10 Months

Yesterday marked 10 months since Joshua was born and subsequently died.  10 months.  That’s a hard number to swallow.  I cannot believe it.  In fact, I didn’t even realize that yesterday was the 26th.  Shortly after I got to work, my mom text me.

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I touches me that my mom remembers.  And almost hurts that I didn’t.  I felt badly for not knowing it was the 26th.  In the beginning, I dreaded days.  I dreaded the weekends and counted the weeks since Joshua was born.  Now it feels like each day is the same.  There is no fearing a Friday or Saturday to arrive (the day I went into the hospital and the day he was born).  There is no looking at the calendar in anticipation that the 26th is arriving soon.  It’s just a day like any other.  Part of me is happy and quite relieved I can say that.  The other part of me feels like I’m losing touch of my son when I don’t fiercely recognize these days.

Last week my cousin had a baby.  There have been plenty of births after Joshua, but this one hit me.  Not because I’m particularly close to my cousin, I don’t know what it was, but that night was hard on me.  I cried.  A lot.  The ugly, out loud, snot running down my face, can’t breathe kind of cry.  I couldn’t stop it.  The crying started on the couch, just watching TV.  Nothing triggered it.  I just couldn’t help but think how unfair it was that Joshua died.  Why me?  Why him?  Those questions I asked every day in the beginning.  I went up stairs into his room and brought out his photos.  This simultaneously made it better and worse.  The crying got worse, but my heart felt a little better.  I’ve looked at those photos a thousand times, but on that particular day looking at the photos made me feel like I was reliving the day.  I felt like I was right back in the pain the days after his death.  I wanted to text my husband to come home but didn’t want to bother him at his work function.

After I got all the deep down sobs out, I went to the bathroom to blow my nose and make sure my mascara wasn’t all over my face.  I went back downstairs to get my mind off things.  My husband came home shortly after.  He immediately knew something was wrong and asked me about it.  I just hugged him and said, “I miss Joshua.  It’s just not fair.”  He said, “I know, I miss him too.  He was too perfect for earth and God needed him for something bigger.  We have our little girl coming soon and Joshua will be watching over her.  You should have called me if you were having a bad night, I would have come home.”  It was comforting to know he missed Joshua too, but I didn’t like how he changed the subject to the new baby.  “I know, but that doesn’t make me miss him any less, in fact, sometimes it makes me miss him more,” I responded.

Getting closer and closer to our little girl’s arrival makes me miss Joshua more.  Her big kicks remind me of him.  Dreaming of (or dreading) her birth makes me missing him more as well.  I still have a hard time imagining what it’ll be like with a living baby at home.  Some days are so great.  Of course I miss him every day and try to tell him that I love him multiple times, but some days just feel normal now.  Then there are other days like last week when I just can’t stop the tears.  It’ll never be fair that Joshua died.  It’ll never be okay.  My pain won’t go away from not having him in my life.  Although, I know that I wouldn’t be pregnant right know if it wasn’t for his death.  I know this baby has a place in our lives that was meant to be, just like Joshua, and she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that tragic event 10 months ago.

10 months ago was the best and worst day of my life.  I don’t know that many people would understand that and that’s okay.  10 months ago we had our son.  He was the most perfect and beautiful baby I’ve ever seen (I may be a little biased!).  I miss him.  We had 6 hours with him.  I wish we had the last 10 months.  I miss touching his soft skin and that soft hair.  I miss looking at his cute little lips, long eyelashes, and perfect nose.  I miss him.  I love him.  I always will.

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Glucose Test and Ultrasound

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I was dreading my glucose test yesterday.  Last year when I was pregnant with Joshua, I failed the one hour glucose test.  I didn’t have much confidence for this year’s one hour test.  I made sure not to eat or drink anything for a good two hours before my test (even though my instructions only state one hour).  I arrived at my appointment early to make sure I could drink it before the ultrasound and appointment so I didn’t have to wait  the hour afterwards.

I gulped it down.  It’s not all that bad.  To me it tastes like extra sweet flat orange soda.  Not great, but not terrible.  The clock started.  I went into the ultrasound.  I didn’t think the test would effect the baby since I had literally drank the concoction right before going in, but the ultrasound tech said that the baby can get the sugars within 5 minutes of eating something.  That’s quick!

As usual, she was all wiggles during the ultrasound.  She was adorable!  Her little feet were crossed and we could even see how full her cheeks are getting.  To my amazement, the tech and I even saw her blink.  She passed her growth ultrasound with flying colors.  She’s measuring at about 1 lb 14 ounces and looks healthy!!  Mama is happy!

photo 1Here’s a picture of her profile.  Blurry, but still the most adorable thing I’ve seen!

After the ultrasound, I sat down and waited for my doctor’s appointment.  Almost immediately, the glucose timer went off.  The nurse grabbed me.  I rolled up my sleeves and prepared for the worst.  God, please, please have me pass this test!!  It felt like an eternity from the time she got my blood to when the results showed.  I needed 139 or lower.  I peered over the chair…138!  Really?  138, I passed!!  I almost started crying.  I gave the nurse a big hug and had a huge smile on my face the rest of the day!!

These last few weeks have been amazing!  With passing my blood clotting tests, the glucose test, and having our baby growing healthy and looking great on her ultrasounds, these last few weeks couldn’t get much better.  God is smiling down on us.  I believe that God has big plans for this little girl and right now, nothing can steal this joy!

Great Doctor’s Phone Call Today

Oh happy day!  The doctor called today and said that my blood test results all came back normal!

A few weeks go, the doctor from the perinatal specialist ultrasound office suggested that since I have a history of stillbirth and family history of blood clots, I should get tested to see if I carry a blood clotting gene.  At my next normal doctor’s appointment, the nurse drew 8 vials of blood where they sent it off to a lab and they ran 8 blood clotting tests.

The doctors said that if some tests came back positive, that I’d need to take a baby aspirin for the rest of my pregnancy.  If other tests came back positive, I’d need to give myself a daily shot of medication every day.  EEK!  A daily shot?  I prayed and prayed that the tests would come back negative, or normal.  I want my baby to have a happy environment, free of medication.  But of course, if the doctor said I needed to take medication, I would.  Whatever is best for the baby!

After waiting a week and a half for the results to come in, today’s call was such a huge relief!  Relief that I don’t carry a blood clotting gene, which is not only great for the pregnancy, but great for life in general.  Relief that I don’t have to take medication, especially a shot, every day for the remainder of my pregnancy.  And especially a relief knowing that this potential blood clotting gene isn’t what caused Joshua’s death.

God is good!

Now my next step is to pass the one hour glucose test on Monday…

God Speaks

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God is so good!  Even throughout the pain and struggle of losing a child, He is good.

On Sunday we were sitting in church and I felt God speaking to me.  The pastor was praying, “Thank you God, that we are alive.”  Immediate the baby gave me a big kick.  I felt like God was telling me she’s alive, she’ll be okay, you don’t have to worry anymore.

The pastor went on to pray about joy and again the baby kicked.  A nice little reminder that I need to feel joy in this pregnancy.  God has so much joy in us and our baby, God has so much joy to give, and we have so much joy in God and His goodness.

After church we attended the new member lunch.  After 6 years of attending our church, we felt it was time to finally go through the classes to become a member (slackers, I know).  During the lunch, the lead pastor went around the room and had people introduce themselves.  To my surprise, many had been attending longer than we had!  Once they said a little about themselves, the pastor read a verse for everyone.  My verse was Psalm 27:1:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I fear?”

You’re right, God, whom what shall I fear?  I shouldn’t fear her birth, I should fear of her death.  She’s alive!!!!  She’s my joy!!  There is nothing to fear when I trust in God.  I need to trust He will provide.  He provided an abundant, albeit short, life for Joshua.  But he was my joy for that short time and he will always be a source of my joy.  And this little girl growing inside of me is also my joy.  God will provide a full life for her, one where I should not fear how short it may be.  She is alive and she is our joy!

Struggle between Fear and Hopefulness

I catch myself when I speak with people about my pregnancy.  I feel like I always leave the conversation having said something like, “I’m nervous” or “I hope everything goes well this time”.  Simply put, that’s the truth.  I feel those things.  However, after I say things, I feel so negative.  I never thought those things when I was pregnant with Joshua and I don’t want to feel them now.

When I first got pregnant with this little girl, I was so positive.  The fear wasn’t taking over.  I was hopeful, in fact, positive that everything would go perfectly.  However, as I get closer to the end of my pregnancy, I feel the fear taking over.  I want to take this baby home, but it’s hard to picture being home with a baby.  I love this baby so much, but I fear the same thing will happen that happened to Joshua.  I try not to think that way, I want my little girl to feel happy thoughts from her mama.  I don’t want my baby to be born knowing fear.

It seems like every time I feel worried, I think, Is the baby alive?  Is she moving?  I haven’t felt her move lately.  Seems silly, she moves constantly.  Each time I think these crazy thoughts, she moves almost immediately.  It’s like she can read my mind.  She’s continually reminding me that she’s here, she’s feisty, and she’s okay.

I’m so hopeful for this pregnancy.  My mind battles between fear that will lose my baby girl and being hopeful that she will be born alive.  I pray every night that she will come home with us and grow old with us.

I ran across a great article today on Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine’s website called Week 29: Positive Affirmations for Pregnancy.    The writer’s firstborn was stillborn at 40 weeks, unfortunately something I can relate to all too well.  In this blog post, she writes about her fears and choosing to be positive.  The last few paragraphs she wrote stood out to me:

“And then I remembered why I was doing all this second guessing of doctors, nurses, myself, and especially my body. The answer I remembered was because I didn’t trust in my body like I did last time I was pregnant.  I no longer believed that she would keep my baby safe and I miss that.  My mind misses feeling calm and connected to the infinite wisdom that is within my body to produce life.  My body and mind are in constant battle with one another arguing about what each thinks is right for this baby.

I decided I can’t have that anymore.  I WANT to place some trust back into my body again and I think she deserves that.  Will my mind give her free rein to be solely in charge of the rest of this pregnancy? No.  But I will give my body some trust back and I have been doing so with the use of positive affirmations.  I find them helpful when I’m in moments of panic or just lost in thought.  I will warn you, they are kind of cheesy (because that is just who I am), but if you need to I encourage you to use some of mine or make up your own.  It might help you calm your mind and ease your nerves about any part of pregnancy you might be anxious about.

  1. I am strong, healthy, and so is the baby I am creating.
  2. I possess the strength and courage it takes to bring this baby into the world healthy and alive.
  3. I trust the infinite wisdom of my body to protect this baby and produce life.
  4. My fears about past pregnancies and the future of this pregnancy are melting with each moment.
  5. Birth is safe for me and my baby; it’s a natural part of creation.
  6. My pregnant body is a beautiful vessel that is blooming and creating life.
  7. I visualize a beautiful birth and coming home with a healthy baby in my arms.
  8. This baby growing inside me is full of life and will live a beautiful one.
  9. I breathe in strength and breathe out calm and confidence in my body and baby.
  10. My baby loves me and I love my baby, that is enough.”

I feel so much of what she’s saying.  My mind isn’t trusting in my body to keep my baby safe.  Just like the writer, I do not want this.  I want to trust my body just like I did last time.  When I was pregnant with Joshua, I trusted that my body would keep him safe which it did for 41 weeks and I need to do that with this pregnancy.

I love her positive affirmations.  Here are the positive affirmations I’ve created that mirror her list:

  1. I am strong and so is my baby (I feel it every day!).
  2. I am courageous.  It takes a lot of courage to go through pregnancy again after loss.
  3. I trust my body will provide for my baby and protect her.
  4. My fears in this pregnancy will go away, even if it takes a lot of work to do so.
  5. Birth will come, I will not fear it, and my baby will be born alive.
  6. My body is beautiful and is producing a beautiful life.
  7. I visualize my baby coming home with me and growing up in our home.
  8. This baby is so full of life.  She reminds me with every kick.
  9. I breathe in strength and confidence and breathe out any fear and anxiety.
  10. The love my baby and I share is unbreakable.

I’ve read that babies can feel stress in the last trimester.  In a few short weeks when I enter my third trimester, I do not want my little girl feeling stress.  I want her to feel love and happiness the way Joshua did.  I want her to be born knowing only love.  No fears, no hurt, no stress.  Only love.