We’re Having a Baby…Soon!

The past nine months seem to have flown by in a blur of school drop-offs, field trips, swim lessons, field trips, birthday parties, holidays and grocery shopping.

I remember the days when I could blog often. I miss those days. Or do I? Though the days are busy, they are satisfying and they are our new normal.

But here we are. Home stretch. Just a few more weeks to go.

WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BABY.

I mean, we know it’s going to happen, sooner than later. We knew this was the end result. But it floors me every time.

Now that we’re used to kids with no diapers, that go to school all day and sleep all night (well, for the most part).

Kids that can do things for themselves, like brush their teeth, get dressed and tie their shoes (not that they do ANY of that without being hollered at for at least 20 minutes every morning).

Now we will be re-entering the world of diapers and non-stop nursing and nap schedules and no sleep.

Too late to think we’re crazy now.

Not much has been different about this pregnancy than Isora’s really. Baby Boy seems to have the same amount of excessive movement, which is a little frightening since Isora hasn’t stop moving since she was in utero. Should be interesting to have another busy body in the family. And by interesting I mean “Oh my God! Can’t one of you just sit still?!”

He has also graced me with the same amount of nausea and all-day sickness, perhaps even longer than his sisters did. Thankfully that stopped just in time for 24-7 heartburn to begin. I am popping Papaya Enzyme tablets like it’s my job.

Thankfully I started back at our beloved chiropractor JUST before the sciatic nerve pain really kicked in. Bi-weekly adjustments seem to be keeping the pain away for the most part.

And now it’s just a matter of not feeling comfortable, well, anywhere. Walking feels good as long as I have been recently adjusted, but I can’t do for long stretches without feeling like I can’t breathe.

Sitting is a challenge, particularly in the car and at the dinner table. I can’t sit close enough to make either activity comfortable.

Laying and sleeping has become an all-together nightmare. I have to “lay down” propped up by ALL the pillows to be vertical enough that the heartburn stays at bay long enough for a stretch of sleep. If I should dare to roll clumsily over onto one hip or another, shooting hip pains AND heartburn wake me up, if my miniscule bladder hasn’t already woken me first. I am *this* close to taking to sleeping in the new glider chair in the nursery just to get a decent chunk of sleep.

But Miracle of Life, right?! LOL

But in all seriousness, I am so thankful for how completely normal and unremarkable this pregnancy has been. After the loss of Miles and Boo and the horrible pregnancies with both of them, I didn’t know what this journey would be like.

I have often been worried that this pregnancy would have been shadowed by sadness or guilt or pain. And it certainly has had its moments. But for the most part, it has been healing, life affirming, just exactly what I needed to accept the losses and to move forward into this new phase of parenthood.

This pregnancy has also made me more bold. Made me want to do all the things I’ve never done while pregnant before. Like maternity photos.

I’ve never felt glowing or beautiful when pregnant. I’ve always felt massive and zit-covered and awkward.

But this time, despite being infinitely larger than any other previously pregnancy, I feel good about my body. My face isn’t covered in pimples (thanks Kelsey and Rodan + Fields). And even though I’m waddling, I don’t feel that clumsy (no falls down the stairs or out of the shower this time thankfully).

So I decided to go for it, and book a maternity session with my friend and über-talented photographer Jessica. I told her I wanted to feel like some kind of glowy, ethereal, fertility goddess. And she more than delivered.

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I mean WHOA. I am in love with this image. Can’t wait to see the others fully edited. She is just so creative and made me look like I was glowing from within.

Suddenly we’re close enough to meeting our son that the panic has begun to set in about just when and how labor will go down. There is the fear of the unknown that has crept in, and while I’m trying to shake it off, I think it is just inevitable.

But instead of freaking out about it, I will take a deep breath, look at this picture, and try to be this woman. Peaceful, serene and so incredibly thankful for the squirmy little man that will soon change our lives forever.

Our Rainbow of Hope

It has been a long, tough year for our family. One full of tremendous loss and heartbreak.

One year ago today we lost our 14 week pregnancy with baby Miles. The trauma of that event echoed yet again last March when we lost our 8 week pregnancy with baby Boo.

And just as we were getting to our feet and attempting to get to some kind of new normalcy and acceptance we were rocked by the loss of my Grandmother Rose, my FIL Larry and my Grandfather Verlin, all gone within 6 weeks of one another.

To say the last 12 months have been difficult is an understatement. It has been a constant lesson in how to accept and manage grief while getting up every morning, putting one foot in front of the other and moving on. A lesson in living in the moment while acknowledging the accumulative pain of the days before.

But get up every day I have. Staying strong and positive for these two amazing girls that we are fortunate enough to be responsible for.

And there have been wonderful moments throughout the past year.

Our first family trip to Disney World with Grandma Linda and Auntie Kylara.

Finally buying our family cottages in Oscoda and spending nearly a month on Lake Huron, relaxing and enjoying family time.

Starting two new schools this fall and having two children in love with school and learning.

And now, the most joyful experience yet, becoming pregnant again.

That’s right. PREGNANT. AGAIN.

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I’m 12 weeks along now, and this past Wednesday we had our first appointment with our midwife Audra (also the midwife who caught Isora and carried for us during both Miles’ and Boo’s pregnancies). And while we went into the appointment very guarded in our optimism, we were absolutely blessed with the most amazing experience. A immediate, loud and reassuringly steady heartbeat.

It was the moment we have been waiting for. The moment we knew that this little life was in fact the rainbow we’ve been waiting for. It was the moment we knew that it was time to tell the world.

The moment that our rainbow is materializing and growing stronger and more vibrant.

For those that haven’t heard the term, a Rainbow Baby is a baby born after the pain, or storm, of a loss. The saying goes “After every storm, there is a rainbow of hope” and this baby is indeed our great hope.

It was a real struggle for me to decide whether or not to share this information right away or to wait until now. Our families have known since the beginning but we haven’t told everyone yet because in a way it felt right to hold this little flame of hope ourselves and nurture it within our family.

Hearing the heartbeat and knowing that such a good rate, between the 140’s and 150’s, was just what we needed for our guarded optimism to stop cowering in fear about what has happened and stand up and walk into what could be.

This pregnancy has been quite rough. In reality, being pregnant for 9 of the last 15 months has, in and of itself, been horrible. Being nauseous and exhausted for three months now, again, has really taken its toll. And every time someone has said “Well being sick is a good sign” I have to bite my tongue from saying what bullshit that Old Wive’s Tale is, since I’ve been this sick every time, regardless of the outcome.

It’s been hard to express how awful I’ve been feeling without sounding like a constant complainer. But in all honesty, I have only recently felt well enough to be up and around for more than an hour at a time. Previously if I wasn’t laying down I would have been beyond sick and in tears from not feeling well.

And maybe the cruelest aversion of all? I absolutely cannot stand bacon. The smell, the texture, the sight, even the thought of bacon makes me retch. Can you believe it? It’s completely bizarre.

Doing housework or cooking, when its all you can do to stand up with vomiting, has been all but non-existent. Resorting to watching an incredible amount of Netflix and Disney Junior on Isora’s afternoons home alone with me. There are weeks were I haven’t been to the grocery store or put away the laundry because I’m simply not able.

But you know what? This is what it is for right now.

Don’t feel bad for me, or for the rest of my little family. Michael is more than pulling his fair share of the load and the kids are perfectly fine and beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of a new little brother or sister arriving next spring.

And the most exciting part, beyond getting close to my second trimester and potentially putting the nausea behind me?

Thanks to the marvels of modern technology and DNA testing we will know the gender of this little one very VERY soon. And my bestie Leslie is receiving the results and helping to plan a gender reveal party, something we’ve never done, but being as this will be our last baby, we figured why not celebrate every last aspect of this pregnancy, right?

So while today is a day we will never forget, and some tears may still be shed for the lives and potential that was lost, today I want to also be thankful and happy about the little one that potential of what is to come.

From our Broken Hearts…Again

Or…The Post I Always Hoped I Never Had to Write.

It’s happened again and there’s no other way to say it.

We have another baby in the stars.

I can’t even bring myself to say “we lost our baby” because our baby is not lost. We didn’t misplace the baby. Or forget to bring the baby along. We did everything in our power to keep this baby, to help this baby grow healthy and strong. It wasn’t enough.

The hurt is so deep now. It feels a part of my bones.

I have spent the past six weeks in a state of stress and anxiety. Blood draws and ultrasounds and supplements and acupuncture. Multiple appointments every week. None of it was enough.

Suffering through terrible nausea, anemic exhaustion and sore breasts I became this Pessimistic Worrier, someone my normally-optimistic-self detests. But it felt so wrong, so incredibly selfish, to not be thankful and happy to be pregnant again after losing Miles.

I wrote a million times to myself about how scared I was. How nothing felt right. I didn’t feel connected like I did with Miles. Maybe my intuition knew something I didn’t.

There are only so many ways to describe pregnancy after loss. The best words I can use to describe the past six weeks: Living in fear of losing your baby and your self 24/7.

I told myself if I got to 14 weeks, I’d feel better.

We booked a trip to Disney for when I would have been about 18 weeks. I told myself how great it would be to be in my second trimester at the happiest place on Earth.

I bought tiny little Detroit Lions onesies because this baby would be born during football season.

I bought maternity clothes and a rainbow woven wrap for my rainbow baby because I refused to believe that I would lose another baby. I was due my rainbow. Our family would finally be complete.

But here I find myself again. Grief stricken. Feeling betrayed by my own body. And feeling so incredibly lonely.

It’s not that I’m alone. But it feels that way sometimes. Especially at night. When sleep doesn’t come but the tears do.

But being pregnant, you’re always with someone. Their little soul sits with you, keeping you company, whispering hopes and dreams, filling you with the future. And now there is only silence.

It’s so incredibly lonely.

My body did this. It didn’t do what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to be growing a baby. Nuturing and protecting and loving. It failed. And I am so very very angry with my body.

And though the physical pain of suffering this miscarriage is real, the emotional pain of it is so much harder. Maybe I didn’t have enough time to heal from Miles, physically or emotionally.

Maybe both losses together is just too much to bear this time. And for that I have to ask for something I hate to ask for…

Help.

Help me remember that I’m not alone. Help me get out of the house when I’m physically better. Help me know it’s ok to cry, but not all the time. Help me remember to eat, not just junk, and to drink water, not just drinks. Help me continue to help others with the groups I volunteer with. Help me remember my body is not my enemy. Help me remember how much I have to be thankful for.

Above all help me remember it’s going to be ok. That one day I won’t feel like every day is just full of sadness. And help to remind me that one day my family will be complete.

Many have helped already. And I know I won’t survive this without Michael, my little girls, my Mom and definitely my sisters.

Leslie, despite being pregnant and not always feeling great herself, never ceases to amaze me with how well she takes care of me.

Lucy practically put together my entire vision for Izzie’s birthday party when I just couldn’t do it all.

Angelica brings me things and hugs me, even when I don’t ask, because she knows I won’t ask and she doesn’t care cause she knows what I need. She’s the best neighbor EVER.

Maha too. Who doesn’t ask either (notice a theme here) but just shows up because she is the kind of friend who just shows up when you need her.

Laura, whose hugs and laughter could warm even the most downtrodden heart.

Robyn, who talked me through some pretty shitty moments on Friday. Who would be here if she could, but still takes good care of me from across the country.

Monica who commiserates with me and knows the way to my heart is through Neil Gaiman books (she seriously gets me so much).

Jen who has been my sister in this terribly pregnancy loss sisterhood and who is always there when I need to chat.

Tara who offered me so much hope and who I continue to pray for and hope that she gets her rainbow.

Klisti and Nicole for showing up with food because that’s what our Tribe does for each other.

And my wonderful amazing sisters who have been through this with me from the very first seconds and whose love and prayers will be with me long after everyone else forgets, Jessi, Meghan, Ashley, Nicole G, Nicole H and Kristy.

My family and my friends are everything to me. More precious then gold. And they have proven their priceless value again and again. I can’t do life without them.

With Baby Boo leaving us, I now have four babies in the stars, and two Earth-side. That is so incredibly sad to me.

Glad the ones that are with me are so incredibly awesome. Cedella and Isora are the reason I want to have another child. They’re that good.

It occurred to me yesterday how many people have children who they don’t want, they don’t mean to have, that they can’t take care of. How many children are just unwanted and unloved. And here we have all of these babies that were wanted and loved and didn’t make it. How incredibly unfair and unjust is that? That’s what I’m wrestling with now. How to justify why this keeps happening to me, to us, to our family. Why us?

And to top it all off, this Saturday marks our 6th wedding anniversary. A day we should be so celebratory and proud of how far we’ve come as a couple, as partners, as co-parents, and here we have nothing but grief and sadness in our hearts.

So here I am, once again asking for grace and prayers and love. And I humbly thank each and every one of you that has sent and will send their love and thoughts to me.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being here. Thank you for remembering my sweet angel babies.