Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The lack of exercise...

This morning as I was putting on my makeup,
I suddenly realized that I was heading to the doctor
and it didn't even cross my mind not to wear mascara.
It was one of those things that changed as soon as we got Will's diagnosis...
I just stopped wearing eye makeup because every time I went to the doctor,
I cried.
And never mind wearing anything like that for months after he died...

But somewhere between all that and then right now,
I have learned to live again.
And I gladly put on mascara this morning,
a sign that things were...and are changing...

The doctor visit went fine.
Nothing new to report.
Sadly, my favorite ultrasound tech was not there,
so I didn't get hooked up with any sweet 3D images again.
But I am going back in 2 weeks and am not leaving without some sort of picture:)
Today, I was just so thankful to have a normal visit.
However, I did leave with something pretty great...

My own personal version of a lottery ticket.
It is worth some money, but only to me.
I am now the proud owner of a doctor's note...
that freezes my gym membership.
I am officially relieved of any exercise or as the marines call it: PT,
or guilt associated with not going.
And I couldn't be more thrilled.
I literally danced downt the hall at the office, waving the note in my hand to my nurse friends...
For those of you that know me, this is funny. (and probably a little sad)
Being married to a Marine, means that we are a physically fit family.
And there is no such thing as not feeling well, or skipping out on working out...

I still remember being pregnant with Will,
living in CA before anything was amiss and being guilted into going to base to work out.
I went for Tim.
Really I went just so he would stop bugging me...
But being in the first trimester, as we drove I began to feel sick.
As we pulled up to the gym, I begged him to stop by the PX so I could get a snack.
I ran inside,
and grabbed a very nutritious snack.
The only thing that sounded good to my gurgling stomach:
A Cherry Coke and huge stick of Laughy-Taffy.
I was then convinced that I was too sick to actually go inside with Tim.
He scoffed as I pointed out that I still "went TO the gym with him..."
And as my husband ran and worked his little heart out,
I sat in the car with the moon roof open,
relaxing in the warm California sun...drinking pop and eating candy.
And as a platoon of Marines ran by the parking lot,
I felt slightly guilty.
Especially when the Marines in back of the group (that looked like they were going to pass out) eye-balled me sitting in the car being a big fat lazy butt.
But here's the thing,
I really didn't care.
Just like now.
I am careful about what I eat because I don't want to become diabetic again,
and I want what is best for my body and the baby...
but when it comes to staying in shape?
Again, I really don't care.
Its not worth risking anything all over again.
Besides, I can always register for a jogging stroller and burn off those fat rolls...
after the baby is here safe and sound.
So not being able to work out?
I could not be happier:)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Preggy picture

With this pregnancy,
I'm trying to remember to take pictures and document in ways that I wish I had with Will's pregnancy.
So a few weeks back when I had some friends over,
I asked her to take a few pictures with her awesome camera.
Well...I guess a $1000 camera can't even do me some favors
and so out of a handful of pictures,
I will share one.
And that is only because so many long distance friends have asked...
so this awful picture is for them to see my "baby belly"

But, on Tuesday, Tim and I have a photo session scheduled.
This is special for a number of reasons. The first being its something we always talked about, but never actually have done. The only semi-decent pics we've had taken were our wedding photos, so its long overdue.
And also because we are going to see the photographer that volunteered his time and services to give us the incredible pictures of Will the night he died.
So I don't know what to expect...
but I do hope to get some great pictures that I can happily post here:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

20 weeks

Imagine this...
when the doctor asked if Tim would mind giving me a
weekly shot of thick progesterone  in my hip,
I never thought about what might actually happen.
Seems simple enough, but with my life
I should have known it wouldn't be so simple.

So picture this,
my nurse friend is now my personal medical staff.
The reason being, after much discussion with lots of my "health professional" friends, we decided that despite all our marriage has endured,
having Tim try to give me those shots just might not be in our best interest.
That is, if we want to stay married:)
And I do...

So, now my friend is drawing up the meds and then jabbing the HUGE needle into my backside.
This isn't particularly funny...
unless you know me.
It gets better of course.
Last week it was done in my home after a Tastefully Simple party.
This week we met for dinner at Panera,
then for the sake of time
I crawled into the backseat of my car
and she shot me up with drugs.

Yes, in my car...in a parking lot.

I kept picturing all the worst case scenarios that could happen.
Such as a cop pulling up for dinner,
or a random car pulling into the empty parking spot next to my open car door where my friend stood trying to get the best angle...
or worse yet, some young college kid from one of the many Bible colleges just down the road catching a glimpse and mistaking me
for some drugged out meth-head tweeker.

The last one is my favorite I think...
its so funny and far from the truth I can't help but laugh out loud.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

constant reminders

In two weeks we will have lived here for two years...
that blows my mind.
Sometimes it seems like forever,
other days it still seems like I just left California.

Will's death is the same way.
Sometimes it seems far away,
other days it is still so fresh.
And then there are the constant reminders...

Yes, we still cry even though things are going well with this baby.
Yes, we still have people that don't acknowledge Will's life...
or that literally say we should be moved on and over it by now...
and now we have been faced with a whole new range of questions that aren't meant to be painful...but they simply are.
Questions like these wage a war within my soul between my heart that wants me to claim Will and my brain that tells me its not worth mentioning that I have a son who is in heaven...
"Is this your first baby?"
"Do you have any other children?"
"How do you know you'll need a c-section?"

Even the simple task of filing our taxes this year, brought a day of tears and anxiety.
It happened when I opened the package from our accountant and saw that he had claimed Will as a dependent...even though last year in a letter we had explained what had happened.

I guess he forgot.
Or he didn't think it was important enough to make himself a note for next year...

Either way, Tim was left with the task of calling him to tell him that our son did die.
Its not that we mind, I mean talking about Will doesn't bother us in the least...its the thought of making other people feel bad that makes us feel awful.
Because so many people don't know how to react.
And we like to make people laugh, not get that sad look of pity in their eyes...
Which leads me to this story and another conversation in which the other person didn't know how to handle it,
and asked coldly,
"Well, what date did he die?"
"And you told him...of this situation last year already?"
As if this was all our fault...
And my husband cried,
while sitting in his fancy office,
at work...
because this whole thing still isn't easy.
And there are many people that still make it even harder than it should be.
And that just plain sucks.

In the wake of our son dying,
we were swarmed.
I was in a fog.
Yet, we were so alone.
I will never forget coming home to an empty house...
a dirty house that hadn't been lived in for nearly 2 months...
a lawn that needed to be mowed...
a pantry and fridge that were empty...
a closet filled with clothes I could not fit into yet...
and the one thing I remember is a friend,
driving from out of state to bring us bags of groceries.
Such a selfless and kind act that still brings tears to my eyes today.
She never called to ask what we needed,
she just took the initiative and did something.
And to this day I am still so grateful for that simple act of kindness.
Because at the time, the only thing I could think about
was how to simply keep breathing.

Imagine being in so much pain emotionally, that you literally hold your breath without even realizing it...I did it constantly.

Because we hadn't lived here long,
we really didn't have a large support network.
And that was hard.
Three days after being released from the hospital,
Tim pushed me around in a wheelchair at Costco while we purchased
things for Will's memorial at our home.
But I still wonder to this day, why we did that...
why we were alone...

Another friend, came over numerous times that week to help me once Tim went back to work.
In one sitting, we put together Will's entire photo scrapbook.
For hours, we sat there and talked while cutting, gluing and piecing the few mementos I had of his short life into a book.
Another friend's kindness that I am so grateful for.

I've had many people ask me what to do in the wake of losing a child.
They know friends or others going through it,
and they want my advice.
I am happy to help, but since each situation is different,
it is also difficult to say sometimes.
Another blog that I follow addressed this same issue,
and I wanted to share it.
She explains everything so well, I really couldn't put it into better words.

I write about this, because I hope that in some way
by breaking open my pain and spilling it out,
it can somehow help someone else.
That by writing about tough topics, knowledge will form...
people will be educated,
and other parents going through this hell will be better taken care of.

Truthfully, the only reason we survived
was because of the support we received.
I should really say the support that we continually keep receiving...
We are thankful to those sane friends who kept us from going insane.
For those family & friends that have been there for us, long after the death and funeral.
Because they know it doesn't stop there.
Like the friends that came to my house the other night for a Tastefully Simple party...
and ending up staying until everyone else left...
to give me my first shot of progesterone in my butt because I was terrified to have Tim do it.
Those are true friends.
And one took pictures, while the other jammed the needle into my backside...
apologizing the entire time (like it was her fault or something).
I may be brave enough to write about certain things...
but let's face it.
I'm not yet to the point of being comfortable in putting a picture (which has my butt crack showing) on the Internet for the world to see...

but its having friends like that,
and so many others that follow this blog
that offer support and leave comments and offer words of encouragement that help us.
And somewhere, somehow along the way....we have figured how to live again.

Monday, March 8, 2010

3D ultrasound

Arm by the face.

This shot had us all laughing...what looks like a Michigan mullet hairdo is actually part of the placenta. No crazy George Washington wig for my baby.

Look at all that beautiful amniotic fluid! :)

Today was a day we have been anticipating for a really long time...
and it felt sometimes that it might never come.
But today did arrive and everything with the doctor went smoothly.
And while we are still far away from that special day in July,
we got to see our baby,
and see that everything is good so far.
Thank you to everyone for their well wishes and prayers.

We also got confirmation that we are going to have another boy:)

The high risk doctors are taking every precaution,
because we are still in a risky time.
Being in that office today brought back a lot of memories,
a lot of them not so happy.
But seeing this baby, surrounded by fluid and looking healthy
was a blessing.
Beginning this week I will be getting a shot of hormones,
weekly in my "lower hip"...
courtesy of Tim.
He eagerly jumped at the duty...a little too quickly.
This will hopefully ward off any pre-term labor or other problems.

The funny thing is,
the doctor said most people fight off having to take such a shot.
After what we've been through...
I would gladly get poked once a week,
that actually sounds like the easy part to me...

Now if we could only decide on a name,
that is proving the most difficult.
But I am going to bed so grateful tonight...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good days

This week has been a milestone...
not sure if its because the sun has been out 4 days in a row,
or because the temperature actually reached 40...
it may be the fact that I am 18 weeks along today,
or that it is finally March...
but something feels different~
in a good way.

A few months after Will died,
another mom who lost her newborn told me that eventually the pain does dull a bit.
But she was also 5 years into the process,
and I wasn't even 5 months.
I would have to admit that while I do feel differently,
it isn't because I love Will any less or because this whole situation
has gotten "better"...
it really doesn't work that way.
Its because we have a new sense of normal.
We have a routine...
and now we also have a renewed sense of hope with this baby.
A huge and hopefully happy event to look forward to.

During Will's pregnancy, the night of my 18th week marked my
2nd trip to the ER...
my 1st overnight stay in the hospital...
and the 1st time a doctor told me the baby would die.

This time,
I am laying in my own bed.
Healthy and content,
saying prayers of thanks for yet another good day.
And that is all I ever really pray for anymore...
just a really long string...
of really good days.