Tuesday, June 29, 2010

mobile uploads

Does anyone else have 5 million pictures from their cell phones they haven't uploaded? Don't count me in that group anymore; here they are, in no particular order.

The day after she got her wagon. She likes to push it around the house and remind us who's boss.
A little light reading on the way to dinner...
Playing on her new toy set in the backyard

brushing her teeth while she was watching Sesame Street
Sitting in her frog at Nana and Papa's

Mowing the yard
kissing uncle Kyle before the wedding

she reminds me of martin short's SNL character in this picture

Such a drama queen

Life is hard for a princess in her chariot
Danny took this one for me in October when I was at the girl's weekend

throwing carrots all over the place.
okay, this one is really old, but it's one of my favorites. look at that chunk! and that laid back style!

moving on...

Note: After reading back through this post I realize how disjointed it is. But that is how the last three and a half weeks have been. Completely disjointed.

I cannot believe it is about to be July. I have completely lost this month.
Life is returning to normal and for that I am grateful. There comes a point in grief when you say, "I can't feel like this anymore," and prepare to move on. I am at this very point. I find myself ready to move on, hoping for good things and ready to leave the bad behind. I don't feel numb anymore. I am laughing and engaging in conversation and caring and feeling again which is a wonderful thing. Numbness has been a horrible thing for me to feel. I would rather feel pain than not be able to feel anything, but I spent a good two weeks not caring about much.
Most days I am fine and actually worry that I am not doing this whole grieving thing right but there are moments of sadness that hit me so deeply it takes my breath away. I had a meltdown while we were in Cleveland and I was talking with Beth. It hit me that I was supposed to be 12 weeks and I completely lost it. It hit me when I saw the positive pregnancy test on the bathroom counter, hidden behind my toothbrush holder. It hits me sometimes when I look at Grace and see so clearly what we lost. It hits me when I start trying to write my thank you notes for all the kindness people showed us after we found out. (Long sigh....)
But more moments than not, I am okay and feel back to normal. I can see the world moving and I move right along with it. Grace has been such a source of joy for me. She is learning and saying so many funny things right now (more to come on this in the next post!) and has started giving hugs voluntarily. This came at the perfect time. Dan has been amazing and has let me figure out how to work through all of this. He has prayed with me and for me, let me cry at the most odd times, reminded me to eat (trust me, this has never happened before!), and reassured me of all the good times in store for our family. Through God's grace we are closer through this and not farther apart.
Spiritually I am feeling more. I can see God's hand in this, taking care of us and walking with us. Someone said something to me that has meant more than I can ever explain. She simply told me that God knows what it is like to lose a child, too. Something in that truth has made me feel like I am not alone, even in the moments when satan wants me to believe this lie. I know God is good and I know He cried with us. Right now, that is enough.
Thank you so much to our precious friends and family who have walked through this with us. You have made this so much easier and I am grateful that during such a dark time you were a light for us.
Hopefully we will have good news very soon. I saw the Dr. last Monday and my numbers are where they need to be and we are able to start trying again. What a blessing!
Enjoy the next barrage of posts about the princess!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Oh friends, what a sad time this has been. I have struggled with so many emotions, some I never knew I could feel, all in the span of four days. I can't begin to explain the empty feeling, the pain, and the numbness.
I have debated whether or not to share our story, worried that some might think it is too private, worried that it might be too painful, but I have realized that this baby deserves for it's story to be told, and I want to tell that story because it's wonderful. So, there may be tears, there may be hurt, but here it is, for better or worse.
We found out we were pregnant on April 30th. You can read the full story on the new blog I started here. Our first sonogram was May 17th. We all crowded into the little room and saw... not much. Only the sac. I didn't worry too much, but I thought I was 6 weeks and 6 days pregnant based on my last cycle and VERY CERTAIN conception date. So when she told me the sac was measuring 5 weeks and 5 days I thought it was weird, but thought I may just be growing more slowly. It wasn't until my Dr. called later that afternoon that I started worrying. She basically told me that she thought it was probably too early and rescheduled me for two and a half weeks later, but based on my dates, I could tell she was a little concerned. She told me that my levels and numbers were perfect, though, so there was no need to worry.
I started feeling better right before we left for Vegas, which was nice, but looking back, was probably a sign. I had been nauseous most days since I found out and all the sudden, I didn't feel nauseous at all. The one thing that was weird though, is that I started showing right about that time. I mean, a definite baby bump. While we were in Vegas, Dan asked how I was planning on keeping the pregnancy a secret with a belly. When we got back, it was a little difficult not to say anything with an obvious bump that I assumed meant everything was great and healthy. We told our Sunday School class through email and waited for Wednesday.
My mom flew in that morning for the sonogram and Tom and Beth met us there. Dan and I decided to go back to the room by ourselves since I was so nervous and I am glad we made that decision. Once I got laid down on the table and she started, we saw the baby, but I knew something wasn't right because it was too small. It looked like Grace's sonogram we had at 6 1/2 weeks. I was 9 weeks. The idea of no heartbeat never crossed my mind though; I thought I must be wrong about my dates or that the baby was just growing more slowly. Then it hit me that she said the sac was measuring almost 7 weeks and the baby was measuring 6 weeks. The sac had grown, but only 7 days in the last 2 1/2 weeks. I knew something was wrong and it was confirmed when she said she wanted to do an internal sonogram. I shouldn't need an internal if I'm nine weeks. We should be seeing more than what we're seeing. The next five minutes were the most quiet and terrifying. I was afraid she was going to tell me the baby was growing too slowly, or didn't have a brain, or anything besides there wasn't a heartbeat. But when she said the words, they hit me like a punch to the stomach and I burst into tears. I know she said something about talking to the doctor, but I only remember Danny scooping me up and crying with me and telling me we would see him again one day. I didn't want to tell our family. I couldn't bear to tell them that there wasn't another grand baby on the way. They met us outside after Dan told them and we numbly parted ways because my doctor asked me to come over right away.
After talking with the nurse on Wednesday and Dr. Owen on Thursday, we decided on a d&c for Friday morning. I can't explain the range of emotions those two days. I didn't want to talk to anyone, but couldn't even think about being alone. I wanted to scoop up Grace and hold her so tight, but at times looking at her made me cry, thinking about what we lost. I wanted to scream and just be silent. I wanted to run away and crawl under the covers and not think.
My friend Emily went through this very recently as well. Our girls are about 3 1/2 weeks apart and our babies were due 3 1/2 weeks apart. Talking to her helped me understand so much. It made me feel normal, let me know what might happen to my body medically, and gave words to the grief I was feeling. Em, I will be forever grateful that if this is something we have to go through, I had a friend like you to grieve through it with me.
The procedure on Friday was very quick and quite painless. I had some mild cramping and spotting but no real pain to speak of. I remember thinking right before how ready I was to get the procedure over with, but when the anesthesiologist came in and started explaining things I was gripped with the feeling that I just wanted to leave. The procedure would be quick and virtually painless, but they were taking the only part of the pregnancy I had left. They were taking my baby out of me and I would be empty when they were finished. I was heartbroken again at the realization.
Friday afternoon was really a "good day" if those are even the right words. I wasn't very weepy or emotional, I was grateful for the medical aspect to be over, and I felt better than I thought I would. Saturday was full of numbness and emptiness. My mom left, which was so difficult, and the day seemed to drag on. Today has brought much of the same, but I know things are going to get easier and easier.
I haven't had any real peace to speak of yet. No real closeness with God, which I think is surprising. Not that I don't know the truth; that He is close and grieving with us, that He understands what we are going through, and that this world is not the end for us, but my head and my heart aren't communicating much yet. Everyone's words feel empty and hollow, because I feel empty and hollow, not because the words don't mean anything. I want this time to be over, want to move on and start feeling "normal."
Thank you for letting me share. This is by far the most difficult thing we have ever experienced (I know, we have been very blessed!) and we are ready to be on the other side of it. Ready for more children. Ready to come out stronger because of it. Ready to feel God in all of it. Ready for the tears to stop. We are so grateful to all of you who have prayed for us, cried with us, shared your time and meals with us, and been the hands and feet of Jesus to us in all of this. We know that slowly, this will start to get easier.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mom, where's my brush?

At six months Grace was still my little baldy. She stayed pretty bald until about 10 months.

So you can imagine a mother's delight at all of this...

Even on mornings when it looks like this...

or this...

and even this.