my journey through the loss of my first son and the life of my second

Thursday, February 24, 2011

love

On the eve of 25 weeks with this little man I am more in love than I thought was possible ... again.

How is it you can love something so fully you haven't even held on the outside yet?

How is it you can be in love with every poke, twist or squirm?

How is it you can love so fully when really you don't even know the person yet?

I don't know...but I do know that I have loved twice this much. I loved Trent from the moment he was growing. I have loved Ian the same way. I had hesitations with Ian...I guarded my heart more. But, the love is so full, so rich, so powerful it is hard to deny.

A mother's love is so hard to explain...tonight Ken and I were laying belly to belly in bed...just one of those special moments where a husband wraps his arms around his wife to let her know she is loved and cherished...I got tears in my eyes as I laid there. I thought "here we are, the three of us." And, of course instantly knew something, someone - our firstborn - was and will be forever missing from the picture. I never doubt Ken's love for me...just the same way I never doubt my mom's love for me...I just hope I can love this little boy with that same love. I never want him to doubt my love because his big brother is already gone. I never want him to feel second best. I never want him to feel like a replacement child.

I love my boys - equally - and in such different ways. I know that is the way it is for most moms. I am one of six children. I would like to say I am the favorite, but my mom has always said she loves us all the same amount just in different ways. How could she love me the same way she loves my sisters? She can't - we are two different people. It is the same for my boys. Trent gave me things that I will never lose. He gave me the title of "mom." That title, even in his death, never went away. Trent gave me my first ultrasound, first morning sickness, first pregnant cravings. He gave me a chance to love in a way I didn't know was possible. Ian gives me hope. Ian gives me a reason to live again. Ian has given me longer to love him than my body let Trent give me. My every waking thought seems to revolve around this little boy. I love him so fully and can't wait to have him in my arms.

Two different lives - two different loves - one mommy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

pregnancy after loss

Can I just say this is NOT easy!!! Pregnancy alone is/can be hard - pregnancy after a loss is even harder! I just want to enjoy the weeks I have him all to myself. I want to enjoy all his kicks, squirms, head-butting, and even the hicups. I just worry so very much. I am a worrier by nature. I worry about everything. But, I worry about this little life I am carrying far more than anything else. Some days I have to remind myself to pray about something other than Ian. My blood pressure got pretty high last night so I am home in bed today waiting for my doctors appointment at 3. Being at home, in bed, with nothing to distract me gives me plenty of time to worry! 24 weeks and 5 days! Longer than I could have imagined being pregnant. I have a healthy strong boy in me...but, of course mommy has issues.

Last night as I was falling asleep I was thinking how amazing pregnancy really is. I mean we ALL start out growing in our mommy's wombs. All of our mothers felt this anticipation that I am feeling. I am beyond blessed to be pregnant. I never thought I would get pregnant...and I really love being pregnant. I just wish it were easier for my body. I wish I was Michelle Duggar and could carry 19 with little to no trouble. Speaking of Michelle Duggar she gave birth to her last little girl at 25 weeks because her blood pressure was so high. Mine is still considered borderline high...so I don't think we are too that point yet. But, because I have already lost a child I think the worst with everything.

UGH!!! I need an online hobby other than researching pregnant stuff!!! Actually, I need my hubby to bring all my work home so I can be busy with that!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

worry

Today I have been filled with worry and anxiety. I hate days like this! I try to convince myself that it is all good, everything fine, take a deep breath. But, for some reason on days like today the anxiety sets in and I feel like I am right back in the day and weeks after Trent died. I hate feeling out of control and on days like today that is exactly the way I feel. Ian is growing so perfectly and still measuring a week ahead...that all makes me so happy. But, I have been so worried about my blood pressure...I know that doesn't really help lower it to worry so much! I spent the last six months - well really the last year - worried about how my cervix would hold up during pregnancy and now it is my dumb blood pressure. I get headaches and dizzy when it spikes too high...which happened this morning. It makes me sick to my stomach to think my body is failing in some other way...and I can't control it. Deep breaths...I am 24 weeks 4 days...I am praying for at least 10 more weeks with Ian on the inside!

Monday, February 21, 2011

my big (little) boy

his little feetsies



a cute face




chubby little checks already




I had my 24 week ultrasound today. Ian is still measuring a full week ahead!!!! I LOVE IT!! He weighs in at a whopping 1 lb 12 oz....which makes him my big boy...although at less than 2 lbs he is still pretty tiny! I can't believe it most days! He is growing fast and strong. He is more than double the size of Trent and my body it still holding him in...PRAISE GOD!!! He had all his parts and they were all working. It is always so wonderful and reasuring to see him on the screen! I am having some issues with my blood pressure but other than that we are a happy, healthy mommy - son team!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

24 weeks!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

For me it feels like that magic week that means this little man is finally big enough that if anything went wrong again he would still live.....AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I don't want him to be born for another 12-15 weeks but, if he did his chances of survival are better than Trent's were!

I just can't believe that a tiny 5mm band thick of mirselene tape is holding my son in.

The last 24 hours have been a little nuts ... to say the least! I had my normal weekly monitoring and injection yesterday. My blood pressure was a little high. They monitored it for about 45 minutes and it was averaging 145/85. The high risk OB came in and monitored Ian via ultrasound for a while. He checked the fluid around him, his heartbeat, and the bloodflow to his cord. All was fine...Praise God!!! He told me to go home and stay horizontal for 72 hours until my follow up appt on Monday. He also ordered some blood work and a 24 hour protein test. I left the doctors office and headed to the lab to get my jug for collection. I left and headed home. I was sitting at a stop sign waiting for traffic clear and then...bang, a huge crash. I freaked, jumped out of my car and asked the guy did he not see me???? He said, "I saw you , my breaks are going out." HELLO!!! get them fixed...you just rear ended a high risk pregnant woman who is one day away from viablitly! I didn't say all of that I just burst into tears and said, "I need to go to the hosptial. I am pregnant. I need to be monitored." He was actually nice and followed me...my car was drivable. When we got tot he hospital he ran and got a wheel chair and wheeled me into the ER. I kept telling them I wanted to go to L&D to be monitored. They said they had to make sure I was okay before they could check Ian. The nurse was so nice and kind of whispered, "Call your OB. I guarntee he will say get you up to L&D." I was shaking and so mad they weren't listening to me. I called the OB and he said to take me upstairs ASAP and he would meet me there. THANK GOD!!!! Ken arrived right as they were wheeling me upstairs. Oh the flashbacks! I was so scared. Ian was kicking away but I also felt the familiar feeling of small contractions. I was being wheeled to L&D again...and way before the time my son should be born. UGH!!!

I spent two hours on the monitors and Ian was fine. His heart beat was good. He moved the whole time. The nurses kept me under close watch and the doctor came in and checked me over. He said I was fine to go home and rest up. PRAISE GOD!!!!!! I came home and went straight to bed. I am pretty sore today but no blood, no contractions, and Ian is just as active as ever.

It was the most scared I have been this pregnancy. Today I get to deal with getting a police report for the insurance company, I didn't wait at the scene for the police I wanted to get to the hospital as fast as I could. Can you believe my luck? I mean really???

But, we are good and we are at 24 weeks!!!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

blogging

I am the type of person that starts projects and doesn't seem to finish them. I get wrapped up in the excitement of the planning stages and the organizing, but then when it is time to carry out a task it can sometimes fall to the side. I have a closet full of unfinished projects - scrap booking, quilting, jewelry making, ebay selling, the list could go on and on. But, I started blogging over a year ago and have kept at it. I haven't really even thought about it as a project...more of a way to deal with the unrelenting grief that has surrounded me for more than a year now.

In the first weeks home from losing Trent I couldn't figure anything out to do. I returned to work right away in hopes I would feel "normal." I didn't sleep much and nothing felt right...anywhere. I was beyond a mess. I remember I would lay in bed at night and wait for the rhythmic breathing of Ken's sleep and then get up and search the Internet for anything that would help. I looked for support groups in Midland. I found a few and when i finally got in touch with someone they had disbanded or never started meeting. I googled things like "my son is dead" "how do I deal with this" "my baby died" I had no idea where to turn. Nothing helped. While I was hospitalized I had received hundreds of emails from people letting me know they were praying for our family. I started re-reading those. The comfort was beyond anything I could imagine. After Trent died the emails poured in with people giving suggestions on how to grieve. I didn't read them for a while. I just left them in my in box. When I finally got the courage to start reading them there were dozens from strangers who had heard of us or were praying for us. I had friends and friends of friends who had been where I was. And, the most helpful thing I think i got out of them was the blogging world. I started out by reading the blog of Angie Smith, wife to the singer in the Christian group Selah. Her daughter, Audrey, was diagnosed with a heart defect while in the womb. I started from the very beginning of the blog and read for hours straight. I sat at my computer and cried and cried as her words were my thoughts. I couldn't believe that this happened to others. Our stories are different in the fact that she had time to "prepare" for her loss and Trent was ripped away so quickly from me. But, the death of your child is not something that ever goes away. I read and reread every word she wrote. It brought me such "comfort" to know I wasn't crazy. I wasn't the only person who knew this pain. It was that blog that inspired me to start this one.

In the beginning the soul purpose of this blog was a place I could write what I couldn't say. The words would not come if I was trying to tell people how I was feeling. But, i could write them. I could sit in the quiet, darkness of our home and cry while I blogged about a life without my sweet boy. I cried for hours as I would write posts. I cried as I reread them...but, there was healing in the typing. And, the most amazing thing happened...people joined me on this journey. They weren't sitting next to me on the bed holding me as I cried...they were reading my words and crying with me. They were grieving with me and for me. They were holding my hand through the computer. I got emails and phone calls about what I wrote. It was amazing...my son was in their hearts and that meant more than anything else in the world.

Over the last year I feel like I have become "me." I didn't even know I needed to find me. But, after the death of my first child I found me. I found who was meant to be. I let down the walls that I had buried my heart behind. I spoke with honesty in my words and let them out there for the world to read. And, through that found me.

I can't believe it has been a year of blogging. I can't believe the amazing people I have met on this journey. I can't believe that I know what it means to lose a child.

But, here I am.

Me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

heart day

My heart hurts tonight. I wish so much that this wasn't me. I wish I could step out of it. I wish I could pick a different story. I wish I didn't know this pain could even be. I wish I was whole again.

I was thinking back to a year ago today. It wasn't an easy time - the pain and grief so so fresh and raw it was over-powering most days. I remember I spent hours the weeks leading up to Valentine's day searching for the "perfect" mommy ring. I wanted a ring for my right hand that had Trent's birthstone. I felt like it would be part of him with me all the time. Hours. and more hours. Nothing "felt" right. I cried and would give up...go back to searching. I visited every site on the internet. I couldn't find anything that was just perfect. I now look back and realize that was because I was trying to fill a void that will never go away. The Saturday before Valentine's Ken suggested we go look at some local jewelry shops. I hated this idea. I hated to cry in front of people (I don't mind so much anymore because it happens so very often now.) I knew looking for a ring would be so emotional for me. But, we set out to look anyway. The first store we went in we were hounded by a sales guy. I wanted to slap him. I just wanted to look in peace!!! I finally told him that my son had died just the month before and I was looking for a birth stone ring in white gold. He was so helpful after that...funny how the death of your child makes people so much nicer. The first ring he showed me was "it." It was perfect. I NEVER buy the first anything I see! I am so indecisive. Did I mention the hours I had spent looking online?? But, this ring was perfect. I looked at Ken with tears in my eyes and without one word from me he said, "we will take it." It had to be sized and the sales man said it would take a week or so. I was so sad to leave without it. But, just about 2 hours later he called and said they had it done! He had told the jeweler our story and he put me at the top of the list. I remember I went back to pick it up and slipped it on my finger...and just cried. I walked to the car and thought, "I have both my boys always with me. Ken on my left hand and Trent on my right." It is kind of silly that a piece of jewelry could mean so very much. But, it was my way of having Trent with me every single day. I don't take it off.

I can't believe it has been a whole year. I can't believe he is still gone. My heart is still broken on this day of love. I just want a different ending. I want to go back and do it again. I want less pain, less grief, less brokenness. I want my first born.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

statistics

I am a little obsessed. I spend hours researching on the internet about babies and rates of survival from this stage on...23w2d.

The youngest baby that has survived the NICU in Odessa, TX was born at 23w3d. She was in the NICU for 12 weeks.

Here are the going statistics:

A reasonably easy to remember guide is that the survival rate is about 40% for all babies born at 24 weeks' gestation, 50% for those born at 25 weeks, 60% for those born at 26 weeks, 70% for those born at 27 weeks, and 80% for those born at 28 weeks.

I really don't want Ian to be born in the next week or so!!! I want a full term, healthy baby boy. I feel like I might actually be able to get that. But, I keep preparing myself for the worse.

In the last year I have spent hours and hours reading blogs and stories of babies dying. I found/find comfort in the fact that I am not alone in this journey...there are others out there that understand my pain. But, in the last week my focus has become on finding people whose babies survived with born too early. It is crazy to read the stories.

I can't believe that I am to the point in pregnancy where I may actually have a live baby at the end.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

what hurts the most

Last night I fell asleep with this Rascall Flats song stuck in my head. I know it is about romantic love, but the lyrics seemed so fitting.

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And havin' so much to say
And watchin' you walk away (not this one, Trent didn't walk away)

And never knowin'
What could've been
And not seein' that lovin' you
Is what I was tryin' to do

I just kept singing it in my head over and over last night.

There was a time in my life where things made sense - where everything seemed to fit. There have been painful times too. But, when I look back I could always seem to make sense of all that was going on around me.

The past year nothing has seemed to make sense. I can't seem to make my brain understand any of it.

What hurts the most - is that nothing makes sense anymore.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

off

Today is one of those days...the sad ones. They come and go. I can't predict why they come or when they will go. But, today I woke up heart broken.

I want BOTH of my boys!! I want to watch them grow up together. I want to know what it is like to be a mommy to two living children. And, I can't change it :( Most days I have fully grasped the fact that Trent is never coming back. I will not get to see him again until I am in heaven. But, some days - like today - I woke up thinking it must be a dream. It must not be true. It was all just a nightmare and I will wake up and he will be here. I hate days like today. I am so excited for the new life I am being blessed with. I just miss all that could be.

I feel selfish for even writing this blog. I have two boys...one in heaven and one in my belly. Why can't I just be grateful? I went years trying to concieve and thinking I would never have biological children...and here I have two. I have many many friends TTC and even more in the blogging world who have never concieved. I know that pain too. It makes my heart hurt to be this upset. I just want him back!!!!

I want to be a "normal" mommy. I want to be niave again. I don't want to know of this awful world that exsists where parents out live their children. How did I become part of it anyway? I did everything "right." I went to college, got married, and then had kids. But, none of that matters. It doesn't matter the color of my skin, the degree I hold, the amount of money I make. The death of a child doesn't only happen to "bad" people. It happens to every one. And, I HATE it!!! I hate it for all of us!

So, today I am sad. I am sad for the life I am missing with Trent. I am sad I will never get to watch Ian and Trent wrestle, or gang up on me, or laugh together, or play video games. I am sad I will never get to dress them in matching outfits for pictures. Today I am sad that Ian's big brother is in heaven. Today I feel sorry for myself. Today I would have liked to crawl back into bed and not face the world. But, I didn't. I came to work.

My heart is heavy...and my womb is full. It seems so off.

Monday, February 7, 2011

taxes



I put on my big girl pants and printed my tax return today.

Does it get more depressing than that? Yes, it does but for it to be on an official government document. :(

At least this year his name is there. Next year it will be gone.

None of this journey is easy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

22w2d

I spend a lot of time lying on my left side. It is supposed to be the best for the baby...so, I lay on my left. It is so funny because Ian is most active when I lay that way. Today Ken and I laid down to take a nap and I swear Ian was doing summer-salts. He was not just kicking me but flipping and turning every which way. It is such an exciting time - pregnancy. I am to the point where everything is brand new. I have never been 22 weeks and 2 days pregnant before. I love every second I get to have this little boy with me!

I get all these emails about what I should be doing at almost 23 weeks pregnant. They all seem to include exercise which is out of the question for me and my incompetent cervix...but, this week it said it was time to start getting the nursery ready. I wish I could. I just can't do it. Ken and I opted to wait until 24 weeks to start making any of those major changes in our house. Our current guest room is piled high with stuff I bought for Trent and stuff I have added for Ian. The only "big" purchase I have made is the car seat / stroller combo. I did buy a co-sleeper too. We have a loft that will become the nursery. It is currently Ken's man-cave so that will move downstairs to the guest room. I just don't want an empty nursery. We have agreed we would use our tax return to buy Ian's nursery furniture. Have I finished the taxes???? nope. I am always super fast in doing our taxes because I love to get our refund...it is our money anyway so I want it ASAP!! But, this year I have to include a copy of Trent's birth and death certificate. I have them done. I just haven't pulled out his memory box and made copies of his paper work. It should not be this hard!! But, we will get there. I will get the taxes filed. We will buy the nursery furniture. And, the funny thing to me is I am always ready to be organized and prepared. But, I keep thinking I have the car seat and an outfit to bring him home in...the rest can wait. We have a few showers planned for us and I know I will get lots of stuff. It is just the big purchases that scare me. It is not about spending the money...it is about figuring out how to store the stuff if we end up not using it.

We are less than two weeks from viability!!!!!! It is amazing!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

1 + 1

1 year + 1 month = way too long since I held him :(

How is it that life just keeps on going? I wish I knew how to stop it sometimes. I know right after Trent died I wanted the world to stop so that I didn't have to move any further away from him. Here I am 13 whole months later and still wish I could go back to those precious moments he was alive.

Will the 5th of every month ever look different to me? Will I ever not think about the day marking a whole month or year since I held him? I don't think so. You can't fix grief, you can't cure it. It is not a disease that just gets better. There are no pills that make it stop. Time does NOT heal everything. Time continues to mark the months without him. It will never be over. Sometimes I feel like the world is waiting on me to get "over" it. And, I am much better at dealing with life and life without my first born son than I was a year ago. But, asking me to get over it is like me asking you not to celebrate your next child's birthday. How about her 5th? Just skip it. I mean she has been alive for five years...does it really still matter? See my point? Five years alive or dead...they are still your child...and they STILL matter. His 10th birthday, 25th, 45th ... they will all matter to me. Even with a second baby boy on the way....Trent still matters.

One of my blogging friends commented on my last post that she noticed I am closer to my 3rd trimester than my 2nd....YAY!!!!!! That is SO SO SO exciting!!! I mean I feel like I might actually make it into the third trimester!!!! I am starting to have hope that Ian may come home from the hospital with us!!! I am 22 weeks and 1 day pregnant! Praise God!! Less than two weeks until VIABILITY!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

birth certificate

I am "lucky" in the fact that I have a birth certificate for my son. I say "lucky" because I have met woman on this journey whose babies died in the womb and they only get a death certificate. Now, my luck runs out there...I have a birth AND a death certificate. A death certificate is something no parent should ever have to see. The birth certificate was given to us before we left the hospital. We needed it for the funeral home but I can't remember why. I remember when they came to my room to give it to my I thought "look there is Ken and mine's name listed as mother and father." I never thought I would have that luxury...Mother: Trisha Weatherford. I really never thought it would follow with a death certificate.

Today I pre-registered for the hospital. My doctor told me it was time to get my info into the system. It was pretty simple really...just give them my insurance, drivers licensce, and fill out lots of paper work. I was "glad" to get it over with so that Ken would not have to worry about paper work in the event we end up in the hospital in an emergency. The last paper was a work sheet for the new babies birth certificate. I kind of stopped. I had filled one of these out before....only the last time my son was already dead. It kind of triggered some strong emotions. I went to the desk and asked if they really needed this paper now or could we do it once he was born. They said now. I sat down and started filling it out...of course they told me to leave the baby's info blank...it would be filled out once he was born. I just sat there staring at it...will it be followed by a death certificate too?? These are not normal questions! These are not dilemas most pregnant woman face! I really wanted to just walk out...and take all the pre-admit paper work with me!! I wanted to run and hide...pretend I had never asked for it all to start with. But, I put on my big girl pants and filled it out.

Here is what I realized when I got home: I am having a baby. There are no if's, and's, but's about it. Ian is alive and well. He is still kicking, growing, and doing amazing. My cerclage is still holding strong. I am 21w5d and he is measuring just at 23w. I am doing everything in my power to keep him in there for another 12-15 weeks. He WILL come out...the only question is when. He WILL have a birth certificate....the only question is will he get my death certificate before I get his???

I pray more for this baby than I have ever prayed for anything in my life.
 
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