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Friday, December 4, 2009


A few weeks ago, a high school friend of mine posted pictures of her sister's wedding on Facebook. In fact, it was her twin that had gotten married, and I had known both girls since kindergarten. They also had an older sister. One of the pictures was of the three women together, and it caused my heart to skip a minute.

I have three girls, not just two. I wish all three of them were here to grow up together. I wish people could say things about the three Belinc girls, not just the two of them.

Another thing that brings this vividly to mind is the show "Full House." If anyone remembers it, it was about a widower, his brother-in-law, and friend raising three girls. Tessa and I watch it every day. There is a scene in the intro of the oldest brushing the middle one's hair, the middle one brushing the youngest's hair and the youngest brushing a doll's hair. Every time I see that, I think that should be my three girls.

I know I should be thankful Ella is here, happy and healthy, and I am. I am so grateful for her, but I can't help but wish I had my second daughter here with us and that she was healthy and happy, too.

Even though my family is now complete, there will always be a piece missing, and I know that on all the major events, when Tessa and Ella graduate, their weddings, the births of their children, I will look at the pictures of those days and wish another girl was there with us -- our Jenna.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One week post partum -- so Thankful

I promised to post pictures last week after I got home, not anticipating how busy I would be with a six-year-old, a new baby and school work. I'm finally caught up with my schoolwork, and right now, Ella is sleeping in her swing and Tessa is in bed. I can't get into my photobucket account tonight for some reason, so I thought I would post a link to the ones I've posted on Facebook. Some of you have already seen these.

I'm feeling pretty good, although I have been a little weepy the last few days. It's not really depression, mostly just the baby blues and not really that bad. I have gone back on my Zoloft, though, because I'm prone to depression anyway.

I never realized how bad I felt before she was born until just a few days ago. I'm feeling better than I've felt in months. I think the pre-eclampsia must have been affecting me before we discovered it along with the all the other aches and pains associated with pregnancy.

I was hoping to breastfeed, but it just isn't working out like I had hoped. Ella was born with either a natal or neonatal tooth. A natal tooth is one that is present at birth, and a neonatal tooth is one that comes in during the first month of life. When she was born, it looked like a cyst on her gum, but the tooth was through the gum within two days. So, I'm not sure which it is. Either way, she can't latch onto the boob. She even has trouble latching on to a standard bottle nipple.

I've been taking some herbs to help with my milk supply, but it's not working. The lactation consultant said that women with PCOS tend to have supply problems, as do women who have had pre-eclampsia because of the stress on our bodies. Ella is getting mainly formula, and truth be told, I'm Ok with that. I know breast is best, but I also know that I can't stress over it. If I decide to quit, I know I gave it my best shot.

I am pretty exhausted tonight to tell the truth. Ella must be going through a growth spurt because she started wanting to eat every two hours starting last night about 10p.m. Since Tessa is out of school for the holiday, I didn't get to nap today when she did. Then, I didn't get one when Brian got home today because I had to take a test for school. Brian promised me I could sleep in tomorrow morning, for which I'm very thankful.

That leads me to the season. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like that it's about being thankful for what you already have. I love the food. I love the weather and the atmosphere. Two years ago, I thought Thanksgiving would be ruined for me forever because we know then that my granny wouldn't be around too much longer. She died Dec. 5. When I got pregnant with Ella and found out her due date was around Thanksgiving, I was so afraid of losing her and knew if I did, I would never enjoy Thankgsiving again. Then, I thought Christmas was ruined forever because of it being Jenna's due date.

To tell the truth, these holidays will always be bittersweet for me. Ella being born the week before Thanksgiving makes it a lot better, but there will always be a touch of sadness because of what happened with Granny. I'm not sure Christmas will ever be the same now, but I'm hoping this year will be a lot better than last.

This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for a new baby girl who is healthy and happy. I'm thankful for a big girl who is a great big sister and who has adjusted to the whole situation much better than I ever anticipated. I'm thankful for a husband who stepped up to the plate to fill in for me when I was on bedrest and who has been trying his best with Ella in spite of the fact newborns scare him to death. I'm thankful for an extended family who loves us all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ella's birth story

I just got finished feeding her and now can't go back to sleep, so I thought I would write out her birth story. It was pretty uneventful to tell the truth, which is great.

We got to the hospital about 10:30 p.m., on Monday to be induced due to high blood pressure and low amniotic fluid, and by the time they got me hooked up to the monitors and my IV in, I was having contractions on my own. The doctor decided not to do the vaginal meds to make me dilate, since I was already having contractions. These weren't bad at all.

They started pitocin through the IV at 5 a.m. I was about a 2 then. The contractions started coming harder, but they weren't bad at all. When they picked up about two hours later, I asked for my epidural. They checked me, and I was at three, so they let me get it. It was wonderful, and the anthesiologist didn't hurt me at all.

A few hours later, about 10 a.m., I started feeling contractions on one side, so I told the nurse. She upped the meds for the epidural. I had been laying on my side to keep my blood pressure down, and right after that, it was time to roll to the over side. All that extra medicine went to that side, and my one leg was paralyzed. I couldn't feel it at all. It freaked me out a little. I started to have a panic attack, but DH calmed me down a little. It was the most awful feeling in the world.

They checked me at 11 a.m., and I was only at a 4. I almost freaked out then because I wasn't sure how long I was going to last with my leg as numb as it was. The doctor decided to up my pitocin. Probably an hour later, I felt something different, a sense of pressure. Dh went and got the nurse, who checked me and said we were ready to have a baby. She called my doctor who came over.

I pushed for four sets of three, and Ella was born. DH nearly passed out, but the doctor made him turn around and sit down by my head and he was fine after that. She cut me because I had started to tear, and she said it would have been a massive tear if she hadn't. I am ok with it and less sore than I was when I had a second degree tear with my oldest DD.

She weighed six pounds, nine ounces and was 19 inches long. She's a chunky little monkey with chubby cheeks and double chin. Tessa is in love with her and is a great big sister. I was so worried because I was afraid she would be jealous because it's just been DH, me and her for the past six and a half years, but so far so good. I know it might be different when we get home.

I will always miss our Jenna, who was stillborn last year due to Trisomy 18, but my arms don't feel quite as empty as they did for the longest time anymore. My rainbow baby is finally here, and she has a big sister who is watching her from above, making sure she is fine.

I'll post pics tomorrow when we get home.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ella will be here tomorrow

I've been going twice a week to the doctor. Mondays have been for a biophysical profile ultrsound and check up and Thursdays have been for a non-stress test and BP check.

Ella has looked good on everything, and last Monday, my fluid even went up some. However, my BP continued to rise, although it would go down if I rested. I had to go into labor and delivery one time again to be monitored, but they were able to always get the blood pressure down.

Well, today, I had another biophysical profile. Even though my ticker on this blog says I'm 38 weeks today, my doctor prefers to say I'm 37 and a half weeks due to an early ultrasound I had. She really wanted to try to get me to 38 weeks, but the biophysical profile today showed that my fluid was low again. My blood pressure, although not as high as it has been, was still up.

Dr. McGowen thinks it's medically time. The ultrasound showed that Ella weighed six pounds, 15 ounces, but I don't think she's that big. I think she's probably around six pounds. She doesn't foresee any problems with Ella, but said with her being 37 and a half weeks, she might need a little oxygen to help her breath. I sure hope not.

I go in after Tessa's bedtime tonight and will have medicine inserted vaginally at midnight. Four hours later, they will start the pitocin. I'm not a natural labor type of girl, so I'll be getting my epidural. I am so hoping for a good labor and delivery experience with Ella. I had such a horrible one with Tessa.

Hopefully, my next post will be full of pictures of Ella. I'm so nervous, scared, excited all at the same time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Passed the non-stress test

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post. Ella passed the non-stress test with flying colors. She's doing great even with the low fluid, blood flow restriction and deteriorating placenta.

My blood pressure is still creeping up. I had to go in today for another ultrasound for them to do a biophysical profile. My fluid level is a little lower at 5, but Ella passed with a eight out of eight. I have to go back on Thursday for another non-stress test.

Today, I also had a check-up. My blood pressure then was 142/96. I knew it was high. My head was killing me, but my swelling is down from last week and didn't have any protein in my urine. We are going to try for a few more days. She checked me, and I am one centimeter dilated. She could also feel Ella's head.

She repeated again today that I won't go past 38 weeks. In fact, if I make it that far, she will induce me. She said I don't need to go any farther than that. But, in her personal opinion, I won't even make it that far. She's predicting we will go in the next week to week in a half.

Brian cleaned the baby's room today. He scrubbed down the walls and the carpet. Now, he has to go shopping. I need preemie clothes because Ella will be little, a few baby washclothes, a few baby towels, some more blankets, some preemie size gowns and newborn gowns, too, a swaddle blanket and a swing. Brian is planning to go shopping for all of that later this week.

I am feeling all right. My head aches a lot but Tylenol helps. My cousin and his wife stopped by tonight to deliver a present, and I felt so bad because the house is not company ready right now. Brian is doing his best, but he just isn't the world's greatest housekeeper. I don't like having people over unless the house is spotless, but if they can't understand, they aren't worth worrying about. I think they do though.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Non-stress test tomorrow

Yesterday, Dr. McGowen's office called me to tell me she wants me to come in tomorrow for a non-stress test. I know this involves hooking me up to a fetal monitor to check for the heart rate, accelerations and movements. They are checking to make sure Ella is tolerating the low fluid and umbilical cord problems.

I'm going to admit it. I am scared to death. I don't want to lose this baby. There is a part of me that wants to tell them if it's dangerous for her to go ahead and take her. I know 35 weeks and four days is early, but if she's better off out than in, let's do it. Even if it's 50/50, let's get her out so I know she's safe.

On the other hand, I don't know if I can handle leaving a baby at the hospital when I go home. I had to go home empty-handed with Jenna, and even though I know Ella would come home sometime, I think it would just be too reminiscent of that day.

I am still having headaches. I'm going to tell them tomorrow when I go in. The Tylenol helps a lot and makes it go away, but it pretty much comes back four to six hours after I take the Tylenol.

I also hate bedrest. I don't know how someone does it for a long period of time. I'm going to miss Tessa's Halloween party Friday at school, when I promised her I would go. I'm also not going to be able to go to trick or treating with her. I feel like I'm letting her down, and it's just not fair to her. My sister is going to the Halloween party at school to make up for me not being there.

If I'm still pregnant Nov. 7, I'll miss my family's annual bonfire. It's a family tradition that's been going on for almost 40 years. I have never missed one since I've been alive. I love it. I'll have to miss it, too.

I know it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and it's totally worth it if it gets Ella safely and healthily here. I'm gladly going to do it, but I think I can complain here. I'm trying awfully hard not to complain in real life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Old crappy placenta

The good news is that Ella looks great on ultrasound. She's a little smaller than average, but nothing to worry about. She weighed about four pounds, 11 ounces, which is normal, but she's just short. I'm not worried about that at all, because Tessa was and still is short. In fact, she's the shortest kid in her class.

The bad news is that I might be developing pre-eclampsia, and even if I'm not, my placenta is breaking down, deteriorating and just plain isn't working like it should. The ultrasound today showed that my fluid is low, which indicates the placenta isn't working, and also that the blood flow through the umbilical cord is being constricted.

She asked me if I had had any swelling or headaches in the last few weeks, and I had. I never thought much about it, because I chalked it up to sinuses, the time of the year, the stress with Tessa's school problems, etc. They always went away with Tylenol, and I had been told that if they didn't go away after taking the meds, I needed to call then. I had a headache this morning, so instead of sending me home on bedrest, the doctor sent me to the hospital for monitoring. I also have to collect my urine for 24 hours to take back to them to check for proteins.

The room they put me in was very much like the one I was in when Jenna was delivered, but I am so thankful it wasn't the same one. I had a great nurse, too. She hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor, which was too funny because Ella got the hiccups for like 10 minutes one time. Brian asked if she was karate chopping the monitor, and two seconds later, the nurse came in and said, "Looks like someone has the hiccups." It was really funny.

My blood pressure got up to 130/91 at the hospital, but they have sent me home on bedrest because my blood work looked good. I have to take my urine back in tomorrow, and I have another ultrasound scheduled for next Monday. I'm not sure what happens if my urine shows protein or if the fluid is still low. I'm going to ask tomorrow when I turn the urine in to them.

I asked the nurse what could be causing the placenta to break down if it wasn't pre-eclampsia. She said they don't really know what causes it. She said she tells nursing students that it's called OCP or Old Crappy Placenta. Placentas designed to last nine months, but some only last eight. Brian said it's kind of like a diesel motor. They are designed to last 300,000, but sometimes, they blow up at 200,000. She said that was a good analogy.

I have a feeling that Ella will be here sooner rather than later. I told I think she'll probably be here in two weeks instead of the four to five that would go to my due date. She's going to be a little bitty baby just like Tessa was. I'm going to have to get Brian or my mom or someone to go and buy some preemie sizes along with some preemie diapers. When Tessa was born, she didn't have any clothes because she was so small. The truth is, even though I got a lot of nice stuff at my shower, I still need a bouncy seat, a swing and the bedding set, even though I do have that one picked out, just not ordered yet, so I still have quite a bit I need to buy.

Honestly, we have quite a bit of stuff to do to get ready. We have to rent a steam cleaner for the carpet in her room and paint the walls. I feel so bad for Brian because he's going to have to do it all himself.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baby shower tomorrow and ultrasound on Monday

Tomorrow is my baby shower. I am excited, but not, too. I don't like being the center of attention, but I am looking forward to seeing all of my friends together. It's being held at my brother and sister-in-law's house, and her mother, who is a wonderful baker, is making the cake. I love good food, even though most of it is giving me heartburn right now. I'll just have to suffer the consequences.

Monday, we are having my 35 week appointment. I am also having a growth span that day. Part of me is so excited to see her again on ultrasound because it's been a while since we have, but another part is scared that they are going to see something wrong on the ultrasound.

Everyone tells me I am carrying small, even though my belly measures right on time. I haven't really gained all that much weight, about 16 pounds. What if she's small because she has Trisomy 18? I know that's irrational, that everything looked great at all the ultrasounds we had, and all the bloodwork came back normal. But, when you've lost one baby, it makes you irrational about some things.

I've also had a lot of headaches this week, which is a symptom of pre-eclampsia. With Tessa, my symptoms were all pretty atypical, which is why it wasn't caught. If Ella is small, it could be because I have pre-eclampsia again, which means they would either put me on bedrest or deliver me early. As much as I am over being pregnant, I don't want her to come too early, especially if it means she wouldn't be able to go home with us. Bedrest would be Ok, but not ideal, especially with the schedule Brian works.

I'm also worried that she might be too big. Dr. McGowen has already warned me that my pelvis is too narrow for me to give birth to a baby that weighs more than eight pounds. A c-section doesn't really scare me, but it's not ideal.

I just want her here healthy. I want to know she's healthy. The only way for me to know 100 percent is for her to be born or to have an amniocentesis, and I'm not sure if it's really worth it at this stage.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back from the meeting with Tessa's teacher and principal

I'm pretty happy with the way things went. We aren't moving her for right now. The principal said he wants to give the teacher a chance to make some changes and see how that goes first. We're giving it until the end of November officially, but if Tessa's upset stomach gets worse, we'll revisit it sooner.

I asked about the three weeks worth of work in her desk, and the principal was not very happy about it at all. The teacher said that they have two places to turn in work. One is for everyday work and the other is for unit work. She does not check the unit work every day, and most of what was in Tessa's desk was unit work. The principal told her she has to check Tessa's desk every day for her work, that there was no excuse for it going on that long. I could tell she wasn't very happy about him responding that way, but she agreed to do it.

I also asked her about the desk dumping incident. She said she didn't dump it; she just took every thing out and some things fell on the floor. I'm still not accepting of that answer, but I'm going to let it go for now. The principal told her that teachers have gotten too far away from learning and are now focusing too much on organizational skills. He said if a child is learning and is on grade level (which Tessa is) then organizational skills can come later. He told her teacher to back off of those for a while. I was pleased with that answer.

I also brought up the fact that the teacher said the kids weren't supposed to ask her questions during reading time. The principal's head whipped around to her when I said that, and she stammered something about giving them all individualized time. I told her that Tessa is behind, finishes up what she was working on and can't remember the instructions for the new work she's doing, so she just sticks it in her desk. The principal said that Tessa has to be allowed to ask her questions during reading time in order to stay ahead.

I told them that we were changing what we were doing at home with regards to work. My aunt lives across the street, and some of Tessa's friends from school go over there after they get off the bus so my aunt can babysit them until their mom gets off work. She wants to go there to play, and I would usually let her. We would come home, and then, she would do her homework. Now, she has to come home first and do her work first before she can go over there. I told her teacher that I wanted her to bring home the work that she didn't get finished with during the day, that this would serve as motivation to get her work done.

Her teacher said she thinks first graders should only be doing about 15 minutes of homework a night and parents have too much other stuff to worry about than work that wasn't done in class. The principal said, "You have parents here that want to help, so you can send the work home. Their system is going to be her motivation to get it done, so she can have her fun sooner." I agree, which is why we came up with the plan. So, even though her teacher didn't really want to do it, she's going to create a folder for us, put the work Tessa didn't get finished with in class in it, and we are going to work on it each night. This will also help us to see if it's a case of Tessa not wanting to do it or her not being able to.

She is also going to work to restore the relationship between her and Tessa. The principal wants her to do that first. I'm willing to give it another chance to see if she follows through with what she says she's going to do. The principal is willing to change her if need be, but he wants to try this first. I'm willing to do that.

The teacher had to fill out paperwork about all the the things she has to do in order for this to work, and we all signed it. I am going to hold her accountable to it. If it doesn't work within the next month, Tessa will be changing teachers, and the principal will be behind me on it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Update on Tessa's school situation

It happened pretty much as Tessa said it did, except the teacher said she had an off day all day long and hadn't gotten anything done. She said near the end of the day, Tessa was still working on board work, and the teacher told her to put her glasses on. Tessa said she couldn't find them, and they were in her desk. Her teacher said she came over and there was tons of stuff in her desk, papers, school supplies, snacks, etc. She told Tessa to clean it out, and she said Ok. Well, Tessa dawdled around, so the teacher came over and did it for her. She said Tessa had hidden two or three weeks worth of work in the desk.

I told her that Tessa felt humiliated by what happened, and her response was, "I'm sure she did, but she can't keep her desk in that order." I told her that I didn't like the way it was handled, all the while seething inside that she didn't seem to care about my child's humiliation. For all the teachers, does this make any difference in your response about whether it was right or wrong?

I told her that I didn't mind Tessa being punished when needed but that I didn't think she deserved to be humiliated. She had mentioned the children cleaned their desks every Friday, and when I said I didn't like the way it was handled, she said she would just let Tessa keep her desk in that order. I told her that if the kids cleaned out their desks on Friday, then Tessa should do it then.

I also told her about Tessa saying she thought the teacher wasn't the right one for her. She said she didn't know how to make Tessa do her work, since she's fully capable of doing it. Isn't it her job to know how to make a student do their work? She also said she can't stand beside Tessa all day to make sure she gets her work done.

Since she wasn't answering my questions the way I wanted her to, I asked her for a meeting with the principal. We are meeting with him on Monday, which I am glad about, because Brian can go with me then.

I'll be honest. Confrontation is really hard for me, extremely hard. I usually forget what I want to say and clam up. It happened again today, so I'm making a list of what I want to express to the principal. Here are a few questions for me to ask. Can you think of any others?

1. Why hasn't she noticed three weeks worth of work being missing?

2. If they clean desks every Friday, why hasn't she seen the mess in Tessa's desk before now?

3. If she doesn't know how to make Tessa do her work, shouldn't she find someone who can? Isn't it her job to do so?

4. Does she really think it's right to humiliate child in front of their peers?

Please help me think of anything else to ask. Like I said, I'm afraid I'll get in there with the principal and lose it and not remember any of this. I am just as angry after this phone call as I was last night. To top it off, she said Tessa had complained about a stomach ache most of the day, and I'm sure it's her nerves. When Tessa got home this afternoon, she told me she threw up at school today. That can't continue.

I've also decided to put in a call to her pediatrician tomorrow. I want her tested for ADD/ADHD. I don't think she has it, not really, although she does show some of the symptoms. However, I want to go in armed, saying we have this appointment set up to test for it. If Tessa does have it, I want to get her the help she needs, and if she doesn't have it, then I want her teacher (even if it's a new one) to do her job and teach her.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day -- I remember

Today, I remember Jenna and all of my friends' babies. I lit a candle for all of them. My heart is with all of you today, and I wish you peace.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

School issues for Tessa

We've been dealing with some issues with Tessa at school this year. She has a lot of trouble finishing her work on time. I've met with her teacher, who feels as though Tessa doesn't have a learning disability (like ADD or dyslexia, both of which Brian has so she stood a chance of having them, too). Her teacher thinks she is just on the immature side.

I agree that she's immature. It's probably mostly my fault because I've babied her. In some ways, I regret this, because of the trouble she is having now, but on the other hand, I still think children should be children as long as they can.

At our parent teacher conference last week, she said a few things that didn't set well with me. She said Tessa could get an IEP for immaturity. I know this is not true. She has to be diagnosed with a learning disability, which we don't think she has. I questioned the teacher about a diagnosis, and she went on to say that her scores on an achievement test would be a diagnosis. I don't believe this. I've been told and have read that she has to be diagnosed with a learning disability before getting an IEP. I was also told it has to be done by a licensed child psychologist or a doctor for this to happen. Later, she told me she expected Tessa to regress when Ella arrives and that school would be her safe haven. That made me cry.

So, this afternoon, Tessa came and sat down on my lap and layed her head against me. She said, "I had a bad day today." I made her tell me what happened. For the past week or so, she has been hiding the work she doesn't get finished with inside her desk. I guess her teacher found out today about it. Well, she made Tessa stand aside, picked up her desk and shook all the papers out in front of the whole class. Tessa said her school box flew out, broke open and her crayons went everywhere. She humiliated my girl in front of everyone. I am in tears just typing that.

Tessa said she stood there about to cry and shaking from being afraid, and the teacher told her that she better not cry, that she would send her to the principal's office. We were at my aunt's house when she told me this, and we were both horrified about it. It's one thing to scold a child or reprimand her; it's quite another to humiliate her in front of the entire class. She said everyone was staring at her while she tried to pick up her crayons and afterward, too.

Then, a little while later, she didn't let Tessa leave when the school day ended. She told her she couldn't go home until her work was done, and she would just have to miss the bus. Of course, this frightens Tessa because it's her way home. If her teacher had caused her to miss the bus, she would have called me. What if I worked outside the home and couldn't have come then? Last year at this time, I was working in Tullahoma and couldn't have been there in time to get her. How is it fair to a child to do that?

I am going to pursue a meeting between me, the teacher and the principal. I actually interviewed him this summer because it's his first job as a principal. He's been an assistant principal for a few years and has worked with at-risk students during that time. He is also dyslexic, so he knows what students with problems go through. I don't think he will like the teacher humiliating her that way. I've talked to a few online teacher friends who said the teacher's behavior wasn't right. I was afraid my pregnancy hormones were causing me to freak out, but they were quick to reassure me that I wasn't.

Tonight, Tessa said, "I think she's just not the right teacher for me." I think she might be right. I hate to switch her around, but I don't want her to be in a class where the teacher is going to humiliate her and make her feel inferior.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Doctor's appointment today

I had my 33 week appointment today. Dr. McGowen is still wanting to go by one of the earlier ultrasounds and say my due date is Dec. 4 instead of Nov. 30, so it would be my 32.5 week appointment. However, I'm sticking with the Nov. 30 one because I just have a feeling she's coming in November.

Off on a tangent here, but if you go by my last period, I am due Nov. 26. The very earliest ultrasound put me at Dec. 4, which is why Dr. McGowen wants it there. The 12 week ultrasound showed Nov. 30, which is what my ovulation date (when I think I probably ovulated; I'm not sure) puts me at. Of course, Ella will come when she's ready.

Back on tangent, I had gained two pounds today. Overall, Dr. McGowen is very, very happy with my weight gain. I gained 10 pounds in the first month, but she doesn't want to count that because I was eating then to keep from getting sick. I've gained about nine pounds, not including the 10 in the beginning.

Dr. McGowen made a comment again about not having a big baby. Dr. Redden, at my last appointment, said the same thing. Dr. McGowen has said it several times, so today, I finally asked her about it. I said I didn't know if I was reading too much into it or maybe she said it for all of her patients. And, she said, no, that she doesn't think I can deliver an eight pound baby. She said I might even have trouble with a seven pound one. However, she said she didn't want me to have a C-section, and we would wait and see.

She looked over my chart and said that with our history, she's going to schedule another ultrasound. I thought she meant Jenna, but she said she thought I had atypical presentation pre-eclampsia with Tessa. I've often wondered about that. Whenever I went in for appointments while I was pregnant with Tessa, my blood pressure was never high. However, for the last two months of my pregnancy, I had horrible, horrible headaches and swelling. I have also never told very many people this, but I felt so spacey during those last two months. I had a lot of dizziness and it didn't take me much to set me off into a rage. I actually dreamed of killing my mother-in-law. I also never had any protein in my urine, so they didn't suspect it.

My doctor told me today that those other symptoms can be indicative of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. She said some women just never show up with high blood pressure in the office. What made them suspect it and what made Dr. LaRoche put it in my chart (she was the doctor who saw me while I was pregnant with Tessa) was that my blood pressure skyrocketed the night I went into labor with Tessa. It was at stroke level, and I had to have double the amount of magnesium most women get to bring it back down. Also, Tessa weighed five pounds, seven ounces and was 17 inches long. Dr. LaRoche called it "IUGR due to severe pre-eclampsia." That's what was written on my chart, and I had never heard before that that was the reason for Tessa's small size.

So, because of all that, I am having an ultrasound at my 35 week appointment. Dr. McGowen said I'm measuring right on time, so she doesn't think the baby is small. She wants to make sure the baby isn't small, in case I've got the atypical presentation pre-eclampsia again, but she also wants to make sure she isn't too big since I don't have a big enough pelvis to deliver a bigger baby.

I'll be honest, I don't care either way if I have a C-section. My sister, cousin and aunt all three had really easy ones, and I don't need to deliver vaginally to feel fulfilled about Ella's birth experience. When I had Tessa, I had a second degree tear. My labor was an awful experience, and I didn't have an easy time having her at all. Now, I'm not going to run out and schedule an elective c-section because of all that, but the truth be told, labor and delivery scare me after what happened with Tessa. However, I know Dr. McGowen is on top of things, and all will be fine.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feeling overwhelmed

As much as I hate to admit it, especially with my friend Jen in the hospital hoping to stay pregnant as long as she can, I am officially over being pregnant. I am extremely grateful that I am carrying this life around, but I'm ready for her to be here.

But, then on the other hand, I'm not. Her room isn't even close to being finished. Between going to school full-time, being a mother and a wife, and Brian working 12-14hours a day, we just haven't had a chance to do it. The room has been used for storage for the past year or so and desperately needs to be cleaned out. Brian was off on Monday and got started on it, but I was sick and wasn't able to. I went to urgent care that night and was diagnosed with a sinus, throat and double ear infection.

The only thing I can take for it is a Z-Pak and Benadryl. So far, it's helping my throat and sinuses, but my ears are a raging mess. I need ear drops, but you can't take them during pregnancy. I'm actually thinking of calling the ear, nose and throat specialist I saw a few years ago to see if he will see me, then talk to Dr. McGowen about what I can do to get my ears better.

We still have to paint the walls, have the floor steam-cleaned, hang curtains, set up the crib, put the bedding (which I don't have yet) on it and do all the last minute things to get the nursery ready. It doesn't help that my shower, which I'm extremely grateful for, isn't until Oct. 25. I didn't want to buy anything else (I've already bought the travel system, some clothes, a diaper bag, some diapers, a package of bottles and other little things), until I saw what I got from the shower. So, after the shower, I'll have approximately a month to get it all set up. Is that even enough time, especially with how hectic are schedules are?

Don't get me wrong; I'm extremely grateful to be going to school and for DH to have a good paying job. It just seems like whenever we have any time off, we always have something else we have to do. We're going out of town this weekend for Brian's 20th reunion, so it will be another week before we can do anything.

This isn't even the start of my worries. I am so scared I'm going to love Tessa more than Ella, and I'm scared I'll play favorites just like my mom does. I don't want that to happen. I'm worried that us having a baby is going to scar Tessa for life, since she's so used to it just being the three of us.

I'm scared I won't be able to handle two children. I'm afraid Brian isn't going to be much help because his schedule is so weird. All I ever hear from him is how he needs at least eight hours of sleep to function. Well, I can't tell you the last time I got eight hours of continuous sleep. I would love to get that, but it's not going to happen. I think he's going to have to suck it up and lose a little sleep after Ella is born to help me out.

I am also getting scared that something might be wrong with Ella, just as there was with Jenna. I know, logically, that she's fine. She's growing right on target, her ultrasound looked great, and she's still here with me at 32 weeks. All of my blood work came back negative for any problems, but since I didn't have the amnio, I'm stuck wondering and waiting. I now wish I had gone ahead and done it.

My moods are awful right now. I snap at Brian, at Tessa, my mom, and to be honest, I'm pretty short with anyone who gets on my nerves. I don't have a lot of patience these days. That is my biggest symptom of depression, even more than sadness.

I asked my doctor at my last appointment if I could go back on my Zoloft, which works wonders for me in the past. She said I could but also warned that Ella could experience withdrawal symptoms after she was born from it. I'm going to try to stick it out because I don't want her to go through that. However, I just want to feel like me again, or at least, the me on Happy Pills, which is when I feel normal. She did tell me they could put me on Wellbutrin (which has never worked for me at all) or Prozac (which I've never used), but I love how Zoloft works for me. She said I can start it in the hospital as soon as Ella's born and take it while breastfeeding, too.

I guess I just need to focus on the fact that it's all almost over with, but that sends me into a panic, too. How can I be so happy about something yet so overwhelmed at the same time?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trisomy 18

I wish I had more time to blog, but school is really taking up a lot of my time lately. I want to be caught up and ahead by the time Ella comes, so I'm working extra hard. Besides that, my astronomy class has gotten a lot harder. I have a really low B right now, and if I can pull a C out of it, I will be happy. On a good note, though, I have As in all my other classes, and a perfect score in history.

Today, I had to do a three page Internet activity for my developmental psychology class. It was over birth defects and genetic counseling. The first sheet required us to go to the March of Dimes Web site, and we had to identify three birth defects or disorders. I thought I would definitely do Trisomy 18, since I know so much about it. Imagine my surprise when it didn't have its own category. Instead, it was lumped in with Down Syndrome and other chromosomal disorders. Down Syndrome had its own category though.

I realize Down Syndrome is much more common than Trisomy 18, and I know they are related to each other. But, I still think a defect that affects one in 3,000 pregnancies and one in 6,000 births should have its own category on the March of Dimes Web site. So, I went ahead and included it as one disorders I could describe. I knew all about it anyway, even if the information the March of Dimes gave was a little less than detailed.

From the list of three, I had to pick one to go into greater detail about, so of course, I chose Trisomy 18. I was glad to do it, and I even told the professor that I had personal experience with it as we lost a baby to it last year.

So, I'm wondering if I should write to the March of Dimes and ask them to give Trisomy 18 its own category. I think it deserves it, and I'm beginning to think it's a lot more common than previously thought. I mean, I find tons of blogs from families who are affected, and there are quite a few on Baby Center who have been affected, too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Baby shower, grades and doctor's appointment

My sister-in-law called me the other day and asked me if Oct. 24 would be a good day for a shower. I was shocked. I really wasn't expecting one, since Ella isn't our first baby, but I am glad and really appreciate that she's doing it.

Several years ago, we thought we weren't going to have any more children, so we got rid of all of our baby stuff. Then, after my granny died, I decided I really did want another one. So, we got pregnant with Jenna and had only bought one thing, a Winnie the Pooh Pack and Play, before she was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. We didn't buy anything else after that.

Since I wasn't sure if I was going to have a baby shower and thought I probably wouldn't, we started buying what we would need for the baby. I have the stroller and car seat (a Winnie the Pooh travel system), the crib, a diaper bag and a few other things.

My sister-in-law wanted to know what we needed, so I decided to register. It hit me when I was registering that we are really going to be bringing a baby home in November. I am still having trouble believing it, but it's getting easier.

Also, I am doing extremely well in school. Right now, I have an A in Astronomy and History and a B in my Developmental Psych class. We haven't had a test in my psychology of personality class yet, but we will later this week. My seminar on careers in psychology class is a pass/fail class, but I am passing it. I am really proud of myself.

I had my 29 week appointment today. I had gained three more pounds for a total of 16 pounds. My blood pressure was 130/80, which the doctor said was good. I am now going every two weeks for appointments and have made them up until my due date. This is another jolt of realty that we will be having a baby in November. I guess I've just not wanted to let myself believe it so I wouldn't get hurt if something bad happened.

Now, I just have to get over the nerves of how this is going to change our whole lives. I know it's going to be better, but definitely different.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I quit my job today

It's been coming for a while now. I don't care for the new editor at all. He's very passive agressive, and while we get along (I can pretty much get along with anyone), I hate the way he handles assignments and he plays favorites. He's just not my type of editor. I guess no one will ever live to Bob and Betty, my first editors.

Also, one of the biggest reasons is that I don't have time to go to school full time and be a mother full time, either. I know it's going to get even harder when Ella gets here, so I knew I needed to do it. Also, my house is a huge wreck, and Brian has had to take up a lot of the slack. He doesn't really have time to do that either, as he works 12 to 14 hours a day, five days a week.

My other two reasons for doing it are that I'm only getting 16 to 19 hours a week and getting paid $8 an hour to do it and that I'm about to go to every other week for appointments. It just wasn't worth the effort to be honest. And, soon after the two week appointments come the every week, and I'm just giving my job everything it deserves.

I'm still going to be working for the newspaper, just on a freelance basis. I'll write two articles a week for them, and I'll almost what I did working there part time. So, I'm going back to being unemployed, but I know it's for the best this time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Insensitive comments

Today, I had to take Tessa to the doctor. She was running a fever yesterday and had a sore throat, headache and stuffed up nose. She had also been exposed to the flu last week, and I didn't want to take any chances.

Instead of seeing her pediatrician, who we love, we had to see the nurse practitioner. She asked me if this pregnancy was our second child, and I said, no that we had lost one last year due to Trisomy 18.

Tessa told her that her name was Jenna. And, then the lady said something to me that floored me. She said, "That must have been hard. My dog died a few days ago."

My mouth dropped open. I didn't honestly know what to say to her. I think I mumbled something about being sorry for her loss, but I'm not sure.

I love my dog, and she is a member of the family. However, her loss, and the loss of my other pets over the years, in no way compares to the loss of my child. I still can't believe she said that.

Friday, August 28, 2009


This has been a busy week for me between my three hour diabetes test and getting ready for my my first day of school.

The three hour test went Ok. My veins rolled every single time they stuck me, but I could have told them that. I hadn't anything to drink since 11 p.m., the night before, and when that happens, my veins are even harder to find than normal. Plus, the tape they put on the cotton balls to stop the bleeding made my arms raw. I think next time I have blood taken, I'm going to ask them to use a different kind of tape.

But, on the good side, I passed the three hour test. I don't have gestational diabetes. That is such a relief to me. I would really miss my pink lemonade every night, because I can't stand the taste of artificial sweeteners. If I had it, I would only be drinking water and nothing else.

Tomorrow is the first day for two of my classes. Well, the truth is, since it's online, it's the first day I can actually access those classes. The other three can be accessed on Monday. I'm most looking forward to Developmental Psychology, which covers the lifespan; Psychology of Personality, which is just what it sounds like; and astronomy, which is the study of space. My other two are seminars on careers in psychology (which is just a pass/fail course but I have to have it for my major) and History from 1877 to the present. I love history, so I know I'll enjoy it, but I'm not as excited about it as I am the others.

We went Thursday to buy my books. I was surprised at the cost. I had done the shopping online to get an estimate on how much it would be, but I decided to just go to the actual bookstore to save on the shipping. It was nearly $100 less than what we would have paid online. I don't really understand why, as shipping wasn't that much. Oh well, I've got the right books for the classes I'm taking, so I'm not going to complain at all.

I am so excited. I can't wait to get started and get myself one step closer to helping other women who are going through what I did and what others in deadbabyland have gone through.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

25 week appointment update

I went to the doctor on Monday, and I had to do my gestational diabetes screening test. For those who don't know what that is, you have to drink this nasty orange-soda flavored drink and then an hour later, they draw your blood.

For this test, you don't have to be fasting, and I'm really glad about that as my appointment was in the afternoon. But, I'm thinking that eating that day might have skewed the results even though the nurse said it wouldn't. My level was 146. Failing is anything 140 and above, so it really wasn't that bad. But, now I have to take the three hour test. I have to go on Monday, drink the stuff in the office after not having anything to eat or drink since midnight the night before and then have my blood drawn every hour for the next three hours.

I really do dread this. I'm going on Monday. That stuff I have to drink makes me nauseaus (I hate orange soda anyway, and this is way sweeter), and my veins can be hard to get. Oh well, it will be fine. I know I'm at higher risk for gestational diabetes, and gestational diabetes can lead to a bigger baby, which I don't need. Tessa weighed five pounds, seven ounces, and I had a second degree tear. My doctor has said a bigger baby could lead to a C-section for me because she doesn't think I could deliver a bigger baby.

I also got a call the same day about being anemic. My iron levels are really, really low. I chalked my exhaustion and inability to concentrate up to being pregnant, but it turns out it was probably because of the anemia. I am now on iron supplements, but they make me really, really nauseaus.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my friend Rita, and in the middle of it, I started feeling really bad. I felt so bad that I had to leave, because it was our birthday lunch together, but I couldn't help it. I'm so glad I left when I did because I threw up all in the restaurant parking lot. And, as I was puking, I was peeing, all over myself. I thought I was finished, closed the car door and then felt it again. I didn't get the door opened all the way in time, and I threw up all over the door and my shirt. And, again, I peed on myself. I am so glad it didn't happen in the restaurant, and I can't tell you how mortified I am that it happened in the parking lot where everyone could see.

Even though the instructions said to take on an empty stomach, I'm taking them with food, and since I got sick again last night from them, I'm taking a phenergan with it, too. I didn't work today because I felt so bad, but I have to go in tomorrow, so I definitely don't need to be up all night.

Other than all of that, my appointment was good. I've only gained one pounds since my last appointment, which puts me at 10 pounds over all. My uterus is measuring right on track. I only have two days until I get to the "100 days and counting" countdown. I can't wait.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


My husband Brian says he doesn't expect very much out of people so he'll never be disappointed. Me, on the other hand, well, I expect a lot out of people, and when they let me down, I'm very disappointed because I expected more.

It happened to me again. I was expecting my mom, my brother or my sister to at least make a comment about yesterday being Jenna's birthday, but none of them did. In fact, I even posted it on Facebook, and both my sister and my sister-in-law are on my friends list and neither said a word about it.

I talked to my mom twice yesterday, and she didn't say a word about it, nothing. She knows hearing about it doesn't bother me and knows it bothers me more when people don't mention Jenna.

Two of my aunts remembered. My cousins remembered and so did my friends, but the family members who should have didn't. And yes, I'm upset about it.

I haven't said anything about it, and I probably won't. I don't want to have to tell them what the day is. I just want them to care enough to remember, but I guess they don't. If this had happened to one of them, I would have said, "I know what today is, and I remember." It's just that simple.

I honestly should be used to it. I'm used to the slights from my mom. It happens all the time, but I thought she might take the time to even ask me if I was Ok or doing all right. But, then I remember her telling me once that she didn't need to worry as much about me because I'm so much stronger than my brother and sister. Well, sometimes that's bullshit. Sometimes, I need my momma to worry about me and care enough about me to ask if I'm all right and to remember emotional days for me, like the day her dead granddaughter was born. Is that asking too much?

We let go the balloons and let Tessa keep one. She tied it to her bed, to help her remember Jenna. We watched them as they went out of sight and couldn't be seen anymore. We didn't do the cupcakes. Brian couldn't find any with the colors I wanted, and neither could I when I looked. I might call and have some custom made for this weekend and cook a really nice dinner for us as a family, then have them for dessert. I think I'll have dragonflies put on them.

It was a peaceful day for me, and I didn't shed too many tears. All in all, I am a little glad to be past it. Her due date was a harder day for me, although yesterday was by no means easy. I thought I might get a sign from her yesterday, but it didn't happen until today.

I had stopped to pick up some lunch and turned to look out my window. Flying right beside my car was a dragonfly. I smiled and knew it was her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Last year -- Aug. 11, 2008

This was the day we found out Jenna had died. We had decided to have an ultrasound to see exactly what kind of birth defects we were dealing with after we weren't able to end the pregnancy.

Brian couldn't go with me that day, as Tessa had her kindergarten physical that morning. He had to take her, because we hadn't had a chance to do it with everything else going on. For some reason, I didn't want to go by myself. Well, actually, I did have a logical reason for not wanting to drive my car. The back end had a shimmy in it, and I was scared to drive it the 45 minutes to the doctor's office.

My mom was working that day, so I asked my aunt to go with me. She knew I was having an ultrasound, so she was excited about seeing Jenna on the screen. Truth be told, I was hoping her cystic hygroma had shrunk and maybe we would be able to see a bit more brain matter on the screen. I also hoped my fluid levels had gone up, indicating her kidneys were at least working a little bit.

I knew when she ran the ultrasound wand over my belly that she was gone. She wasn't moving, and I didn't see the flicker on the screen. The ultrasound tech who was so sweet just said, "Sweetie, there's no heartbeat."

You know, I didn't really break down much then. I cried some, but not as much as I had imagined. My aunt kept telling me she was with Granny.

We went downstairs to see Dr. McGowen, and she explained what would happen. She wanted me to be back at the hospital by 8 p.m., and said for me to take the time to be home with my family for a little while.

When we left, I hadn't really eaten anything all day, so we went to Wendy's, where I got a chicken club sandwich. I haven't eaten one since. When I got home, Tessa was watching "Yo Gabba Gabba" on television. I can't even see characters from that show now without my stomach turning. I think it's because it was on when I told Tessa that her sister had died. I told her we were going to the hospital to have her, and she could stay with my aunt or her nana. She chose to stay with my aunt across the street.

We got to the hospital that night and had a wonderful nurse. She started the cytotec and just listened to us talk. I can't say enough about her or the nurse we had the next day.

So, tomorrow is her birthday. I am doing all right today. Tomorrow may be worse. I doubt anyone but Brian, Tessa and I are going to remember. I don't want to have to tell anyone what tomorrow is. I want them to remember on their own, but they won't.

I'm going to order pink and white balloons, 10 of each color, one for each week she was with us and let them go. I'm also planning to do cupcakes. I'm working later than normal tomorrow, so I know that will help take my mind off it some.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Student loans

I am completely registered for college now, thank so much to a blog reader. I hope she's reading this because she was a huge, huge help to me, and I appreciate it so much.

Now, I'm just waiting to hear back about my student loans. I called the financial aid office today, and they said to give it until Friday. I knew I needed to go ahead and register so I could get the classes I need to take, but now, I'm afraid something is going to happen with my student loans. If something does go wrong with them, I won't be able to go to school this fall.

I'm taking all online classes, and some of them do cost more than others, especially the ones in the regents program, which is what I'm mostly doing this time. No one can give me an exact amount I will be able to get right now, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to drop something in order to pay for everything.

Plus, I'm hoping not to have to pay out of pocket for anything, especially this semester since we're making payments to the doctor for Ella's delivery, plus paying for my COBRA. If I have to, I'll pay for my books, but I'd really not like to have worry about that expense either.

I am so excited to be able to do this and get my degree, and I don't really want to wait. I want to start now. I'm excited about the classes I'm going to take: Art Appreciation, American People (which is history), Astronomy, Psychology of Personality and Marriage and Family. My major is psychology with my minors being mental health services and family life.

Please keep me in your thoughts and keep your fingers crossed that I'll be able to get enough to cover my tuition and my books and maybe even enough for a new computer, which will help with me taking everything online.

Monday, August 3, 2009

One year ago -- the trip to Atlanta

This weekend was the year anniversary of our trip to Atlanta. We left on Aug. 1 and came back home Aug. 3. I have to say that trip was one of the most awful things that has ever happened to me.

I had made a decision that was going to change the rest of my life. I knew it was what I needed to do for my sick child and for my family. I knew it was the right decision for us. I can't tell you the pain I was in sitting around with a group of women who had what I wanted, a healthy baby, and were willing to throw it all away.

Most of my readers know I'm pro-choice, but that doesn't make me pro-abortion. I have a hard time understanding why someone would choose to have an abortion for a healthy pregnancy, but I can not tell them they can't. It is very hypocritical to say, "My abortion is the only moral abortion."

Some of the women were laughing and joking with the friend or family member they brought with them. The last thing I wanted was someone to be happy while I was the most miserable I had ever been. I was about to say goodbye to a child who was very wanted but would never live. They were about to say goodbye to a child they didn't want but could have lived given half a chance. I felt so guilty for feeling that way, as I have always been pro-choice. I still am, as I explained earlier.

One lady in particular stands out to me. Her husband or boyfriend came in first and went to the front to sign in for her. The receptionist asked where she was, and he said she was outside smoking. At that point, I started feeling very unfavorably toward that woman.

When she finally came into the room, she was sobbing and hyperventilating and obviously pregnant. I started to feel a little sorry for her, thinking she might be in the same shoes I was in, but that pity ended in a minute. The receptionist asked her what was wrong, and I'll never forget what she said, "I'm so nervous. I've never been put to sleep before. They wouldn't even let me take a Valium or a Xanax or anything. Not like it's going to hurt the little bastard anyway, huh?"

Brian and I just looked at each other without saying a word, and I knew it hurt him as bad as it did me. I wanted to slap her. Actually, if I hadn't buried myself in my book (Harry Potter, JK Rowling honestly saved me at this point), I think I would have beat the crap out of that woman. I've never been violent, never been in a fight before, but I wanted to hurt her as bad as she was hurting me. I also found out a little later that no one else out in the waiting room was terminating for a poor prenatal diagnosis. They were all elective procedures.

I know now that woman wasn't trying to hurt me what she was saying. She didn't know me, and she didn't know my situation. And, I was wrong for judging her based solely on one comment made while she was going through a very stressful time. I don't know what made her come to the decision to terminate her pregnancy. Maybe she had agonized over that decision, just as I had. Maybe she was calling her baby "a little bastard" to distance herself from it so as not to hurt anymore than she already was.

Maybe she was being forced into it by her boyfriend/husband. Maybe she was raped and thought it was best for everyone if she terminated. How do I know what her reasons are? How could I judge her for what she was about to do?

I've often felt guilty about that woman and how much I had judged her for a decision I knew nothing about. I also have wondered if she felt guilty over the past year for the decision she made and hope she hasn't persecuted herself over it day after day. I hope she's been able to forgive herself for it if she did feel guilty.

We traveled again this year on this date, and although the trip wasn't one that was pleasurable (we went to see my inlaws), I will say it was better than our trip last year. I tried not to think too much about it over the weekend. Honestly, this was one of the easier anniversaries for me. I know the next one, the anniversary of finding out she had died and then her birth, will be so much harder for me.

Several things

First of all, I want everyone to keep Jen in their thoughts as today was her Lily's birthday. She has been a wonderful friend to me through this journey through the pain of losing a child. We both would have had children in December last if the worst hadn't happened to us, and we both lost our daughters in August. It might have been for different reasons, but the outcome was the same. We both had broken hearts. I lit a candle for Lily tonight and let it burn for about an hour. I also lit Jenna's candle beside it so they could burn together.

Second, I've been feeling a lot better about Tessa this weekend. I think venting about it here helped a lot. Plus, her behavior this weekend was outstanding, even with me. I know part of it was that we had gone to visit my inlaws, and I had made her promise to be on her best behavior. But, it proved to me that she could do it, and she even kept it up today after we left. I took her out to dinner just the two of us, and she was great.

Also, sometimes, I forget she's a grieving sister, too. Today, she looked at Ella's ultrasound pictures, and she said, "Is she all right?"

I said, "Yes, she's very healthy."

Tessa replied, "For now, right?"

I had to explain to her that Ella was healthy and wouldn't leave like Jenna did. After I did that, Tessa said, "So, she's here to stay?"

I said, "Yes, I'm sure she's going to be around for a long time."

And, she said, "Good, I want this one to stick around for a long time."

It almost broke my heart to hear her say this. At first, I really tried to help her in her grief, but since she kind of stopped talking about it, I thought she was better. She would mention Jenna every so often, but not in a grieving sort of way. I never thought she might be scared, almost as scared as Brian and I have been, of losing Ella, too. I know she's not over it and will remember losing Jenna for the rest of her life.

So, now I know she can behave with me, and while I do think we will have some behavior problems come November when the baby gets here, I'm not as sure it will be as bad as I thought. I'm also going to try to be as sensitive to her grieving process as I was in the beginning of this journey.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What have I done?

I was going to make a post tonight about it being a year ago today that we traveled to Atlanta, and while that is on my heart today, it's not what's bothering me the most tonight.

I am worrying about Tessa and what having this baby is going to do to her. First of all, let me preface what I am about to say with this: I love my daughter. She is the light of my world, and I would die for her. But, she can be difficult at times, especially with me. My parents were always very, very hard on me growing up, expecting perfection most of the time, and I always swore I wouldn't do that with Tessa. So, I've never been a strict disciplinarian with her at all, and she knows I'm not and takes advantage of it at times.

She's also high-spirited, strong-willed and a drama queen, and truth be told, I've spoiled her, even though I hate that term. Food spoils; kids don't, is what I usually say, but Tessa is really used to getting her own way with me. Now, don't take that to mean I let her get away with dangerous or age-inappropriate activities. She's safe with me, but she knows I will let her stay up 15 minutes later than normal or give her an extra serving of ice cream.

We have been working on getting her to accept the fact that when I say no, I mean it, but it's been a slow go. She knows it with Brian, my aunt (who babysits her), at school, but with me, I think she knows that no matter what she does, I'm always going to love her, so she really lets go with me.

Also, she is used to spending a lot of time with me. In the evenings, we read, watch television together and sometimes I even lay down with her as she's going to sleep. Usually, it's just the two of us because Brian has to go to bed so early for his job. I do everything for her, and I usually can get whatever she wants right away. Honestly, we've been working on her independence issues a lot over the past year, and now, if she wants a snack, she can get it herself and doesn't expect me to do it. But, I've heard kids regress when a new baby is born, so I'm expecting her to lose some of this independence. I know that would be the normal thing to happen.

Now, I hate that I've made her out to be some kind of little monster, because she's not. I love her spirit, and I love how close we are. At times, I don't even mind the drama queen bit, because it's just her personality. It's a part of her. My friend at work once told me that his daughter reminded him a bit of that poem about the little girl, the one that went, "When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid." Honestly, I hate using good or bad to describe her, because bad or good behavior doesn't define her, so I like to say about Tessa, "When she has good behavior, it is very, very good, but when she has bad behavior, it was horrid."

My aunt who babysits her, her teachers and even Brian when he's with her by himself often say how she is no trouble whatsoever, so it's really just me. And, I know I brought a lot of it on myself by not being strict.

My family knows how she is with me, so they've all been warning me about how bad it's going to be when Ella gets here. They've told me she's going to be so jealous of the new baby, that Brian is going to have take care of Ella while I deal with Tessa, that she's going to regress so much, etc. They also said it would much, much harder on her because of how old she is. Others, who don't know Tessa as well as we do, have said she'll be fine and a little mother, but I just don't know.

I know she's going to be jealous. I was hoping it wouldn't be so bad, but I had a nightmare last night and then something happened this afternoon that made me think I might be wrong.

Last night, I dreamed Ella was here, and Tessa was so mad at me. She yelled and cried and said she hated me and the baby and wished Ella would go away and never come back. It was awful. I was crying, she was crying and the baby was crying. I woke up in tears.

Then, today, when I went to pick her up after work, my nephew was there. He's about 18 months old and wanted to sit on my lap because Tessa was sitting there, too. She didn't want him there and starting crying when I told her she needed to let him. I've been talking to her about how it's going to be when the baby gets here, so I think it might have come from that.

I just don't know what to do. I want to make this transition as easy on her as I possibly can, and honestly, I want to make it easy on all of us. I don't want her to hate me, and I don't want her to hate her sister. Sometimes, I just feel like "What have I done?" when it comes to our family changing. Don't get me wrong. I want Ella more than anything; I just don't want adding to our family to make Tessa hate me.

Maybe it will sound stupid to some people, and maybe some will say I'm worrying for nothing, but I can't help it. It's even taking a lot of my focus away from the grief I know is coming over Jenna's death. I don't want to be afraid of what's to come with Tessa. I want her to be overjoyed about a new sibling. I told her last night that Ella will be her best friend someday. Does anyone have any experience about adding a new baby to the family with a much older sibling (six and a half years old) who is high-spirited and strong-willed?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Judgmental much?

I haven't posted about this in a long time, but I feel like I need to tonight. I was reading some posts on a Web site I visit, and someone made the comment that she didn't understand why those who chose to terminate a pregnancy due to poor prenatal diagnosis a loss since they chose to end their baby's life.

I didn't post in the thread, didn't call her out, although I could have. Someone else did, and she said she had gone through it and decided to carry to term. Why does she have to be so judgmental? Why do others who have made the decision to carry to term feel the need to be judgmental to those who have made the opposite decision?

In the last year (this weekend is the year anniversary of our disastrous trip to Atlanta), I've only seen one or two people who made the decision to carry to term who weren't judgmental of those who decided to terminate. I read one blog who said it was the easy road to take, another who said those who terminated just wanted perfect babies and then this post tonight which basically said they don't have the right to grieve for their babies.

Someone please answer this question for me and tell me why they are so judgmental. Those of us who terminated and those of us carried to term all have been in the same position; we just took different roads. One is not more difficult than the other; just different.

I have never told a parent who made the decision to carry to term that they needed to re-think their decision. I've never told them God doesn't grant miracles. I've never said they didn't care enough about their babies to keep them out of pain, and I've sure never said that their sick baby is a punishment for something they've done wrong.

But, when I was making the decision to travel to Atlanta last year, I did hear I needed to re-think what I was doing. I was told God grants miracles, and I should wait for my miracle. When it didn't happen, I was told I didn't pray hard enough or want it bad enough. I have also been told I was selfish and only wanted a perfect baby, not that I wanted to keep her out of pain. I was also told the reason she didn't live and we didn't get our miracle was punishment for traveling to Atlanta and attempting to terminate the pregnancy. All of these comments came from women who made the decision to carry to term.

I've said it before; I've been both places. I've come about as close as you can to terminating without actually having gone through it, and I attempted to carry to term, even though we didn't get that far. I just can't understand judging either side of it, not at all.

Why can't we support each other through our losses? Why do people, especially those who made the decision to carry to term, feel the need to judge and criticize? Why can't we be there for each other despite our different ways of handling the situation?

I'm hoping when I finish my degrees, I will be able to support women who make either decision. I don't judge. I cheer for those babies who live and thrive in spite of a poor prenatal diagnosis. I grieve and offer support to those who carry to term only to have their babies be stillborn or die in their arms, and I am there for those who are making or have made one of their hardest decisions ever.

Why can't others do the same?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A little scare today

This morning, when I woke up and went to the bathroom, I wiped, and there was blood on the toilet paper. I checked to see where it was coming from, and it didn't seem to be vaginal. It seemed more like it was coming from my urethrea.

I figured I might have a urinary tract infection, even though I didn't have any other symptoms, but I was still scared. Any time you see blood during a pregnancy, it's scary, so I called the doctor. They had me come in at 11 a.m.

By that time, the bleeding had stopped. She did a urine culture and a swab to see if it could be a yeast infection. Both came back clear. She's sending the urine specimen off to see if anything shows up that way.

She said it was probably just a fluke if the long test on the urine doesn't come back showing an infection. It definitely wasn't vaginal blood, and my cervix is closed. Ella's heartrate was very strong, and she even kicked the doppler. Tessa did that once, too.

They told me to come home and take it easy today and call if we have any problems. I asked about going on our trip to my inlaws this weekend, hoping to get out of it, but she said it would be all right if nothing else happened. I don't want anything else to happen, so we will be going on our trip. Brian was all for canceling it, though, and he might still decide to do so. I'm leaving it up to him.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Well, I'm doing it

After much deliberation, I have decided I will start school at MTSU this fall if we can get my student loans in order. Thanks to a blog reader, I found out about the school's online psychology program, so I can actually do it even though I'm pregnant.

I was looking over the course list, and I believe I have a lot of the basics already out of the way. The online schools said I should only have to go a semester or two, but I've had trouble believing that. I've been thinking it might be like three or four, but if I can take a heavy courseload, I might be able to finish sooner. I'll find out more when I talk to an advisor.

This is just one step closer to reaching my goal of helping out other women who have experienced a poor prenatal diagnosis or a pregnancy loss. I also hope to help out those who are experience postpartum depression, especially after the recent disturbing news that was released yesterday about a mother in Texas.

I am super excited and really hope everything goes through with my student loans. Wish me luck with that.

Friday, July 24, 2009

We have a name

I think when you are pregnant choosing the name is the most important part of it. Your child is going to be saddled with it for the rest of their life, unless they decide to take the steps to change it, and believe me, over the years, I've seen some names I would change if my mom had given them to me.

A few weeks ago, I even wrote a column about bad baby names, and the rules I would make if I were Queen Baby Namer of the World. Here's a link in case anyone is interested.

We've been discussing names since we got the second line on the pregnancy test. In fact, we were even discussing names before we ever got pregnant. To me, being able to give another person their name is a huge honor.

So, we had a list of names we were considering for girls this time. The ones we both liked were Ella, Emily, Elizabeth, Sophia, Colleen and Caroline. I loved the name Norah, but he didn't. He loved the name Julianna, but I didn't. So, both of those were vetoed right away.

We made a list of our favorites, and in my head, I tried them all out. My favorite by far is Ella. I just can't see me calling her by any other name. Brian loves it, too. So, for right now (and I'm pretty sure forever), her name is Ella. Now, we just have to decide on a middle name.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Radiologist report

I'm actually beginning to believe I'm going to bring this baby girl home from the hospital when she's born. I went to my regular appointment yesterday, and they had the report from the radiologist.

Everything looked wonderful. They got good pictures of the heart, kidneys, brain, legs, abdomen and all the other important body parts. The only thing they weren't able to see were the hands, but the radiologist isn't too worried about it. Neither I am. She waved at us at one point and then put her hands over her face, so I know they are there. And, they sure didn't look clenched to me.

She weighs 13 ounces and is about 10 inches long. I'm now wondering how much bigger than Tessa she will be. Tessa weighed five pounds, seven ounce and was 17 inches long at full-term. Will Ella/Emily/Elizabeth/Sophia/Caroline/Colleen (LOL) be that small or a lot bigger? I need to know if I should buy preemie clothes because when Tessa was born, nothing fit her and we had to go and buy some for her.

I had gained a total of two more pounds, making me up to nine. Dr. McGowen said she doesn't care if I don't gain another pound, just as long as I don't start losing. This will be wonderful, because she said if that happens, I will weigh less after the baby is born than I did before I even got pregnant. I hope so, because I gained back some of the weight I lost last year after Jenna died while I was unemployed.

Today, Tessa and I had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up the ingredients to make pies for the PTO lunch for teachers first inservice day at school tomorrow. We went over to the baby items and just oohed and ahhed over everything. Tessa picked out a onesie that said, "Drama Queen," and I chose a really cute green sleeper with a floral print and a elephant patch. It was so adorable.

I just hope I'm not jinxing myself or getting my hopes about all of it, but I feel so much better about things than I did before.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's a....

We had to be at our appointment at 10 a.m. I wanted to be early, but it never works that way for us. I think Brian and Tessa would dawdle even if they were going to do their most favorite thing in the world.

We got there right at 10 a.m., and we only had to wait a few minutes before we went back. Tessa was very antsy. She was fascinated by the screen at first, but soon it was boring her. She kept wanting to know when we were going to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, but of course, the tech looked at everything first.

The cerebellum in the brain is measuring at 20 weeks and 6 days, which is good since I'm 21 weeks today. Also, I'm pretty sure we never saw the cerebellum with Jenna, as her brain never really developed. The abdomen measured at 22 weeks, so a little ahead.

I've never had a baby that measured ahead before. Tessa never did, and Jenna always measured at least four or five days behind and even more than that in the beginning. I really do think this baby is going to be bigger than Tessa was. Of course that's not hard to do as Tessa was five pounds, seven ounces and only 17 inches long.

The nasal bone is present, which is also another good sign. The baby waved at us, which indicates the fingers are not clenched. Of course, the tech couldn't tell us all of this, but I could see it. She measured the feet and looked at the heart, which was beating at 136 beats a minute. We also got a clear shot of all four chambers of the heart.

Then it was time to get the money shot. Of course, little baby Belinc was sleeping at this point with its knees together. The tech tried everything to get it to open up, but nothing doing. Finally, she shook my belly, and the baby re-arranged herself. By this point, Tessa was leaning against the table saying, "Please be a girl, please be a girl, please be a girl," over and over again. It was too funny.

And, she got her wish. It's a baby girl. The ultrasound tech said everything looks good to her, but the radiologist still has to read the report. I go back to the doctor tomorrow, so will find out for sure then. Thanks so much for the good thoughts and please keep them up until we get the report from the radiologist.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Countdown to the ultrasound

Well, it's 11:30 p.m. the night before my big ultrasound. We'll find out if we're having a boy (probably named Spencer) or a girl (who will never be named, lol), but most importantly, we'll find out if this baby is healthy.

To say that I am nervous is a understatement. I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight. I was thinking of taking some Benadryl (totally safe during pregnancy) tonight to help me sleep, but I decided against it. What if it made the baby lethargic on the ultrasound, and we couldn't see anything?

I have decided to let Tessa go with us tomorrow. She wants to go so bad, and we promised to let her go with Jenna but we never got to have the big ultrasound at 20 weeks. It wasn't needed; we already knew by then she didn't have a chance.

I have felt the baby move a lot today. Maybe he or she is trying to tell me everything will be Ok. I just wish it was this time tomorrow night, so I would know that all is fine.

The ultrasound is at 10 a.m. I think we will probably go eat somewhere afterward. I have thought about picking up the baby's coming home outfit, but my aunt (and before granny died, she helped, too) has gifted that to the new baby for all the great-grandchildren. She has good taste, too, so I don't mind waiting for her to do that. I might just have to buy him or her something, though.

I just have to keep telling myself that I'm now farther along with this baby than I ever got to be with Jenna, that we never got to have the anatomy scan with her and none of my test results ever came back good with her. In fact, even with my first ultrasound, she was measuring behind, which we just chalked up to me being off about my dates. So far, everything looks good with this baby, and it has even measured ahead or right on track the entire time. I also know this baby has some special angels looking over, my granny, Jenna and all the babies lost to all the special women I've met over the past year.

I will update this blog as soon as I can tomorrow. Please keep us in your thoughts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

20 weeks, 5 days

I am 20 weeks, five days, exactly what I was when Jenna was born. She was alive on August 5, 19 weeks and five days, so she died sometime between then and Monday, which was 20 weeks and four days.

After she was born, they said she had probably been dead a couple of days. I remembering thinking I had felt her on Sunday, right before we took Tessa and my nephew Luke to Chuck E. Cheese, but I'm not sure. She was so small, and her movements were just like tiny flutters, so it might not have been that. I like to think that it was, so I would say she probably passed away at 20 weeks and three days.

I am not sure how I feel to be honest. I know this little one is still with us because I can feel him/her moving around, which makes me feel a lot more excited about going into the ultrasound on Monday, but I am also a little sad that tomorrow I will be farther along with this baby than I ever got to be with Jenna. I don't know if sad is exactly the right word for it or not. I'm glad this baby is alive and will have been alive for longer than Jenna ever was. I'm just sad Jenna didn't get to live longer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time helps a lot but...

I've been meaning to post about this, but I keep getting other worries on my mind and forget about it. The Sunday after the Fourth, my great-aunt's family held a birthday party for her. She turned 88 this year and is the only great aunt (or uncle even) that we have left.

Her daughter-in-law created a scrapbook for her, which included all eight of her children and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There was even a page in there for my cousin's baby who died at just a few days old and another for another cousin's baby who died in utero.

They also made a DVD full of pictures and included all the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in it. They featured Christian, the baby who died at just a few days old from CHARGE Syndrome. My mom said she thought they shouldn't have had him on there. This really bothered me, because even though he wasn't here long, he was still her grandchild. Momma said it just brought everyone down.

The baby that died in utero was actually diagnosed with something prenatally. It's been several years ago, even before Tessa was born, and since I was never particularly close to that cousin, I didn't find out what it was. I do know that they were quite far along when they decided to end the pregnancy and decided to terminate (which would be a huge deal for them on that side of the family as most of them are vehemently pro-life in all situations, even for medical terminations), but they had to fly to Kansas to have it done. When they got there, the baby had already died, and they came home to deliver her.

At the party, I asked my mom if she knew what was wrong with the baby. She said she didn't know and suggested I ask my cousin's wife about it if I was curious. I told her that I didn't want to bring back bad memories for her, and my mom said, "Oh, it's been a long time, it probably doesn't bother her anymore."

I said, "That's not something you ever completely get over, Momma. I'm sure it still bothers her."

And, Momma said, "Oh, she's had two kids since then. She probably doesn't even have time to think about it."

Was that insensitive or is it just me? It doesn't matter how many children you, when you lose one, you've lost it forever, and that child is forever in your heart. If the baby had died of SIDS or lived for a few days, would she still say the same thing? I was just floored and a little hurt by what she said, so I didn't say anything else. I wanted to tell her that I bet she thinks about that baby every day.

It makes me wonder if two or three years down the road, when this new baby is here and growing, and Tessa is thriving, will everyone expect me to be over it? Will she expect it not to hurt or me not to think about it? I still think about Jenna every day almost a year later. How can I not?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Monday is our big ultrasound. If you go by my dates, I'll be 21 weeks. If you go by doctor's dates (which I do think are off), I'll be 20 weeks, three days.

The ultrasound where we found out Jenna had died was on a Monday. I was 20 weeks, four days. I hate, hate, hate this. I wish it was over, and I already knew everything was fine.

But, I don't, so I have to worry. I hate that I'm superstitious about things, but I am. I wish I had never thought to compare the dates. I wish I had never told Tessa she could go with us. I wish I had never lost a baby to Trisomy 18, so I could still be naive about all of this.

I really, really hate this so much. I'm just glad I can feel the baby move now and have the doppler so I'll know the baby still has a heartbeat right before leave for the appointment.

Monday, July 13, 2009

20 weeks today and getting nervous

I am 20 weeks pregnant today and really feeling it. My hips are achy, which never happened with Jenna, but did happen with Tessa, only much, much later. I've also started waddling lately, which is oh so attractive.

I get an e-mail every week from Baby Center, telling a little about the pregnancy at this point. Today's said the baby is probably measuring about 10 inches and weighs about 10.5 ounces. He or she is already bigger than Jenna ever got to be.

I am getting so nervous, about a lot of things. Our ultrasound is in another week, and I'm trying not to think about all the things that could be wrong. Instead, I'm trying to focus on the fact that the odds are in our favor that everything is just fine. Just six more days, and I'll be more pregnant than I got to be with Jenna.

I am also getting nervous about labor and delivery. I know I have a long time to go for that one, but I had a horrible experience when Tessa was born and don't want to go through that again. Even though Jenna's delivery was very emotional for me, physically, it wasn't anywhere near as horrible as what I went through with Tessa, even though I did have to dilate all the way to 10 to deliver her. So, at least, I know not all deliveries are that horrible.

My biggest case of nerves come from the thought of raising another child. I keep thinking, "What in the world is this going to do to Tessa?" Her whole life is going to be turned upside down. For the last six years, she's been our main focus, and now, the attention is going to shift to this tiny new being. How is that going to affect her?

I know she's excited now, but she doesn't really know how her life is going to change with the new baby. I'm planning to get her involved with a lot of activities this fall, so maybe it will take her mind away from the fact that she's not the only one anymore.

Also, I don't want to play favorites at all, and I'm so afraid I'm going to love Tessa more than I love this baby. We have spent six years together, and for the first three, it was just she and I as Brian was on the road during the week. I love her more than anything, and I have a hard time seeing how I'm going to possibly love this baby as much as I do Tessa. She's my girl, you know?

Of course, I'm probably just being silly, and I know I will him or her just as much, but it worries me. I hope I'm not the only parent who feels that way.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not as bad as I thought it would be

Today was no where near as bad as I thought it would be. I noticed I hadn't felt the baby move much today, so when I got home from work, I took out the doppler (thanks to my friend for letting me borrow it) to find the heartbeat.

The baby was moving so much, I had trouble finding it. In fact, at one point, it sounded like s/he was punching my belly over and over again. I'm not sure why I wasn't feeling it, but I guess it has to do with me being overweight. It sure sounded funny on the doppler though.

Also, Tessa shared some funny observations about breastfeeding with me last night, and I thought about that often today and even shared it with a few co-workers. I'll share it here, too.

We were talking about feeding the baby, and she asked me if I was going to use bottles. I told her I was planning to try to breastfeed and that I had tried with her, but it didn't work out. She asked, "What did you do? Stick your booby in a bottle and squeeze out the milk?"

Fighting back the laughter, I explained how it all worked. She was horrified and said, "I bet when you were trying to get me to do that, I was thinking 'You want me to suck on THAT?'," with much sarcasm on the that. Everyone I have told has thought it was hilarious.

Honestly, I've always believed laughter can help you through almost any situation. When we took our trip to Atlanta, my DH packed my Golden Girls DVDs, knowing I would need something to make me laugh. He also packed them when we went into the hospital for her to be born. We told our nurses that night that we laugh about things because it helps us, and laughing did help. It didn't change anything, didn't really take away the pain, but it did take our minds away from the pain for just a little while.

I guess that's why I shared Tessa's comments with so many people, so I could share in their laughter and take my mind off it. I also interviewed the new principal at Tessa's school and found him to be wonderful, so I'm really excited about her first grade year. I've got to write his story tomorrow for the newspaper.

Keeping busy and laughing helped take my mind off it all. I'm just going to try to keep busy for the next month or so, until the anniversaries are all over.

Someone commented that they hope my heart is healing, and it is, slowly but surely. I don't cry every day anymore. It doesn't hurt as bad looking at baby clothes anymore, not like it did when I first lost Jenna. But, even when my heart is healed, it will always carry a scar and a piece of it is always going to be gone. I don't know if I will ever be able to change that.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One year ago tomorrow

One year ago tomorrow, our nightmare began. I got the call from Dr. McGowen herself that our test results came back in one in 10 for Trisomy 18.

I can still remember it like it was just yesterday. I was sitting at my desk at work, and she asked me if I could talk. I told her I was at work, and she wanted to know if I wanted to call her back later. I didn't. My co-workers (who I still miss to this day) were like family members to me. She then told me about the risk factors. I can remember saying, "That is the one they consider incompatible with life, right?"

Of course she said yes, and then she reminded me that the AFP test were notorious for false positives. She wanted me to go to the maternal fetal medical specialists upstairs and was going to try to get me in the next day.

I had to scramble to get someone to cover for me, but Justin, who will forever be my friend for the way he handled everything from then on, volunteered to help out. I'll never forget after we got confirmation of the diagnosis how he approached me and said, "I don't know what to say. I even went to the Trisomy 18 Web site to see what I could do, and I still don't know." He was 25 at the time. Most 25-year-old guys aren't really known for their sensitivity, but he was great.

I think I knew the results were going to be positive as soon as she said told me what the AFP risk factors were. I tried to convince myself and others nothing was wrong, but I knew it in my heart, especially after we had the ultrasound a day later.

So, it's been a year since our nightmare began. I am nowhere near the same person I was last year. I wish Jenna was here with me. I wish I had never had to experience Trisomy 18. I wish July and August were still good months for me, but I don't think they ever will be again. I wish I wasn't so paranoid about this pregnancy.

Even though I have this new baby growing inside me, I still miss Jenna. I know I always will.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

First big purchase

I've been diapers for this baby since our 12 week ultrasound and bloodwork came back normal. I've got four packs of newborn diapers and am going to start buying size ones next. I also bought a three pack of BPA glass-free bottles, just in case breastfeeding doesn't work out. We also bought a little stuffed monkey and a t-shirt for the baby while we were on vacation.

Brian told me the other day he saw a circular from a store where we want to buy our travel system. We wanted a Winnie the Pooh one, and even though it wasn't the exact same brand as the one we had looked at it, it was made by Disney and featured Winnie the Pooh. I decided to go look at it. I went today, and while I was there, I purchased a black and sage diaper bag for the baby.

It's just as nice as the original brand we wanted and is nice and sturdy. It's gotten good reviews. The price is right, too.

I wasn't able to buy it today because Brian had the debit card, but I am going tomorrow to get it. I've been fine buying diapers, but buying a major purchase is really bothering me.

I know this is silly, but I'm almost afraid if I buy it, I'm going to "jinx" the pregnancy. We bought a pack and play when we were pregnant with Jenna, but that was the only thing we bought. I bought it and then we found out she was sick.

Now, I know it's silly. Buying that pack and play early didn't make Jenna sick. She already even before she was conceived, because Trisomy 18 is caused by either a defective egg or sperm, but it's still scary.

I'm going to do my best and push that fear aside. I'll buy the travel system for the new baby. I can't wait until s/he is born to buy anything. I have to prepare ahead. It's just hard when you are so nervous and paranoid.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A confession

Can I make a confession? I guess I probably can because I've shared everything with all my readers over the past year.

I am scared, scared to death honestly, that something is going to go wrong with this pregnancy. It doesn't help that July 9 is coming up. That is the date when our nightmare last year started. It also doesn't help that I am now at the same point in this pregnancy as I was when our nightmare was taking place.

I even rationalize in my mind what I would do if something happened. I think, "Oh, I won't have to start all over again with a baby again," or "I won't have to do those middle of the night feedings," or "You've already been through the pain once; it won't be so bad again."

But then, I'll think about holding a healthy baby in my arms come November, and all those rationalizes flee. I honestly don't mind starting all over, and I loved the middle of the night feedings with Tessa. I have insomnia anyway. Being up all night is the norm for me. And, honestly, I really do think the pain of something happening twice just might break me.

Yesterday, when we made our ultrasound appointment, I thought about when we made it with Jenna. It was the last truly happy, worried free day I can remember. We made our appointment for Aug. 4, two days before my birthday. I was so excited to find out what we were carrying. Little did I know at that point I would know a lot sooner that our baby was a girl. I would get that news, along with something a whole lot worse.

I told myself at the beginning of the pregnancy I wouldn't get close to this baby and wouldn't invest any love for it until we knew the baby was healthy. But, I couldn't help it. I have gotten attached to this pregnancy.

I miss the carefree days before I knew what all could wrong. My cousin told me the other day that she thinks in this day and age we know too much, and I agree. I think I know even more because I'm friends with all the mommas who have lost babies, all to many different reasons.

Sometimes, I get so scared I get close to having a panic attack. Not quite, just a little bit of pulse racing. I always take a deep breath and get it back under control, so it's not really a big deal. It's just anxiety and worry getting the best of me.

I think it's normal, but has anyone else experienced this kind of fear?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Three more weeks

Today was a very in and out appointment. I peed in a cup like always, had my blood pressure taken and was weighed. I've gained two pounds, which is good. Dr. McGowen doesn't want me to gain too much.

We talked about some pain and pressure I had been having while on vacation, which she attributed to walking too much. I think it was probably that, too.

She felt around on my belly and said it felt just right and then listened for the heartbeat. She found it right away, thumping right along. I told her that I had found it with our at home doppler, and it ranged between 149 and 165, which she said was normal. I also told her about the flutterings I've been feeling, and she said that was good.

So then we moved on to talk about the big ultrasound. I knew she wouldn't give in on the 20 weeks, so I'm having to wait three weeks. I can handle that. At least I'm not having to wait four weeks like I was afraid. So, our appointment for the ultrasound is July 20. Dr. McGowen can't see us that day, so I'm going in the next day. That's fine with me. I don't want to wait another week, and Brian can't come unless it's on Monday.

By my calculations, I am 18 weeks today. At exactly 18 weeks with Jenna, we received our diagnosis from the FISH results. I'll never forget that day. Part of me knew what I was going to hear, but I was hoping it wouldn't be bad news. I carried my phone into an interview with me, an interview about a teenage girl who attended a Confederate girl's school re-enactment. I told them I was waiting for my amnio results. After Jenna died, she sent me a card and told me she remembered me having my phone with me that day.

Part of me really wants the ultrasound to get here, but another part dreads it because I am so scared something is going to be wrong. I've told Tessa we will take her, but what if something bad happens. I'm not sure I want her there for that.