Mommy's heart for Baby Jacob

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What a rollercoaster--in just a few days!

Wow.  All I am feeling right now is gratitude!  Gratitude that I can omit taking some medication!  Curious?  Read on!

Well, as you know I wrapped up last week in more of a joyous state than I thought I'd be in.  Our birthday celebration for Jacob was last Wednesday.  Easter was Sunday.  Family, Christ's Resurrection, remembering my sweet baby in Heaven...good times!

In the midst of all of that, I had some more good news.  I don't remember if I wrote about it in an earlier blog?  My news?  My period FINALLY started and ON IT'S OWN!  My last period had been Feb. 23.  The Clomid from that cycle screwed things up so I didn't have a March cycle.  Tests confirmed I had a lining but wasn't pregnant (unfortunately) so they gave me Provera to get my cycles going again. Unfortunately we ran into all sorts of timing issues--my husband being out of town, me being out of town during the possible time when my period would start (you have to see the RE on a certain day for an baseline ultrasound before they give you Femara), etc.  So, they allowed me to delay starting the medication until the end of my Easter trip when timing issues would be better.  I felt so relaxed this past month!

Well, on April 21, the very day after Jacob's birthday celebration, I woke up to my period!  I was so shocked and happy that I didn't have to try to force it.  It came when it was ready.  I don't know, maybe it would have come eventually anyway but my nurse told me at the top of the month that it more than likely wouldn't--without help, that is.  For me, I'd like to think that that help was God.  He is stronger than any medications and can make it start when He wants.  That's what I'm going with!

One more thing--I thought it was such neat timing that my period started the day after Jacob's birthday.  How strangely wonderful, don't you think?  I celebrated the day that I would have held my precious baby and then the next day, finally, my period comes...almost as if to signify a new start.  Again, I just marvel at the timing of some things!

So here I am, happy that I don't have to mess with any more medication than necessary.  I call my RE on Friday to inform them that my period started and find out that I have to make it in no later than Monday for a baseline ultrasound prior to taking Femara.  Mind you, Easter Sunday is a big day in our family.  We go to church, have my grandma's big dinner, then visit my dad in the evening.  Lots and lots of visiting!  Originally, we hadn't planned on leaving my mom's until Monday afternoon to return home which would allow us Monday morning for last minute packing and loading. 

I decided to go for it and so Alex & I committed to making the 11:45 AM ultrasound appointment Monday morning.  After a nice Easter celebration with my family, I jumped into finishing packing and then loaded the van all night long in the rain.  It was a bit on the miserable side.  I had lots to pack still--toys, candy, movies the boys watch, Easter basket goodies, etc. And I had everything in the back of the van to load.  Despite only having 3 hours of sleep the night before (Mrs. Easter Bunny was up late helping her mom frost cookies, prepping my boys baskets, stuffing eggs, etc.), I sacrificed sleep for a second night in a row in order to make this appointment. I sent Alex to bed at midnight because I knew he needed rest coming off of his Army school.  I worked until 4 AM and slept less than 2 hours that night.  That put me at a grand total of 5 hours for two days in a row.

We made it home after a 3.5 hour drive and right on time for my appointment. I kept thinking that these were all positive signs that God wanted us to give it a go...that I shouldn't just waste a cycle and not try to make the appointment.

Well, then that all crashed...kind of.  The nurse found a cyst on one of my ovaries.  That means that I can't do Femara this round.   If a cyst is bigger than 15 mm, it means the Femara probably won't work.  Apparently big cysts can send out hormones of their own which can interrupt with ovulation.  Either you don't ovulate or you don't have a 'good one.' 

Now for the potential good news, hence my 'kind of' at the beginning of the previous paragraph. I also have two follicles on the other ovary which appear to be at the right size for this time of the month.  Woohoo!  Maybe?  The trouble is, these things aren't "date stamped" (that's how I like to think of it!) so we can't tell if they are new or old follicles.  They could be follicles left over from my last cycle or they could be new ones.  If they are new, then they are growing maybe happy little eggs in there which could be released in ovulation...provided the big cyst doesn't block it somehow.  Confusing, huh?

The nurse threw a prescription for birth control pills at me saying that it would shrink the cyst and that I should come back in 3 weeks to check it and then begin Femara when my next period starts.  She also mentioned that it was up to me, there is a chance the follicles could grow on their own, despite the big cyst, and yield good eggs.  She reminded me of what appears to be a motto in their office, "Never say never."  But, taking the pill would shut all of that down and prevent any chance of me getting pregnant this month.

UGH!  I hate to make decisions, have I ever mentioned that???  I truly hate it.  I'm pretty good at it--I can analyze things backwards and forwards, I can make pros and cons lists, I can argue anything really.  But that doesn't mean I like to make decisions--especially decisions like this.  The nurse said I had to make up my mind and start the pill no later than Tuesday.  I stuffed my prescription into my purse and in my sleepy and disappointed stupor took the wrong elevator down and ended up in the hospital side instead of the physicians office side.  Eventually I found my way to the right parking lot where Alex & the boys were waiting for me in the van (remember we had just drove in from my mom's).

After giving him my news, picking up our dog from the kennel and leaving a message for my OB to get her advice, we all laid down for a nap around 2.  By this time, after only 5 hours of sleep in two days, and after getting news like that at the appointment that I worked so hard to make, I was beat, drained and just worn out.

Don't ask me how, but somehow I heard my phone vibrating about 2 hours later.  It was my OB calling back. I flew out of bed, jumped over our sleeping pooches on the floor and ran to the kitchen to talk--all the while hoping I could clear my head enough to communicate with her.

I'm sure the doctor thought I was totally loopy or something--I was babbling at first and probably not making much sense. I was so tired and still felt half asleep.  I couldn't wake myself up fast enough.  I guess I made as much sense as I could and my OB seemed to at first lean towards me waiting out the cyst without medical intervention, but then she changed her mind and went with my specialist's/nurse's advice to take the pills. I thanked her and jumped back into bed for a few more minutes of snooze time while the rest of my family was still dozing.

Later that night, I got the mail that had piled up in our box while we were out of town for a week.  Wouldn't you know, I received three different baby things in the mail?  How ironic that they come on the day that I find out I can't start the Femara and that I have to pretty much go into a holding pattern again this month by taking the birth control pills--to prevent pregnany.  I found a sample box of Enfamil, one of Similac and a flyer/letter from a local photographer which read, "Did you just have a baby?  If so, congratulations!"  Great timing, folks!  I guess they all got my name and due date from something that I had signed up for last fall.  I kind of cringed at the timing and trudged back up my driveway with the boxes and flyer weighing heavy in my hands.

I wondered what I should do.  Should I take the pills?  Was that the message God was sending me?  Why is it so hard to know what He wants you to do?  Does anyone else have this problem?  Some times I feel so dense.  It's SO HARD knowing what course of action to take.  I'd like to think I was following the signs right--we made it just in time to make the appointment in order to "not waste any cycles" and to try Femara this round.  But, then I find out I have a cyst.  So, they throw 'shrinking meds' at me.  Is that what I'm to do then?  Or perhaps, trust that maybe things can work on their own with the 2 follicles that just might be working?

I discussed it with my hubby, my mom and even a friend through facebook chat.  In the end, I made up my mind.  Perhaps God was putting this medical intervention in my way for a reason.  Maybe it's good that we made it to the appointment so we could do something now about the cyst instead of finding out later.  I decided I'd fill the prescription on Tuesday and start taking it.  I even talked with two friends at my Tuesday night dance class and they said that they had heard of women taking the pill, getting off of it and getting pregnant the very next month.  I guess it looked still like that was the right decision for me.

So after a late night supper Tuesday, I read through the pamphlet they give you with every medication--the one that lists the side effects and all of the warnings that half the time make you want to flush every pill down the toilet rather than take it!  Despite all of the warnings and precautions which made me a bit uncomfortable, I tried not to think any more about it and popped the tiny pill into my mouth.  I was frustrated as I talked to Alex before he went to bed.  I was just a bit down that we were 'on hold' again this month.  What did this mean for a woman like me who is getting close to menopause?  I just hoped we were doing the right thing.

Then the first symptoms started. Dizziness.  Yuck.  I hate dizziness.  I went back and re-read the pamphlet.  Two things caught my attention which I might have overlooked before.  The first was this:  "Women over 35 are at a greater risk for heart problems."  What did that mean?  What was the greater risk?  From 1% to 3%?  Or were we talking about something like 50% risk??  Yikes.  Then, I read the part about irregular heart beats.  I have never been diagnosed with or treated for this, but I think at least once in my past I thought I detected something like that.  When I asked my doctor about it, he told me not to worry about it unless I had certain other symptoms in addition to the beats, etc.  So, was this something that could be exacerbated by the pill?   And then I developed a stomachache Wednesday morning that lasted all day--ah yes, nausea was listed as another fun side effect of the pill.

I decided I'd call my nurse/RE back on Wednesday to pick their brain some more.  I'm sure these nurses must just love me and all of my questions.  A different nurse from the one I saw on Monday returned my call.  Without really addressing my 'heart concerns' initially, she starts talking about how my cyst really wasn't that big...and not big enough to truly warrant taking the pill.  She told me that it's only 23 mm and I need it to only shrink 9 mm in order to be able to take Femara.  She also said that the other RE in the office doesn't even prescribe the pill for women with bigger cysts.  He doesn't believe that there is enough proof in the research that shows that the pill really does work in this case.  My RE apparently does, so he gives the medication. 

Wow!  Talk about a change of events!  Bottom line--my nurse told me to stop taking the pill.  She said if it was making me uncomfortable, it wasn't worth it, especially with the facts that she mentioned about the differing doctor opinions and my cyst being smaller.  I was so grateful for her call.  I can't tell you how good I feel about not having to take any more medication than really necessary!!

So, here I am.  No more pills.  Back to trying on our own this month.  It's kind of like what would have happened had we not made Monday's appointment.  So, did I sacrifice sleep and rush around like a crazy woman for nothing?  I don't know.  Should I really be taking that medication in order to try everything possible to shrink the cyst?  Should I trust that it wouldn't do me any harm?  Or should I go with what the nurse told me today...that is, to stop taking it and see how things go on their own this month?  I tell you, I wish I knew exactly what message God was sending me.  I guess all I can walk away with is this--yes, He helped us get back here just in time for Monday's appointment.  Yes, I have a cyst that is preventing me from taking Femara.  Yes, I was given the chance to take the pill to try to shrink it. But, it just didn't feel right to me.  I didn't like the potential risks, no matter how small they are.  So, with the nurse's advice today, I'd like to think that God is telling to just trust Him in this whole process.  Maybe something good will happen this month and those 2 follicles will grow and release an egg.  Maybe that's the part He wanted me to see..to get from my ultrasound.  Trust Him.  There are follicles in there and that's a good thing.  That's what I'm going with.

What a roller coaster, huh?  I still find myself a little scared that this cyst will grow and not shrink.  I really hope it doesn't grow!!  I have dance performances for the next 5 weekends straight and a painful cyst like the one I had in February would be pretty bad timing.  I just keep telling myself that it will be alright--it's not as big as my other one and according to today's nurse, "Not that big at all, really."  So maybe it's not that big to really cause a problem with my ovulation this month.

On the baby front, we're back to our own game now.  At least we have a shot unlike if I'd be taking the pill this month and not having any chance of getting pregnant.  So, who knows.

Are you dizzy yet? :)  Normally, I love roller coasters.  They are my favorite ride at the amusement park.  This one, however, has been a little chaotic.  Every time I tried to wrap my head around something, something else would change and make everything around it change...including what I thought about it--I can't make it back in time, I can make it back in time, can we make it back?, I'm so tired, I made it!, I have 2 follicles!, oh no, I have a cyst, I have to take meds, maybe I don't, okay I will, eh, I'm not so sure about it, now I don't, hooray I still have a chance this month!, man, I hope this is the right decision!  WHEW!  That's just a sneak peek into my brain in the last 5-6 days. 

How do you listen to what God is telling you?  What about when things get confusing or appear to be contradictory? Do you go with what feels right?  Do you trust authority figures (i.e. medical professionals, etc.)?  Do you look for signs?  I'd really love to hear what you do or what helps you.  Like I said before, it's always been an area in my life where I hope to improve and to better hear God and to understand what I'm to do. 

And so I'm off...I'm on my own this month.  Maybe my month off last month coupled with my sweet Baby Jacob's birthday celebration will have some positive impact on things.  Maybe there's a happy little egg in there just waiting for Mommy to give him/her a "heart" sign like we love to do!  Wouldn't that be the best part of this roller coaster journey?? :)

Until next time, I'm buckling up and going for a ride! 

Kim :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Empty Arms, Full Heart...Happy Birthday Jacob! Part 2

I can't believe Jacob's birthday is over.  There were parts of yesterday where I felt like I was saying goodbye...like I had reached the end of my journey.  But then, there were parts of yesterday where I was able to truly understand why I was feeling the way I was and to make sense of it.  Here's a bit of how I spent what would have been Jacob's birthday...and what led up to our very special day.

Without going into a lot and bogging down this post, let's just say that I've been on a bit of a break fertility-wise this past month.  If you've been following my posts, you probably read awhile back that Clomid didn't work for me and resulted in my period getting all goofy.  It didn't start when it should have.  Due to several issues with timing, my RE agreed to me delaying starting Provera until today or tomorrow.  I was sad at first to miss out on an opportunity to try to conceive...but then as the month of April progressed, it didn't take long for me to relax and just enjoy my time with my boys and especially thinking about how different this month would have been had I still been pregnant with Jacob.

Gone were my late nights where I researched fertility issues on the Internet...they were replaced instead by watching YouTube videos of miscarriages, stillbirths and infants lost.  While I cried at every one and felt the pain of every mother and father who lost a precious baby, I also felt strengthened by the strength that these parents showed.  What they went through was so heartbreaking and yet their stories revealed the beauty and love that got them through.  You could feel it and see it. 

But it wasn't just videos that I watched, I also read blogs of other moms who have lost babies.  Every word has touched me...every story is a treasure just like each mommy's baby angel is a treasure in Heaven.  I feel like I've entered a whole new world that I never knew existed. I am so amazed at the strength and love that is in this world of immense loss and pain.  I'll write more about this in another post.

So, I've spent the month kind of getting ready for Jacob's due date, if you will.  In addition to all of my normal life tasks, projects, meetings, practices, etc. I still found time to think about my baby and to grieve for him.  One thing that helped was my participation in an online auction for Sufficient Grace Ministries sponsored by Caring for Carleigh. A new friend of mine organized this auction in memory of her precious baby girl who went to Heaven two years ago.  I am so grateful for my friend's vision and dedication to the auction.  Not only did she raise a substantial amount for the charity, but she also provided us with beautiful items to bid on--many of which were baby loss items.  I'd only peeked at these types of things before, at times it was just too painful.  But now, the timing felt right.  I bid on and won a few things to help me honor the memory of my beautiful son.  I am so thankful, again, that this auction was scheduled during this month.  It couldn't have come at a better time!

As the days in April raced by, I felt my apprehension growing.  I knew I needed to determine what date Jacob would have been born.  In part one of this post, you read how I finally settled on a date, April 20, 2011.  So with the date set, now I faced the difficult task of deciding what exactly to do on that date.

I didn't want to get myself all bogged down in trying to plan the "right things".  I've never done anything like this before.  Birthday parties for my boys, my husband and even my mom have all been celebrations of life--they've had cute themes, yummy food and thoughtful and fun gifts.  How does a mother plan something on the day that her baby would have been born?  What does she plan?  Is it a memorial or a celebration?  Do you have cake?  A special dinner?  How do I plan something for my baby whom we never even held...or saw in person?

He was real.  He was here and he was loved.  He still is loved.  That's all I know and that's what guided my plans for his due date.

I knew that this day had to be a celebration of sorts.  I wanted it to be a day where I would think of my son, where I would think about what could have been and where I could acknowledge that joy that was bursting in my heart when thinking about him and what was to be his due date.  Unfortunately, my husband was out of town on military business so I had to just plan what do on my own.  Luckily though, again I am amazed at God's timing, we are spending this week prior to Easter at my mom's.  So it was mom and I who planned what to do for Jacob's special day.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that.  All I can tell you is that it felt right.  It truly felt right to plan things that we could do to acknowledge that my little bundle of love was here...even though it was for only 13 weeks, he was inside of me.  He kicked, he punched, he twisted, his little mouth opened and closed.  How MUCH I loved watching him on the ultrasound!  I still smile as I remember his antics that day.  My little sweetheart showed mommy that he was here.  He WAS here.
We ran around town on Tuesday picking up fresh flowers, a flower to plant, balloons and a couple other sweet baby things to decorate with--baby ribbon, etc.  I finally framed one of Jacob's ultrasound pictures.  It's a close-up of Jacob's face and shows his hands, belly and feet.  It's one of the best pictures that I have of him.  It felt sooooo good to finally put my baby in a frame. I picked a light blue border and added, "Sweet Baby of Mine" with matching green baby footprints below the picture.  My baby...my sweet little baby.  How much I love him.

So the day finally arrived.  Yesterday I awoke feeling anxious.  I know my head hung a bit lower and my face didn't wear many smiles at first.  I think that it was the overwhelming feelings. How should I be feeling?  Should I be counting down the hours?  Sitting and reflecting and crying all day?  Isn't it strange how so often we wonder what is "normal" and what we should or should not be doing, how we should be feeling.  Through this journey, I've totally come to learn and believe that this is no 'norm'.  I simply do what feels right.  And you know what?  I think it is right.  It works.  And for a planner like me, that's saying a lot!  I'd like to think yet another thing that I've learned throughout this journey is something valuable that God's trying to get through my thick head--it's not about me.  It's all about His timing, His plan.  Simply letting my heart lead me throughout this process is enabling me to follow more of what I think God wants me to do.

Back to my day...you may find this silly but I decided to shower.  And do my hair.  And do my makeup.  I wondered if my family would think it was strange seeing me putting on lipstick and curling my hair.  We weren't going anywhere.  The wind was tearing through the yard like it was late for something important.  It was cold, gray, wet and miserable.  Did I mention how awful it was outside?  It was totally gloomy and reminded me of the day of my D&C when it was stormy and when a tornado warning delayed my surgery.  How appropriate. 

And yet, I wanted to look nice. I wanted to feel good about myself.  I wanted to make the day more than just Mommy running around with day-old hair. I wanted to feel special too.

We finally went outside early yesterday evening.  I held our four balloons tightly.  My sweet Mom even stopped on her way home to buy another balloon to replace one that had lost helium over night.  Mom, Sammy, Benny & I tromped out into the fierce wind and the balloons whipped in my hands.  I kept hoping that they wouldn't blow away before we could launch them!

While we trudged through the muddy, wet grass out to the pasture, I heard Chico, my mom's donkey braying at us from the barn.  His bellowing "Hee Haw" brought a smile to my face.  So did the screaming of Benny!  He wasn't crying but he was kind of freaking out at the weather.  My little Benny does NOT like high winds...or rain...or storms.  It was one of those days where you are just trying not to get blown away, seriously.

We found our spot in the pasture, right next to what I call, "The Grandpa Tree."  A lone tree sits on a hill in the pasture next to the barn.  That's the tree where some of my grandpa's ashes were scattered several years ago.  How fitting that we picked that spot to let our balloons go.  My D&C was on my Grandpa's birthday.  I've always felt that he and my son have a special connection up in Heaven.

We lined up--Mom, Benny huddled close to her leg, Sammy and me.  Here was the moment.  I felt my eyes start to flood. I just didn't want to let my balloon go.  I passed out the balloons and wondered what I should do next.  Why did my sweet little baby leave us?  Why couldn't these balloons be gracing my hospital room instead of fighting the chilly wind and gray depressing skies?  I felt like letting my balloon go was almost like letting Jacob go.  I didn't want to let go of my balloon.

Originally I had wanted to read a poem, read a letter to my son...but none of these things were with me.  My letter was half-written and the beautiful poem I had found online was scribbled on the back of an envelope.  My boys wouldn't have listened much and the papers probably would have blown away so I guess it's okay that I didn't do either of those things.  Instead, I turned to Sammy and asked him to say something to Baby Jacob before we let out balloons go. My precious Sammy touched me with these words, "Baby Jacob, Mommy loves you very much.  This balloon is for you in Heaven.  We love you.  Amen."  Benny chimed in, "I love you, Baby Jacob."  And then my mom's, "Grandma loves you, Baby Jacob!" rang out.  The boys were getting ancy as each wind gust tried to steal our balloons.  I kissed my blue star balloon and saw my face in the reflection.  How I wish I could have seen Jacob's face...mommy's little star.  I looked at the message I had attached to the ribbon.  I looked back at my balloon and thought of how special the star shape was.  The Christmas Story that I had written this past December that won in 4 different contests across the US and Canada was called, "Jacob's Star."  In the story, the star was hope.  I looked at the star balloon in my hands and I said simply, "Mommy loves you so very much, Jacob."  And then I counted down and we finally let our balloons be taken by the wind.

We stood in our little arc and watched the balloons go.  Mom's unfortunately seemed to veer towards the woods a bit...she graciously took one of the balloons that we bought for the boys to keep and enjoy since it was starting to lose air.  But our three...mine, Sammy's and Benny's...stuck together and soared high into the sky.  We watched until we counted only two...and then just one lone blue star heading higher and higher into the sky.

Sammy had asked why we were letting the balloons go.  I kept it simple and said that we were sending them to Baby Jacob in Heaven.  He asked if they might make it.  We said, "Anything is possible, Sammy.  Baby Jacob will know we sent these balloons to him and he'll love them!"

As we shivered in the cold, Mom told the boys that the balloons were heading towards the pretty clouds.  The bottoms of the clouds were dark and gloomy but up above all of that yuck was something pretty, white, fluffy and blue.  I thought about that.  It was gloomy, yes.  It's been sad, yes.  I felt like I had to say goodbye to my son.  But as these thoughts circled in my head I realized that now I'm free to go where my baby's balloon went--up above the grey, the depressing and the gloomy.  It's time to move into the blue skies.  Reaching this day and acknowledging what might have been was necessary.  Letting that balloon go, I just can't say it enough...it felt right to send it to my baby with my love.  It just felt so right.

We made our heart picture, which I hope to post here in the next day or so.  We then sent our hearts to Jacob and tromped to a spot where my mom is starting a memorial garden for him.  She and the boys dug a hole and planted the flower we picked the day prior--it's a "Tiny Ghost" Asiatic Lilly and is crimson red.  I picked it because red is the color of hearts--what I've often said is our family's theme. :)  Mom put an angel statue down and we wrapped up our frigid outdoor celebration with our fingers starting to get sore from the cold.  The boys raced up the ramp to the house and I paused again as my eyes caught the "Hope" plaque in the planter that I wrote about earlier.  Hope.  Yes, hope is definitely up in the blue skies.

When we came back in the house, I felt lighter somehow.  I still felt sad, but lighter.  Like acknowledging Jacob in that way was what I needed.  What we all needed.  My arms may have been empty yesterday--there was no sweet little newborn snuggling into Mommy's arms--but my heart was full.  Oh, it was so full of love, of joy, of sorrow...yet a peaceful sorrow.   It was just so full of love.

Happy Birthday to my loving Jacob!!! I hope you liked what we did for you this year.  While I wish I could have held you yesterday, I knew you had the best birthday party in Heaven.  You are healed.  You are perfect, my little one.  No more Trisomy 13--nothing to hurt you in any way.  You are loved in Heaven and here are Earth.   Jacob, Momma loves you so very much.  You are my son, my joy and always will be.  I love you Jacob!!!!!  We all love you so very much!

So...if you happen to see a blue star-shaped balloon floating around somewhere, let me know. :)  I'm sure our star balloons have gone off on their own journey now--and such a special journey it is.  My journey isn't over...yesterday was just another milestone along the way. 

Here's to all of our journeys, my friends...may yours be full of stars and hearts. :)

Kim :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Empty Arms, Full Heart...Happy Birthday Jacob! -- part 1

Wow, I can't believe my mom's computer came back today...the very day I was hoping and praying that it would be here for me to write.  I'm thanking God for his timing!

After much deliberation I finally decided on what would have been Jacob's due date...today, April 20, 2011. 

I have thought a lot recently about what this day could have been like, what it would have been like...what I had hoped it would be like. 

My official due date is May 2.  Initially I was given the choice to consider having a VBAC--a vaginal birth after cesarean.  I remember how surprised I was when my OB mentioned this to me back in September.  I had thought that you could only have a VBAC after your first c-section, not if you've had two like I have.  My doctor said that there were studies showing that this was now a viable option.  I remember thinking that I may have to give that some serious thought in the upcoming months.  I knew how much I had always wanted to have a baby the 'regular way.'

You see, I still carry some resentment for my first OB back in Oklahoma.  My water had broke 10 days prior to my due date.  I was terrified because I didn't really know what was going on, and what it meant.  Once I made it to the hospital, I was reassured that I was okay and that I'd be going home with a baby that day.  I was excited but nervous at the same time.  Unfortunately, my OB was heading out of town on vacation early the next morning.  It was around 4 PM, I think, that she started me on Pitocin to start my labor.  I had only been in the hospital for maybe an hour.

Sometime later, I had horrible, awful pains that were unlike anything I'd ever felt or could have imagined.  Long story short, I was having a placental abruption and had to be rushed in to have an emergency c-section.  I was put to sleep and even Alex couldn't be in the room.  Only later did I find out how serious what happened was, and that I did not have to be put on pitocin.  I could have said no and tried to get labor going on it's own.  I blame my own lack of knowledge on this, but I also blame the doctor--I'm angry that she put me on this c-section course and denied me the ability to have a baby on my own.  Had she only not rushed things and tried to get labor starting with pitocin, maybe things would have been different.

So, Sammy was born via c-section.  When it came time to choose how to deliver Benny I seriously considered a VBAC.  This time it was another doctor who affected my path.  This doctor probably revealed too much of his personal opinion but told me that he thought I should go for the c-section instead.  He had just lost a baby a few weeks ago--one of his patients was trying for a VBAC and the baby didn't make it.  Well, gee...how could I even consider a VBAC after hearing the pain and plea in the doctor's voice?  My actual OB at the time wouldn't give me his opinion, apparently there is some medical 'rule' about that.  This doctor didn't follow that rule when I was in the hospital for some random pains...he had no problem telling me what he thought I should do.  And I listened to him.

Apparently Benny didn't want to wait for his scheduled c-section 7 days ahead of my due date.  He showed up 7 days prior to that and I was rushed in for another c-section with my sick and sleepy OB at my side for the surgery.

Fast forward to the present...I know I was excited at the possibility of having this baby naturally.  Could I really do it?  Would my child be okay?  I was so excited and yet so scared at the same time.  Knowing me, I would have more than likely opted to go the safer route and have another c-section.  I'm guessing that Jacob would have followed his brothers and would have come before his scheduled date.  That's how I picked today...12 days out from his original date.

I remember the c-section with Benny...the one where I was awake.  I hated it.  I was terrified.  Thankfully I wasn't sick or anything from the medications, but I remember feeling sick from the smell of the plastic sheet that separated my face from what the doctor was doing.  I also had an initial problem getting my spinal block (I think it's called that?).  I felt 'tingly-shocky' kind of feelings down my leg when the anesthesiologist first put the medication in.  He said it was normal but that it didn't happen to everyone.  Just one of those funky things that makes you nervous, you know?

Knowing my past, I would have anticipated these problems this time around...but oh the part I would have been so anxious for...hearing that first cry of my precious son as the doctor pulled him out.  I remember I couldn't stop crying when I saw Benny and heard his little cat-like mewing cry.  All I wanted to do was to comfort my baby and hold him.

So, I'm guessing things would have been similar to what happened with Benny's birth...I would have felt labor contractions with Jacob and I would have known that's what they were this time.  I would have had Alex rush home from work and we would have run to the hospital.  I'd be prepped for surgery, the boys would be with someone in the waiting room (whomever we could have reached to come out that quickly) and Alex would be sitting at my head in the operating room while wearing his green scrubs.  After jostling me around for a bit, they would have delivered Jacob and then shown us our precious son.  I would have asked Alex to wipe the tears from my face...I'm sure they would have blinded me with all of the blubbering I would have been doing.

After my recovery time and getting the A-OK from the anesthesiologist, I would have been taken to my room and to await Jacob.  I can't tell you how excited those first minutes would have been...the nurse would come in my room with a tightly-wrapped little bundle.  They wrap the babies so tightly in those blankets.  Jacob would have worn those little stripey infant caps and would probably be sleeping. 

Alex would have to help me get propped up with a gazillion pillows including one on my stomach to prevent the baby from being laid right on my scar.  And then...one of my favorite parts of being a momma...nursing.  Would you believe that I had never fully thought much of nursing until I took a class when I was pregnant with Sammy?  I just really hadn't known much about it until I had to learn about it.

And then, even after all of the difficulties Sammy & I had at first, despite all of the times I thought about quitting, I stuck it out.  It turned out to be the best decision and one of the best mommy sacrifices that I am so proud of--all of the pain, the frustrations, the sleepless nights nursing every two hours, answering challenging and critical questions by some family members when I was nursing and the boys were only like six months old, I continued.  I continued to nurse both of my boys until they were two...it was all worth it and I'd have done it again with Jacob--every pain, every struggle getting a proper 'latch on', every sleepless night, every time I stayed home with my baby to nurse him instead of going somewhere.  I would have done it all again for Jacob.  I would have cherished every moment with my sweet baby boy at my breast...there's just an indescribable feeling that a woman experiences when nursing.  It's a loving experience that I continue to be grateful for...I know not every woman can nurse and it can be so frustrating if they want to.  I thank God that He allowed me to have that opportunity with my sons. 

Holding my sweet baby while he nursed.  Looking him over from head to toe--I wonder how much hair he would have had?  Sammy had a head-full and Benny was about bald...somewhere in the middle, I think, is where Jacob would have been.  People are torn when they say who they think the boys resemble--some say Sam looks more like Daddy while Benny looks more like Mommy...again, I think Jacob would have been a precious resemblance to both of us.  Maybe he'd have a little bit of light brown hair, just a little bit to stroke gently while you held him.

His baby fingers--who doesn't love to have their baby grasp your finger with their tiny hand?  Such a sweet beginning to all of the times when you will hold your little one's hand in the future--skipping joyously in the yard, walking across the street to get the mail, cuddling on the couch.  And it would all start there in the hospital room...one tiny hand in yours.

I can only imagine how the rest of our day would have gone.  We would have taken photos galore--they'd be on facebook, for sure!  I'd probably be griping about looking worn out and without makeup and would insist that Alex not post any showing me! :)  The boys would be looking their little brother over and touching his face and hands and his little "footies".  Nurses would come in and massage my stomach to shrink my uterus.  My pulse and BP would be taken every time I turn around.  I'd be taking pills for pain and iron and who knows what else.  And, who could forget sleep???  I'd probably be dozing in between Jacob's feedings--every two hours--and in between all of the doctor/nurse/food people coming in and out.

And I'd cry.  I'd spend the day crying, I'm sure.  I'd cry tears of joy for my precious little baby and I'd kiss him every time I'd hold him.  I'd tell him Mommy loved him.  How very much Mommy loved him.  And if this hospital allowed him to room in with me, I'd sing to him in his bassinet.  I'd sing, "Away in a Manger" to my baby Jacob...what I've sang to both of my boys and what we sing most nights before bed.  And if my boys joined in and sang to Jacob too?  You guessed, it!  I'd cry some more!  Such happy and loving tears while singing with and for my boys!

Then the day would end.  We'd all be so tired, I'm sure.  Phone calls to family, planning my mom's trip to help us in the upcoming days, getting the boys to sleep, nursing all through the night...ah, the joys of having a newborn!! :)  That first day would have been my hopes for my son's birthday. 

Well, thank you friends, for going with me on this journey to what might have been...what I had hoped would be, but unfortunately wasn't.  Today was a very different day from all that I had hoped.  Does that necessarily mean that it has been a horrible day?  That's I've dreaded its coming?  Not in the least.  Oh yes, I have cried today.  I cried yesterday and have been off and on throughout the whole month of April.  But they have all been tears that left me feeling happy and closer to my son.  My next post will share what happened today and how I celebrated what would have been a joyous day of my son's birth.

With happy thoughts of how today might have been...despite my arms being empty today, this day is one that I will cherish in my heart always.  My heart is full...so full of love for my Jacob.

Kim :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hope continues...

Hi Friends,

I wanted to apologize for my delinquency in posting lately.  It's been one crazy and hectic month.  I've had so many things on my mind too.  Guess I'll just have to get myself (and you!) caught up.  I'm out of town on my mom's computer and she's having problems with it.  I'm just hoping that it's still here and working throughout the week so I can post!

I have one very special reason for wanting to get my posts updated...my baby's due date is just a few days away.  Would you believe that I've almost been stressing about which date to pick?  You see, Jacob was due on May 2.  But, as he would have been born via scheduled c-section, he would have been born at least 7 days prior to May 2.  Now, Sammy was born 10 days prior to his due date and Benny arrived 14 days ahead of his.  So, from the very beginning I felt that our sweet little baby would have made his entrance at least 10-14 days early, if not even earlier than that. 

I think I've decided on the date that I will celebrate as what would have been his birthday.  I'll be updating everyone on that day soon.  I've been thinking a lot about what to do to honor and remember my baby on this day.  It will be a day of celebration, tears and joyous thoughts of my little Jacob in Heaven.  I can't tell you how much it helps to think of him and to talk about him and often...I don't know if it makes sense, but keeping him alive in our lives, keeps him alive in our hearts.  I'm so thankful for my sweet little son in Heaven.  So very thankful.

Well, friends.  In the event you don't see any posts from me this week, I'm sorry!!  It would probably mean that my mom's PC got all goofy so that's what would prevent me from getting on.  I'm praying that God will let the computer function long enough for me to get what I need to out...it's important to me and especially at this time.

I wanted to thank everyone for their continued support and for reading my blog.  I'm so very touched that you care so much to be with me on this journey.  Please know how much I welcome your comments, it's so wonderful to know that this is a shared journey.  I love to hear from you.

You know, one last thought for this late night.  I was walking up to my mom's porch after an enjoyable afternoon at Polkas today.  I don't know why but for some reason my eyes fixated on a little metal decorative sign my mom has sticking in a flower pot in the corner.  As I approached it, my eyes were held by the word on this sign--"HOPE".  It was just all my eyes were able to focus on but I have no idea why.

Oh, I've seen it lots of times before but for some reason today, it seemed to pull me in.  It's difficult to explain but my eyes just got locked on the sign and for some reason couldn't let it go.  I'd like to think that again, maybe God is sending me a little message.  Hope is there.  Keep Hope alive.  Just as I'm keeping my Jacob alive in my heart, so am I not giving up on another little one coming into our lives. 

Hope.  Hope is what brought me Jacob in the first place.  Just when I was wondering if we really would be able to get pregnant, two little pink lines stared up at me that day last September.  For some reason, today the "Hope" sign stared at me from the planter.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for me.  I continue to thank Him for all of His blessings.   Even though my baby is at home with Him, I am so thankful that I did get pregnant and carry my little love for 13 weeks.  Jacob will always be a blessing to me.

Hoping to keep posting in the next few days during this special week!!

Kim :)