Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Weeks

I found out that picture that I posted the other day on my blog is actually from 12 years ago, a few years before the fetal surgery study for spina bifida had even taken place. I am glad to hear it wasn't too graphic for some and that many of you thought it was as amazing as I do. If only my little guy could've been as lucky as that little boy was, and by that I mean live.

Alright onto pregnancy related news:
I knew that getting pregnant again wasn't going to make everything better. That it wasn't going to magically take away all my grief and pain and that I would instantly be in a constant happy state. I knew that, like grief, being pregnant again after a loss was going to be a rollercoaster of emotions. I have been trying to convince myself that things will be okay and have been searching for that optimism again. I really thought I had found a little and then I had a few days with little things occuring that lead up to Tuesday. I was so fricken emotional I just wanted to cry all afternoon. I would say I had a little bit of a meltdown that day. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere or do anything without something somehow causing harm to my baby. I know it must seem silly to some but I just couldn't push those thoughts from my mind. Luckily, I have some great friends that still let me whine when I really need to, poor them because its been so much this year.

So other than the paranoia I still have about everything, I have started thinking about the holidays. I looked ahead on the calender and sure enough my husband will be gone for work for Thanksgiving and then from just before Christmas through the second week of January. You got to be kidding me! I can't be alone for the holidays. I mean I have great friends and will most likely be celebrating Thanksgiving with them and usually if I am in town, the same for Christmas. This year is different though and I just want my husband around. How can I handle Christmas, New Years, and then January 3rd without him? Last year I went home for Chistmas, saw family, had a baby shower, and then spent the following week and a half in San Francisco. I spent New Years in San Francisco, played tourist for the week leading up to the surgery in San Francisco, planned how my life would be after the surgery living in San Francisco for 3 months, and then my world got flipped upside down when I lost my son. I have already taken so much time off at work this year with the fetal surgery, recovery, and then going home for the burial, so I don't think I can just take off to go back to Minnesota and see friends and family for 2 weeks to get me through that time. Too early to be spasing about this but I just know its going to be rough and need to find a way to have a little peace for the upcoming holidays.

I am even already counting down the weeks. I just keep thinking, thank god I am going to have a c-section about 3-4 weeks before my due date. Thinking that I will have my baby, granted all things go well, before the end of April makes me way happier than knowing I would have to wait till the middle of May for my due date. That's a lot of days of pregnancy craziness I won't have to endure, but seriously, saying I have 6 1/2 months left sounds way better than 7 1/2 months don't it.

So here I am, 7 weeks today and officially half way through my first trimester:) Yippee! I am still tired and having lots of nausea but still no real morning sickness I'd say. I have however reached that stage in my pregnancy where water tastes disgusting and I am having to force it down. I was like that with Liam also. With him I also hated the taste of vegetables, but haven't gotten to that point yet, if at all. I have my next Ob appt on Tuesday and will be 7 1/2 weeks and so excited to see my little one again. I just can't wait to see that flicker of a heartbeat this time. So excited, yes I did say that!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fetal Surgery Picture

My friend found this picture with the article below and posted it on Facebook today. I don't know how I have never seen this one, but it is so amazing. Sorry if its a bit to graphic for some.
A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year,"... or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person" Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful. Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome...incredible....and hey, pass it on! The world needs to see this one!
By: Sean Keeling

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wishing I Could Control My Thoughts Better

On Saturday night I met up with some friends at a local bar. I chatted with a friend for awhile about my pregnancy, some of my fears, and also on why I don't want to tell everyone I know quite yet about this pregnancy. My friend then informs me about how a mutual friend is also pregnant right now and is the same number of weeks as I am. I have no good reason for why hearing that brought tears to my eyes, but it did. I know plenty of babyloss moms right now that are pregnant and I am excited for them all, but yet hearing that this girl is pregnant really got to me. All I could think was, oh great, another friend that is pregnant at the same time as me, that last time I was pregnant at the same time as another friend, friends actually, she got to bring her happy, healthy baby home and I didn't. Such a shitty thought. I can't believe that it bothered me in that way. I even had to go to the bathroom and let out a short cry. So pathetic. Of course I am happy for her and want things to turn out. I guess I am just so afraid of things going bad again and having everyone around me keep getting pregnant so easily and have everything work out, while I sit here babyless. Guess I am not as optimistic as I thought.

On a whole other topic though, Dereck and I finished the closets in the nursery. That was the one thing we never touched when we remodeled the nursery this past spring. Now it is finished with tons of shelving and spots for hanging clothes. Now I just need stuff to hang up and place on the shelves and the baby.

Friday, September 23, 2011

6 Weeks

When I made my first appt/ u/s with my Ob dr. I knew I was scheduling it on the early side. The nurse even informed me that there was a chance that we might not even be able to see the heartbeat yet. I really wanted to see my baby though so I took the chance. Well yesterday was that appt and the nurse was correct, we were just a few days too early to detect the heartbeat. I kind of want to kick myself for scheduling so early knowing that chance, but I really needed this appt just to know anything I could about the status of my little one.

Today I am 6 weeks and yesterday at the appt. the yolk sac was measuring at about 5 weeks and a few days. Dr. said everything is growing right on schedule though which I was happy to hear. After the u/s we spent the remainder of the appt with her answering the gazillion and a half questions that I had.

You see I am a little paranoid as hell right now about everything. She has answered the majority of the questions I asked probably 5 times already between last pregnancy and again when I first started ttc again, but I needed to hear it one more time. Let's see, I was already pretty sure I had listeria-yes I am that paranoid. Dr. had to inform on just how low the risk is and that she has never seen anyone at her office get it. I had to once again double check on the safety of my face creams, make sure I am taking all of the proper vitamins, and how long I needed to stay on the prometrium for-which is until at least week 12. I also asked about getting the flu shot. I didn't get it with Liam because normally I never get sick and when I did get the shot 2 years in a row, both times right after I got sick. She said she always get sick when she gets it also but says she would still highly recommend me getting it because if I get the flu then I can't get on any of the meds to help me get better since I'm pregnant. I guess I'll get it then. I also asked about exercise policies again. I was very active with Liam. I jogged, cross country skied, hiked, and lifted weights. I haven't been too active this year but want to stay as active as I can. I know its still early in my pregnancy but the idea of a uterine rupture still scares the shit out of me, not to mention I am also a huge klutz which always worries me. I even once again brought up MTHFR to my dr. because it has been brought to my attention a few times in the past and it was once again brought to my attention by the fetal surgery babyloss mom I recently got in contact with. My Ob doesn't know to much about that but is going to ask one of the perinatologists about it and get back to me.

So I didn't get to hear the heartbeat but was happy to get all my questions answered. I know she knows that I am being super paranoid about everything, I know I am also, but she is really sweet and says she understands my reasoning for asking since I have gone through so much. The next appt. would normally be in 4 weeks but since the heartbeat was not there yet, and I need to hear that heartbeat, I am going back in 2 weeks. And you know for as nervous as I am, I actually feel pretty optimistic. I never thought I could feel that way at all this pregnancy and hear I am.

I had planned on writing all about that appt. as soon as I had gotten home from it. Once I got home though I was so exhausted that I laid around doing nothing all day and then finally gave in and went to bed early. In the past week since I had last wrote about this pregnancy I hadn't been feeling as tired as I did right at the beginning. It kind of worried me. Up until this appt tiredness was all I really had for symptoms and I feel like I needed something to let me know that I was still pregnant. It's not that I want to be nauseated or throwing up, but those are pretty good indicators that your still pregnant.

I also just want to add that:

I hope I don't offend anyone by writing about this pregnancy on my blog. This is part of my story and I want to keep it all together. I will continue to write about Liam also because he is my baby boy and I love and miss him dearly, but I would also like to write about his baby brother/sister, my rainbow, here also. I know I went through phases on and off this past year with reading blogs of babyloss moms that were pregnant again. Many times reading them gave me hope for the future that I would be pregnant again and finally get to bring a baby home. Other times I couldn't look at them at all because I was sad that I wasn't pregnant yet and wanted to be. That being said I also knew that they had once felt the same things that I was feeling, it's just hard.

I have told a select few family members and some of my closest friends about this pregnancy. I also know some other friends and family have read about it on my blog because they have sent me messages pertaining to it. I would appreciate it if anyone reads this they would please not share anything on Facebook or share the news with everyone they see.

I also just want to say how happy I am to see a few other babyloss mommas that got pregnant this month with me. I know of about 7 now. They all deserve this so much and I am so excited to have others to share this crazy, scary next step of the journey with.

Monday, September 19, 2011


The other day we had an AFLAC representative come into our work to talk to us about our plans and see if we want to make any changes. This was someone new as the girl we had worked with moved to Florida last year. When I had the fetal surgery with Liam and he passed away I had lots of paperwork to fill out for AFLAC, so I had to call her and tell her my sad story so I could figure out how to go about filling out all of the paperwork. This new guy, he knows nothing at all about me or Liam.
So I go in and sit down by him and he goes over my policies with me and asks me first about my hospitalization plan. I had taken this out the other year because I was planning on being pregnant and thought it would come in handy. Who knew I would need it to cover me for being in the hospital for the fetal surgery, not the intended use, but glad I had it. Anyway, so I tell him I still want the plan and he asks me if its for pregnancy purposes. I tell him yes and then he ask," do you have kids, want to have more kids, how many kids do you have?" Ugh, totally caught off guard and for the very first time ever without even thinking about it I say no. I felt so bad for Liam saying that after I was done talking to him. Not that I need to fill everyone in on his story, but just for the fact I didn't even pause, just sad no as fast as I could.
I didn't end up changing anything on my plan. I considered dropping my disability because I don't plan on returning to work after my next baby is born, but figured I better hold on to it just in case I get put on bed rest. I had gotten the disability mainly for maternity leave. I did end up using my disability for that reason also, just didn't have the baby to go with it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

1 Month Or 4 Weeks And 6 Days

This is what is happening right now:

-My doctor called me back with the results of my second blood test today. She said my numbers are really high which makes her believe it is most likely a uterine pregnancy, thank god! She also told me congrats and not to worry because the stress isn't good.(easier said than done) I have my first appt. with her next Thursday. I will be almost 6 weeks then and excited to see my babies heartbeat.

-I'm still taking my prenatal, extra 3g of folic acid, and fish oil daily. I am also on some lovely prometrium pills that I have to insert in a place I never thought I'd have to insert a pill.

-I have been continuing to eat well, no junk food for this girl. I am still on my folic acid kick that I wrote about a few months back when I was first trying again. I am kind of getting sick of spinach and my total cereal but know they are full of folate and other nutrients that baby needs, and I am just really paranoid about that. I am also trying really hard to cut back on my caffeine/coffee addiction. The last month or so I have been only having one cup a day and am trying hard to have a cup only every other day now or go for decaf.

-I still have been pretty tired but that is okay with me as long as that baby is growing good. Never got sick with Liam and hope this baby takes it easy on me also. Although if it happens, I don't care, as long as this baby is healthy.

-Tonight is grief group and I have been considering telling everyone now or if we should just wait for awhile. Dereck wants to share the news tonight though, so I'm guessing we probably will. 

-I know first hand that pregnancy does not always guarantee a live healthy baby. I really want to shout it out to the world that I am pregnant again, but scared to tell everyone only to have to tell them later that my baby died, again. With Liam I waited until after the first trimester, the supposed miscarriage stage, but I know all to well now that you can lose a baby at anytime; 5 months, 9 months, the day after your due date, and many times with no explanation at all as to what happened. Part of me is scared to get to attached to this pregnancy also for the fear of losing it, but I also want to give this baby as much love as I can. I am trying to just breathe and relax because there isn't much I can do about anything right now but know it's going to be a crazy roller coaster of a ride.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Official

My Ob called me this morning with the results of my blood work and I am indeed pregnant! The amount of emotions running through my head right now are crazy. I am happy, excited, scared, and nervous all at once. But as nervous and scared as I am, I am just so glad to be starting that next step of the journey. I am also so happy that we tried so hard to get pregnant right away and thankful my doctor was so helpful in upping my Clomid and doing whatever else she felt was needed to help me get pregnant.

My awesome husband must be super excited also because he went out and bought the dresser/changing table combo that I wanted already. I love him!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scared Of The False Positive

So today is day 16. Day 16 that is from when I took my HCG injection. My Ob Dr told me to wait at least 14 days after the inj. to take a pregnancy test because anytime sooner has a higher chance of giving you a false positive. I was fooled once before because I once took a pregnacy test on day 11, because I was really anxious and couldn't wait, and then got disappointed when it was positive then only to turn negative on day 14 with my period to follow.
So being past day 14 I took a test today. The big fat positive showed up right away and I immediately ran upstairs to go show Dereck. I'm so afraid of the false positive happening again though. I decided to google "when to take a pregnancy test after an HCG inj." to see what was said about it since my Dr.'s office isn't open. Three different websites confirmed that usually you are fine by day 14 but that sometimes it takes up to 20 days for it to be out of your body. Eeeeeek!!!
I also have been really tired the last 4 days. I have been going to bed by 9, which is very rare for me except for when I pregnant last time, and have been sleeping about 10 hours and still tired all day. I have had a few other symptoms also but I feel like it's too early to be getting pregnancy symptoms. Plus, I was just on vacation and could be exhausted from that, or just sick. I just want so badly to be pregnant again, I waited the 14 days, could I actually be pregnant? Guess I just have to wait a few more days and test again, unless my period decides to come first.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Liam's Cross

I love it when I have great things to share like my recent baby loss phone calls and the awesome Facebook comment versus me complaining about whatever has errked me on any given day.

This is what has me smiling right now:

I finally finished Liam's cross. This was the same bamboo cross that was at both Liam's funeral and burial. It had red and white fresh cut flowers placed on it at the funeral and then yellow, orange, white, and purple fresh cut flowers placed on it at the burial. I really liked the spring flowers that were used for the burial so I went with those same colors to create one similar made with silk flowers. It is now hanging at the end of our upstairs hall next to Liam's nursery for all to see.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

8 Months

Sweet Liam,

I am a little behind on writing you since I went on vacation to Reno with some of dad's family; your great-grandma, 2 great-aunts, great uncle, and your uncle(dad's brother). I am back home now and want to tell you all about it. It was a nice getaway and I was so happy to get some sun, although I got a little bit too much. I thought a lot about how if you were here we would have had 4 generations vacationing together. I thought about you so much as always. I still feel like I can't go anywhere or do anything without wondering what it would be like if you were here. Would we have even been able to go on this trip?

The weekend started out kind of rocky for me as my eye was in so much pain. I even had to wear a patch on it on the plane so it wouldn't dry out more. Then on the second flight I got on flying into Reno I had the joy of having a father sit next to me on the plane with his baby in his lap. I had to just ask why, why me. The baby was a girl, which is better than if she were a boy, but it just made me wish you were there on my lap also. On the flight home then I had a baby sitting right behind me that would scream on and off the whole flight. I used to be that person that got so annoyed on flights when a baby would scream, not that its the parents or babies fault, but now I am just jealous on how it was my turn to be flying with my baby. I guess the good news is that seeing babies don't tend to cause me to breakdown anymore, its just all about jealousy now.

The first day there we went to Virginia city. We went into this historic church there that had tons of candle holders out where you could buy a candle, place it in the holder, and light it. This was the first time I had been in a church since February. One of your great-aunts asked if I had got one, which I hadn't, and so she gave me one to light. I felt like a bad Catholic girl because I didn't know what the candles were being lit for. She told me and as soon as she gave me the candle my eyes filled with tears for you. I decided to light one for you in the section with St. Anthony for something lost. Then after we left there I told her thank you for giving me the candle and how it made me feel to light that for you. She then told me that she had lit a candle for me also in the Hope section, that also made me tear up.

That first night we went down to the hotel pool. Your other great aunt asked me if you were to have been here if I would have had you in the pool with me. Darn right I would have. It is so nice when people bring you up. I guess that's why I love this side of your dad's family, they are all just so caring and supportive, and have so much love for you also.

On day 2 we went to Lake Tahoe. It was gorgeous there and I fell in love with its beauty instantly. I found a spot on the beach to write your name in the sand, although the waves were coming in so quickly that everything kept getting washed away before I could write your name better and get a good picture. I also wrote a message to dad since he couldn't make it on this trip. I had to include you both somehow.

So it has now been 8 months without you love. Where has the time gone? I just miss you and love you so much, but just know that even though time keeps going by, those are the two things that will never change.

I Love you Liam,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

BLS Recertification Class & Flex 2nd Denial Letter

Last night I had my Basic Life Support re-certification class. I first took this class when I went to school for Radiography because I needed it for my internships. I have gotten recertified every 2 years ever since. My job does not require me to have it but I feel like it is very valuable to know.
So where I was going with this is that my main concern for this class was to keep my cert. up, know what to do in case I am ever faced with a person who is choking or having cardiac arrest, and also to make sure I can save my families lives because I'll be damned if my child dies because I had no idea what to do. I have never actually had to give someone CPR or the Heimlich before and I hope I never have to, especially if it is on a baby, especially my own baby.
Now when I went into class last night all I kept thinking about was how the hell I was going to give rescue breaths to my mannequin when half my mouth doesn't work. Yes, I am going to mention my Bells' Palsy again because it is really getting in the way. I had to explain to my instructor about how I can't do the breaths properly because I have Bell's Palsy, and that is why you can't see the mannequins chest rise, not because I don't know what the hell I am doing. Ridiculous I tell you.
So that was my concern going into class. That was until we got to the point in the class where the instructor brought out the baby mannequins. Now I didn't cry or get super emotional, after all they are just mannequins, but as the instructor talked about performing CPR on babies and then us actually practicing on our babies all I could think about was Liam, that this is what Liam went through. Well sort of, he of course was in a hospital, with surgeons all around, getting intubated and using whatever else it took to try and get his heart started.

Also, today in the mail I finally heard back from my insurance company about my 2nd appeal letter for my flex spending account.  I wrote back in June about how they denied my first appeal letter stating the same thing as they did when they originally denied the claim back in April. Both times they have said that I have 90 days from the start of a new year to get my paperwork submitted on time, and I missed it, and so it is denied. GRRR! I understand that but I have a really good reason that I missed the deadline! It is like they didn't even read my 2nd appeal letter because the denial letter was exactly the same as the last one, stating the exact same thing. GRRRR! I poured my heart and soul into that letter hoping for some sympathy, letting them know that my child died, and they didn't seem to care. It almost makes me more mad though that they even gave me the option to appeal it, because that got my hopes up thinking that there was a chance, when really there wasn't. Damn it!

I am so happy I have grief group tonight, I really need it!
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