2 down, 8 or 9 to go.

My first NST was Thursday. Rowan wouldn’t sit still the entire time I was hooked up. It’s like she felt the pressure from the monitors and wanted nothing to do with it. She kicked and moved and ultimately the nurse had to stand with me for 20 mins holding it in position so we could try to get a decent reading. When she had gotten enough accelerations, she showed my MFM who said it was fine and that I didn’t need to have an ultrasound to confirm she indeed passed her NST.

Then, an ultrasound tech came in and checked my amniotic fluid. She was new. She was super sweet, but she had notes with her (I know you have to learn and start somewhere but how about NOT starting on someone who has lost a baby…)

She took forever to get the measurements and when she was done she said I was measuring 8cm of amniotic fluid (average between 25-32 weeks is 14, then it decreases in preparation for birth). Two weeks previous it had been 12.6 during an ultrasound with an amazing tech whom I love/trust fully. So after some calculations she came up with the number 10.

I wasn’t happy and I told my MFM this but she said she wasn’t worried. I trust her. But, it’s so hard to not allow my mind to go there and freak out. Which I proceeded to do from after Thursday’s appt until today at my NST when they measured my fluid again.

Same (new) girl. Same notes. Same length of time to complete the test….13.76 cm.

Seems odd….but whatever. It is what it is. Rowan passed her NST with flying colors today and I feel satisfied for now. Shane was able to come with me today but I could just tell it was so nerve wracking for him. I don’t know if I’m going to let him come again.

Afterward, we went to Panera Bread, without kids! It was so nice to sit with him and enjoy a dinner where I’m not feeding someone else or having to get up to get more drink, a spoon or a napkin for someone else.

Landon’s birthday party is this weekend. I have so much to accomplish this weekend (Shane’s weekend– Tuesday and Wednesday). I’m hoping he feels motivated to help me get it all done cus lord knows I can’t do much of anything with this giant stomach. I am SO ready to be done….I love being pregnant, but nearly 3 straight years is just too much.

4 weeks and 5 days left.

I can do this.

and we’re here again.

Tomorrow starts the long (yet short) last few weeks of this pregnancy. I start 2x weekly NSTs. They will be every Thursday and Monday. I’m hoping that Shane will be able to go to some of them, but it doesn’t seem likely and honestly maybe that’s for the better.

When we started NSTs for Alden he was a wreck. I think in part because the first one he came to we couldn’t find the HB on the machine for what seemed like 59 hours but was a few seconds. So, he was stressed over that and things just kind of spiraled from there. I think it would be better if I went to them alone honestly.

Then, on February 9th I will have an NST, growth ultrasound and a doctors appt. If things go right, this could be my last ultrasound EVER. It’s crazy to think that way. Also, if all goes well during delivery, I will be getting my tubes tied. This really brings up a lot of weird emotions for me.

We tried for so long to get pregnant naturally, then we were diagnosed with infertility, then Kenley died, then IVF and Alden was born, then a healthy spontaneous pregnancy. It just seems so final to tie my tubes but really it’s not. If for some CRAZY reason we ever want more kids (no) I have embryos and need no tubes for IVF so there’s that…

Plus this saves us from the possibility of a random pregnancy when we’re like 45.

I guess the next 37 days will be jam packed with NSTs, basketball games and Landon’s birthday party…and of course at the end of the 37 days we will hopefully add another baby girl to our lives.

Fingers crossed.

those people.

When we found out we had fertility issues I was devastated to say the least. I was thrown into this world where I knew nothing and was supposed to emerge on the other side with a healthy baby. Navigating infertility was awful and lonely; it was the scariest thing we had to deal with as a couple up until we lost Kenley.

Many fertility treatments later I began to realize that I needed to see someone who know what the fuck they were doing and not a NP who was playing doctor. I will never forgive my previous physician for not sending me to a RE, ever, and for me pretty much having to advocate for myself and request to be seen by myself. Which…is funny because my NP suffered from infertility and had to do IVF a bunch of times…but that’s whatever. It is what it is.

When I started seeing my RE it was just night and day difference. This is when I began to research my diagnosis and found things to help me along my journey. I found that certain meds would be better for us vs lower doses etc. Ultimately, I think my RE was annoyed by me. I think he didn’t really like that I googled the shit out of everything and spoke to other women who had gone through treatment and had gotten their opinions on my diagnosis.

After 4 or 5 failed cycles, I convinced him to allow me to use injectable medicine along with an IUI (intrauterine insemination). I responded well, the IUI went well, and I ended up pregnant with Kenley. I fought so hard for her…she was worth every stab, poke, and transvaginal ultrasound.

When we lost her and I found out that my diagnosis was even worse now, I freaked out. We were told by the OB to wait s year to try again, and my RE suggested a year and a half (nope). I did my research and decided that I wanted to see a maternal fetal medicine doctor. I made an appointment at OSU MFM and they ended up clearing me to try on the spot. They said based on my infertility diagnosis it was worth it to start now; my csection scar was healed and would only keep healing.

This is when we started IVF for Alden. I’ll never forget meeting with my RE after Kenley died, and just seeing the look on his face. I will also never forget him saying these exact words to me: ” Randi, if I’m being honest here, I think you should take the money you have for IVF and put it into an account to send your son to college”. He thought we didn’t stand a chance. He thought it wouldn’t work.

With each appointment I proved him wrong. My body rallied and we ended up with 7 eggs which is a big deal for my diagnosis. 3 of those 7 were genetically normal after testing. We had 1 girl, and 2 boys. Alden was transferred into my body, and was born 37 weeks later.

We have 2 male embryos frozen.

Then, the thing that everyone with infertility wishes for happened to us.We became pregnant naturally.

I cannot explain how this made me feel. I’m not even going to try because it’s a whole huge cluster fuck of emotions and honestly there are VERY few people who would be able to understand or read it without judging me in some way, shape or form.

So we are those people. The ones who paid $23,000 out of pocket for IVF and then BAM get pregnant. We’re the people who adopt then BAM the wife is pregnant with twins! We’re the people who “stop trying” then BAM!

I don’t want to be those people, because that’s not my story. Like…it is…but it’s SOOO much more than that. I don’t want to be the couple that my sisters friends brothers wife talks about to her friend who’s struggling- ” I know this couple who did IVF and then got pregnant naturally when their daughter was 3 months old”!

I don’t want to be those people. That’s not who I am. I am a mother who suffered infertility for YEARS, who lost her daughter that was conceived after multiple failed cycles, who insisted on IVF even though it meant taking out a home equity loan on her home.

I feel like just being the person who got pregnant naturally when her daughter was 3 months old sells my story short.

I guess I shouldn’t give a shit, because I know the truth. The people who matter know the truth (even though some of them seem to forget the struggle we’ve had…).But I will always care because I feel like being “those people” discounts Kenley’s existence and our struggle. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just feeling everything all at once, again. It seems to be something I do a lot of lately.

I don’t want to be those people.

I want us to be Landon, Kenley, Alden and Rowan’s parents. That’s all.

And I really fucking wish that we could parent them all on earth with each other.

snow.

December 2015 was hot. Like balmy even. 72-75 degrees when I went to the hospital the night we found out we lost Kenley. I was wearing flip flops. We got the best parking spot and walked in all smug because I told myself I wasn’t leaving u till the let me have my baby; She was ready to join us in the world.

December 2016 was cold. December 2017 was even colder– like super cold. Negative temps even! I’m so thankful that each December has been colder and colder. I always fear that it’s going to resemble the worst December of my life and that the temperature might make it harder to handle her birthday. This year we had snow…a lot of snow.

I’m thankful for the stark contrast from the December I lost part of my heart, to the December I’ve known the last two years. I mean December is always going to be December, and nothing will change that but the way it physically feels on my skin helps with the PTSD.

Speaking of PTSD…I went to L&D on 12/30 at like 10:30 p.m. because I had noticed decreased movement. She was of course fine, and I of course had the oldest grumpiest nurse on the floor. When the OB on call came in to talk to me I felt better. She was so kind and easy to talk to. She reassured me that any time I feel like I need to be there, for any reason, that I should just come up. There is no reason NOT to. She said it is never an inconvenience and with our history that she absolutely understands if I want to be there every 30 minutes.

Then, when she could tell I was upset still, she offered to grab the ultrasound machine and we took a look at Rowan. Her tiny little heart beating away in her tiny little chest. Safe and sound. Yet, it offered little reassurance that anything will turn out ok. Kenley was fine at our 36+5 growth scan. She had a strong heartbeat the day before she died. I have it recorded on my phone …

I don’t know. I want to believe everything will be fine, and I have hope that it will be, but it’s always there…that gigantic black cloud. Death. Demise of a perfectly healthy child inside of my body. It’s enough to seriously send you over the edge, no joke.

Some days I don’t know how I’ve made it this far since losing her…

3/3.

We have an official csection date: Saturday 3.3.18 @ 9:30 a.m. My MFM is amazing and offered to come in on a Saturday morning to make it happen. She knows how stressed I am, and how 37 weeks is my max. My math had been wrong and the whole time I’m thinking 3/2 was 37 weeks but it’s actually 3/3. I can handle that I think. One extra day.

We talked about it at my appointment on Thursday, and she said she sees no reason it wouldn’t be safe to go to Monday 3/5, and I just about cried. I said I couldn’t do that. The idiotic obgyn office who cared for me during Kenley’s pregnancy refused to take her at 38 weeks, which is pretty normal honestly, and she died at 38+4. She could have been born before things went wrong, but they refused. I will always hold a grudge for that reason, plus about 100 more.

Anyway, she agreed and knows what I need for my sanity. We will be at the hospital at 7 a.m. And go from there. I am so thankful to have a set in stone date to look forward to. Hopefully it helps keep my anxiety under control. We also scheduled the rest of my appointments, including NSTs.

Starting January 25th I will have NSTs 2x a week (Monday and Thursday). Along with 2 more growth ultrasounds and 4 more doctor visits before she is born.

Currently, they’re weighing Rowan at 4lbs 5oz (I was 29+5) and with Alden at 31+4 they had her weighing at 4lbs 9oz. Apparently I’m gonna have another chubby baby!

As long as she gets here alive, she can weigh whatever the hell she wants.

as needed.

A little bit before Christmas I had a mother reach out to me asking how she goes about requesting a care package. I have never done an “as needed” type of care pack but you better believe my heart was all kinds of happy to make this sweet lady one. She had lost her baby girl to SIDS at 4 months in July.

I’ve been putting it together slowly because I had to order certain things I didn’t have a surplus of after my donation. Also, I changed it up a little because my normal donations are geared toward parents fresh off a loss in the hospital; tissues, books to read to baby etc…but, I think I did well with it. The final piece came in today so I will be sending it tomorrow hopefully! I hope this sweet woman finds comfort in this care package. It was made with love, that’s for dang sure.

Which leads me to wonder if this is something I should try to do…should I try to offer them on an as needed basis IN ADDITION to my yearly donations on her birthday? It would require a gofundme open all year round probably, and also would be a lot of work (potentially). I know I would enjoy it very very much. I love giving back, and helping others.

I feel like if I could just get a stock of like 10 of each thing to keep here at all times I would be doing well to start. I don’t know. Just things I’m thinking about.

I also think I’m going to write up a post some day in the future about accepting donations for hand made items- blankets, hats, small preemie wraps etc all year round. I would love to only have hand made items donated next year (I think it feels more personal, just me?).

Apparently I need a bigger house with a room all to myself in order to carry out these lofty goals.

Anyone have any opinions? I’d love to hear them! What do you think?

.com

I pulled the trigger and paid for my blog! Yes, *gasp* and it was money well spent I do believe! I love being able to customize things, and honestly when I started this blog I just threw it together quickly because I needed somewhere to vent. I hope it’s easy to navigate; I haven’t really changed much just the cosmetics of it all.

I’m planning to update the content sometime soon. There are some things that I have in the works with Kenely’s hospital and I hope to hear some news on that front soon. I’ve also decided that I’m going to keep Kenley’s care packs open for donations all year round. If I’m going to be able to make my quota on all handmade blankets/hats I think that it would be best to gather them throughout the year. I also think that there are people would donate multiple times throughout the year if it were a possibility.

I really hope that this year goes as well as last year regarding donations. I was blown away by everyone’s generosity! I’m hoping the care packages are well received, I mean I know they will be a great source of comfort, but I dunno….I guess I don’t know what I mean.

I can’t wait to see what this year brings in memory of her. It’s all for you, sweet girl. I love and miss you so much.

2018 randoms so far

I feel like these past 5 days have been so busy. I literally haven’t done anything to make me feel that way, so I’m not sure why I do. I think it has something to do with all the things racing through my head about what I want to do/need to do.

Next Tuesday we scheduled a 3d/4d ultrasound. We’ve done them with all our children and I cannot wait to see how similar they all look.

Next Thursday we have a MFM appointment with a growth ultrasound. Seeing her two times in one week is going to be pretty cool. We are also going to schedule our c-section date! I’m pretty nervous about this, but I need a date to look forward to, and March 2nd needs to be that date.

Then, the following Tuesday I am getting my hair colored THANK GOD because I look like a homeless person I swear.

I’m supposed to have physical therapy on Monday evening for my back because my body hates me and I can seriously not bend over without being in pain, which causes me even more pain and frustration. I am so ready to bend over and pick up my child with out a burning pain up my back and down my legs.

We’re still waiting for a contractor to get back to us on an estimate to add-on to our home and I am starting to get a little peeved about it because he said 4 days and that was on December 18th…so…

I’ve got my eye on a dress for our baby girl, Rowan, and I just need to pull the trigger on purchasing it. We currently don’t have a bedroom for her so the dresser will be in our bedroom, along with our dresser, and our bed, and her halo bassinest. I’m not sure how much stuff we can cram into our bedroom but we’re gonna find out!

We need to take our christmas tree down but it’s been like the freakin arctic lately so we are going to wait until it’s a little less chilly. Shane has to drag it clear out the back door to the burn pile so maybe when it’s not -16 degrees and Β 4 inches of snow….My house is a disaster, and I really need my body to work and function so that I can get some sort of organization going before the baby comes.

Landon has basketball games every Saturday until March! I think that is going to make the time pass quickly too. He will have practice every Wednesday after school until 5:30, as well. I just cannot believe how quickly life is going, and the things that are coming up, AGAIN.

Landon’s birthday Feb 7th

Rowan’s safe arrival (hopefully) March 2nd

Alden’s first birthday March 15th

Me officially going insane?

April.

Send help, frozen meals, a maid….and wine.