Friday, July 30, 2010

Home


We are home at last...
Its hard to believe our little man is 3 days old already.
He is such a good baby,
and hardly ever cries...
as long as you don't take off his clothes,
or change his diaper:)

He is healthy.
He is perfect...
and we are loving him to pieces.

This week has been a whirlwind and there is much to tell,
many things to share...
and I don't want to forget any of it.
But right now our life is dictated by feedings and diaper changes and when I am allowed to take my next pain pill:)
And although my feet are swollen so much that I think they might pop if I actually walk on them...
I have never been happier.
We feel so blessed...

More to come soon as things settle down and I can think clearly after some much needed rest.
And I also promise more pictures to come soon....
Lots more:)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jack Liam is here!!!



Suddenly our world is in color again- Introducing Jack Liam- 8lbs 6oz 20.5" long- both Julie & Jack are safe and sound- More to come soon---

Monday, July 26, 2010

Almost there...


In less than 24 hours, Jack will be here.
All the months of waiting,
the weeks of shots and doctor's visits...
well, I get to see just how much it was all worth the wait.

My phone and email has been busy all day with exclamations from friends and family of
"Aren't you SO EXCITED?!"
I have to confess that I am not.
I am scared...and anxious...
in many ways I am just scared to get excited.
The hospital and operating room and recovery room...
they hold very bad memories for me.
Nothing pleasant,
nothing comforting.
Tomorrow, when I walk through the doors of the ER to go to the birthing center,
I will be facing those ghosts head on.
Memories are triggered by strange things:
smells, sights and feelings.
That hospital holds them all.

I will not be excited until I see him with my own eyes and hear his cry pierce the air.
Until then, I am going to be a wreck...
especially waiting in that cold room they put you in before heading for surgery.
It is quiet, cold and I know that I will be shaking.
Praying and shaking.
The shaking will continue until they numb me
and I physically am unable to do it anymore...
Tim feels the same way.

I guess we have been trained that way.
Days before Tim would return from Iraq,
people would ask the same thing:
"Aren't you so excited for him to come home?!"
No, not until he was in my arms.
Too many things can happen.
I saw the things that could happen...days, even hours, before a Marine was supposed to come home...
Not many people see those bad things.
Unfortunately, we lost that luxury years ago.
We saw things that I am glad most people don't have to think about
don't have to see.
Ignorance is bliss.

I am not ignorant about tomorrow,
and its not that I think anything bad will happen.
I just want to see this baby come into the world healthy and screaming...
and I want everything to go as it should.
I want that happy ending that so many people have been able to have...
the one that we were hoping for with Will.
I have faith that things will go well,
that I will be wheeled into recovery with a baby tomorrow.
It will be such a blessing to be surrounded by family and friends
as welcome happiness into our lives again.

And in a few days, we'll walk through the door of our house
as a family.
Finally, a family...
so bittersweet.
And for all those that have asked, I finally managed to get pics of the finished nursery up. As you can see the elephant gray is no more:)

Thank you for all your love, support and prayers...
we're almost there...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

the waiting game

Everything is done,
or at least...
I think it is.

We don't have any future plans,
other than having to drive to the hospital soon.

And I am as ready as I will ever be.
I'm anxious and excited and scared and in disbelief that the time has come...
and now that I have reached 38 weeks
I am also very impatient.
All these precautions were taken so Jack wouldn't come early...
now he just wants to hang out in there.

I had my last appointment yesterday,
and left knowing this kid is going to be big.
I just can't wait to finally see and hold him.
It seems like we've been waiting forever,
and in some ways we really have.

So, now all I can do is sit here and wait.
And hope that maybe he wants to come out before Tuesday,
just to stir things up a bit...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two years...

This week has been a roller coaster.
With what would have been Will's 2nd birthday quickly approaching on Saturday,
it is once again that time of year where we have been reflecting.
The question has been tossed around, "What do you want to do for Will's birthday?"

There is no answer.

There is no grave site to visit. Our baby is still here with us. His ashes are in a small heart shaped urn that most would mistakenly take for a paperweight.
It just wasn't in us to bury him...
And then if we had and we were ever to move...
I know we couldn't have left him here.
So he remains in our bedroom,
silently still a part of our every day lives.
The way it should be.

But on days like his birthday or anytime I want to do something special,
I am left wondering just what to do.
It never gets any easier, 
and this year is complicated.

We are so ready for our 2nd son.
And yesterday when I started having some random, slightly painful contractions
I kind of got anxious.
What if this baby is born on one of the two days I really don't him to be?
July 17th & 19th.
The day Will was born and then the day he died.
Those days are the only 2 in an entire year, that I really have a problem with.

I want this child to have his own day.
I want to be able to grieve Will on those days...
and not have to explain to my new son why mommy is both happy and sad if his birthday happens to fall then also.
But again, its not up to me.
A lot of people say, "Oh that would be special!"
I really don't believe so.
And instead of lying to make it seem better, I have to wonder if it was their family if they would feel the same...
Maybe if they were born on the same day, perhaps.
But I do not want this child to have to share a day with his brother's death.
Like I said, its complicated.

My body naturally knows that something is amiss right now.
It has been months since I woke up crying...
and I have moved past counting the weeks since I last held Will
to now counting the weeks until I will hold our 2nd baby.
Time changes some things,
but not all.
My motherly instinct leaves me crying more the last few days,
missing Will in ways that are hard to put into words.

Sure I'm happier than I have ever been in a long time.
But there is still that sadness.
And honestly, I believe there always will be to some extent.

In naming this baby, we had such a difficult time.
But we have finally decided.
And like everything else, there is a story behind it.
Its something I never really shared,
but to understand, it must be told.

Names are hard for me,
this is partly because I am a teacher.
And teachers have a hard time finding names because they associate nearly every name ever thought of with a student they either had, knew, or heard about in the teacher's lounge...
that is just the way it is:)
It comes with the territory.
Combine this with the fact that boy names are thus even harder for us,
when we became pregnant with Will we had one solid boy name we loved.

And so we casually tossed around other names,
but always seemed to come back to the "one".
Until all hell broke loose two years ago in March.
Suddenly we were faced with a new decision that left us feeling sick and guilty and all sorts of other unpleasant feelings...
this baby wasn't going to live.
Do we still use our favorite name? 
And the thing was, we felt guilty for even thinking this in our heads,
let alone questioning it aloud.
But we did question it,
because suddenly the name didn't seem right anymore.

Our first son needed a strong name.
A strong name because we wanted him to fight,
to prove everyone wrong...
and to live.
So we name him William James.
His first name after two people:
my grandfather who had fought in WWII and was a prisoner of war in Siberia for many years... and also a Capt. in the Marines that Tim had served with who was killed in Iraq...
His second name is also after two people:
This would be the only son of ours to share Tim's middle name, and yet again for another Capt. killed in Iraq.
And it just fit.
And he proved to be a fighter,
just like the men he was named after...

How do you choose another "perfect" name?
That has been our dilemma.
When I found out we were having another boy,
my first response that we were NOT going to name him what we had planned originally for Will.
It didn't seem fair.
In fact, I didn't overcome my guilt until one night the topic of choosing names for children came up at support group.
It turns out that a lot of parents felt the same...
and not only that,
they did the same thing too.
They didn't use a favorite or first choice name,
not because they didn't want their dying child to have it,
but because it just didn't fit under the new circumstances.

Now, I feel differently.
I absolutely love Will's name still to this day.
And we are going to honor Will, yet make sure our new son has his own identity.
His name is Jack Liam.
After all, he is still a part of this story that continues to be...
and even though Will died two years before his birth,
they are connected in so many ways.
And besides, we think its a perfect name for a little brother...

Monday, July 12, 2010

July is flying!

I honestly don't know where the time has gone.
4th of July weekend was supposed to be full of "down time",
with plenty of opportunities to catch up on blogging.
Obviously, that did not happen.
But we did have time to do some other things...
like finish the baby room (pictures to come), catch the new Twilight movie,
make cupcakes, and most importantly take lots of naps:)

As far as how things have really been going,
I have felt pretty good.
Except for this weather we have been having...
This has got to be the most muggy, humid and unbearably HOT summer in Michigan that I can ever remember...
and its really sucked.
Our air conditioning has been cranked since early June with only a few days off the week before July 4th when we had gorgeous "California" weather.
It makes me want to move back.
Along with the extended heat and humidity,
I suddenly began to swell up.
Kind of bad...
Then last week the headaches started.
Nothing major, just a dull ache in the front of my head which is unusual for me.
So I was concerned it could be something...
and after talking with my friends (who also are great nurses in the labor & delivery field)
it turns out that nothing is really going on.
Some were concerned it could be a condition called preeclampsia,
but after some good old drugs and more rest the endless headache began to diminish.
The last few days have been normal again as far as no headaches and no swelling,
but then again, its no longer 95 with unbearable humidity.
I can handle dry heat, its the humidity that is really starting to get to me.
Our AC is still going strong, thanks to the stuffy sticky air,
but I guess that is just the price we will have to pay for the time being.
I just miss nice, cool fresh air blowing through my house...

Its hard to believe that I only have two more doctor's visits,
then 2 weeks from tomorrow is my scheduled c-section.
I am getting nervous and anxious.
Secretly, I would love to start having contractions and just go to the hospital without any planning or anxiety being involved.
This week marks a full term pregnancy.
Can you even believe it??
I almost can't...
the end is nearly in sight,
then we begin yet another new and exciting chapter...