Sunday, October 20, 2013
Nicole at 8:46 PM
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Then just like that, it was time for goodbyes and favors.
Nicole at 4:24 PM
Thursday, August 22, 2013
She was like a soothing balm to our broken hearts. She has brought a healing into our lives that we are thankful for each day. It has never been her job to fix our brokenness of missing Caroline. We will always miss her. But we are thrilled to experience the joy Caroline's little sister brings into our lives.
Happy, happy birthday my dear sweet girl. You're a joy. Your laughter is music to our ears. Your smiles melt us. We love you to the moon and back!!
Nicole at 2:59 PM
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Both items were shower gifts at showers thrown for Caroline. Our lives were on track and things were falling into place. Simpler. Naive. Innocent. They were set up and waiting for her, just like us. And they were left sitting in her finished nursery after we lost her.
They sat in that little pink and yellow room waiting for a baby to come use them, and finally it happened, thank God. Twice now. But we've moved on from them. They haven't been used much in ages, so it was time for them to move out and make a little space. We may not have any more babies. Besides, someone else can use them, right?
As the lady who bought them drove away, I cried. Not because we got rid of a Diaper Genie and wipe warmer. I cried because we got rid of something we'd gotten for her. I cried because we let go of something for babies. I cried because we let go. We never let go of Caroline, bit it's still hard for me to let go of the things we had for her.
I hope they have lots of use ahead of them in a busy, loving home, filled with lots of babies and love. No more sitting and waiting...
Nicole at 12:21 AM
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Nicole at 11:58 PM
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
It's that time of year again. Mother's Day.
I'm happy to say that I don't dread it nearly as much as I have in years past. But it's still kind of an awkward day for me. I'm not completely sure how to handle myself. I don't know if I'll be able to just be in the moment and therefore overall cheerful and happy, or if I'll be sad thinking of the girl who should be here, but isn't. My guess is that I'll land somewhere in between.
It's also a day that my family doesn't know how to handle me. They don't know if they should say something, or just treat it as any other day. I suppose they are just following the lead I set back on Mother's Day after Caroline died. They are just letting it go by without any hubbub. Truth is, I want to be recognized now. I want to be appreciated for the 3 girls that I've birthed, and the 2 girls that I spend my days with. Somehow saying nothing feels worse now.
I do know that I kind of hate TV right now. I despise all the Mother's Day commercials, they just make me a crying mess! I'm thankful Netflix doesn't have commercials!!
Overall, it really is just another day. But it's a day I'm going to try to enjoy this year. I hope that the other moms in the same boat as I am are able to find at least some joy. I know I'll be thinking of all of the sweet babies we're all missing, the ones that made us mothers, the ones that were joining our families with open arms.
So, Happy Mother's Day!
Nicole at 10:05 PM
Monday, March 4, 2013
I'm a low blood pressure kind of gal. Like, it never gets above 110/70. Throughout my pregnancy with Abigail (and Addalee, for that matter), I was borderline hypotensive. I had trouble keeping my bp high enough during labor and had to lay flat for most of it.
Just after Abigail was born, I began having headaches. I have a history of migraines, but this was different. I didn't know how much of my feeling bad had to do with the birth process, so I wasn't too worried. My blood pressure was monitored for a bit after the birth, and had returned to textbook average. I felt kind of under the weather for the days after. I developed a lot of pain in my right side, terrible headaches, and radiating pain up the side of my neck.
I called my OB, and told them what was going on with me. It had been a week since having Abby, and 7 long days of feeling pretty rough. I still thought that a lot or most of what I was feeling was just my body going through trauma and drastic hormone changes, not to mention the lack of sleep! I figured they'd have me come in just to have a quick look, and they did. They thought I was having hormonal migtaines and some gallbladder issues. I was scheduled for a CT of my head and an ultrasound of my gallbladder the next day. I was also given a shot for the pain. As we sat and waited at the office, my head throbbed with each beat of my heart. It was pretty miserable.
We went home and tried to go about our routine. Unfortunately, the pain meds never really helped and I started feeling worse by dinner time. I tried to relax a bit, but finally the pain in my side and head was enough to make me cry, and that's not like me. I went into my bedroom to have a little time alone (read I was about to throw up from the pain, and I don't want anyone within a mile of me when I feel sick). While I was upstairs, my mom and Arthur decided to call my doctor. He said I needed to be brought back to L&D. So I got Abigail into her PJs, a bottle of expressed milk ready, and hopped in Mom's car to be whisked away to the hospital. Everyone figured I'd be back later that night.
We got there, it was cold and dark and a Tuesday, just like when we went with Caroline. I sat in the same stupid chair to get checked in. When we got up to L&D, I was walked back to triage. I hadn't been back in that room since that terrible night. As the door opened, I felt like I was going to pass out. I wasn't sure if it was the pain or just being back there. I tried to hold myself together, and did okay until I was told to take the same bed. There were 3 in the room. A 1 in 3 chance of being placed in the same one...and I broke down. I told the nurse that I just couldn't lay in that bed, and shared why. Ugh.
Once I got situated, the nurse set about examining me. She asked questions about how I was feeling and lots of, "Do you have pain here? Or here?" She checked my temperature and my blood pressure. When the automatic cuff reached the end of its cycle, I heard the little alarm go off, signaling that there was a problem. I figured it was just a problem with the cuff. Nope. My blood pressure was high, but no one told me. The nurse started really checking my reflexes. She was hitting my knees and moving my arms. She hit the button on the blood pressure machine again, telling it to take another reading immediately, and kept checking my reflexes. I was annoyed. I was there because my headache was too bad to hold my head up. Quit making me kick and give me some pain medicine! Seriously. My mom is a nurse and I could tell that she was starting to get pretty uncomfortable, but I was in too much pain to really care. The nurse, who was a total sweetheart, left to call my doctor and update him.
Apparently, my blood pressure was around 190/99, and my reflexes were troublesome too. And still, all I was concerned about was the pain! Mostly because I didn't understand what else was going on. The nurse came back and told me that I was being admitted, and I was going to be getting morphine to help with the pain. I couldn't believe I was being admitted. The only hospital stays I'd ever had were to have my girls! I was shocked that they believed I was sick enough to be hospitalized! I still thought this was a migraine!
After a delirious night and morning of medication and pain, I had a CT, an ultrasound, and an MRI. There were blood tests done and more needles and shots than I can count. Once the pain was managed, I began to feel at least some better. My blood pressure came back down to a normal level and the pain in my side went away. I was in the hospital from Tuesday night to Friday late afternoon. Thankfully, Abigail was able to come and stay with me, so I was able to continue to nurse her.
All the tests came back normal and my blood pressure returned to normal (even my low normal), I was given a clean bill of health. The crisis is over and I'm so thankful. That was no fun, no fun at all.
Nicole at 1:45 PM
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Nicole at 8:35 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Nicole at 10:44 AM
Monday, February 11, 2013
We are all home and doing well. Addalee is adjusting to life as a big sister. She practices diaper in and swaddling her dolls, preparing to be a big help!
I plan to share our third sweet girl's birth story and some of the details on my return to the hospital only a few days after our release. So stay tuned!
Nicole at 4:11 PM
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Throughout life, we're faced with many situations that put us on the edge of the great and vast unknown. I've never been good at taking the leap, trusting that things will work out. I've always been a worrier. Technically, I think I should be super skinny with the amount of unnecessary worrying I've allowed myself to do (surely that much stress burns some calories).
In my days, I've spent inordinate amounts of time stressing and worrying over zillions of things. I remember the fears I had in 6th grade when my family moved and I had to start a new school. I wondered if I'd ever fit in, or have friends, or a boyfriend, or be able to remember my locker combination or where homeroom was. I worried myself sick for weeks. I was miserable. But, in the end, my worrying didn't accomplish anything. I wish I could say here that my fears were unfounded, but I didn't fit in, I made a few friends, not even almost a boyfriend... for a while, then it got easier. Ahhh, to know then what I know now!
High school brought new worries, and then college with moving out and getting my own apartment... but it was just all part of the experience - the Growing Up Experience. It fell naturally into place after a bit of discomfort and nervousness. I honestly felt like things would always just kind of work out.
One thing I didn't spend much time worrying about was losing a child. I got pregnant with Caroline after more than a year of trying and after we made it past 12 weeks, I felt like I could breathe easy. And shockingly enough; I did. I planned for her, I prepared for her. Never imagining the great unknown right in front of the feet I could no longer see beneath my giant full-term belly. Then it happened: my world as I knew it was so rocked that it'll never go back into place fully. She died. 36 hours before the planned induction to keep us from going past due, she just died. All the plans, all the preparations, nothing mattered. How could this have really happened? I believed everything was going to just fall into place. I mean, I did it all right: college, marriage, career, babies. How could the plan have not worked? I was blindsided.
Now,I feel like I'm constantly worried about something. From flu germs on my Target cart (that Addalee just had to keep touching and touching), to a drunk driver killing a loved one on the road, to wondering if there might be something to those stories linking immunizations and autism, to Addalee's (normal childhood) fever really turning out to be cancer, to losing this baby too. I'm always under the pressure of trying to expect the unexpected. As if somehow knowing that something terrible is about to happen really lessens the blow. I feel like I don't want to be made a fool of again, like I have something to prove.
I'm only a few weeks away from (Lord willing) delivering baby girl #3. And let's be honest, I'm pretty well completely terrified. I'm scared of something happening like it did with her biggest sister, but I'm also scared of all the other unknowns. Will she be healthy? Will I have to have a c-section? Will Addalee have a hard time adjusting? Can I be a good mother to two (living) children? Will breastfeeding work better this time? Will she sleep well or be a fussy baby? (Will we ever name her?!?!)
I know I need to adopt a more trusting attitude, but I just don't know how. I'm scared. I'm hopeful. I'm still hurting. I'm still broken. I'm excited. And I'm anxious.
We went to baby Cooper's funeral last week. It was really a beautiful service. Jessica and her family had a good amount of support, and they held themselves together well. It brought back many memories for us. As Arthur and I clenched each others hands and cried quietly, I was taken back to that October Friday more than 2 years ago when we said our final goodbye to our firstborn, our hearts beyond shattered. I can't believe how far we've come, or how far we still have to go. In an effort to stay sane, my method of coping has been to stay busy. Instead of really dealing with how sad I still am, how fearful I am to lose another child, how angry I am that any family should go through that; I've been doing laundry and going through closets. Here's hoping I get a clean house, and a healthy living baby out of these next weeks...and things feel less unknown and scary the weeks, months, and years after that.
Nicole at 10:20 PM
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Baby Cooper was born this morning. His mama began the induction process on Sunday morning, and it was a long and difficult process. His family held him and loved him, and have started down the long path of grieving their sweet little boy.
I appreciate all the support you offered when I originally shared her story. Please continue to lift them up in your thoughts and prayers.
Jessica does not blog, but I was thinking it may be nice for me to print comments and responses to this post and give them to her. Just as a way to show her that there is a whole group of wonderful ladies thinking of her and standing behind her. Because we all know that when the dust begins to settle and everyone returns to their routines, it's so easy to feel so very alone. I want her to feel surrounded by people that understand.
Thank you in advance for any words of love, sympathy, encouragement, and support you have to offer. You guys are kinda the best!!! :)
Nicole at 9:11 PM
Monday, January 7, 2013
Our little family had a busy, but nice Christmas and New Year. I want to, and plan to, update soon with pictures and memories, but today isn't that day.
Today, my heart is heavy for a friend. She was one of the people who came to me in the early days after losing Caroline to share her story of loss, a baby boy in the 20th week. I was so happy to have someone, in person, that had experienced so many of the terrible things that I had in losing my first child. Her name is Jessica. She is a wonderful mother, wife, and friend. I'm so thankful to have her in my life. She was pregnant with a baby boy named Cooper, 24 weeks along, and went to the doctor for a routine check this past Thursday and no heartbeat could be found. Those words give me chills and make me nauseous. Little Cooper passed away, and the world crashed down around that family's shoulders for a second time.
It's been a whirlwind of visits and plans and details for them since then. She is currently at the hospital going through the induction process. My heart breaks for them, and I'm requesting any prayers and positive thoughts you can offer be sent up for them.
Nicole at 2:21 PM