Friday, July 31, 2009

The Secret Garden Meeting - August

How do you see or imagine your baby/ies now that you do not have them with you?
I don't really imagine Ellie as anything other than the tiny infant she was when she was born. She is more of an ethereal dream child than anything real and solid.
Sometimes I daydream about what she possibly could have been had she lived - but mostly my thoughts are centered around the fuzzy memories I have of my time in the hospital. For me the most vivid and touching memory of her is before she was born when I finally got to feel her tumble and dance for the first time after the amnioinfusion.
We talk about her all the time, especially YaYa. But she seems less and less real as more time passes.
How did the loss of your last pregnancy affect your choices/decisions about the birth of your subsequent pregnancy?
I am currently 20wks into my second pregnancy. I haven't given much thought to delivery yet. I'm kind of taking things one day / one week at a time. But mostly - I don't care how this baby is born as long as he is healthy. I will most likely go with what ever my Dr says is best for the baby.

Slamming Open the Door - Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno

Do any of you listen to "Fresh Air" on public radio? Did you hear the story a few nights ago about Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, the mother who wrote an incredible book of poetry after her daughter was murdered?

I didn't get to hear it at the time - but T did... normally he doesn't have the patience to listen to this kind of thing - but this one held his attention. So I listened today and was blow away...

The book is currently out of stock - but I can't wait to order it as soon as they get more.

Here is an excerpt from one of her poems...

Death Barged In
In his Russian greatcoat,
slamming open the door
with an unpardonable bang,
and he has been here ever since.

He changes everything,
rearranges the furniture,
his hand hovers
by the phone;
he will answer now, he says;
he will be the answer.

Tonight he sits down to dinner
at the head of the table
as we eat, mute;
later, he climbs into bed
between us.

Even as I sit here,
he stands behind me
clamping two
colossal hands on my shoulders
and bends down
and whispers to my neck:
From now on,
you write about me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


It hit me today... during my pregnancy with Ellie I was already on bedrest at this point. Full of the knowledge that something was seriously wrong with my little girl but no answers on how to fix it.

(sorry... I'm sure you've all read previous versions of this story every time I dredge it up...but it's my blog and I'll rehash it again if I feel like making myself miserabel for a few minutes...)

My PE saga didn't start with elevated BP's or protein in my urine. It started with a simple routine ultrasound where we saw my sweet little girl who just a few weeks before was perfect in everyway (the Dr's words - not even mine) with virtually no fluid to protect her from being sqaushed by my body. At that appointment I was told by the ultrasound technician, not even a Dr. that I must have done something to cause my water to break and would likely get an infection and the baby would die in the next few days. (horrible care, I know...) I knew my water hadn't broken...I would have noticed that - but somehow no one wanted to hear what I had to say. I was in to much shock to even think about anything. The Dr didn't even come in to see me that day. Just told the nurse to send me home and tell I should drink lots of water. They did make me an appointment for the following Monday to see my now beloved MFM - Dr. J.

I saw Dr. J at a satellite clinic in the town where I live the following Monday. Ellie was still hanging in there but the fluid levels had dropped even further. As of this point there was no measurable amniotic fluid protecting Ellie. Dr. J was convinced that there was a problem with her kidneys - but they spent at least 2 hours studying them on the ultrasound and could not find a single thing wrong with her kidneys - or anything else. She was still perfect - but somehow I was not.

Ugh... I can't go any further today. Just reliving all of that is hard enough. But that was then and this is now...

Ellie would be 18 months old already... walking around, starting to talk, playing in the pool...daydreaming is a dangerous thing for all of us isn't it...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Awesome Ultrasound!!!

Everything was exactly as it should be at today's ultrasound!!! Little man was right on track for growth, fluid levels were right on target and blood flow looked great. One more HUGE sigh of relief...

Yes - those are his legs up over his head... this one reminds me of that old 70's exercise you used to always see people doing...

The 3D pictures always freak me out a little bit - but I think it's kind of cool how you can see the bones underneath the skin.


There are some things I really love about where we live. It's so easy to forget the good things when I'm constantly focused on being prepared for the next crisis.

We live on a road that originally belonged to one family. I think it is kind of a sweet thing - he was a farmer with three daughters. When each of his daughters go married he gave them a portion of the land to start their own families. In turn each of the daughters gave their children some of the land. Here and there a few of the children have left the area and opened up the road to others - but mostly, it's still family. T & I bought the first non-family house that was built on this road. We live at the far end of the road on a small plot of what used to be farmland that wasn't owned by the original family.

We are surrounded by cow pastures and rarely see much drive by except for tractors. YaYa thinks of the cows as hers and tries to feed them flowers or sticks through the fence (not much interest...). We love to watch the babies after they are born and as they grow. (Who knew a baby cow could be so darn cute??).

If you would have asked me 20 (or even 10) years ago what my ideal place to live was I would have instantly said NYC (or some other large metropolitan area). But here I am - mostly content to spend my weekends watching our dog chase rabbits in the yard and splash around in a blow up wading pool with YaYa. I miss the constant alive-ness of a city but I was and would be a completely different person in that environment.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Why is there so much guilt being spread around?

Guilt that you did something wrong and contributed to your child's death...
Guilt that you aren't the same person you used to be...
Guilt about making everyone around you uncomfortable with your grief...
Guilt that your experience wasn't as horrific as someone else's...
Guilt about not being a good enough parent to your other children...
Guilt about wanting another child...
Guilt about your anger...
Guilt about actually being lucky enough to get pregnant again...

I'm just tired of feeling apologetic about my emotional state. I realize that nothing about me is "right" anymore. I just don't know how else to be anymore. I know I'm hard to deal with and I can't "handle" things the way I used to. But this is me... the me that I am now... It's all there is...

Friday, July 24, 2009


Today is a HUGE milestone for me and the little squirrel - 20w. I'm gigantic and he's still squirmy! At this point that's the best news I can have. We don't have an ultrasound until next Tuesday but it just feels different in a better kind of way this time around. I guess I'm finally beginning to realize that maybe we can have a better outcome than we did before.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Busy week

It's been a little bit of a busy week here...

We had YaYa's baptism on Sunday. My parents, sister and her husband drove down from WI to celebrate with us. (really they were planning to come anyway - so we scheduled the baptism to correspond with their visit) They don't come very often - so we had a great time while they were here.

YaYa and uncle Nathan had fun swimming together at the hotel (and the rest of us too - but Nate was her favorite this trip)

Then after they left on Tuesday I got slammed at work. We had a major deadline coming up on August 8th. Completely not ready for it at this point...

Plus I had to change offices (my back is killing em tonight and I didn't even do that much!) - I had to leave my quite corner cubicle for an "official" office that is right in the lane of traffic. It's going to take some getting used to - now everyone stops for a chat as they walk by... I used to be able to hide out in my office and no one would even know I was there!

Not much else new going on here - except for the horrible dreams I've been having lately. Not specifically nightmares - but pretty close. Most nights I wake up in a panic because in my dreams I can't breath - not matter what I do I can't seem to get any air into my lungs. It is a horrible feeling and then I wake up. I keep meaning to look up what this could mean but I'm not sure I really want to know. And then a few days ago - I had a dream about a wedding. According to my Grams if you dream of a wedding someone is going to die. Superstitious - I know - but it has held true for me over the years...

Blah, Blah, Blah... I tend to babble on and on don't I!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Blogoversary to me!!!

Better late then never!!
Things were so busy yesterday I forgot to post a special Happy Blogoversary to me!!
I think I've come a long way since last year!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Reliving the past

Do you ever have those days where you just can't stop obsessing about what happened in the past?

Letely I keep thinking about the day we were flying back from visiting my parents after Christmas 2007. I was 18 or 19 weeks pregnant with Ellie at the time. We were running late and YaYa had to go to the bathroom. I was carrying a bunch of carry on bags and YaYa trying to hurry down the ocncourse to the bathrooms. I suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. It wasn't so terrible that I couldn't stand it - but it wasn't pleasant either. I couldn't stand or sit or lay comfortably for several days. And then no more than a week later came our terrible ultrasound when we found out Ellie didn't have any amniotic fluid.

Now when I think back on it I wonder if I did something that caused part of the placenta to seperate and started the avalanche of IUGR, oligohydramnio, and PE. I can't seem to get it out of my mind that maybe trying to do more than I should have done is what caused everything to go wrong with Ellie's pregnancy. Everyone told me to slow down - but I never listened. I was goingt o be super pregnant woman.

I never mentioned it to the Dr's at the time because the connection just never really dawned on me at the tiem. But it hit me recently for some reason and now I can't shake the thought. I'm going backwards I guess... back to the blame and the guilt of the early days after Ellie's death.

It feels like crap. I've been in a major funk all week. For no real reason either. I should be celebrating. Everything seems to be going so well this time. But somehow that just makes me feel worse about what happened to Ellie. Why does one baby get to live and the other doesn't?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why do people have to be so rude???

Before I go off on my rant I just want to tell everyone thank you for all the support from my last post.

On to the rant...I just got off the phone after trying to change my ultrasound & OB appointments... it did NOT go well. Normally everyone at the MFM office where I go - is so nice and so helpful... until now.

When I called in this morning I told the woman that I needed to change my appointment. The first thing she asked was why I needed to change the appointment. Really - this is none of her business, but it was because I had decided that I didn't want to have to go to the ultrasound alone and we couldn't drive 1hr to the clinic wait for the 1 1/2hr delay, have the ultrasound, wait to see the Dr and make the 1 hr drive back home in time to pick YaYa up from daycare. So I told her that I couldn't make it back in time to pick up my daughter. Her response - you should have thought of that before you made your appointments. I very nicely bit my tongue and didn't comment because I did make the appointment knowing full well that the time wasn't good - but at the tiem I thought I would be OK going by myself. I changed my mind - but that shouldn't make a bit of difference.

Anyway - to make a long story short... this woman managed to argue with me on every single thing I asked fer. I ended up with three appointments on three different days because she was unwilling to try and work out a better schedule for me because I was being difficult.

I guess needing my husband to accompany me to a very stressful ultrasound makes me a difficult patient...

I'm just glad it's FRIDAY!!! Even though I do need to get ready of a house full of people. (My parents are coming to visit tomorrow.) I'm still glad to see this week end.

Speaking of visitors and just becaus it feels liek that random kind of day - I found the best place in the world yesterday. It's called "Company's Coming". They make up all kinds of food and freeze it then you take it home and bake it. Voila - a wonderful meal! I think I bought one of everything they have. It's what we will be eating all weekend. I used to love cooking - but not so much lately. I'm hoping this will mean YaYa and T can get some "home" cooked food more often than not too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I had an MFM appointment yesterday - Dr. J wasn't available so I saw one of the nurse/midwives in the group. I wasn't sure I was going to be happy - but I ended up loving her!!!

She was so nice and completely helpful. We talked for a ling time about what happened last time and how I was getting close to those dates with this pregnancy. She told me I could come in as often as I wanted to and could request an ultrasound if it would make me feel better - no matter what! I guess the light bulb just came on for me at that point. Why torture myself through the next 5 weeks. So we just went ahead and scheduled a whole bunch of appointments.

But one thing did really bother me a little we were going through some of the events from last time she was looking through some notes in my records on the computer and for some reason it had Ellie's birth listed as a stillbirth. She was alive and with us for 2 hours. I really hate that one short sentance buried in my medical records completely negates her short life. She was here. She was with us. I saw her move and struggle to breathe. We all knew she was going to die - but that still doesn't mean that she didn't live.

It's amazing how different this pregnancy is. At 18weeks I am bigger now than I ever was with Ellie. And this baby is active. I have been consistently feeling movement for almost 2 weeks already. With Ellie I almost never felt her move until after the final amnioinfusion right before I had to be induced.

In a lot of ways this makes me hopeful that things will be much, much better this time around. But there is so much sadness mixed in too. All of the things that should have happened but didn't. The next 5 weeks are going to be really difficult. It was at the 20w growth scan that we learned there was a problem with the pregnancy. I have my 20w growth scan with this little guy in two weeks. At 17w we were told that Ellie was perfect - by 20w they weren't sure she would survive overnight. Ellie was perfect. My body was not. It was slowly killing my daughter. Maybe it won't happen this time, who knows. But wether I had any control over it or not I will always live with the knowledge that my body is the reason my daughter is not with us today. I don't think this had made me a stronger person or even a better person - just a different person.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I saw this on Carly's blog.

It made me cry. I cried because for me it is true - I probably would give up five years of my life to be thin (even now after so many years...)

EDs are so destructive. They rob vibrant young women of so much happiness.

I am recovered - mostly. But there are still the nasty haunting thoughts that linger in my mind and probably always will. Like this morning when I stepped on the scale and a bigger number than I have ever seen before in my life popped up. I've been feeling bad about it all day. And then I happened to see this video and I reminded myself that I am good and I am beautiful no matter what the number is.

I'm sure some of you will judge me because I'm pregnant. Weight should be the last thing in the world I'm worried about after everything I did to get pregnant. But that's just not how real life works. This is who I am - I'm f***ed up and that all there is to it. I want this baby to be born healthy and I want to take care of myself so that I can make it happen. Sometimes I just have to work a little harder to make sure I can ignore the awful voices in my mind.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


We had a wonderful week at the beach! I can't even begin to put into words how nice it was to just get away from everything for a while. We woke up every morning and took a walk on the beach. YaYa got a TON of shells. then we swam in the pool for a while, had some lunch and went back to the beach until dinner time. No stress, no worries - just fun...
This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. T just took it one morning while we were on our walk. It is our whole family... T, me, YaYa, Big Boy and just melted my heart when he showed it to me.

Then there's the classic beach foot shot... but this one has our ramshakle sand castle as a backdrop...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th to everyone!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday this weekend!!

We are off to the beach tomorrow and I don't think the place where we are staying has internet - so I won't be here for awhile!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What a relief!

The ultrasound and amnio went really well yesterday. The baby is doing great and growing like crazy - actually measuring a little ahead at 17w. The fluid levels were just fine and all the right parts were accounted for. That is a HUGE weight off of my mind. Dr. B did the amnio. She remembered us from last time with Ellie. She was the one who did the last amnioinfusion right before PE hit. Actually I went right from seeing her to L&D with Ellie. She was happy to see us and took a lot of time to go over all of the ultrasound results to make sure we felt comfortable with what they saw. She aslo said that after seeing such good results from the ultrasound she would cut our chances of any problems showing up from the amnio in 1/2.

I'm going back in two weeks to have things checked out again - just to be safe. I saw a new Dr. that I hadn't seen before - but he completely understood that after what happened last time I would feel safer being seen more often during the next couple of months. There was some emrgency so I didn't get to see Dr. J - but it was OK.

And we found out yesterday that it really is a little boy!!! I was still kind of holding out hope for a little girl... but a boy is pretty good too! Now we have to start thinking of some boy names... i was already with a list of girl names.