looking inside.

Sometimes when it’s dark out, and were driving down the road I will look inside peoples houses if their curtains aren’t pulled shut. I know that I’m not the only person who does this, and so I know that there are people who have driven by my house and looked into the Nursery when it’s evening and the curtains have been open.

Those people are not aware of the pain and suffering that has been the last year of my life. They drive by, peer in and see a little girls nursery. They could have even driven by multiple times and seen a guest room, Kenley’s nursery, and then now Aldens’s. Maybe they didn’t notice, or maybe they did. It’s such a harmless thing, just looking out the window of a moving car. It’s just amazing what you will never know from just looking inside someone’s window while driving by.  It’s such a weird thing to think about, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I fully expect many people to discuss my pregnancies when we’re in the hospital, or maybe it’s because losing a child makes you wonder who else has gone through it?

Maybe it’s because I feel like everyone should just know about Kenley. I wrote about this in the very first blog post I ever wrote. I feel like once you’re a loss parent, you are marked and everyone should just see your pain, no matter how long it’s been, and no matter how your child died.

Shane and I were talking at breakfast the other morning and we were discussing how naive we were when we had Landon. Shane said he remembers how proud he was to take Landon out to meals and have people tell us how adorable he was. We talked about how we never in a million years would have ever thought that we were hurting anyone buy taking our child to breakfast with us in public; now however I’m constantly wondering who is suffering.  I know that there will always be someone in pain, and that we will never be able to know for sure who it is, but I will always be more aware now.

Today is March 1st.

I can’t even with all the weird feelings I’m having, but let me try…

I feel excited because yeah, theoretically, I should be having a baby soon (I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch though…).

I feel sad because I should have Kenley in my arms, as a beautiful funny 14 month old baby- instead, I’m super pregnant, again.

I feel nervous because I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten everything I know about taking care of a baby. I had postpartum depression with Landon pretty badly, and I’m scared that it will be that again on top of grieving for Kenley.

I feel extreme love when I think about watching Landon hold Alden. I cannot wait for that moment; I have been waiting for far too long to witness it.

And, on top of all of that, I feel guilt. Guilt that I’m being monitored so well by my doctor and that Kenley didn’t even get a chance to be monitored like this. Guilt for being so excited for Alden to come. So much guilt over pretty much everything. It’s just so difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t lost a child what the guilt is like and how I feel it vs pure excitement.

Tomorrow we have a NST, and my doctor is going to check the blood flow in her cord for us.  At Monday’s appointment I think that I scared my doctor. I have been cool and calm so far but not on Monday. I think she finally really understood how intense this has been for me. I let my guard down and cried and cried and cried. I begged her to take Alden at 36 weeks, or that day. Just take her while I know that she is alive and well. Kenley died 6 days before her scheduled c-section date, and I cannot go through losing a child this close to the end again.

She offered me daily NST’s, and to see me personally at everyone. I don’t think that I can bring myself to go up there every single day and not feel absolutely insane. The NST’s themselves give me super PTSD. They are how we found out that Kenley had died, so they just don’t do much to calm me down. I emailed my doctor last night, and she wrote back within 4 minutes- I appreciate that more than she will ever know.

I’m trying. 14 days left. 2 weeks. I can do this.

rational brain=non existent

I’m pretty sure that the last two weeks of this pregnancy are going to just drive me absolutely up the wall crazy. Since last Wednesday when I posted last, I have gone off the deep end it feels.

Thursday we had our NST, and it was CAKE…like nothing has ever gone so smooth in my life kind of cake. We walked in, I peed in a cup- all was good, I lost two lbs, blood pressure was like ridiculously perfect, and Alden was kicking the NST’s ass. We were in and out within what felt like 30 minutes. After, we went to Panera bread and enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch. I love Thursdays with Shane because we always get lunch together and it’s just so relaxing to be with him.

So, fast forward to Friday. Landon is in school, and my mom came to visit for the weekend. Everything is going well, but just somewhere in the back of my mind I feel super uneasy. I think the closer it is getting to d-day, the worse I’m feeling. Saturday I convinced myself that she wasn’t moving “right”, or that her pattern was different. Of course this caused me to spiral and push on her a bunch to see if she would move (which she did). I would get so close to saying I had to go into L&D, then she would move enough for me to feel confident in her being alive.

Saturday night however was a different story. She didn’t move while I laid in bed with Shane watching tv. She didn’t move when I rolled on my back, or my other side. In the tiny little rational part of my brain I have left I’m thinking, ok…she is sleeping so much right now, everything is fine. It’s constantly overshadowed by the giant irrational (read: totally legit) part of my brain that says  OMG. IT’S BEEN FOREVER SINCE YOU FELT HER MOVE. GET UP. GO TO LABOR AND DELIVERY. GO NOW. WHO CARES IF YOU CAN HEAR HER HEART BEAT ON YOUR DOPPLER. THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Saturday night I slept like SHIT. I was up 4 times to pee, and one of those times I was woken up by a contraction that hurt like hell.

Oh and at 4:45 am that “legit” part of my brain made me use my doppler to hear her heart beat.

FOUR. FOURTY. FIVE. AM.

Tomorrow it will be 16 days until she’s here. Kenley died a week before her scheduled c-section date. I cannot stop thinking about how were coming up on that date. Sure, this is a different pregnancy, and things are different this time yada yada yada, but honestly? Things are so much worse this time. Before, I was excited. I wanted to let her cook in there as long as she could! I asked for a c-section at 38 weeks and was told no. If my doctors would have agreed, she would be here. They had no reason to not agree.

This time, my MFM is willing to take her at 37 weeks, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to beg her to take her at 36, or 36.3 I don’t know, just something. She needs to come out while I know she’s alive. I didn’t know that Kenley wasn’t alive. It was so unfair, and cruel. I want to be able to say that this isn’t driving me insane, or that I’m handling it super well, but the truth is I’m not.

My anxiety is overwhelming. My fear of losing this child has become to much. I am excited for Alden to come…but what if she doesn’t get to come home with us? What would I do? People are taking time off of work for her arrival- just like with Kenley- and what happens if she doesn’t survive. It’s all too much.

Tomorrow we have an NST followed by a Growth Ultrasound and an appointment with my MFM. She is so reassuring, so I know she will calm me down, but I really really hope that she considers my mental health when I ask her if we can go any earlier.

I’m sure she’ll say no and try to talk me down…but I feel like my concerns are valid and my opinion matters.

Having a baby should not be this god damn hard.

future appointments.

I had an MFM appointment today at 11. Just a basic check up, nothing really special. I however knew I had to talk to my doctor about my increased anxiety, and fear that something is going to go wrong.

Everything looked fine, my blood pressure was beautiful and I only gained 1 lb. When my doctor came in we talked about how things were going, and how my anxiety was going. I told her that to be honest, it’s getting worse. I did tell her that we have had a long few weeks. All the Holidays, her first birthday, Alden’s baby shower, cleaning up the Nursery, and then next week it will be painted. I recognize those things are triggers obviously, so I told her I wasn’t sure if it was everything happening at once, or if I’m really just feeling anxious about getting this baby here alive.

She told me that we can up my medication, but after checking we determined that I’m on the highest dose safe for baby. She then told me that after my next growth ultrasound, I will be having biweekly NST’s so that sort of calmed my mind down a little.

So my next two months are going to be full of doctors appointments and I am so excited for it.

Feb 2nd-  Fetal growth ultrasound, and a regular doctors visit

Feb 6th- NST

Feb 9th- NST

Feb 13th- NST

Feb 16th- NST & Regular Doctors Visit

Feb 20th- NST

Feb 23rd- NST

Feb 27th- NST

March 2nd- Fetal growth ultrasound and a regular doctors visit. 

After here we will be deciding where to go appointment wise from there. I mean, she’s scheduled to come on 3/15 so I don’t know how many appointments I will have after the March 2nd appointment.

I can’t believe how fast January is going by. It’s already the 19th…less than 2 months until my csection.

 

 

27. 

I’m officially done with grocery shopping at this point in pregnancy. There came a time during Landon and Kenley’s pregnancies where it was just too much to walk around for 2 hours, loading the cart, unloading, reloading and unloading and putting away the groceries…that time is now during this pregnancy. 

I started getting some RLP the last few aisles but powered through, but when I got in the car my stomach was as hard as a rock. Chugged some water when we got home, and laid down (read: freaked out and used the Doppler)  while Shane unloaded the car and put the groceries away. I don’t know if I didn’t drink enough water today or what but I HATE feeling like that. 

Tomorrow Landon goes back to school after being off for the Holidays. It’s bittersweet because I love spending time with him, but also I played more Uno, and Monopoly Jr than any human should in the last few days so…I’m kinda ready. 

Tomorrow marks my 27th week of pregnancy. Some people consider this to be the start of the 3rd Trimester.

 THIRD. TRIMESTER

There are only three; this is the LAST. Um excuse me? How is this possible. 

How has it been a year since I lost my first daughter, and now I’m entering the home stretch of a subsequent pregnancy for my second daughter…who will (hopefully) be my only living daughter. 

Life is just like a really bad rollercoaster. 

Life is like the fucking corkscrew at Cedar Point. 

Tomorrow at 10:30 Shane and I are having an elective 3D/4D ultrasound. We’ve had them with our other two pregnancies so, I decided it was 100% necessary for this one as well. I know some people think they’re creepy, but I love them. Both of my children have looked IDENTICAL to the 3D scans. It’s amazing. 

I’m both excited and nervous; more nervous that Baby A is going to look identical to Kenley. I’m not sure how I’ll react, but I plan to be open with the tech when we get there and s/he (undoubtedly) asks if this is my first baby/scan/child/ some other question that’s going to sting.  Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to warn her, before I even lift my shirt, that my stomach is bruised all to hell from lovenox and to not be afraid/call the cops on me. 

Back in December I ordered curtains for the Nursery. Today they showed up, and I felt my heart drop a little. I don’t want to disassemble the remnants of “Kenley’s” nursery, but slowly it is happening. 

It’s becoming Alden’s room now. 

The curtains are adorable and I love them, but seeing Kenley’s curtains come down was a really sad moment. All of my moments anymore are sad & happy simultaneously and honestly, that is a lot to handle for one persons heart. I folded up Kenley’s curtains and placed them on her rocker. I’m not sure where I’ll put them, but eventually I’ll be able to find a place. 

Shane once said to me that there will be a time where we look at Alden and we won’t know how we would ever survive without her; that we won’t know our family any other way than WITH her in it. 

While I completely understand what he is saying, it breaks my heart that I will always have to wonder how my life would have been with Kenley in it…here, physically, not just in my heart. 

Fuck. Grief and Loss are so incredibly hard to navigate. 

PGAL and feelings of guilt.

I’ve been having a hard time with the guilt I feel from being pregnant with our second Daughter. I have found a bunch of very interesting articles, and blogs that discuss the feelings of guilt related to loss and to pregnancy after loss. I just can’t find something that speaks to me like other things have- until today.

I was searching, and came across this post on Huffington Post by a woman named Heather Spohr.  I started reading it and immediately burst into tears.

(Please read this letter. It is AMAZING)

The story is written as a letter to Mothers who are announcing their rainbow baby, and I fell in love with it.

 I know how hard it was to announce this baby, the complicated mix of jubilation and guilt. You want to be excited about this new life, but you want to be respectful toward the life who is no longer here. This is the tightrope you’ll walk down for the rest of your life, but it will get easier.

It’s OK to be afraid. It’s OK to take it day-to-day. It’s even OK if you’re not excited. You’ve learned, in the worst possible way, that nothing in life is guaranteed.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I’m struggling with guilt surrounding this pregnancy. I cannot think of this new baby without thinking of the death of Kenley. I know that’s not a good thing, and I’m trying really hard to allow myself to think of Baby A as her own individual person. I often find myself thinking about her in the Nursery which will be her room until we move; I think about her wearing the clothes we specifically picked for Kenley. When I think about these things, I get sad; I start feeling guilty for missing Kenley, and for not celebrating A.

 

But then I read this:

 Even the practical things are complicated. Will you be able to handle giving your new baby items from your deceased child? Even if that child never had the chance to use them? You’ll resent that you don’t get to look at these things as normal hand-me-downs instead of the few cherished possessions your child left behind — yet another reminder of how unfair life is.

YES. This woman, who has had TWO rainbow babies (after the death of her toddler, and after a miscarriage) gets it. I guess it’s just reassuring to know that what I’m feeling is totally normal. I know in my heart that I love being pregnant with this little girl, just as much as I loved being pregnant with Kenley (and Landon) –  it’s just different now. I can’t help but feel the unfairness of the situation whenever I think of this beautiful little girl I’m carrying. This is not to say that I don’t feel moments (lots of them, too) of joy.

She then goes on to say this:

The day Annabel was born was one of the best days of my life. The day we brought her home was one of the hardest. My emotions, fueled by postpartum hormones, were all over the place, and I was completely unprepared. I sobbed onto the top of her tiny head a lot. My heart was swelling and breaking simultaneously, and it overwhelmed me.

I’m absolutely sure that I will be feeling more joy than I can even fathom right now when this little girl comes. I know she will be a member of our family for the rest of our lives, and I can’t wait to give her a great life…but… The overwhelming anxiety I feel about her coming into this world safely is sometimes crushing. I am a crier, so I know that I will cry a lot when she comes. Maybe not. Who knows. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when she arrives and I get to hear her screaming when they take her from my body. When Kenley was born her silence was so heavy; it was the loudest sound I have ever heard.

I guess this post is mostly for me; A mini pep talk of sorts. I have been feeling the heaviness of being PGAL with our Rainbow a lot lately.

Thinking of naming this baby (we have a name picked and we are 80ish% sure we’re using it) makes me sad and excited.Thinking about redecorating the nursery for baby A doesn’t make me excited like I want it to. I hate that, because instead it makes me feel incredibly guilty.

Shane and I decided that we need to buy something for baby A that is specifically her own. This is very hard to think about seeing as we haven’t been in a baby store/down a baby aisle/ avoid baby items like the plague for like 10 months. I’m not sure when this will happen, but it’s our new goal.

I needed to read this letter by Heather today so very very badly.

Baby A will be here in 141 days.

released. 

Today we had an appointment with our RE. We were almost late (thanks Shane), and when we got there we waited for 40 minutes. Not in the waiting room…in the exam room…No pants, draped in a piece of paper, feet in stirrups. I was SO cold by the time the doctor came in, and when I got up to leave, the paper stuck to my ass. It wasn’t a pretty sight, I’m sure. 

Everything looked good, and her growth has caught up; she was measuring a week behind at all scans until today. It had me worried and Shane confessed today he had been worried but was keeping a strong face for me. I told him while I appreciated that, he needs to tell me when he’s freaking the fuck out, because chances are we’re both feeling the same way. 

We are officially “released” from the RE.  I have mixed feelings about this. I want to be monitored 24/7 to make sure things are progressing well because I’m paranoid. On the other hand, I know from here on out I will be seeing the MFM’s and I know they’re going to take me seriously, give me the best care, and pretty much keep my crazy in check. At least I hope. 

When they release you, you get a spoon that says congrats blah blah blah. I now have 2 spoons, and no babies. Let’s hope that this changes this March.