Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I am humbled and amazed to be here today. January 8th is always a strange day for me. We celebrate our lives together, but we also agreed 11 years ago today that we wanted to start our quest for number three immediately after "I do". If only we had known then what sort of journey we were in for! We have celebrated ten bittersweet anniversaries marked with disappointment that we were still only two.

This year there will be no tears behind closed doors. Our day will not be shadowed by another 12 months of disappointment. It will instead shine with hope and overwhelming love! There were so many times I wanted to give up and let the heartache swallow me up, but now, finally on the other side of that broken rainbow, I realize that I would do it all a hundred times over for both of my guys!

Our little fella is such a miracle. My body was in no shape to have a baby and emotionally we had just experienced the biggest heartbreak of our lives when we lost Espe. Charlie made it though and we celebrated every single day I carried him, always with caution and fear in the background. In the end, the fear was overwhelming. The contractions I was having brought up terms like uterine rupture and decelerations. Cholestasis tacked on diminished fetal movement, stillbirth, meconium distress, and fetal demise. Every moment was terrifying and the closer we got to his arrival, the more I was afraid we would never have the opportunity to share our lives with the little person in my stomach.

His arrival was miraculous and the next few days were the happiest and the scariest days either of us have ever faced, but we had each other. The three of us clung tightly to one another and hubs and I prayed and fought hard to help our little guy adjust to the big world outside my belly.

God has blessed us abundantly.

Today we will not have a fancy dinner. Hubs will go to work and I will stay at home with Charlie providing spa services and an all you can eat buffet. We are not giving each other gifts this year and we won't mark the occasion with any special traditions or rituals. We both agree we have already received the best possible gift and celebration of our lives together and it's enough today just to be three.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Our tiny little rainbow is here!

I was induced Monday morning due to Cholestasis at 38 weeks. We were in our room at 5am, the doctor came in at 5:30am to start things, and by 6am I was already hooked up to an IV with pitocin, contracting regularly, and my water was broken. That was about the extent of it all...

By 9am I was maxed out at 30 on the pitocin with very strong and regular contractions. I was not progressing beyond a one, but my contractions were really rough. I was afraid to get an epidural that early on, but my nurse finally convinced me that it was certainly warranted. I finally got the epi in around 11am and tried to rest as much as I could.

The baby started to have some serious issues, so I was put on oxygen, given something to help me relax, and flipped and flopped for a while to keep his heart rate up. It was finally decided at 4pm that I would have a csection. I never went beyond a centimeter. I was prepared for the possibility of a csection, but the announcement had me sobbing instantly. I was terrified to be separated from him.

The csection was rough. He refused to come down and they had to chase him out of there. I remember hearing the doctor laugh with the nurse because he absolutely refused to come out. All of the people in there apologized and tried to help me make it through the discomfort of pulling him out.

He struggled to breathe in the beginning. I was wheeled in to be with him, but could not hold or touch him. I finally had a chance about an hour later to hold him briefly before they took him to the nicu for another couple of hours to help him out. I was devastated and still cry about it now. That was honestly the longest two hours of my life!

We finally had our little guy with us, we were discharged, and less than 24 hours later he was readmitted for a very fast jump in his bilirubin. I had some engorgement issues becuase my milk just happened to come in full force during the whole doctor to hospital process, but after two days, we are once again home and happy. I am absolutely in love with this little person. The journey was a nightmare, but honestly I would do it a thousand times over for our little Charlie! My love and absolute adoration for him is more than I ever hoped for!

                                                         Our little Rainbow - Charlie
                                                              6lbs 15oz, 19.5in  long

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I got the itch!

I hate that I haven't updated this the way that I wanted to, especially since I have been off work now for three weeks, but there are a ton of things I haven't been able to get around to and I am working hard to just be flexible and let the small stuff slide these days. This will be long, but there have been a lot of things to happen!

I've had some itching for the past couple of weeks, but didn't think anything about it until last week when I was literally clawing sores into my skin. The on call doc sent me to L&D for blood work which came back elevated and pointed to Cholestasis, a problem where my liver does not break down bile. It is very scary for the baby with an increased risk of still birth, jaundice, meconium aspiration, and breathing complications at birth. 

I had an NST on Christmas Eve and the on call doctor had me come in to see him as soon as the office opened after the holiday because my doctor who happens to be his partner is out of town. At the appointment we discussed additional blood work that we had been waiting on. It came back normal. Still, my symptoms were severe and I did have elevated labs already with a family history. The doctor was certain I had cholestasis and that further tests would show the normal readings climbing, but the risk in waiting for them wasn't worth it. 

He did an in depth ultrasound on the baby to determine how ready he seemed to be. We saw him practicing breathing on the screen which made the doctor very happy. I was dilated to a 2, more than 50% effaced, still dealing with contractions, and the baby was in position. He went to call my doctor to discuss what to do. They decided it would be best to go on and induce Monday morning at 38 weeks as soon as my doctor returned. In the meantime I was to go for another NST and I was to report straight to L&D if I noticed any further decrease in movement. The baby didn't want to move again for the NST, so I was told at the hospital to eat sugary snacks or drink soda often to try and wake him up. 

I was admitted in the middle of everything on Christmas Eve for contractions that got out of control. They were a minute apart, lasted a minute, and were very strong. The doctor that night was concerned about uterine rupture and after two doses of terbutaline sent my heart rate and baby's through the roof, they knocked me out with Stadol to try and calm things down. Thankfully it worked and we were sent home Christmas morning, although I've been pretty miserable since. 

I feel nauseous most of the time, and I'm fatigued like I have the flu almost. The itching is relentless although I do think the medication is starting to help a little with that. I cannot sleep more than an hour at a time and even then hubs says I toss and turn and scratch a lot. I have no appetite and I can't take antacids with the medication I am on, so I spend most of my time piled up on the couch just waiting for the next stretch of sleep. 

I really want to get the house back in order before we leave Monday morning, but just loading the dishwasher had me throwing up earlier today. I guess the baby won't notice if the house is a mess right? I'm excited about finally getting to hold my baby boy, but I am very anxious about possible complications. My ideal birth has changed drastically over the past few days. I originally was adamant about a natural birth with very little intervention, but now I just want him here safely. I plan on doing whatever it takes to get him out. Hopefully I will have an amazing update next week for you with our little miracle safe and sound in our arms! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


It's been a while. We've been in a whirlwind of baby prep. We got all new furniture for our living room and had to move hubs out of his office and turn it into a suitable nursery. Our parents were amazing, helping us set things, move things out, paint, and buy furniture. I never imagined we would have such a wonderful setup to bring our little fella home to!

In addition to all the moving and setting up, I have been working and trying to get ready for the holidays, which has been hard to focus on with my one track mind lately. This past weekend, we were finally completely set up minus the car seat which my parents decided to take care of. My dad took it upon himself as "grandpa" to research and pick out the car seat in a very serious manner; something we just put in his hands.

I've been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions. They were rarely painful, just annoying mostly, but they were almost daily. My doctor assured me that even in regular intervals, they were normal and not to worry. Monday I had a regular appointment after work and I had scheduled an appointment for my grandmother that day too to save an extra trip. My mom came with me to help get us both where we needed to be on time.

Monday morning I felt bad and left work half an hour after I got there. I was having contractions, but they were intense and I had a hard time standing through them. I waited for my appointment, but on the half hour drive there the contractions got much worse. I managed to make it to the office in tears and lots of pain. My doc checked me quickly, announced I was only a fingertip dilated, but extremely soft and obviously having regular contractions. He sent me to be monitored at L&D with a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions since I was only 35 weeks. They stopped by the time hubs got to the hospital and we decided to take advantage of the lull on the way home to grab some last minute things at the store.

On the way home the contractions hit me like a truck once again and became very strong and regular at three minutes apart and lasting a minute. We waited three hours with lots of water and rest, but ice was moving in and we decided it would be safer to head on back to the hospital. Again I was hooked up to monitors and given terbutaline to stop the contractions, but this time it didn't work. I was given a second dose, but my heart rate wouldn't regulate enough for a third dose. They decided to try fluids and pain meds instead, which finally lowered the intensity although they were coming every minute or so and lasting 40 seconds. They decided since I wasn't dilated, that I could go on home and just wait it out. I was warned that the contractions probably would not stop until delivery, but that until I reached 37 weeks, there was nothing anyone would do anymore to stop or speed them up.

I have been at home since. I am on my fourth day of prodromal labor, although my contractions are not the typical type with irregular patterns. I go through bouts of 5-8 hours with extremely intense and painful contractions that always last two to three minutes apart and a minute long. I rest or sleep in the few hours without contractions, but my body is very sore and tired already and I almost always wake up from a new stretch of contractions starting. Last night things changed. The baby is very very low now and there is tons of pressure and pain in my back and pelvis. The contractions feel different now too. There is a lot more pain with them, but they feel like they are actually doing something. I haven't had any timeable contractions today though. I feel like once they start up in a regular pattern again, we will have a baby. I don't want to wish him here too early, but the pain and stress on my body is really starting to take its toll. It's worth every single moment though. For now, we just wait and pray.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. The days are counting down way too fast for me, yet time seems to be creeping by so slowly. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the reality of life right now. I am 31 weeks pregnant. Honestly, it scares me to death. There is so much to do. I'm not ready for this new little person to be here yet, but at the same time I want desperately for this wait to be over and to finally hold his little hand in mine and start our life together.

I really thought that once I reached that magic 24 week milestone, I talked so wistfully about with hubs and my doctor, that the fear and doubt would magically disappear and we would both embrace this idea that we will really bring home a tiny little person of our own. At 22 weeks, hubs rubbed my belly, felt a little jab, and I watched his eyes glass over with amazement. He looked up and said "Wow! We really are going to get to keep him." My heart ached for him. The fear I had been keeping at bay for so long was churning in his heart just as strongly and I hate that I didn't acknowledge it as much as I should have. I cherish those moments now. I love watching his face now when he talks about our little guy. He has so much love for him and every day that goes by, chips away more and more fear.

I on the other hand have started struggling again. I have this very irrational fear that someone will take our baby. I have exasperated several family members including my mom with this, but I can't stop it. Hubs thankfully understands where it is coming from and I work hard to shield him from my feelings, but they are so overwhelming sometimes!

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop or to wake up from this dream. We have waited 11 years. 11 heartbreaking, gut-wrenching years for this to happen to us, and although I always held a tiny sliver of hope that it would someday be us they would play the lullaby for on the hospital speaker, I'm not sure if I ever really believed it. In the beginning I took every moment for what it was; a moment. I savored it and loved him deeply. I bonded with him early on and refused to consider anything other than a happy ending because he deserved that. I wanted to be happy and excited about his arrival. When the first gift came, that first trimester terror popped right back into place though and it has never left. I keep thinking "How will we return this stuff?" When the shower invites went out, I had a hard time wondering how we would cancel it if we had to. It was fine for a while when it felt like just hubs and I were completely committed, but now there are all these people that love him too and are looking forward to his arrival as if nothing bad might happen. I struggle with those Christmas countdowns people are posting everywhere and I have a hard time talking about Christmas and the coming weeks.

No one warns you about that part of pregnancy. It's the worst part for me. It is the number one part of this whole process that I will gladly hand over and it will be the first thing I dread if we ever get the chance to do it again.

I'm trying hard to once again live moment by moment. I sit and talk to him and play with him. I watch my belly roll and twitch for hours. I made him some things, spent hours (and I'm still spending hours) searching for just the right thing to bring him home in. I know that half hour car ride home doesn't seem so important to some, but to me, that is one way I can hold tight to the idea that he will be coming home with us. I love this little person so much!

As far as he is concerned everything looks wonderful. He is measuring exactly on target, his second scan was great, my GD test came back negative, and he's a very active little guy. He adores his daddy. Hubs can call me on speaker now and the little monkey always wakes up at the sound of Daddy's voice which I love!

I have had some contractions. I've had two episodes that we have had to time, but they never got stronger, so we waited them out and they thankfully subsided. I have been very tired lately. I have a lot of what I assume are typical pregnancy aches and pains and sleep is a struggle, but for the most part I feel pretty good considering. I'm just very ready to meet this little person finally!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


A person's a person no matter how small.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Yesterday was a special day. I intended to make it special, to mark it with some sort of meaningful event or gesture, but I couldn't. For months I have wondered how the passing of October 12th would affect me. I anticipated grief and pain. I waited for a flood of it, then wallowed in guilt when it did not come. I ended up passing the day in avoidance. I went to a wedding and then tagged along with my parents for dinner and a little shopping. I pretended it was just another day. To everyone else in the world it was. Even hubs didn't realize until I mentioned it to him. I feel bad that I dredged that up for him.

Yesterday was Espe's due date.

Yet, it wasn't...

I'm not really sure how to feel about it all. It's confusing and frustrating. I feel so conflicted inside about it all. It seems unfair to both of my babies to remember Espe right now. I feel like I would be shadowing my joy for this precious wriggling little monkey inside of me and at the same time I do not feel like I could give Espe the full remembrance he deserves.

No one remembered Espe yesterday. There were no balloons, candles, or cards. On his birthday, no one brought us a casserole or a pack of diapers. His life here on Earth was unremarkable, undocumented, and unknown to most of the world, but to me.... His short life saved mine. It saved his brother's life. No one will ever know the tiny little hero I carried with me, but my family owes him so much. A simple balloon or a candle just doesn't seem to be enough to convey the monumental impact he had on my life. He literally saved me. I was spiraling so quickly down a dark hole. I was not okay. He helped me see that. He showed me what hope was again and gave me everything I needed to try one more time for my dreams. When I felt myself falling once more, I remembered him and the gift he had given me - possibility.

Hubs I'm sure remembered in his own way yesterday. He is working so hard to embrace the idea that our Sea Monkey will actually be with us soon though, that I'm sure he has tucked Espe away for a while and I completely understand that. I have to do it too.

How do you say good-bye and hello at the same time? I don't want to let Espe go, if I do, who will remember him? Am I a horrible mother for not taking the time to mark his life yesterday? Am I ungrateful for the miracle I do have if I stop to remember him?

Espe's life was exactly as it was meant to be. I feel this in the very core of my being. He was sent here to prepare us for this tiny little person I still carry inside of me. His birthday, while far too soon for us to have any time together, was the day it was supposed to be. I loved Espe and I still do. He will always have a very special place in my heart as my first baby, but to say that his due date was unfulfilled seems wrong. His life was full of love, joy, wonder, all the things it should have been. I want to remember him for what he was and not what he wasn't. I most certainly do not love him any less for that and I love Sea Monkey just as much.