"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 20 - Halfway there!

After my fun shot-in-the-butt today, I saw Dr. H (and I totally limped half the way to the office. Stupid progesterone.). Everything still looks good, but he did tell me I'm the "constipation queen" and should start taking Miralax since he doesn't want me constipated or straining. I tried Miralax when I was on bedrest, but I didn't like it - so hopefully it'll be better this time. [Sorry if talking about constipation is too much information. But I figure I talk about my cervix like it's nothing, so whatever. ;) ]

I think I've been having Braxton-Hicks contractions lately, so I told Dr. H and asked if it was okay - every now and then my uterus tenses up. He told me that anything out of the ordinary needs to be reported to him, but that it is normal to have some contractions. And then he made a weird statement: "If you do you make it to the end, I"ll take out the stitches at 37 weeks." If I make it? So you think I could have this baby earlier? But of course I didn't think to question anything until I was already in my car on the way home. I know there is a chance Landon could be premature, despite the cerclage, but as of now I don't think there's anything to worry about. So, no worrying for Jen (or Logan).

I also mentioned how I don't feel Landon moving as much as I felt Levi. Dr. H asked where my placenta was, but Dr. C hasn't told me anything about my placenta since I was on bedrest. Depending on where it is, though, could be the reason I don't feel as much movement. Which totally makes me feel better.

After my appointments, I took Marley to the vet for her annual check-up, and it turns out she's fatter than she should be for her age. Of course I can't take her for walks anymore, so I'm sure that's part of it, but the vet told us to switch her to light food in addition to getting her to exercise more. I also thought it was funny that the vet told me to make sure I give Marley just as much attention when the baby comes, because she'll need it. I told you she was our other baby. ;)

"Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them." -Saint Francis de Sales

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What to say or not to say...that is the question

After we lost Levi, we had people do some pretty amazing things for us (bring us food, send cards and flowers) and say comforting words. Unfortunately, however, we also had a lot of people do and say some not-so-nice things, and although I’m sure most – if not all – of them were unintentional, some of that still bothers me…over 2 years later.

I do realize that death is a touchy subject, and many people don’t know how to act around someone who has lost a loved one. Heck, I didn’t go to my first funeral until I was 22 years old (such a blessing, I know), so for most of my life, I was pretty clueless about what to say or not to say. It probably wasn’t until we lost Levi that I realized how insensitive people could be, whether they meant it or not.

Yesterday I read a blog post about what you should and shouldn’t say to someone who has lost a baby, and I think everybody on the face of the earth should read it. So here it is!

But I would also  like to mention (as does this blog author) that everyone grieves differently, which is totally true, because there were times that women who have lost babies told me things that upset me. So that just goes to show that in their mind, those words would have been comforting, but in my mind, it didn’t help at all. And I guess that’s why death can be so complicated.

I’m going to attempt (key word is attempt) to write another post this week about the best things that people did and said for us after losing Levi, as well as the things that hurt the most. And I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad – I just really think it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you haven’t been there.

Oh, and in the meantime, you should check out Kimberly Hahn's Life-Giving Love and read chapter 10. That chapter is called "Miscarriage and Stillbirth," and I seriously think it's one of the best things you could read if you know someone who has experienced that recently, or you yourself have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. I was deeply comforted by Kimberly's writing, and I remember thinking how I wanted to let everybody else read that chapter. The cool thing is that Life-Giving Love was given to us by a family when they found out we lost Levi, and Kimberly Hahn even signed it and wrote us a little note. I actually wrote about it way back when.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Here's to 4-1/2 months of paranoia

I spoke too soon about not having any excitement around here. Yesterday, all morning I was feeling pressure down there (if you know what I mean), and although I have felt all kinds of things over the past few months, this time it was different. I didn't know if I was just being paranoid, since I have been feeling Landon move more lately so I know he's heavier. Considering my history, though, I decided to err on the side of caution. So I called Dr. H's office, and the nurse called me back saying he wanted me to come in. So I left work early.

During the examination, Dr. H felt a couple contractions, and he pointed out how my uterus was a little tight. He sent me to the high-risk office for an ultrasound, and he even met me there to make sure everything was okay (I told you he was awesome). Dr. C wasn't there, unfortunately, so I saw the other doctor, but the ultrasound showed that my cervix was fine and Landon was fine. They did give me one of those fun progesterone shots, and assuming Dr. C doesn't throw a fit when she finds out (the nurse warned me), it looks like I'll be getting those weekly again.

Dr. H told me to take ibuprofen to knock out the contractions, which I had never heard of before, but sure enough, it worked. He thinks the pressure I was feeling had something to do with the contractions. But considering Landon was moving a lot, his heart rate was fine, and my cervix had not changed, Dr. H said I could return to work today. He also said to "hydrate like crazy."

All things considering, it's not too bad to think I made it this far in the pregnancy without having a little scare. I just hope we don't have too many more, because my nerves really cannot handle it.

Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our other "baby"

People say that dogs can sense when their female owners are pregnant, and I most definitely agree. Marley has always been affectionate towards me, but the last few months have been a bit ridiculous. She tries to climb in my lap now, even when the rest of the couch is completely empty. Logan thinks I'm spoiling her because I don't push her away, but I don't care. She's my baby!

Ever since I was put on bed rest, Logan and I have been sleeping downstairs - after being in the living room for a month, we transferred to the guest room. Logan doesn't want me going upstairs (he lets me go up once a day), so it doesn't look like we'll sleep in our own bed until Landon makes his arrival. Anyway, now that we're downstairs, we haven't been putting Marley in her kennel overnight anymore. She would start out sleeping in her dog bed, but at some point in the night, she would jump up and sleep next to me (or on top of me, crazy dog). Logan started shoving her off (meanie), and for the past 4 days, Marley has slept in her own bed the entire night. Sometimes she comes up to me in the middle of the night to check on me, or she follows me when I get up to use the bathroom, but she goes right back to her bed. What a good dog. :) It's pretty pathetic that we have to "wean" our dog...it's just like a kid. Poor thing won't know what to do when we bring Landon home!

Nothing too exciting is happening around here, if you couldn't tell from my ramblings about our dog. Well, we did catch another rat in our attic last night, but I don't really want to think about that right now...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 18 - Boy or girl?

Did you know that you can sometimes find out the gender of a baby at 12 weeks? Yes, you can. We did actually...but we decided to wait to "officially" announce it (even though they confirmed it again at 14 weeks) because finding out that early sometimes mean they guessed wrong. Well, our people are awesome and guessed right - 3 times! So now we can officially say we have another son, Landon Gerard. :)

Unfortunately, I can't post ultrasound pictures because our scanner doesn't work ever since Logan upgraded his computer. Boo.

Landon is doing great and my cervix looks good, and I actually don't have to take those terrible progesterone shots every week anymore. So I am one happy momma! Dr. C said the MTHFR gene mutation I have (that they discovered with blood work after I lost Levi) makes me more prone to blood clots, which wasn't a big deal earlier on in the pregnancy. But now that I'm further along, my blood is thicker, and extra progesterone certainly doesn't help that. If I start having contractions by some chance, Dr. C will probably put me on oral progesterone or something. She just doesn't want me to take extra medication unless I really need it. Fiiiiine with me.

I would like to say that we decided Landon should be named after St. Gerard (patron of expectant mothers), who has been one of the saints we've asked for intercession throughout this pregnancy. I'd say he's done a pretty good job of praying for us, so he's getting some major credit with the middle name. Thanks, St. Gerard! :)

I see Dr. H in 2 weeks and Dr. C in 4 weeks - which is also the dreaded 22-week mark. But like I told Logan, I'd rather be at the doctor on that date than anywhere else.
Psalm 127:3 - Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

"An expectant mother in more ways than one"

My sister-in-law, Lindsey, gets all the credit for this post. She sent me a link to a blog post, saying that she thought of me, "an expectant mother in more ways than one."

Go read this and you'll understand.

But if you don't feel like reading it, I can just tell you that this woman, who lost her 3rd baby this week, says her greatest consolation is that she will always be an expectant mother. And that's such a great way to look at it. I've thought many times how knowing Levi is waiting for us in heaven makes everything we've gone through totally worth it. I think that's the biggest blessing for anyone who's lost a baby - the anticipation of seeing him again one day, knowing he's in the Best Hands until then.

Right now I'm blessed with the best of both worlds - expecting this sweet baby in June , all while expecting to see my precious Levi one day.

Lindsey said it best...I'm an expectant mother in more ways than one. And I know I'm not the only one. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Update on Peanut and Bamm Bamm

So, for those of you wondering about how our foster children have been since they left us, here's a little update.

Bamm Bamm's mom and grandma both send me pictures of the little cutie fairly often. He turned 1 last month and is certainly getting bigger. Last time I heard, he was trying to get the hang of walking. I'm really glad Bamm Bamm's family still keeps us in the loop. The last time we visited was when Peanut was with us, but since then life has been a bit hectic. But at least we know Bamm Bamm is doing well and is surrounded by people who love him.

Our home development worker called me a few days before Christmas to see how I was doing, so of course I asked about Peanut. She said that his behavior hadn't really changed, but that he was doing okay - just causing trouble at daycare. It makes me sad to think that his behavior still hasn't improved, and I'm starting to wonder if it'll always be that way. Peanut is certainly proof that the first 3 years of a kid's life are so, so important. I wish we could have taken care of him earlier...

As much as Peanut drove us CRAZY, we still think about him. And definitely pray for him.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Getting closer

Next month I'll reach the 22-week mark, which was when we lost Levi last time. When I was in my 1st trimester, I didn't really think about it too much, probably because I was more concerned with having a miscarriage. But now that I'm in the 2nd trimester and we're getting close to where we were last pregnancy (this week makes 17 weeks), I've been thinking about it more and more. I know that the cerclage increases my chances of having a successful pregnancy this time, but I'd be lying if I said I still wasn't worried about things going wrong. It must be the melancholic nature of mine - just waiting for the bad news. Terrible, I know.

Logan and I started cleaning out the baby room, since we really haven't done anything with it since Peanut left (Speaking of Peanut, I've been meaning to post an update about both him and Bamm Bamm, but I keep forgetting. One day I'll remember.). After getting used to using the "baby room" for foster kids and our nephew, it's weird to think we're now getting it ready for our own child. Exciting too, though. :) There was honestly a time where I wondered if that would ever happen.

It was worth the wait, though. No doubt.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Keep on truckin'

On Tuesday, I started getting my fun weekly progesterone shots. My bum is a little sore, but at least I can still walk this time. ;) (It's the little things in life, I tell you)

There's nothing much else to report, except that things are still looking good - Dr. H checked my stitches again, and they're holding up, and baby's heartbeat is going strong. Dr. H told me to "keep on truckin' along." My next ultrasound is the week after next.

My belly is getting bigger, and I've even started feeling movement every now and then. It's killing Logan, though, because the baby isn't quite strong enough to be felt outside my belly. Hopefully soon though!
James 5: 7-8 - Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.

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