Thursday, November 17, 2011

This is just perfect

I found this online today. It is pretty much perfect. It puts into words what I wish I had the strength to help people who've not gone through this understand.

A letter from women to their friends and family 
by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer 
I assert no copyright for the material. Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe. 
This list was compiled as a way of helping other people understand pregnancy loss. While generated by mothers for mothers, it may also apply similarly to the fathers who have endured this loss. 
When trying to help a woman who has lost a baby, the best rule of thumb is a matter of manners: don't offer your personal opinion of her life, her choices, her prospects for children. No woman is looking to poll her acquaintances for their opinions on why it happened or how she should cope. 
-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible. 
-Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out. 
-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between loosing this child and stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children. 
-Don't say, "Be grateful for the children you have." If your mother died in a terrible wreck and you grieved, would that make you less grateful to have your father? 
-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her. 
-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours. 
-Don't say, "Now you have an angel watching over you." I didn't want her to be my angel. I wanted her to bury me in my old age. 
-Don't say, "I understand how you feel." Unless you've lost a child, you really don't understand how I feel. And even if you have lost a child, everyone experiences grief differently. 
-Don't tell me horror stories of your neighbor or cousin or mother who had it worse. The last things I need to hear right now is that it is possible to have this happen six times, or that I could carry until two days before my due-date and labor 20 hours for a dead baby. These stories frighten and horrify me and leave me up at night weeping in despair. Even if they have a happy ending, do not share these stories with me. 
-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone. 
- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine. 
-Don't say, "Well, you weren't too sure about this baby, anyway." I already feel so guilty about ever having complained about morning sickness, or a child I wasn't prepared for, or another mouth to feed that we couldn't afford. I already fear that this baby died because I didn't take the vitamins, or drank too much coffee, or had alcohol in the first few weeks when I didn't know I was pregnant. I hate myself for any minute that I had reservations about this baby. Being unsure of my pregnancy isn't the same as wanting my child to die - I never would have chosen for this to happen. 
-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter. 
-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that. 
-Do say, "I have lighted a candle for your baby," or "I have said a prayer for your baby." Do send flowers or a kind note - every one I receive makes me feel as though my baby was loved. Don't resent it if I don't respond. -Don't call more than once and don't be angry if the machine is on and I don't return your call. If we're close friends and I am not responding to your attempts to help me, please don't resent that, either. Help me by not needing anything from me for a while. If you're my boss or my co-worker: -Do recognize that I have suffered a death in my family - not a medical condition. 
-Do recognize that in addition to the physical after effects I may experience, I'm going to be grieving for quite some time. Please treat me as you would any person who has endured the tragic death of a loved one - I need time and space. 
-DO understand if I do not attend baby showers/christening/birthday parties etc. And DON'T ask why I can't come. 
Please don't bring your baby or toddler into the workplace. If your niece is pregnant, or your daughter just had a baby, please don't share that with me right now. It's not that I can't be happy for anyone else; it's that every smiling, cooing baby, every glowing new mother makes me ache so deep in my heart I can barely stand it. I may look okay to you, but there's a good chance that I'm still crying every day. It may be weeks before I can go a whole hour without thinking about it. You'll know when I'm ready - I'll be the one to say, "Did your daughter have her baby?" or, "How is that precious little boy of yours? I haven't seen him around the office in a while." 
Above all, please remember that this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. The word "miscarriage" is small and easy. But my baby's death is monolithic and awful. It's going to take me a while to figure out how to live with it. Bear with me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

National Remembrance Day

So, I just found out that October 15 is a national day of remembrance for moms and dads. It's to bring awareness to loss of children by miscarriage, stillborn, and infant death. Moms and dads are supposed to light a candle at 7 pm in remembrance of their Angel Babies. We will be watching my wonderful baby sister at her marching band competition. So we won't be participating at the correct time. But, I think we will do this at some point this weekend.

We're actually doing really great right now. I have a lot of days off right now because of the Jewish high holidays. It's been really nice to have some down time.

I had blood drawn a couple of weeks ago and my pregnancy hormone levels were still at 13. So I have to go back on Friday Oct. 14 to have it tested again. I'm also going to see Dr. Egley (the high-risk pregnancy specialist) on Friday. We wanted to meet with him and ask him if there's anything we can do before we start trying again. Hopefully he will be able to give us some answers and helpful tips :) Plus he and his nurse are just really great people and I'm looking forward to meeting with them again!

We're in the middle of a SUPER busy travel time for us! Oct. 1 we were at Purdue watching the Boilers get slaughtered by Notre Dame. Oct. 8 we were in Auburn watching my baby sister march for the first time after her broken ankle. On Oct. 15 we will be at Purdue again but we will be watching Amber's marching band. On Oct. 21-22 Mark will be marching in the alumni marching band at Purdue. I will be going to watch some of his stuff. But, on the 22 I will be driving to Indy from Purdue to watch Amber's band march at semi-state and then go back to Purdue. THEN on the 29 we will hopefully be going to Indy to watch Amber's band at state! Then of course it will be November and we'll have one more Purdue football game and holiday traveling  :) Living anywhere from 4.5 - 5 hours away from all of your family stinks!

Oh, well! Gonna go get my haircut and go shopping! w00t w00t!

Friday, September 30, 2011


I had my first (and hopefully only) follow up appointment today. They did some blood work to see where my hormone levels are at. If they are down to 0, then I don't have to do anything anymore. If they're not, then I have to go back for more blood work every week or 2 until they are down to 0.

I've been really stressed lately. But I was thinking and in the last 3 months, I've been through SO much. I've had a job interview, got a job offer, found out we were expecting, started working my new job, lost the baby, and had surgery. On top of that, there's been some conflict at work that's needed to be dealt with. It makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it.

But, today I trimmed a bush with some hedge trimmers. That felt AMAZING! I think I either need to destroy some more things or go on a vacation :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Remembering You

Mark and I are doing well. I actually am very proud with how well I'm doing. I still think of Baby G EVERY single day (multiple times a day). But, I've accepted what has happened and know there's a reason. I will always love our baby. Mark actually got me a really pretty mother's necklace. It has the March birthstone on it. I wear it everyday. It's very comforting to me. We're going to get an angel ornament this year for our Christmas Tree. It will be something that we can always have to put up to keep Baby G in our hearts. I found this poem and thought it was just perfect.

Remembering You

We thought of you today,
But that is nothing new
We thought of you yesterday
And will tomorrow, too.
We think of you in silence
And make no outward show
For what it meant to lose you
Only those who love you know.
Remembering you is easy,
We do it everyday.
It's the heartache of losing you 
That will never go away.

Friday, September 16, 2011

2 Weeks

It's been 2 weeks since we found out that we lost Baby G. It feels like an eternity has passed. It's hard to see new moms with their babies. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for them. But I can't help to think that that should have been us.

I'm doing much better than I thought I would be doing at this point. I still cry everyday. But it's easier to move on when I start feeling down.

There's a lot of tension going on at work right now. So, I'm going through all the hormonal changes, plus losing our baby, plus work crap that really doesn't even matter in the big scheme of things. But, I've got a GREAT support group with our families. So, I know I'll keep trudging through it all.

We're still not ready to do the whole hanging out with friends thing. I just don't know if I can take the constant, "How are you doing," or "Are you okay." It's nothing personal against anyone. But I don't know if I'll really ever be ready to talk about these feelings with anyone but Mark, my family, and my nearest, dearest friends. I don't want to have to look into faces that are full of pity. It's just a reminder of what was lost.

So, if we politely turn down an outing, don't take offense. We'll be ready someday, but we still need our time :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lessons from Baby G

We only got to have 13 weeks with our baby. In that time I learned so much. I quickly learned that Altoids were my best friend :) I learned what it felt like to truly care for someone else. My favorite thing to do was to find out how big Baby G was and what he/she would have been learning and developing that week.

But, the biggest thing I learned was that I could love deeper than I ever thought possible. Not only did I love Baby G with every fiber of my being, I also fell deeper in love with Mark. We've been together for almost 9 years and I finally understand what people mean when they say they love their spouse more and more everyday. Before the pregnancy ended, I would tell Mark goodnight and that Baby G and I loved him very much. He would kiss my tummy and tell me how much he loved us. Since Baby G has been gone, I feel so much closer to him than I have during our entire relationship.

This whole thought process led me to the fact that the only thing Baby G knew in this life was love. He will never have to feel fear, sadness, anger, hate, malice, or pain. He only knew and will always know love. That's the greatest gift Mark and I could have ever given him. Now Baby G is in Heaven and only knows God's love and that's far greater than Mark and I could ever give.

I like to think that Baby G is able to watch us from above and see how close he made his mommy and daddy. He provided us with so much happiness when we got to spend that brief time together. We loved him with everything we have and will continue to love him as long as we live. When he left us, he took a piece of our hearts and that spot will ALWAYS be his.

If I could talk to him for 5 minutes, I would tell him that we love him so incredibly much that there are no words to describe it. I would also tell him that we're going to be okay. He provided a bond for Mark and I that can never be broken. We're making it through this together and can't wait to spend eternity in Heaven with him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More prayers, please

We're going to need some more prayers tomorrow. We are having to have a D & C. Baby G has been gone for over 5 weeks now. My body isn't showing any signs of recognizing that the pregnancy is no longer viable. Mark and I are having a hard time just waiting for things to happen naturally. It feels like we can't move on because we are still carrying our baby. 

Here is the somewhat grey timeline. It's all just so confusing. We had our first ultrasound at 9 weeks 2 days. Baby G's heartbeat was SUPER strong at 162 beats per minute. The ultrasound technician said that according to Baby G's size, he/she was measuring at 8 weeks 4 days. They weren't going to change our due date because it was close enough to the same date as my last period. When we had our ultrasound on Friday and found out Baby G had passed, he/she was only measuring at 8 weeks 1 day. So, we're assuming that everything happened right after our first ultrasound. Technically we are still pregnant at 13 weeks 3 days right now.

That leads us to needing to get everything taken care of. I didn't realize how involved a D & C was. I'll have to have anesthesia. This is a real surgery and I've never had any kind of surgery at all. 

It's really hard knowing that Baby G won't be with us any more after tomorrow at 3:30. Please keep me in your prayers that everything goes well and that physical recovery is minimal. 

                                              Sometimes love is for a moment.
                                              Sometimes love is for a lifetime.
                                              Sometimes a moment is a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This is so beautiful

"These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy's hearts.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part." 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Baby G is in Heaven

Hey friends and family.

Just want to let everyone know that we had an ultrasound last Friday at our specialist's. There was no heartbeat. The doctor said that it looked like the baby had passed 3 or 4 weeks ago which would have been right after our first ultrasound.

There are some things that we have to take care of this week. We just need your prayers and support right now. Mark and I are doing about as well as can be expected and we are obviously devastated.

We do ask for a little bit of space right now. We don't know enough details to be able to talk about this whole situation quite yet. We will hopefully know more later and will share more details when we are ready.

Please pray for us and our perfect, beautiful Baby G.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 12

We will be in our 12th week on Monday, August 22. So we will technically be in the "safe" period of our pregnancy. I'm looking forward to it with a little bit of apprehension. We have our first appointment with the specialist on Friday, September 2. I'm hoping/not hoping they do another ultrasound. I would love to see our baby again!

I'm not really sure what to expect with the specialist appointment. Before our first regular appointment, I did some research on what is done at a first baby appointment. So, I kind of knew what to expect. But there's really nothing out there for this.

I've been feeling really good! I made it through the whole first week of school without feeling too exhausted. My kids are GREAT and it's AWESOME only having 4 students! However, today I woke up at 9 and laid down to take a nap at 1:30. I was down for about 2 hours. I didn't get any school work done like I planned today, but my body needed a relaxing day with nothing to do. That just means that tomorrow will be school planning and laundry day :)

I've done a bit of research on what we can do to help prevent blood clotting and one of the things is to NEVER sit criss-cross-applesauce. I ALWAYS sit this way even in my computer chair. So I've been very conscious to not sit that way. I also sit with my feet up on a cart thing that I have for school. BEST DISCOVERY SO FAR! As far as sleeping goes, I think it's about time to invest in a body pillow. My hips have been more sore lately.

The worst part for me right now is my memory! I just feel COMPLETELY scatter-brained! Baby G is sucking my brain from my head! Like I said earlier, I only have 4 students. You would think I wouldn't have any problems with names. Two of the students use their Hebrew names. They're not too hard, but just a bit different. My youngest student has a "normal" name, but she remind me of one of my younger cousins so I call her Jessica ALL the time! The kids think it's hilarious that I mix up their names. I just hope my brain starts cooperating a little bit more!

Other than that, things are going great! I feel like I have SO much more energy and am DEFINITELY looking forward to the next step in this pregnancy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School!

It was awesome! I feel tired now, but not completely useless :)

My lower back has been pretty stiff lately. Mark massaged it last night and it feels good again. I think I just overdid it last week. I'm sure it will happen again as I spend a TON of time in itty, bitty, tiny chairs and on the floor. But the constant movement is really good for me and Baby G.

On a side note, my back looks like a teenage girl in the middle of puberty! I'm pretty sure it's because of all the extra hormones surging through my body. I'm just glad it's not all over my face! I can easily hide my back.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

School Starts Soon!

So along with all this fun baby stuff, I've also been getting ready for my first REAL teaching job! I was in my class all last week and feel pretty good about everything. For those of you who don't know, I'm working at a Jewish school in Peoria, IL. I'll be teaching the K-2 class. I have 4 students (one being a preschooler). I'm nervous because I basically have free reign of my class. It's awesome........I just hope I can do it!

Along with that, I have to eat Kosher while at school. It's a vegetarian/dairy school. In order to eat Kosher, Jewish people are not allowed to mix milk and meat at the same meal. Since my school is in the basement of a synagogue, I have to follow their rules. I'm TOTALLY cool with this, but I'm just nervous about what I'm going to eat! I'm afraid I'll get hungrier faster without having that protein at lunch time. On a happy note, I don't get my students until 10:45 in the morning! They do Jewish/Hebrew Studies from 8:30-10:30 and then have a recess break until 10:45 :) So, that means I should be able to get breakfast and a small snack in before I get the kiddos.  Then we get lunch from 12:15-12:45. I'll have recess duty from 12:45-1:00. The kids are dismissed at 3:30 Mon.-Thurs. and 3:00 on Friday.

We went and got some school clothes for me today :( It wasn't the greatest shopping experience of my life. My ladies up north have gotten bigger. So, things aren't fitting quite right. And although I haven't gained any weight yet, I think a lot of my fat decided to move to my stomach. Everything just looks and feels WAY different on me now. I've gotten 1 pair of maternity dress pants and now 1 shirt. I've found that depending on the style of shirt, I can get away with maternity now. But a lot of the tops are REALLY big for me and I just look CRAZY frumpy in them! So we just got a few shirts for the beginning of the year and will get more as needed. I can still wear my other dress pants for now.

I've been tired this trimester. But last week I don't think I took a nap at all (which is a pretty big thing for me :). I did notice that I was DEAD exhausted at 4:00 every single day. It's been the same this weekend, too. I'm gonna try getting some almonds to munch on for my drive home and see if that helps at all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby G

So, Mark and I decided that we would start a blog about our pregnancy adventure. We don't want to bombard/annoy our facebook friends if they don't care to see it.

As of August 22, we will be 11 weeks along. Things actually have gone fairly smooth. I didn't really have any kind of sickness/nausea until about 7 weeks. Then it was not very fun (but could have been WAY worse)! I quickly discovered that peppermint Altoids were my best friend! Hard lemon candies and peppermint candies worked for a little bit, but I didn't want all that sugar sitting on my teeth. So I started eating Altoids by the tin :) This all lasted until about 10 weeks. Like I said, not too bad :) Since then I'll get a little yucky feeling every now and then, but it's never too bad. I actually feel like I can finally go grocery shopping now!

Mark has been absolutely AWESOME so far! He's really cool about doing things for me and helping out with dinner and dishes. I really appreciate everything he does and feel COMPLETELY blessed to be experiencing this with him!

We had our first appointment on August 10. We got to see our baby and hear his/her heartbeat. It was going strong at 162 BPM. Pretty much the coolest thing ever! I went back a couple of days later for blood work. They tested the normal pregnancy things along with a few family history issues. We got the results back from those and found out that I tested positive for Factor V Leiden. In quick terms, it's a genetic mutation that can cause blood clotting. It's something that can effect a person whether they're pregnant or not. However, during pregnancy it puts the mother and baby at a higher risk for blood clots because of the amount of estrogen. There are a couple varying levels of severity depending on if I have a double mutation or not (I will be asking the specialist when I go in). My OB/GYN referred me to a high risk pregnancy doctor. I'll be going in soon (have to reschedule appointment). I was pretty upset. My family has a history of miscarriages in both the first and second trimester. If the baby has inherited this mutated gene, they can also have a clot in them whereas my body would cause a clot in the placenta and umbilical cord.

Needless to say, we are somewhat worried. We just ask that everyone prays for us and Baby G. Everything will happen the way it's supposed and it's in God's hands. We will be doing everything in our power to take care of me and Baby G including: going for more walks, getting some more B-vitamins, and taking a baby aspirin for now.

The official due date is March 12, 2012! We have a lot of family members with birthdays/anniversaries at the beginning of March. So Baby G could share a day with someone ;)

We can't wait to continue this journey and are looking forward to the following nine months :)