Monday, November 11, 2013

On the road

I was at the doctor for my 6 week postpartum filling out the some forms. I came to this one..

and had to redo the "number of pregnancies " part. It hit me again that I have taken 4 positive pregnancy tests. 4 missed periods, 4 due dates, 4 babies inside of me. 4. It's the strangest thing, to think about this. When I am at the OB I always get the urge to get on this blog and read comments or previous posts. Not sure why, maybe it's my way of continuing to be amazed with how far we have come. How blessed we are. How strong I can be.  There were a few comments on my last post introducing baby Emmitt that I hadn't read yet. How wonderful to know that this little blog has been a source of encouragement to others. That there are women out there that have followed our story and taken this journey with us. That is exactly the reason I started writing this all down and sharing. 

I had quite the wait time at the office, so during my waiting.. And waiting... And waiting.. And after reading and thinking about comments on my blog, I decided to write down a few thoughts.

The series right now at church is all about transformation. It has so much meaning to me personally that I swear Pastor Mike and Keith decided on it just for me :) Seriously though, my personal transformation is very evident to me as I look back on the last year and a half. (And to be honest, as I look back on the last several years!) I guess that's ultimately what we do as time goes by, we transform. But there are certain events in our lives that show us how exactly we should go about transforming and which roads to take. Mine happened to be miscarrying two babies.

I am on the road to becoming the person I should be, want to be, can be. I'm not there yet, but last August set me on the right path and I work everyday to get myself closer to that woman.

There was a post from a woman named Heather on my last post.  She gave me a link to her blog, her story, and I encourage you to click on the link below and read her story.  If there is one thing I have learned by keeping this blog it's that people are listening.  People you know, don't know, people you wouldn't expect to be.. they are listening.  So take a moment and listen to her story.

This is what she told me about herself, but I learned so much more by visiting her website...

I am a wife, mother, and a mesothelioma survivor. At age 36, just after giving birth, I was diagnosed and given 15 months to live.  I knew that I needed to beat the odds for my newborn daughter, Lily.  It’s been almost 8 years now and I’ve dedicated my life to spreading awareness of this awful disease. Asbestos is not banned in the US, yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma. Once diagnosed, most patients die within 2 years. I am one of few survivors who openly share their story and work to spread awareness of these dangers.

Heather's Story

Saturday, September 28, 2013

In my arms

Meet Emmitt.  He arrived September 20th at 2:43AM at 7 lb. 6oz., 20 in. long.  He is perfect.  

It's been a long road getting to this point, but everything we went through in the last 14 months was worth it to be able to hold this little baby boy in our arms.  I wouldn't say I am thankful for losing those 2 sweet babies last year, but if I hadn't... I wouldn't have Emmitt.  I remember my mom telling me over and over that once I have him in my arms, once he is here, it will feel... okay.  Because I will have him. I didn't believe her.  I didn't believe people who told me I would be "okay" with what happened.  

I am.

The second I held him in my arms I knew I was letting go of the pain that was associated with miscarrying.  Does that mean that I am forgetting?  Absolutely not.  I will never forget, losing those 2 babies made me who I am at this moment.  Its a part of me.   But no longer am I able to yearn for those babies.  Because I have my baby.  In my arms.  The other 2 are snuggled in tightly in the Lord's arms, and I am okay with that.  

Last year at this time I was so hopeless.  I didn't think I would ever be able to hold another baby in my arms.  I wish I could go back in time and tell that girl what lies ahead.  But you know what?  I don't know if that would have helped.  I have friends that are struggling to get pregnant and working though miscarriage and I know that me telling them to hold on to hope, because the future is bright, won't take their pain away.  They will have to find that themselves.  Just as I did.  But I also know that without my friends and family supporting me and holding me up in times of pain and sadness, I might not have Emmitt.  I might have given up.  So to those who are fighting through the struggles of getting pregnant or working on holding on to hope in times of loss.. don't give up. Lean on people who are there for you.  Pray.  Know that you will find your brightness too.  Just as I did with my Emmitt.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

365 days

One year ago today our lives changed. I had been bleeding slightly for 3 days so we made a trip into the ER. Aiden came with, I'm still not sure why we had him come, except because probably we didn't think it would be the trip that it was...

I was nervous. But not too nervous. I knew what they could tell me. But didn't think they actually would.  I knew how the conversation with family and friends could go.  But didn't expect to actually have it. 

The news we received led us to this: We lost our baby.

The story has been written here so I don't feel the need to repeat it. But I do feel the need to talk about where I am now. Because I remember reading and hearing stories from others, even strangers on blogs, that had gone through it.  And it helped me to feel less alone. And justified in my feelings. If I can be that comfort to even one other person out there, its worth it to tell the story. 

I think back on that day quite frequently. Not to dwell or make myself cry, although that's how it was initially. Now, however, I look back on that day to remind myself how far I've come, how much I've learned, and how incredibly blessed I am. And yes, I do still pray for that baby, and the other one, often.

I was so sad. That day one year ago. I cried more tears than I thought I had. I was also very confused. It was surreal. I remember asking "Why?" a lot.

The next several weeks took a toll on me physically, and emotionally I was a wreck. Lots of pretending happened. Pretending to be happy. Pretending to have fun. Pretending to be the mommy I wanted to be for Aiden. The list goes on and on. I thought it would help to get pregnant again. After losing the next, I realized I wasn't ready. I still needed some time. But then we were given yet another chance. And this time I was at peace. And I truly contribute that peacefulness to my faith. This last year I have spent a lot of time working on my faith. Working on my relationship with God. Church helped ease my pain and pastor Mikes words gave me strength. Little by little I was filled with hope again. And here I am, 32 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby boy. Was I scared this time around? Absolutely. Am I still at times? Absolutely. But Ive learned a lot....

I learned that you must fight for what you feel is right and best for your children (including the unborn)..even if people who are thought to be smarter and wiser than you tell you different. I truly believe that if I wouldn't have fought tooth and nail with my doctors and nurses to have my progesterone tested and supplemented, we would have lost this baby too.  

I learned that how I felt and dealt with the loss of babies was okay.  Regardless of what some told me, I wasn't crazy, or too emotional, or being ridiculous, or not looking at things the "right" way.  A couple of very good friends experienced the loss of a baby within this last year and one thing I was determined NOT to do was judge the way they dealt with it.  To each his own, especially when dealing with loss. 

I learned that people are good, good, good. Hugs, notes, gifts, flowers, emails, phone calls, blog comments, texts, cards... the outpouring of love trumped the judgers. I learned to lean on others. Really lean on them. 

I learned that I had much more to give to my faith. More time, more commitment, more trust in God. Its amazing what it's done for me. 

I honestly didn't think today would be hard for me.  I made it through the due date of our third baby without tears falling. But I had a few moments when the tears just came today.  I think mainly because I revisited the way I felt that day.  I kept seeing my face, Jeff's face. I thought about how my heart literally felt like it was breaking apart.. I could feel it breaking. Not crying because I want THAT baby, not because I wished it never happened. Strange to say that, but I mean it. The little baby in my belly is meant to be ours to hold in our arms and love here on earth. The other two babies were real and are in God's arms.  They brought me a lot even though I never met them. I love them and am so grateful for what they made me. They are a part of me and always will be. 

From hopeless to hopeful. 

365 days ago I was so, so sad. Today, 365 days later, I am so, so happy.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our third due date

Today is the due date of our third baby, the second baby we lost. It's hard to be sad when I have a little boy moving around inside me, ready to make his appearance in just a couple months. More than anything I've been thinking back to when I lost that baby. And wanting to reach out and hug that girl and say, "You WILL be okay. You WILL have another baby." I remember so vivedly feeling hopeless the night I miscarried. That time much more than the first. That was the night I cried longer and harder than I ever have, and it was the night when I started to look into adoption, thinking "I'm never going to carry another baby." Thank God for pushing me to look beyond sadness and hopelessness and see the light. Because now I have another little baby growing inside of me and he will be here before we know it.

This morning we walked at the "Heart Walk" with a family whose son was born with basically half a heart. We heard stories and saw other friends we know whose son or daughter has a heart defect. It puts things in perspective certainly and it magnified how unbelievably blessed we are to have a healthy almost 3 year old and another one on the way who appears to be very healthy as well.

I have chosen to take this day and make it a good, happy day, instead of a sad day. I will drink in every moment with my Aiden and smile brightly every time I feel my baby boy move, kick me, or have the hiccups :) 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just breathe...

We made it just about half way!!  This is our baby!  Our second... our fourth.. baby.  Leading up to the ultrasound I was extremely nervous.  Not about whether it was a boy or a girl.. but about if this baby was "okay".  Healthy.  Growing.  Developing.  Did the progesterone I was putting into my body for weeks upon weeks affect this little baby?  I truly believe it kept me pregnant this time, but did it do any harm?  I know they wouldn't have put me on it if it had devastating affects.. but still.. don't try to rationalize with this woman. :)

Guess what?  This tiny little half pound baby IS HEALTHY! 10 fingers, 10 toes, 4 chambers of the heart.  I asked if the baby was measuring where it should be, obviously a concern with our history, and she said YEP! Sigh of relief number 638. 

I watched this little bugger move around on that screen for almost 30 minutes and could not get over what an absolute miracle this all was and is.  I did take a moment and think about the screen we saw in August and how it only showed a yolk sac, about the screen we saw in December.. first with our tiny little peanut.. and then empty.  My breath caught a few times, and then I refocused on this wonderful little thing in front of me.  I said many prayers this day for those other two babies, and for my Aiden, and obviously for this new baby.  God heard my voice A LOT this day :) 

Hope.  This is what I was only barely clinging to so desperately for 6 months and now I can really, truly, feel it.  I can reach out and touch it.  Do I still get nervous when I go to the bathroom.. almost every time.  Do my twitches and twinges make me panic a bit sometimes.. yes.  But I can feel this baby MOVING now.  And for another reassurance boost.. the ultrasound.  And the smiles on the nurses and my doctors faces that day.  Hope is here. 

To be honest though, I still don't think I will be fully "okay" and "not panicky" until I have this baby in my arms, but I am a bit calmer now.. I can breathe a bit easier now.  

And yes, I did still get excited to find out if we would have more blue, or add pink, into our lives, so....

Blessed.  So very blessed.  I still can't get over it.  The miracle that is pregnancy.  The miracle that is having a child.  I thank God every single day for my Aiden, for this new baby boy, and for holding our two angel babies tightly.

I think its time to just breathe....

Monday, March 25, 2013

Due Date

Tuesday, March 26th is the day our second baby was due. The weeks leading up to this day have been a roller coaster ride of emotions. I'm pregnant, so not only am I basking in the joy of this new baby, but I'm also sick and tired. But when my guard lets down, usually at night, I am overrun by thoughts of "what might have been". Every time I walk by Aidens old nursery I picture a tiny little baby sleeping in that crib. The emotions have been running high for this girl, to say the least.

It still stings a bit (sometimes a lot bit) when I see pictures of our friends new babies who were born this month. I wonder, "Will I always feel that way when I see those children?". Will I think, "Our baby should be that old now." And I still get a pang of jealously when I see them holding their tiny little babies or when I see pregnant friends who are due any week.  Sometimes I feel like I am being irrational to feel jealously.  I have a marvelous son and another one 13 weeks in the making.  How can I be jealous?  But most times I give myself permission to feel that little pang for a moment.. and then I move on.  Thats one thing I have learned through this... I have to let myself feel.  I don't want to bury my feelings, pretend like nothing happened, and act like I am completely fine now.

God has given me a couple things this week for me to hold onto as I walk through the sadness of what might have been:

1. I was reading through a baby book of someone very close to me late last week. A constant thing I read over and over, written from mommy to baby, was, "We have waited for you for a long time," "You have finally come into our lives," "We prayed for you for a long time."... and they did. Years. I sat there for quite some time thinking about what an absolute blessing this little girl is to her parents, and also thinking about my situation. We got pregnant very easily with Aiden. We got pregnant very easily last summer and again in the winter and again at the beginning of this year. I have been pregnant 4 times in the past 3 years. There are people who go many months or years ( many who are good friends and family ) without seeing those 2 pink lines. It humbled me. It made me take a moment and say a silent prayer thanking God for giving us the blessing of being able to conceive. And to ask Him to continue to give strength to those who are struggling to do so.

2. A friend of mine shared a book her father wrote called A Foot in Two Worlds (by: Vincent D Homan). He lost his son several years ago, she lost her brother. Though I haven't finished the whole book, the amount I have read has once again, humbled me. He says many times that everyone's loss is the worst to them. Though I didn't lose a child that had been with our family for years, I did lose a child. I lost 2. Though my pain may be "easier" to live through because I never held those babies in my arms, it is worst to me. It made me feel justified for the way I felt after losing my babies and it made me feel justified that I still feel sadness about it. He talks about his faith before and after the loss of his son. He talks about hope and grief and the fight between the two. This book is an incredible testament and is honestly honest. I have been comforted by his words, and know that my light is a little dimmer this week, but it won't completely go out. I would recommend this book to anyone who has experienced ANY kind of loss in their lives. 

Once again, it is the people in my life, whether it be people I know or don't know personally, that are carrying me.  It truly is incredible what happens when you let yourself be carried by those who love you.  By those who have been through tragedy and loss.  And even by those whose stories you only read about..but connect to.

My hope remains stable. My heart, though a little weary right now, is maintaining its strength. I know the little peach inside of me is a true mark of God. That little baby is holding me up and continuing to remind me to "look up".

Take a moment out of your day Tuesday and say a quick prayer for our baby in heaven. And for all of the babies (no matter how old) who are with mine. And for the parents who are still waiting for those 2 little pink lines.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Why hello there!

Measuring in at 10 weeks 4 days here is Baby Lam again!  The ultrasound yesterday was great!  We even got to see him/her moving around in there... an absolute miracle. It was the cutest thing to see his/her little legs and arms move and occasionally his/her whole buddy kind of jumped :) The heart rate was 178/180 bpm which is good and to hear that this baby was ahead of schedule as far as measurement was such a good feeling!

It was so wonderful to walk out of that room with tears of joy and not sadness.  It was so wonderful to look up at the screen and see our healthy baby all snuggled in. If ever there is a time in a woman's life to feel the closest to God it would be during pregnancy.  Every night I go to bed thanking God for what he is giving us.  For this 1 1/2 inch MIRACLE that is inside of me growing and moving.  It's just like when I look at my Aiden.  I feel so incredibly blessed.

We met with Dr. Lyons after the ultrasound and she reassured us that everything looked great.  She tried to pick up the heartbeat with the sonogram device but it was a no-go.  My uterus is tipped back and because Im only 10 weeks along it made it tricky.  She said she heard it a few times but nothing Jeff and I could hear.  Since it was found on the ultrasound we weren't worried.

I stopped doing the shots this past Monday.  Made it a week and a half and then called in to ask what to do about the pain.  I was to the point where I was up all night delirious with pain and I couldnt really walk during the day.  Lyons actually had me stop them and go back to the suppositories three times a day.  Because of this she had me do my progesterone levels while I was there Friday.  She called me with the results at 5:45 that night because she knew I was anxious to know.  They are 20, which she said is good.  Of course, I would rather them be at 50 or even 30.. but 20 is much better than 16, where we were just a few short weeks ago.

I had a pap so I spotted last night and a bit today.  I knew it would happen and Dr. Lyons reminded me it would happen as well.. but its still such a scary sight to see the blood.  I haven't had any spotting this whole pregnancy so its not a comforting thing to see, even though I knew it would happen.

March has already been a month of conflicting emotions for me.  There are a couple women in our lives that had due dates within a 10-15 days of ours and they both had their babies this week.  It's hard not to think about what might have been.  Its hard not to look in our nursery and let my mind wonder what color it would have been.  Its hard not to see Aiden's old pack and play and wonder if it would be set up in our bedroom already.  Its hard.  But I keep going back to Pastor Mike's sermon months ago about lightness trumping darkness.  And its the truth.  Whenever I feel that sadness coming back to me my mind smiles at the baby that is growing inside of me right now.  There is no replacing the two babies we lost and there is no forgetting.  But there can still be happiness.  And there can still be light.