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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.