Thursday, July 31, 2008

moments


A long time ago, I learned that you can live without a person...I guess that comes from the reality of war and watching others have to do exactly that in the military. 
Carry on, even when they probably feel like dying. 

Even so, each day has been a struggle. A struggle to get out of bed, to be motivated about anything, to gradually work ourselves back into society.

I guess what gets me is that I know I can live without Will...
I don't want to~but I will...
I'm just not prepared to live an entire lifetime without him...

So just like one of Tim's deployments, this time without him is broken down into days. 
Weeks and months are unfathomable. To think that far ahead is overwhelming and unimaginable. So Tim and I go day by day. This week there have been bad days, but there have also been tolerable days. We are finding our new routine. For Tim it is work, for me...it is healing and surrounding myself with friends and family.

The cards and support have been pouring in. This helps Tim and I tremendously to see how many lives Will reached without even leaving the NICU. 
What we hear most is how many people prayed for a miracle, that they didn't understand why God would take such a beautiful baby from us, and that many prayed harder for Will than anything else in a long time...You and me both.

We all seem let down that there wasn't a complete miracle...that Will didn't just pop out with lungs and shock all those who gave him a grim prognosis...then it occurred to me.

What if the 52 hours we got with Will was the miracle?

As his mother, I'll be selfish in saying aloud this is not what I prayed for...but I also have to change my thinking, because way back when they didn't even know if he would make it long after the delivery. 
I was prepared for them to bring him to me in recovery saying there was nothing they could do.

But instead, we got to see him for two more days...
that is more than some parents get.
And when he passed, Tim and I were there, holding him and comforting him...
and that is more than many parents get to do.

So, one day at a time...one moment at a time. 
We know there will good and bad of both for awhile...
Two weeks ago today we had the best moment of our lives. I'll focus on that.
But I have also come to accept that there will continue to be times when I just sit and cry.
And then moments where I am able to move forward.

But I just miss my baby, that is all there is to it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grief.


When the alarm went off this morning, before I even opened my eyes...I remembered. 
And that sucked.

To start a day with such an intense sadness is new to me. Yesterday, Tim went to work again and we began our "new life" with a "new routine." It didn't go so well. And I really don't expect it to for awhile either. 
While we were driving this weekend, lost in our own thoughts, I blurted out,
"It feels like we were almost winning the game, then we got dealt a card that said "Return to Start..."
It truly feels like we are starting over.

And then there is this feeling like we are suffocating from sheer grief...we just miss him so much that it feels like we can't breathe. And then other moments we are okay.

A roller coaster.
We stepped off one at the hospital and onto another the day Will died.

Tim read in some grievance book that described it as this...

"One is not suicidal, but you just feel like dying..."  Yup. That pretty much sums it up for me.

And as I cry and try to think back over everything that has happened since we moved here, I realized that I have mourned my baby not once, but twice. The first time, at 18 weeks, when the doctors said Will would miscarry at any time. We went through a grief process...and then it never happened. As the weeks went on, my hope built, especially in the hospital. I started to believe that the longer he went, the better chance we had. And when I saw Will, I really believed we were going to be blessed and he would pull through. 
Which now makes this grief even worse. Because for a few moments we could hold him, kiss him, talk to him, and watch him as he moved and kicked and was full of life. 
And then all of a sudden he wasn't.

And now I just don't understand why all this happened the way it did...And in my head, I look up to the heavens and scream...

"Just what do you want me to do with this, God?!?! 
What do you want me to do with this grief, this whole experience?"

It feels like a deep cut. On the outside, I'm sure with time people won't see the damage this cut has caused. I will always feel it.
However, the scar on my stomach will always be there, proof that he was here. 

And then there is this blog. Started to be a family update, which it will continue to be. But instead of documenting the progress of a baby, it will be documenting the process of our family's grief. From ultimate loss, sadness, and anger,...to hopefully acceptance, and eventually...maybe...the partial healing and renewed hope only a new life could bring. 

But we will never become fully healed from this grief. 
When Will died, a piece of Tim and I went with him. 
And even though I know I should be looking up, as our quote says at the top of this page...
I can't help but be looking back.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More pictures




Here are a few more pictures of Will.
These were taken by a professional photographer from Whispers, a service offered by the NICU, which is free to parents who lose a child.
These photos are now priceless to us...

Celebration of Will

Saturday was a beautiful day. 
Sad, but beautiful.

Our house was filled with family and friends, all brought together by one little life. Truly amazing. And then there were all the new friends who have come into our lives solely because of Will. For this we are grateful.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and recognize his short life...and to all the others who were here in thought and spirit. We are thankful for your continued prayers, cards, and emails.

If there is one blessing to come out of this heartache, it is that Will has brought so many people together out of hope and love. 
And it is because of that love, that Tim and I are finding it so difficult to accept that we now have to live without him. 
To look at the new tree planted in our front yard and see it grow through the seasons, instead of our son.
To recognize this new life of being parents without a child.
And it will only be love that will eventually conquer all and help to carry us through this.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One week

It seems that my life has been filled with countdowns of sorts for the last few months...now we have begun a different kind of counting~days we have had to live without our baby.

This week has been a blur of tears, preparing for today, and getting settled back into the house. I can't help but think that never in a million years would I have guessed the first gathering in my new house would be celebrating the short life of Will. That is hardest. We had such big dreams for this house and our new lives here.

I'm trying to get used to this new life; waking up in the middle of the night in tears, wandering around the house attempting to do something useful...learning to breathe again. Leaving the house is crappy. I wish that I could wear a t-shirt that says, "Don't ask me how my day is going, I just lost my baby." But instead I just attempt to smile and say that I am fine to the stranger at the store. 
I hate lying...but know that I will be doing it for a long time.

All week I've wanted to write, so many thoughts are going through my head, but I just can't make sense of anything yet. I'm still trying to see the silver cloud lining through the tears and heartache. I know the only thing that will help is time.

For weeks all I could do was pray for Will and a miracle that his lungs were developing. That he would come home with us.
What do I pray for nowadays? Not sure...
That someday we'll be happy again. 
That maybe one night soon I will have a dream and will see the baby I can't stop thinking about when I am awake...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our last day...



We're still trying to grasp what exactly happened in the past few days. All I know is that my c-section was scheduled for today, and now everything is already all said and done...it all happened way too quickly.

Our last day together; Saturday started out great. I took my first shower since the surgery, it was the best shower ever...I felt pretty good, and as I got dressed and ready to head down to see Will, Tim said that he had a strange feeling that something was wrong. If only I would have known...but I never saw it coming, at least not that day.

We headed down and were immediately concerned. The nurse was giving Will all sorts of stuff and then we met with the doctor. I wrote about this in one of my other postings about signing papers that said we didn't want him resesitated if his heart stopped. After meeting with him, we took some pictures (so, so glad that I did this) and decided to head back up to the room to grab some lunch...if only we could have known, I know we wouldn't have left his side.

We got up to my room and attempted to eat. We were so sad. As we laid in bed together we both started praying by ourselves. I prayed that if Will wasn't going to make it, that God would take him soon and not draw this out...and if he was going to be okay, then he would get better quickly. It wasn't even 5 minutes later, that Will's doctor called from the NICU to get us back down there. As Tim wheeled me, I found he had prayed the same thing...

Once to the NICU, the doctor explained that Will's oxgyen level was going down, and his body was not able to get rid of the carbon dioxide collecting in his body. His kidneys were starting to shut down and he had quit peeing. We could tell a huge difference from the day before, his little chest was barely moving and he was now back up to 100% oxygen and the jet vent (the machine trying to help out his lungs) was set at its highest point. His honeymoon period was over and it was clear to everyone that this precious baby just didn't have the lungs to survive. But they wanted to run one more test...and so we waited.

They asked if we wanted him baptized. Of course we did. It then occurred to me what was happening. That moment was so real. A person showed up within 10 minutes and performed the ceremony. There was something so special about that moment, Tim & I holding hands peering down into his bed, watching our son. After it was finished, I felt a sense of peace.

Then the doctor came back with his latest test results: not good news at all. Everything we feared was confirmed. Tim and I were in shock. He looked so perfect still. We sat there totally confused and completely crushed. The doctor looked at us and started to cry, explaining that we had 3 choices: leave him hooked up to everything until his heart stopped, which would drag out his suffering; or leave the room while they removed him from the machines for him to pass more quickly, or lastly, they unhook him from the machines and bring him to us in a private room where he could pass in his parents arms. The doctor explained that many people could not handle the last option, as watching their child die was too hard. 
For Tim and I there was never a question in our minds. The doctor was upfront in telling us that Will had a 0% chance of survival at this point.

As we talked about this stuff, my eyes were focused on his vitals screen. Tim was gripping my hand crying and doing the talking with the doctor. But I just watched his oxygen level drop before my eyes...62, 61, 60, 59...It was supposed to be past 80, and now it was going down so fast I felt like I was watching a kitchen timer run out...I felt panicked. Rushed.

I don't remember walking into the private room or leaving his bedside. The next thing I knew our baby was brought to us in a blanket we had brought from home by a crying doctor and nurse, saying that he would probably only make it 5-10 minutes...

We held onto him for dear life...crying...talking to him...kissing and loving on him. He looked so peaceful. Every now and then he would take a breath, startling me, because that was his only movement. As the minutes went on I became panicky, he just kept hanging on, and as his mother I didn't want him to suffer. Inside I was screaming at God in my thoughts, I was so angry that this was happening, angry that I had to sit here and watch my baby die in our arms when he was so beautiful...angry that every time the doctor checked his heart, he was still hanging on. 

I sobbed to Tim..."Did we do the right thing?! I'm so scared we didn't do the right thing."
In my heart, I knew we had. Then Tim said something that brought me instant peace and I know Will felt it too...

"Its okay buddy, you go when you are ready..."

Will had never done anything the doctors said he would do. He never miscarried between 18 & 20 weeks, never crushed his cord, never died in the moments right after birth. He always hung on...Why should his last moments be any different? 

We continued to talk to him, tell him how much we loved him, how beautiful he was, and pray with him. Slowly, he passed in our arms. In his own time...he held on for 45 minutes. So peaceful and so quiet. 
The doctor came in and checked for a heartbeat. All was silent...it was about 6:15.

The rest of the evening, we just held him. Memorizing his hands, his face, his cute little feet. We wanted to stop time. Our parents arrived to hold him for the last time. The NICU staff took pictures, made molds of his feet & hands, and made other momentos, which are now priceless. As it got later, Tim and I turned off some of the lights and sat silently. Tim holding me, me holding onto Will. And we just sat there as a family for the last time, in a dim and quiet room, wishing that time could just stand still.

But time in that room went so quickly, and soon it was time to hand him to the nurse. We had been in that room for over 6 hours and it felt like minutes. It was that moment that was harder than all the rest. Handing over his tiny body, knowing that we would never see him or hold him again in this life...our hearts have been breaking ever since.

Will is a complete miracle and blessing. I use to think that after everything: the 8 weeks in the hospital, the shots in my belly twice a day, finger pokes, gestational diabetes...that I would become bitter if he didn't make it. But if going through all that enabled us to spend those 52 hours with him, instead of just a few moments, then I know it was completely worth it.

God has a plan. We don't know what it is, but we find peace in knowing that Will is now completely healed and watching over us. That still doesn't make it hurt any less, each day we struggle with missing our son. But he will forever be our perfect baby...waiting to be held by us again one day.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Celebrating Will's Life

Thank you to everyone for their continued prayers and support. The comments left by so many on this blog keep Tim and I from completely falling apart, your words mean so much to us. We know that only time can help begin to heal our pain but in the meantime, we are coming to terms with our loss and want to remember everything about him. Since coming home yesterday we have been busy trying to best decide how to memorialize our son. 

We have decided we want to celebrate the miraculous 52 hours Will was with us by having an open house on Saturday, July 26th beginning at 3 p.m. and will continue into the evening to assure that everyone is able to come (including all of our new friends at the hospital!) Please feel free to stop by during this time as we truly rejoice in the miracle he was and continues to be for us. If you need our address or directions to our home, please feel free to contact me via email at: jzoepke@yahoo.com

Since many have been inquiring on ways to help, we set up a fund in Will's name that will be used to cover a number of things we would like to do to help preserve his memory. We will be using any donations to help us cover things like his medical costs, cremation services, and a memorial tree which will be planted in our front yard. In addition, we would also like to make a donation to the NICU at the hospital. Tim & I are at a loss for words to describe just how incredible the staff was. They provided us with so many keepsakes, photos, and moldings of his little feet, hands, and face. We feel it would be an honor to help families like ours that lose a child. We're not sure exactly what we would like to do, but will search our hearts to find something fitting of Will. 

If you would like to make a donation to this fund, checks may be made out to:
William James Fund c/o Tim Murray
Please mail this to our home address, as our local bank would not allow us to have people send it directly to their branch due to various concerns.

Again, Tim & I cannot express how grateful we are for every one's thoughts & support. 
We truly feel your prayers...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pictures...





They say a picture is worth a thousand words...I'll let these speak for me tonight as we are still struggling with the last 24 hours...

Sweet William...

Tonight, around 6:00 p.m., Tim & I held our son as he took his last breath and passed away.

He was peaceful and we feel blessed that we were able to hold him & comfort him without all the monitors and wires in the NICU.

We are grateful for all the nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff that cried with us as we said good-bye to our precious baby. We will post more information and pictures once we are back home on Sunday.

In lieu of flowers, we will be setting up a fund through our local bank, to be used towards medical and funeral expenses.

Thank you to everyone who fought the fight with us & Will...we love you and are grateful for your continued prayers.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

precious baby...

Tim & I are completely in love with our son...

The first 24-48 hours the doctors call the honeymoon period. He looked good and his numbers were improving. This morning I took my first shower since surgery and felt good, then we visited the NICU.

Today has been filled with tears at our son's bedside. He is so beautiful and perfect on the outside, yet his little lungs are leaving him critical on the inside. All we can do is sob and plead with God to make things different. There are no words to describe falling in love with your first child and then watching helplessly as he struggles to live.

We met with the neonatologist this afternoon and signed a paper that no one should ever have to sign. Tim and I could only cry as we made the decision, not to try to bring Will back, should it be God's will to have his little heart or lungs give out. That would mean to only prolong his pain. Currently, he is sedated with morphine and is back up to 100% oxygen. We are sad to say that he is going down the road that we hoped he would not go down and it doesn't look good.

As new parents we can't help but love on him and cry at how perfect he truly is. He has his mom's button nose and his daddy's chin. They have since cleaned him up since his birth and he has just the right amount of light brown/ blondish hair. He is pink and his little wrinkles have filled out, giving him that cuddly baby look. The hardest part is that he doesn't look sick, he shouldn't be dying right now...

We ask for your continued prayers and we go through this horrific time. Thank you for your messages of love and support and the beautiful gifts...The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions, we can only take comfort in knowing that God somehow has a plan for our family & Will. We continue to pray for his little lungs and the blessing his life truly is for all of us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

William James is Here!!!

This is Dad's first time so here goes-

We had a pretty short night as Julie was feeling some contractions around 3-4am. They decided to put her on the monitor to check-out Will's heartbeat. He was showing signs of stress so the decision was made that this was the day to deliver him before things got worse. They prepped Julie in the room for a bit with an IV, etc and we headed down to the delivery floor. Then it was all about waiting- probably about 2 hours so we grabbed a nap for a bit and I some how found a way to fit into a scrub 'jump-suit' that was way to small. I also had Julie laughing by the fact that the bootie that I tried to put on ripped in two trying to get over my shoes- guess we were slap-happy at that point. Eventually the Drs and their Entourage came in to brief us and whisked Julie away to drug her up before the C-Section.

Julie did great with the C-Section and all of surgery- she definitely felt some pressure when they were working him out for the birth. Will arrived today at 1:59pm, weighs 3lbs 2oz and is 16.5 inches long. He was pretty purple and the Neonatal team worked on him right away- he was stabilized fairly quickly though and got in a few pix before he was taken away.

We were pretty sad after the delivery as it was too quiet- the Neonatal Dr said he was 'less than optimistic'. No way not to cry, right? They sewed her up and took us to the recovery area- that was the toughest part of the day- other families had their babies. This was the first time Julie really cried as we wanted our little guy right next too us. It definitely felt unfair when we heard others having one of their happiest times of their lives- and we were having one of our toughest.

Julie saw Will once since birth- I cannot stop going up there and hate to leave him there alone. He is on a ventilator and has feeding tubes through his umbilical cord. Julie is well- obviously tired and very sore- but is doing great. Both of us are quite tired so I think this is it for today- we will be heading to see Will again in the morning- more details as soon as we get a good nights sleep.

Please continue your thoughts and prayers as the next 24-48 hrs are most crucial to Will-

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Final count down!

One week from right now I will be in the delivery room...that is, if Will doesn't decide to come any earlier.

This morning he had a very flat heart rate line on the monitor with some dips, so they are going to monitor me again after lunch. All this could mean is that he is under stress...aren't we all! If this continues they could possibly deliver earlier than a week from now.

Tim has been with me since Monday afternoon and it has been such a relief. We are both dealing with so much and having our company visiting from CA has been a huge blessing and much needed distraction. But we've been able to talk about things going on and how we are trying our best to prepare. Most importantly is how UN-prepared we truly feel. In a week we will be parents regardless if he lives or passes.

What do we do if he doesn't make it?
Where do we begin if he does? We have no clothes, no supplies, and none of the other fun stuff associated in preparing for the arrival of a baby...but we know all of that will come if it is meant to be...

If he is able to breathe, at least he will be in the NICU for some time which will help me to recover and also help us to get back on our feet and get the house ready (because of right now I'm pretty sure that I have spent more time in this hospital room than my new home...and I forget what it looks like!).

Bottom line: we're hanging in there as best we can. Your thoughts, prayers, letters, and emails are greatly appreciated and help to keep whatever sanity we actually have left:)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Crazy day

Ah, where do I begin?

I keep hoping for some awesome thing to happen so I can rant and rave about how our life has taken a turn for the better and then I can be somewhat inspiring to all the devoted blog readers out there. Sorry, today that isn't going to happen...

Went to bed way too late last night. Played lots of UNO with my guests. All anyone needs to know is that I won the last two games. I was so wound up that after the Mellotts left, I talked my nurse into taking me up to the nursery where some of my other new nurse friends were taking care of babies. Does that mean I have been here too long when I start to personally know others working on other floors???? Yes, I will have been here 7 WEEKS on Wednesday. Anyways, I didn't roll into bed until well after midnight.

Woke up this morning with VERY sore hip joints (like I'd been horseback riding for the entire weekend). I guess my bones are now getting soft and the joints are starting to somewhat separate. Went to the bathroom only to find another bout of blood. Told my nurse. The doctor squad showed up, told me I needed my favorite: a spec exam. Totally pitched a fit and started to cry. Actually, I was crying and being such a big baby I was laughing at the same time. For those of you that know me, you can totally picture this. The woman drawing blood asked if I was a Marine. Go figure that I was sporting my USMC t-shirt and being the biggest wimp. I looked at her and laughed..."no, obviously I'm just married to one, he would be so embarrassed if he saw me carrying on like this right now." They all laughed. I continued to cry and act as if she was going to cut off my arm instead of draw blood.

Yes, so I laid there with my blanket over my head (still crying like an idiot) half hoping to be dialated so this whole circus would just end. No such luck. The rest of the morning was a blur of tears, frustration, and random nurses coming in and giving me hugs. That is how close I have gotten to many of them...they were crying and telling me how sorry they were that this whole thing just sucks so bad. It felt good to know that I am not crazy for thinking that myself.

Then for the shocking moment, I got up after it all to take a shower and get cleaned up (I was so worked up I looked like I had just run a marathon...my shirt was soaking wet) and felt something strange...my fluid must have built back up over the weekend because I haven't been leaking the past few days. It all came out...all over the bed. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Part of me saw hope because Will had been floating around the past few days, and then part of me was upset and thinking that all the poking around had caused the baby to shift and let that precious fluid leak out once again.

Got cleaned up. Composed myself. Called Tim to update him. Started crying all over again, so did he. I think today marked the day when all the stress and worry and unknowns came crashing down with force, on both of us. I fell asleep after lunch and woke up to him walking through my door. Imagine my surprise and relief because normally I don't see him until after 9 pm. We spent the afternoon talking about everything to come and our fears, crying, and just what we need to do to get through this...whatever "this" may end up being.

I don't know much right now, but I do know that is was great to spend some time together and talk about things. We made it back to the NICU tonight and saw a 31 week baby. That was a positive today, because the last baby we saw was around 25 weeks and left us terrified. I'm thanking God every day that we are past that point.

So tired now, hoping and praying that one day soon will be so wonderful...it will shock us all.
I know God hears me, he's just waiting to answer...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Blues

This weekend went pretty fast. Only one more weekend to go.

God willing, two weeks from today I will be home...that makes me happier than anything...and its hard to believe at the same time.

Friday night Tim & Sophie spent the night. Soph kept me company while Tim put in a full day at the office Saturday and then took her home to meet up with our SoCal company, the Mellotts.

Saturday night, Tim returned with Laura, John, & the boys...so GREAT to see them! They also brought in pizza (even better), so we had an awesome time visiting. I can honestly say it was the best Saturday night I've had since I can remember. Their visit is perfect timing, it will help me hang on this last week and distract me from lays ahead. I wish they could just stay forever... :) As the sun was setting, Tim & I showed them around the old houses of Heritage Hill that surround the hospital. We laughed because the kids had never chased fireflies (or even seen them before)...and I was worried that they would be bored! That distracted them for the entire walk.

Today, I was again brought an outside meal (an absolute blessing since this hospital food really is making me sick to my stomach now) when everyone arrived at lunch, and we all took a stroll outside. Today was perfect as far as Michigan weather goes, making it really hard to know that everyone is hanging out at the house this afternoon and evening. I so long to be there with our friends, Tim, and Sophie. I know I'll be home soon enough, but not in time to enjoy our friends the way I had hoped to.

Nothing much else is going on. Just trying to hang in there as the day gets closer, I can't believe we'll be meeting Will in just over a week. My emotions are going crazy. One moment I'm so excited I can't stand it, the next I'm scared to death. The unknown is the scariest. Every night I pray for a miracle that we are about to get the biggest blessing of our lives...not too much longer before we find out.

Thank you to all of you that continue to support us with your thoughts and prayers, it is truly a blessing which we will need more than ever in the upcoming days.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

emotional wreck

Haven't written in a few days because I really don't know what to say...or how to say it. I'm torn between writing how I really feel and then also just blowing things off like I usually do. Also, the last few days have just been plain hard...

Now I realize that pregnant women get emotional, but it never really hit me that hard until this week. At least that is what I am hoping is my problem. Add the crazy hormones, plus the time spent in this room and what you get is a complete mess of a person. That would be me.

I can't get a grip...and realized just how bad it was when I looked at my breakfast tray and saw they messed it up again by forgetting one of my sacred carbs and putting nasty eggs on top of the one piece of french toast they did remember. So I started to cry. Good grief.

Now, after my last posting the neonatologist stopped by for another consult. He slipped out a number of the chest measurements from the ultrasound that everyone else failed to mention (they didn't want to upset me). On all the other ultrasounds, Will has had a chest circumference in the 20th percentile...which isn't too bad. Yesterdays number dropped down to the 5th percentile, which is terrible.

I'm trying to still keep positive and faithful that God has a plan. But I won't lie, it is such a challenge to see the glass as half full at the moment. So many things have gone so badly since we moved home, I don't know or understand why all this had to fall on us so quickly. This is not how I wanted to start this new chapter in our lives. I look around at all the other women on this floor...addicted to drugs, smoking, not even 18, completely incapable of taking care of a child...and yet they go home with babies. Where is God in that?

The doctors are now prepping me that this whole hospital stay may have been a futile effort, but end with saying that at least we know we did everything possible to give him a fighting chance. "We didn't do anything"...is what I think. This has been up to God the entire time and it still is.

I'm not giving up on Will that easy...because until he comes out and we all see what is actually going on, its not over yet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two weeks...

Final ultrasound was this morning. I had a different technician who wasn't too chatty and didn't really say much. So I was annoying and made sure to ask lots of questions...I'm pretty sure I bugged her but I don't care, this was scheduled to be the highlight of my day and I was going to take advantage. Besides, I'm sick of people not telling me anything.

This is what I do know: He is 2 lbs 13 oz. There isn't any fluid, although he was practicing what they call "fetal breathing" which I was told is an extra bonus for us. This doesn't promise anything, but it can be taken as a good sign as he is practicing the motions of breathing inside the womb. I'm not getting my hopes up though, the doctor is still being extremely somber. Its hard to read the doctors here sometimes, they like to joke around with me, but when talking about the baby they have never given any hope or a slip of false hope. So I don't know what to think.

Yesterday was a much better & interesting day. I had lots of fun visitors who brought me awesome food. Thanks again Beth, Chris, & Kristy for visiting me!!! I wish every day could go that fast...I was wiped out by the afternoon and still perplexed by a home movie Beth brought of a cruise we all went on back when I was 18 years old. All I can say is that I have not laughed that hard in a long time, and it was a great release to escape back even if it was only for 10 minutes. Makes me want to take more pictures and videos of things now...It was a good blast from the past moment:)

Monday, July 7, 2008

16 days to go?

Tim & I have really been talking a lot of what is to come. I guess its starting to hit us as the day draws closer and we are both reeling from a string of emotions. Similar to a deployment, the stress is there and its best to talk about it rather than act like nothing is about to happen. We were both pretty broken down over the weekend and then we got just what we needed.

We never watch TV (don't even have cable at home) and last night Extreme Home Makeover was on...who did they feature? A Marine. Perfect...Tim and I were glued to the TV for two hours. It was the swift kick in the pants we both needed. I realized that we have somehow gotten away from the life lessons we learned while being around Marines and I am absolutely ashamed of that. We have made it through so many things, why face this situation with any less resolve? Moving away from Camp Pendleton was needed to move on in life, but I miss the constant reminder of all that we have overcome by being in the presence of greatness. Marines provide that. Being in the midst of that community, there is always someone so much worse off than you...and I'm not talking about stupid things most people gripe about like needing a vacation or working long hours...no, things like death, divorce, babies dying and the wife doing it all alone...dads never coming home. Things that people actually have a right to complain about...but surprisingly they don't...and so neither will I.

My biggest fear?

Losing my perspective and becoming like so many others who complain when they have a life full of blessings...focusing on what has been lost instead of what stands to be gained. It is a hard line we are walking and its easy to want to give in and get down...but last night was a comforting reminder of where we have been, and that will help us to get where we now need to go.

Today started with a fresh outlook. I can only pray that it continues...it did. This afternoon I had a great visit with a sorority sister I haven't seen in a year. Thanks for visiting and bringing the awesome lunch, Beth!!!

God works in mysterious ways. When all seems to be lost he sends someone or something who helps me keep going. It is such a blessing to be back in an area where I can see old friends who help to bring us up in such a difficult time. Now if going through this experience means that I can help someone in the future cope with something similar, I believe that it is worth it...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Holiday weekend

What a beautiful weekend for weather here, makes it tough to enjoy the holiday weekend looking through a window and wanting to be outside. At times I find a little person in my head saying, "Okay, now repeat after me...I hate my life, I hate my life, I hate my life..." But then again I'm pretty sure everyone has those moments, I'll just admit it in writing. Please note that as I type this I have a smile on my face, because I think its actually funny. I'm amazed they haven't had to check me into the psych ward yet. Don't ask me how I keep sane, because I swear I'm going to lose my mind any moment...

A huge thank you to Tim & Jessi who sent the most awesome flower arrangement shaped like an ice cream cone, it could not have come at a better time. I took a pic of it and tried to download it, but it just won't work. So forgive me for not posting more pics on this blog, its not possible while I'm on the hospital's server. Anyways, you guys are so creative because I have never seen anything like it, I love it!

Last night, Tim and I got ready to go watch the fireworks downtown, I asked him if we should have the nurses take our picture...we haven't taken any pics since we've been in Michigan, and we were decked out with festive glow sticks...We both kind of looked at each other and laughed. Its pretty bad when you don't want a picture of something, because this is one 4th neither one of us cares to remember. Tim wheeled me down to the park at the end of the street and we watched the fireworks. I got more entertainment from watching all the weirdos that were out and about. I am constantly shocked at how many people I see around this place with no teeth...at least that is one thing I can safely say IS going for me...

To follow up with my last post, the bleeding has decreased over the last day or so and I have made it to my personal goal of 30 weeks. Anything from this point forward is a bonus in my book. Will is really squirmy and moves a lot. I love it. Last night when the fireworks got really loud he got the hiccups again...too funny. As soon as the fireworks were done, he stopped.

Not too much else to write, as I am lacking things that have inspired me lately. I miss my house, the woods, heathly food, having a life, and overall just taking care of things. In two more weeks or so, things should start coming around. I know Tim will be thrilled once he no longer has to do it all...In the meantime, I say a prayer every night that we don't end up in the psych ward together...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Update

This morning I woke up to heavy bleeding. This is actually new because over the last week or so it has dropped off dramatically now that I only walk around to go to the bathroom or take a shower. So it was a little shocking.

They put me on the monitor for a couple of hours and did a bedside ultrasound, followed up by more blood work in case they wheel me down for a c-section...I'm actually more concerned at not being able to eat or drink anything, especially with the diabetic thing. They just gave me grape juice because I was starting to feel really weird.

We just ask for prayers, as there is nothing else to do but sit and wait. Tim and I have been waiting since the beginning of April to see where this is going, and I am nearly ready just to find out. Its these unexpected twists and turns that have taken their toll over the last few months. I know we'll be faced with much more in the coming weeks. We just pray for strength and courage, as this can turn so scary so fast.

But for right now, I am just patiently waiting. The baby is still fine. Tim is at work just a few blocks away. Should anything change, someone will update this blog. Give my past medical history, and given that it is 4th of July weekend and all my favorite nurses are gone on vacation, something will probably happen. My trend has been to only have emergencies over holidays. Oh, well...a patriotic baby would be totally appropriate, especially since I was refusing to give birth on his original due date: September 11th. Until then, welcome to the waiting game with us!