room. We then went to visit him in the nursery where he was still under the oxygen hood. I stayed composed & was rather shocked at how numb I felt. I would soon come to realize that this would be my coping mechanism for the long journey that stretched out ahead of me.

---
Dylan’s first birthday was last Saturday. I have only been to one first birthday since Janessa passed & we went late because I knew I could not handle the festivities. It was a little girl’s birthday & I knew I didn’t have it in me. She too was born while I was pregnant with Janessa. We went because the family was moving to Florida the next day & I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to say goodbye.

I received Dylan's invitation & the heavy feeling in my chest was there. There was no doubt that we would attend. I have made it through this past year & I could do this. I was good. I cried while making his card & seeing him try & tear open his gifts made me imagine what Janessa’s 1st birthday party would’ve been like. It made me ache for so much. But seeing him & holding him brought joy not pain. The last two times I have seen him he has greeted me a big grin that just melts my heart.

Julie has made her presence known & her support is there when I need to pull from it. Its been a comfort to have her express her emotions & willingness to be there through the darkness of grief. Especially when she is at her happiest time in her life.

At every milestone Dylan reaches I will see Janessa. As much as I would like to separate the two & will continue to do so, the connection can never be fully broken. I regret not spending more time with him over the course of the last year. I hope that things will change now. I seem to be fine with older babies. The real truth is I have only seen Dylan a handful of times. It really is hard. It is such a hard emotion to portray into words. I am not jealous that he is here & she is not. I am not resentful that their child lived & ours died. I do not look at him & harbor any unwell feelings. I look at him & long for Janessa. I look at him & see all that she should be right now. I look at him & then at my half empty arms & I feel & know all that I am missing.

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY DYLAN
You hold a special place in my heart

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Can - (A Shared Post)

"I’ve noticed that some people disappear....some people don’t and those bonds and friendships grow stronger. It is a sad truth, often we don’t just lose our loved one, there is more loss and destruction as the journey unfolds." - Tear Soup

I wanted to share this amazing post. Kristin from Never Better wrote the poem below & it struck me so deeply. So very much of this post portrays so many of my feelings. It was written with so much pain & beauty. As some of you who read this know, on this journey of grief we sometimes lose more than just our loved one. Especially with the death of a child, sometimes friends & family members run for the hills. We are then left to grieve not only for our child but for the relationships/friendships that have vanished as well. Some do this out of the fear. "If this can happen to you it could happen to me & I just can't think about that." Some do this because grief is unpleasant to be around. When they see the storm clouds come rolling in they go looking for sunshine elsewhere. Some do this because they have somehow diminished the loss of the child. Its easier for them to think our loss isn't as deep & painful if an older child passed. Having never lost a child I am sure this is easy for them to do & makes it easier for them to deal with. There are many reasons friends & family dissapear. Some reasons I cannot even fathom. Some do not mean to bring extra pain & heartache to the family but those are some consequences of what happens when people choose to protect their own comfort level & feelings over their loved ones grief & pain.

Unfortunately we have been deeply hurt along this journey but we have also been picked up & carried. Thank you to those who have grabbed your umbrella & weathered the storm with us. It is those people who are the reason I am still pushing on.

I CAN

I can do
what I thought I couldn't do
I can keep my composure
when I have to see you

I can be
what I need to be
even though
you weren't there for me

the anger still burns
but not for revenge
only for justice
we are no longer friends


I can live
my life without you in it
even though
I may have to see you for a minute

I can live without you
I can go on
I can muster up courage to survive
even though you are gone


I can thrive
without you in my life
I can continue to be
what I need to be amidst the strife

the conflict inside
of how you could leave me in my deepest sorrow
to go on with your normal life
to face your tomorrows

without me
it was your choice

but I still can
speak with this voice

I don't like what you did
I hate it in fact
you had no couth
no style or tact

you simply left
with no explanation
so now I declare
this proclamation:


"I can!
I can!
I can!
live without you!

and still act like a lady when I have to see you
I can still raise my head high
I can still live my life
without you!"
but what I can't do
is live without my precious children
that is what is killing me. 
 

(c) Kristin Arcilla 2010
 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pair of Shoes

"A Pair of Shoes"

I am wearing a pair of shoes.

They are ugly shoes.

Uncomfortable shoes.

I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.

Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.

Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy.

I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.

They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.

But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.

There are many pairs in this world.

Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.

Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.

Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before
they think about how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.

Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.

These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.

They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
 
-Author Unkown
 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Butterfly Visitor

Last night we had an unexpected visitor.

My husband, son & I were in the living room watching TV. Around 10:20 pm my husband paused the TV & asked “What is that?”. I listened carefully but could not hear anything. He got up from the couch & walked into the kitchen & over to the window. He lifted the blinds, glanced outside and said “It’s a hummingbird!”. I soon followed into the kitchen and could hear the banging on the glass window. Before I made it to the window he said “No its not a hummingbird, it's a butterfly!” Just as the words came off his lips I had made it to the window & was staring at this beautiful green exotic looking butterfly. I could not believe what I was seeing. We live in New England & have our entire lives. I in fact only grew up about 3 streets over form my current location.We have never seen any butterfly that even slightly resembled this beautiful creature. It looked as though it belonged in the tropics.

Here is the video clip I took of it fluttering outside our window. It seemed so desperate to get into our home. I regret not letting in.



I was also able to get a few pictures of the butterfly.


Now mind you, this was on the outside of our window, this was no easy task to get these!



My husband looked over at me and asked “What do you think it is trying to tell us?”. I let the question resignate with me and I do not believe I answered. My mind went to the few moments before he paused the TV. I had been sitting and thinking about Janessa. I was really missing her yesterday and had wanted to go visit her grave but had not had a chance to make it there.

I will not pretend to know what this means or if this is a sign. I do however believe it is. As some of you know we held a butterfly release for Janessa’s 1st birthday & memorial service. I wonder if this was Janessa sending me a little hello when she knew how heavy my heart was. Or maybe this is a sign from her regarding this new little baby that flutters within me. Maybe its both. Maybe she is sending me her love & letting me know things will be ok with this new little one. I am pretty sure from where she is she knows my heart & soul & how very concerned I am.


It stayed on our window for the night & when we woke in the morning it was gone.

I was able to look up a better pic of this type of butterfly.


This type, named a luna moth since it only flies at night, is also known to have one the shortest life spans. It only lives for about a week. How odd that we receive a visit from a beautiful creature who also has such a short time here.

“A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world. But then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we feel so blessed to have seen it at all.”
 

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