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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

wow

that is the only word I can think to describe being a mommy ... to a living, breathing baby boy.

WOW! I spend my days nursing, napping, and just cuddling my boy. I am dreading going back to work only because I will have to be away from him! I will leave him with Ken for the summer and he will come with me in the fall. Because I work in a soup kitchen the envoironment is not the cleanest for a newborn.

So, what about the grief? It is strange ... this morning as I was nursing Ian I looked over at the picture of Trent holding my finger ... the love is very very different. I never got any of what I am getting with Ian with Trent...and over the last 17 months have come to understand and accept that. I will never be "over" the death of my first born. However, I have learned how to live. I remember right after Trent was born I felt like I didn't know where to "put" the grief. I felt like it surrounded me, followed me, swallowed me whole. Now, 17 months later I have figured it out. Holding Ian in my arms is the most healing thing ever. There is no replacement for the life that was lost but the new life in my arms reminds me why I am still living. My entire pregnancy with Ian I was waiting on the end. I just couldn't imagine brining him home. Maybe that is why it is so amazing...because I never pictured him here with me.

I feel like I was born to be a mommy. I love every second of it. I love waking up at 3 am to nurse him. I love watching him sleep. I love his poopy diapers. I love being peed on. I love the faces he makes. I love him. My heart can't contain the love and joy. I love watching Ken with Ian. All of it ... every part of it. I want to stop time to just take him all in. Every night when I put him in his bassinet I pray over him. I pray for his safety and for his life. I pray that he knows we love him beyond measure. I pray he will grow up happy. My life feels right.

I know there are some reading pregnant with their rainbows or waiting to be pregnant again or even trying to conceive...it is worth it. The worry, the nerves, the tears, the heartache...all worth it.

Here are just a few of my sweet pea over the last eight days...


















Friday, May 27, 2011

my son

The emotions of the last week can not be captured in words. I will try.

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

1 Samuel 1:27


I have spent the last nine months 31 years praying for this sweet boy. I didn't know I was praying for Ian James...I just knew I have been praying to be a mommy. In the last nine months I have prayed and begged God to give me a healthy baby boy. Ian is all I could have hoped and prayed for. He is the perfect combo of Ken and myself. He is so very sweet. I can't even tell you how my heart swells when I look down at him. When I hold him and kiss him I feel complete. I stare into his face and wonder what God created him to be. What will his life be like? What kind of man will he become?

Labor and delivery was "easy." (as easy as labor and delivery can be!) I was admitted at 4am and as soon as I was hooked up to the monitors I was having contractions 5 minutes apart. I thought I was having them all night but wasn't sure. They placed the medicine next to my cervix at 5 am. The contractions got harder and more painful. The doctor broke my water around 9 am...YUCK! As soon as my water was broken the pioticon was hooked up and I was begging for my epidural! Once my epidural was in place we were all set! Ian did not tolerate contractions very well. His heart rate would fall when I would have a contraction. It would get lower and lower. It got to 56 at one point. I was so scared. I pulled my oxygen mask off and screamed for someone to do something. My blood pressure dropped crazy low which was making his heart rate fall. My mom went and got the nurse. It was not much longer that i was ready to push. I only pushed for about 30 minutes and he was here!! That first scream was everything I hoped it would be. I cry thinking about it again. Ken cried. My mom cried. It was a beautiful moment. After Trent's birth we were all waiting for for the end...with Ian we waited as they cleaned him to start our lives together.

I have watched a million romantic comedies. I have watched and cried at beautiful moments of love being played out on the screen. NONE of those movies can capture the love in a room as a daddy holding his son with the love and adoration I saw on Monday!

I have started and stopped this post a few times to tend to my sweet boy. I have much more to share...but for now I need to nurse.

I thank God a hundred times a day for picking me to be Ian's mommy. I am not sure I deserve it but I am beyond grateful to have him in my arms.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

my little punkie poo :)








Ian James was born at 6:42pm on May 23rd!


I am SO excited, in love, amazed, over-joyed, in love, overwhelmed, tired, in love....it is better than words can say!

I will share more later...

but, I HAD to show off some pictures of my cutie pie!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ready or not!

Here he comes!

We are 30 hours away from checking into the hospital! 30 HOURS! My emotions are all over the place. I have cried today so many times...and been so giddy excited I couldn't even sit still. The tears come when I think of the last time I was in labor. It is so very hard to understand/picture my baby living this time around. I know he is full term and healthy. I know my cervix has done it's job. I know the doctors have done every single thing they could to get him here...the what if's still play in my head. The uncertainty of a birth with a live baby is hard for me. The day will be long and hard...hello it is labor! But, I am praying at the end I am holding a perfect, beautiful baby boy. I got that the last time too...this time I want a son that gets to stay here with me.

The tears come because of all the love and hope that surronds my little family...from near and far! The people that have walked this very hard road of grief with us. The ones that have followed our story and prayed for us. The ones that rejoiced when we were expecting again. The ones that are just as excited to meet Ian as we are! I can't even explain the gratitude I have for all of them ... all of you!

The tears come because my mom is here. I love her so very much! She told me today it was the hardest thing she has ever done to be in that birthing suite. It was the hardest thing she will ever face watching me hold my son as he died. She needs this healing as much as Ken and I do. I have never wanted to cause my mom pain or grief and I know she has felt the grief and pain two fold for Trent. She grieves for her grandson and for her daughter. It breaks my heart. I am so thankful she can be here for Ian's birth! (I really thought I would want to walk and walk and walk and do all the things that induce labor this weekend...but we laid on the couch ALL DAY! We only got up to go to the potty...my wonderful hubby cooked for us all day! It was wonderful to just relax and catch up!!!)

My excitment level is a 200 (on a scale of 1-10)! I feel like I have been given a second chance at life. Part of me, a big part, died on that January day. A part that I will never get back. The pain from that day will always be real, raw, and close to my heart. But, as Monday approaches I am getting to another chance. I get another son. I can't even explain all of the excitment. It really is a dream come true. I keep picturing what it will be like to hear his first cry, a sound I never got from Trent. I know that when I finally hear him scream it will be better than I can/could ever even imagine. I know when I get to nurse him for the first time my heart will be more full than I knew possible. And, even with his first dirty diaper...I will be on cloud 9! I am so looking forward to what is ahead for me...sleep depravation, drool, spit up, poop, pee, tears, screams...a living, breathing baby.

Praise God for 37 weeks 2 days pregnant! 30 hours!

I imagine this will be my last post pregnant. The next one will be filled with Ian.

Tears again...happy tears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

success

I am sure by now if you have read my blog for any length of time you know that I have an incompetent cervix. What is it??

(all these answers are from the University of Chicago Medical Center)

Q. What is cervical insufficiency or incompetent cervix?
A. Normally, a woman’s cervix should open with the beginning of labor after about nine months of pregnancy. But in some women, pressure from a growing fetus in the uterus causes the cervix to open prematurely, leading to a second trimester pregnancy loss of what would otherwise be a normal full term delivery. This loss typically occurs between the 16th and 24th week of pregnancy -- with the vast majority between the 18th and 22nd week of gestation.


SO, of course this is what happened with Trent. I had NO signs of my cervix failing...well none that I knew to look for. I was admitted to the hospital with membranes bulging at 20w5d. All of what happened fell into the "normal" range for a woman with IC. YUCK!

1 to 2% of women have IC. Lucky me.

Why me?? I have searched for this answer since that fateful day. I don't think I will know the answer this side of heaven. Medically speaking I have a birth defect...

Q. What are the circumstances that cause this condition?
A. Many women first become aware of incompetent cervix after losing their first pregnancy. Most often, the woman has a birth defect that affects the normal shape of the uterus or cervix, though they have no history to indicate the condition.
However, women who may be at risk for cervical insufficiency include those who:

Had a previous dilation and curettage (D & C)
Had a previous surgery for an abnormal PAP smear, such as LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) or CKC (cold knife conization) that damaged the cervix
While infrequent, incompetent cervix can happen during a later pregnancy after having a previous normal birth.


There was no way to know it was there and no way to prevent it. It just is the way I was made.

After losing Trent I felt like I became an expert on the subject of IC. I spent hours googling and trying to understand the condition. I knew that if and when we got pregnant again I would need a cerclage placed. Well, of course, you all know that is exactly what happened. It was placed at 14w6d and removed at 36w3d. Guess what?????

According to my research only 85% of TVC (trans vaginal cerclages) ((there are different kinds you can have...i had a TVC)) are successful. That means that 15% of women who have a TVC placed do not carry the child to full term. It doesn't mean that all 15% don't have a living child at the end (with a NICU stay for the baby) It means that 15% do not make it to 36 weeks because of complications with the cerclage or pregnancy. Guess what I am??? I AM A SUCCESS STORY!!!!!!

I feel like i have fallen into the 1% or 3% or 10% or whatever % of problem catagory for way too long! As of last Friday when I hit 36 weeks with Ian still in my womb I became a SUCCESS!!!!

It feels good to be in the success box. It feels good to finally have a statistic on my side! It feels good to know that that tiny stitch held my baby in!!

Praise God!!!

As of right now I have been free from my cerclage for 24 hours. I have had NO bleeding, NO contractions, and NO problems!!

I am sore from removal but I really think it is the HUGE thingy they used to open it all up!

6 more days!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

free!!!!

My cerclage is OUT!

It really was not as bad as I thought it was going to be! It was strange and lots of pressure...but on a scale of 1-10 the pain was about a 3! It only took about 10 minutes total. I was not dilated or effaced at all. I am home and of course still on bed rest until Ian makes his grand entrance. I go back Wednesday morning for a pelvic exam and then the MFM on Thursday for a NST and BPP.

IF Ian has not arrived by the 23rd we will check in to start induction at 4:00am!!

That is only 178 hours from now...or 10,680 minutes :)

of course who knows how long my labor will last ... but we are SOOOOO close to meeting this little boy!!

AND if you are wondering what my little blue string of power looks like...



Yep - I saved it :)

I told the doctor I wanted to and he said, "You know I was thinking the other night that you might want too." HAHA!!

Let the countdown begin!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

tomorrow

I can't believe how nervous I am about my cerclage being removed!!!! It is the pain that scares me the most! I mean they numb you with a spinal to put it in...do it in a surgical suite...it is surgery to put it in. And, tomorrow they take it out in the OB's office. Does that worry anyone? No?? Just me?? Well, maybe it is because it is my cervix being cut open tomorrow ;) It seems strange to worry. Have you noticed I am a worrier by nature? I worry about EVERYTHING! I know it is not healthy...I get lots of lectures on the need to not worry so much. I am thinking I was born this way. I can't change it....except with 6 or 7 margaritas and that is not the best idea for my Ian James :)

The idea that my body is ready for labor after tomorrow is CRAZY!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!! I can't even explain how my brain can't even wrap itself around that fact! It is so hard to gear up for a happy, healthy, normal labor and delivery. INSANE! I know hundreds of thousands of women give birth every day. I just didn't ever think I would be one of them AND then when I was finally one of them my son died :( BUT, here we are again. It is time. I am honestly hoping to hold out until at least Friday. My mommy flies in Friday at 4pm. I really REALLY want her here with me! Yes, I will be 32 this summer...but I still NEED my mommy!!! Ken missed Trent's birth so I am so very excited to have him by my side this time! AHHHHH! The excitement, nerves, joy, love....all of the emotions are so overwhelming! I love this little boy so very much! I can't wait to hold him and kiss him and call him my son!

I thank God every single day! Less than 24 hours and my cervix will be free :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

9 whole months

I can't believe I am 9 months pregnant! Praise God!!

I have been on bed rest since last week. Yesterday I had two doctors appointments and went to the post office in between them. The lady in line in front of me asked me how far along and I told her 9 months tomorrow! Today I snuck out of the house for a pedicure...I really wanted cute toes for the birth...and the lady asked how far I was. Same answer. BOTH of them said "You don't look that pregnant!"



Umh...what part of this LARGE belly did they miss??? :)

I feel great...the doctor just wants my blood pressure to stay under control so I can make it safely to 37 weeks.

My cerclage comes out on Monday!!!!!!!!! The doctor moved up removal because he wants to give my cervix time to "ripen." He wants it to start doing what most pregnant woman do at 37 weeks. He wants it to start changing on it's own to make the induction process and labor easier on my body. It is crazy to think we have spent 9 long months worried about my cervix staying the same and NOW it is time for it to start moving! I had my last 17p injection on Thursday. I will have my last OB appt Monday and my last MFM appt on next Thursday. I can't believe we are 10 days away to a happy, healthy, full term baby boy!!!

The anxiety is still here. I am trying my best to keep it at bay. I work hard to only focus on the positive. It just is all still scary. I can't wait to hold my little miracle!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

almost there

Just another day...

I convinced myself of that last night before I finally found sleep. Insomnia is in full force lately - partly because I have to pee every 30 mins and partly because it has haunted me for 16 long months. I decided to just let today be. No worries, no tears. And, I did just that. I woke around 4am for a bathroom break and thanked God for the chance to be a mom...even if just a short time with Trent and hopefully years with Ian. I cried then. I cried that He has entrusted two little lives to me. I cried that I will never celebrate this day with my sweet Trent. I cried because Ian was moving away within me. I am blessed. Sometimes it is hard to understand that when one child is in heaven.

Tomorrow marks 2 weeks until delivery!!! 14 days!! I am beyond excited! I can't believe we made it here. Yes, I still freak out when Ian goes too long without moving. I convince myself something must be wrong. I worry about how I will tell everyone that something has gone wrong. And, then I have to grab control of my crazy mind and realize that he is okay...he is living...he is mine.

Today Ken got up before me and went to get me flowers...a dozen beautiful roses for being the mommy to his boys. Ian bought me a pound of Twizzlers and a Kit Kat :) These are two things I have craved the entire pregnancy. My husband is precious. I am blessed.

Two weeks. I can't wait to introduce him to the world! (via pictures of course)

Friday, May 6, 2011

anxiety

that ugly monster is rearing it's ugly head again! I am not sure if it is because it is Mother's Day weekend and something seems to be missing.... a HUGE something...my first born :( or if it is just that now I KNOW that my Ian will be here in 15 days or less? I don't know. But, my anxiety level is high...again.

It is so strange that my google searches have gone from how many weeks pregnant I am to all about having a newborn. It is a strange switch. I remember after Trent died I would google...my son died, now what? or infant death or surviving grief. I didn't think I would ever want to let alone need to google about pregnancy. I stopped watching all tv shows that had to deal with babies, birth, pregnancy...anything that would trigger my grief. In the last few weeks I have been drawn back to "A Baby Story" on TLC. I cry every. single. time. the baby cries for the first time. I think that is the moment that will change my view on labor and delivery. Trent was born alive...but silent. God willing - Ian will be born alive and screaming!

I hate that Mother's Day will never feel exactly right. I hate that the child that gave me the title will never be here to celebrate. I hate that there are 100's of women who will cry this Sunday because their child is already in heaven. I hate that if we went to church this weekend I would be passed over for the corsage or flower because I have no child attached to my hip (although with this large belly I am gain a flower). I hate that if we went to lunch I would not get the free drink or dessert or what ever is being offered because the table would be occupied by just Ken and I. (We will be going nowhere Sunday since I am on full bedrest) I hate that in the years to come I will only have Ian with me and not Trent too. Don't get me wrong...I am beyond in love with this little boy in my womb...I just miss his big brother.

I have just two weeks and one day left to enjoy this pregnancy. I keep thinking of all that could go wrong now...all the reasons he would not come home. I try to shut my mind up and just enjoy his kicks and punches. I pray non-stop that he comes home that week in May. I try and prepare myself for the worse and yet am hoping for the best. I feel like my brian must be broken to keep fearing when I am so very close to the end. I hate it. I really wish I could just stop my mind and let my heart win this battle...

Happy Mother's Day...even to those whose sweet children went before and are already waiting in glory. It is a hard day. It is a hard life we live. We will see them again...and the next time we see them we will never say goodbye.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

19

19 days!!!

That is about all....bed rest has me pretty bored! I am hating day time tv and going to start reading my breast feeding books today.

It is ALL worth it because in 19 short days I will be holding my son!!!!!!!!!!!!!

19!

I can't really believe it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

mommy

It is coming...very quickly. No, not Ian - although we are 21 days away from him! Mother's Day. This has been a hard day for many years. I have always celebrated my mommy - and she is hands down the best mom around! But, I have yearned to have that same title. Trent awarded me that title...in a very different way than most moms.

I put myself through college working at day cares and preschools. It took me 5 years to get my AA and another 3 to finish my BA. BUT, I finished and that is what matters! I worked at a few different daycare when I was getting my AA. I would work from 7:30 am - 6:00 pm and then head straight to the college for night classes. One semester I took a 7:00 am class and then worked. I think back on those days and wonder why I tried so hard!! Anyway, I remember I was working in the baby class and a young mom enrolled her twins. I was 19 or 20 and she was the same age as me. She had a little boy and a little girl. They were the sweetest little kids around! I just fell in love with them. The little boy took a real liking to me. Anytime I left the room he would just cry and cry. I started taking him with me anytime I needed to go out of the classroom. He would follow me everywhere. His mom dropped the twins off at 6:30am - the minute the doors were unlocked she was dropping them off - and they were always the last to be picked up - right at 6:00pm. She worked the night shift at a local restaurant so it was normally their grandma that picked them up. I remember one day the little guy was so very sick. He was sick when she dropped them off and got worse during the day. She told us that morning he wasn't feeling good but she already had plans to go to the beach...so she brought them anyway. I took his temp around nap time and it was 103 (sad that I still remember all this 10 years later). We called her and it went to voice mail. The director called over and over again. She finally called the grandmother and said that he needed to be picked up within 30 minutes or we would meet them at the ER (school policy). I remember the mother came storming into the school about 20 minutes later and picked him up...she was IRATE. She yelled and screamed. She was awful. All of that is to say this...I loved that little boy. I wished he were mine! I am sure he spent more hours in a week with me than he did with her. BUT, no matter what she was the mom. His eyes always would light up when she walked through the door. He ran to her arms as fast as he could the minute she arrived...every time. He was hers. Bottom line - I was jealous. Even if she wasn't the best mother in my eyes...she was still his mom. I wanted to have that.

Ian will be here so very soon. MY son. MY child. He has spent the last 8.5 months in my womb. He knows the sound of my heartbeat. He will know the sound of my voice. He will find comfort in my touch. He will get his nourishment from my breast. He will know my smell. I will be the one to soothe him as he cries. I will be the one to tickle his toes and get a smile. I will be the one that knows every little inch of his body. I will be the one that dresses him. I will be the one to rock him to sleep. I will be the one comforts him when he is sick. It will be my hand that applies the medicine to his aching gums when he is teething. It will be me that changes his diaper in the wee hours of the morning. I will watch as he takes his first step. I will be the on he clings to in a room full of strangers. I will be the one who cries as I drop him off for a day at daycare. I will be the one who makes his eyes light up when I pick him up. I will watch as he plays his first t-ball game. I will cheer him on as he runs the bases the wrong way. I will be ready to be the tooth fairy as he loses his first tooth. I will be there the day he feels left out at school. I will be the one he asks about the tough questions. I will be there to comfort him when a girl breaks his heart. I will be the one who buys the zit cream when acne over runs his face. I will be there when he starts high school. I will be the nervous wreck as he takes his drivers exam. I will be the one screaming loudly as he walks across the stage as he graduates high school. It will be me that he will call "mom." ME...and only me. I will be the only mom he will ever know. I am his mommy. I will annoy him...embarrass him...drive him nuts. I will love him more than he will ever understand. I am ready and willing for a life time full of moments that I can't even dream of yet. I will be the one he wants. I am his mother.

Ken will play an equally important role as daddy - something I don't underestimate by any means. But, I will never understand it. I will never be his daddy. I am his mommy.

I can't wait. I am scared of all that is before me and over-joyed that I get the chance to be called mom.
 
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