Friday, December 31, 2010

Gage Update

We found out this afternoon that Gage has some brain bleeds.  Grade 3 on the left side and grade 4 on the right.  This is not good news.  We are praying that the bleeding stops and doesn't get worse over this next week.  They will do another ultrasound on his head next Friday, but his blood count tomorrow will give us a good indication on if it is stopping or not. 

I'm pretty much a mess right now.  Please pray for lots of strength for Chris and I as well as for Gage.  We are going to board up at the hospital tonight at least. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

One of us is home...

I am home from the hospital.  It is a bittersweet feeling to be home.  I'm not "overjoyed" that bed rest is over because of course at least a few days/weeks/months more would've been better for Gage, but as I have absolutely no way to turn back the clock, I would say that I am looking on the bright side of things and enjoying a great deal of the aspects of being off of bed rest.  I must say though my legs and feet are beyond sore and tired.  I've not walked and stood this much in over 5 months!  It is wonderful to be able to hold Hunter in my lap while sitting up and stand up to change his diaper and put on his jammies and walk beside him holding his hand. 

It is also bittersweet to be home because of course we left the hospital empty handed again.  This time it's not so heartbreaking as we can at least return to visit a living breathing baby, but it definitely brought back the memories of leaving without Morgan.  Although since we went from my room to the NICU to see Gage for awhile at least I wasn't wheeled down to the exit without a baby.  But now we are sort of in limbo.  Sometimes when I think of the long road ahead of us I have to stop and remind myself to breath.  He's doing so well right now that I think part of me is just waiting for something to go wrong.  Of course part of me (the bigger part) is also rejoicing that he is doing so well right now.  

It's weird to now be a part of three completely different births/outcomes.  The death of our newly born Morgan, a "full term normal" birth with Hunter and now a preemie in the NICU.  It's just mind boggling sometimes. 

I could probably ramble on for hours about the emotions and thoughts that I have and that change with me on a moment to moment basis, but as I'm still waiting on my milk to come in I have to stick to pumping ever 2-3 hours and I'm just about at the end of that time frame.  I also need to sleep soon after that as my almost 13 month old does not consistently sleep through the night and rest is important for making milk.

I'll end with saying that I'm so in love with both of my boys and missing their sister (especially because I am so outnumbered- it's 3 to 1 now!). And I thank God for all three of my children and am praying for lots of patience and strength for our long NICU journey as well as for Gage to grow big and strong. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Picture of Gage

Day 15

Well, my hospital bed rest (and bed rest in general) is over.  2 weeks in the hospital plus 3 weeks and a day at home and we made it to 25w 4d before Gage made his early arrival. 

I'll be discharged tomorrow- could've been today, but we want to stay one more night close to Gage.  We only live about 5 minutes from the hospital and want to have Hunter home with us after tonight so we won't be doing any boarding, unless maybe things turn for the worse. 

Gage is still doing well in the NICU, there has been no big or major changes in his condition and they say he is doing "good."  We pray this continues but are doing our best to "steel" ourselves for the almost inevitable setbacks that will most likely occur.  Although I'm not sure you can ever really prepare yourself. 

My doctor was unable to deliver Gage.  Turns out yesterday was his birthday and when the on call doc gave him the heads up- he was just sitting down to his birthday dinner with his wife.  I'm glad he didn't bail on his birthday dinner.  And the on call doc ended up being absolutely awesome.  I was a little hesitant about her because last week we had a little misunderstanding regarding whether my cervix was open or closed or what but it turned out that she was pretty great.  She was compassionate, very nice and incredibly funny.  Considering we were delivering a very premature baby, the OR was a very cheerful place last night.  I did have a VBAC, but we delivered in the OR because it was closer to the NICU.  So while we were waiting for me to finish dilating (took like 40 minutes to go from 4.5 to 10) and the epidural to "wear off" just enough that I could feel when to push, the nurses, doctor, Chris and myself were actually all quite happy and joking around.  That sounds really strange considering the uncertainty and fearfulness of having a 25.5 weeker, but it was perfect.  I think a somber, scared environment would've just been more stressful.  It did get quiet and somber for a bit while they worked on Gage, because of course the tidbits we hear don't sound good, but Chris helped lighten the mood when he had to lie down on the OR table because he thought he was going to pass out (well after Gage had been delivered and we were awaiting them to finish initial procedures on Gage).  In itself it wasn't really that funny, but the doc ran to get him some juice (apple) and when she handed it too him he thought she was giving him a beer and said, "dear you are switching doctors!" I was just giggling.  It was crazy. 

This morning my Doc who is on vacation came in to see us.  Can I just say I heart him?  I can't imagine having gone through either of these last two pregnancies with anyone else as my Doctor.  Along with just missing being pregnant I'm going to miss seeing him on a monthly/semi-monthly/weekly basis.  Once a year just isn't going to be enough LOL. 

It's crazy to think we went from a way too premature baby who didn't make it to a nearly full term baby with Hunter and now to a NICU baby with Gage.  I know we have a long way to go before he's "out of the woods" completely and I hope and pray that God's will and plan for him is that he will come home and grow up to play alongside his big brother. 

Well, that's enough for now, I'm going to go pump so when Chris gets back from his flu shot we can go down to see our littlest guy and maybe bring him a little colostrum taste too.

Thanks again to everyone who is thinking of us and praying for us.  It's going to be a long hard road, but we know God is holding us, giving us strength and will get us through it all, whatever comes our way.  His will be done.... 

Gage Christopher Gerard

Arrived into this world at 9:35pm 12/28.  He weighs 2lbs 2oz and is 13 inches long.  As of about a half hour ago when we were in the NICU he was stable.  It went pretty fast...  I got an epidural and then we had to take the cerclage out and I was fully dilated and Gage arrived in about 40 minutes.

I'm so thankful to God for these extra weeks/days Gage was able to stay put.  We pray he does well in the NICU.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's looking fairly likely that little brother is going to be a 2010 baby.  I'm currently having contractions and have been for almost three hours and they are getting stronger.

Requesting prayers for this baby's "safe" arrival.  

Day 14

25w 4d, we are now closer to 26 weeks than 25! Woohoo!

Yesterday there was a little "discharge" that had me concerned.  My Doc was never too concerned but did an exam anyway and didn't find that there was anything "wrong" with what was going on.  My cervix felt the same to him as the last time he checked, pretty much meaning closed.  I was quite reassured by this.  However the exam did cause me to have some cramping last night (it was gone completely when I woke up so I am pretty sure it was just from the exam) and I also had just a little streak of blood this morning- which got me a bit concerned again.  However so far in the past 4 hours I've had absolutely nothing else going on to further concern me so hopefully things will just calm down/stay calm and go back to "normal."

Hunter stayed at grandma & grandpa's last night so Chris and I got to spend a little mommy/daddy time this morning snuggling and watching tv.  We also sort of got to have lunch together, but when it came I was on the monitor and so he had to eat and go to get ready for work, so he was gone by the time I got to eat.

So on a fun note, I feel like talking about little brother's possible names...  Earlier this year (well before I was pregnant) when Hunter and I were shopping I heard a mom talking to her son, a little boy named Gage.  I immediately called Chris and told him I had the perfect name if we were ever blessed with another little boy and he loved it right away too.  However as this pregnancy progressed I started hunting for a different name because we had sort of been set on the middle name Allan, as that is Chris' middle name (spelled Allen) and also his dad's middle name (spelled Alan).  But our last name is Gerard and I'm not really happy with the fact that Gage Allan Gerard = GAG for initials.  Kids can sometimes be cruel and I'd hate for him to be teased at any point in his life because his initials spelled gag.  So after reading him nearly 500 names (maybe more!) including ones I wasn't totally liking- the only other name we both like is Mason.  So for a little while (the past couple of weeks) I've been leaning toward Mason Allan Gerard.  MAG is okay.  But the more I think about the more I want to stay with Gage.  Which means changing the middle name.  So I'm working on convincing Chris that we should name little brother  Gage Christopher Gerard (for Chris) or Gage Steven Gerard (Steven for Chris' dad).  My top pick would actually be Gage James Gerard (for my doctor LOL!) , but Gage James Gerard doesn't sound right together, too many J sounds.  So keep your fingers crossed that Chris ends up okay with a different middle name besides Allan!

Very thankful that we've made it past 25 weeks and we continue to pray for more time for little brother to grow inside before he joins us outside the womb- each day I lay here is a very precious gift- even if sometimes my attitude does not reflect that we feel that way. 

I'm also grateful for all those who read my blog and keep us in their thoughts and prayers!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 13

No major news to report about Day 13.  Still here, little brother is still en-womb and we are still praying for lots more days here as well as strength and patience to endure these long days.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 12

Still here!  :)  Not that there is anything I know of happening that would give me any indication that I may deliver soon (as in no cramping contractions etc) but I'm happy to be past Christmas, at least I know this won't be a Christmas baby!  Now I'm looking forward to it being 2011 so that I know I won't have a 2010 baby. 

Nothing really exciting to report... My sister came up to the hospital for a few hours yesterday evening, finished hooking up my Wii and then played the New Super Mario Brother's with me for awhile.  So that helped pass the time until Chris and Hunter got back up here.  They didn't stay super long, as Hunter need to go home and go to bed, but at least they made it back up here. 

On a slightly sad note, sometimes when Hunter is really tired/crabby- he now wants nothing to do with Mama- only his daddy.  It made me cry last night and even now again as I write about it.  Chris tried to put him on the bed with me several times last night and all Hunter did was cry/scream and reach for his Daddy.  Sad Mama. 

Praying for lots of strength to get through this.  After nearly two weeks in the hospital and almost 5 weeks of total bed rest- it's starting to wear on me, on my emotions a little more each day.  But I know God is good and He will get me through it- and some way use it for a purpose. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 11 aka Christmas Day

Let's talk about the great things-

1. The original and best Christmas present ever- Jesus.  Even though I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit much this year, I'm still forever grateful for that little baby born in a stable who grew up to die on the cross for my sins. 
2. My family- especially my children and husband.  Chris and Hunter came up right away this morning.  Although Hunter picked this morning to sort of sleep in- which was good for Chris but I was up at 6:30 and was ready for them to be here then too! We all had breakfast together and then opened gifts.  Hunter got a few toys, a stocking cap & mittens, some treats in stocking and a really cool camouflage baseball hat as well as a new book, "The Story of Jesus."  Daddy got a telescoping hiking stick, a book on day hikes in our area, a shirt, two cd's (Matthew West & Tenth Avenue North) and of course candy in his stocking.  Mama got the Klove Ultimate Hits cd and a beautiful Mommy and Me picture frame with a picture of Hunter and I (not the most flattering picture of Mama either...). 
3. Extended family.  Both of Chris' parents (divorced) came up to see me (separately) at the hospital today.  It was nice to have them visit for awhile.
4. Certainly not the least of this list- 25w 1d!  Everyday baby stays inside growing bigger is a gift from God.  And even while I may be a bit down about being in the hospital- especially at Christmas- I do realize, appreciate and treasure each day that Little Brother stays put. 

Now I wish I could stop there, but I'm having a fairly rough afternoon, and what is a blog for other than to write about how I'm feeling- well at least that is part of what MY blog is for....

I was doing great- while my family was here.  I always anticipated (and insisted) that Chris and Hunter should go to his mom's to eat today.  I guess I just thought that they were just going to go have dinner and come back.  Not so...  Chris' mom, step-dad and youngest siblings came up and brought a couple gifts but not all of Hunter's or Chris'.  I had anticipated that they would bring all gifts for our family-  so I could see my son open his gifts- and so that they (Chris/Hunter) wouldn't be expected to be there (at his mom's) all afternoon to open gifts.  **sigh**  Earlier this week Chris' mom had even offered to take Hunter home with her when they came up and then Chris could come down for dinner, but wouldn't have to leave me alone all afternoon.  So we decided to let her take Hunter so she could feed him lunch and maybe he could get a nap... And Chris was going to stay up here for awhile, but then his Mom says, "Well don't wait too long to come down, I want to open gifts before we eat."  :(  And I can't help it, but I'm sad to be here alone on Christmas  and I really didn't anticipate that Chris and/or Hunter would both be gone so long.  I'm just hoping that they do eat at his mom's soon and come back.  In the meantime, it's possible my sister might come up for a little while but honestly it's my husband and son I want to be with the most. 

Anyway, so that's my not so happy Christmas story... probably a little selfish, but weekends are the only time I get to see Chris and Hunter for more than an hour a day- and some days I don't see Hunter, and some days I don't see Chris during the week.  But I guess at least my morning was great, right?  Hopefully they won't end up stuck at his mom's until it's time to put Hunter to bed, because then I'll be super sad. 

I'm missing Morgan today a little extra than usual too.  I think it might have to do with ornaments.  Chris and I got ornaments for Hunter and for Morgan.  They are little snowman who's "stomachs" are light up snow globes.  They have the names monogramed right on them.  And I as I watched Hunter opening his ornament from grandma (Chris' mom) I realized that no one but us got anything for Morgan/in memory of Morgan this year.  It makes me sad even though I honestly don't expect nor would I ask it of any of my family to get something for her.  I wish they would think of her- even if it's just making a donation to something in her memory- Toys for Tots, an Angel Tree program at their church- or buying an angel ornament for their tree or ours- but something.  Obviously it wouldn't mean very much if I had to ask them to do it, therefore I just don't say anything.  I know no one intentionally forgets her but it can be wierd to see how they do remember her in some ways sometimes but completely forget her at other times.  Chris' mom counts her when she numbers her grandchildren but refused a picture when offered one and instead has Morgan's funeral card in a picture frame.  My mom has a picture of Morgan- I think it's in her bedroom- but doesn't "count" Morgan when talking about her grandchildren.  In particular when I was last visiting we were out for breakfast and she was talking about my brother expecting a baby and she say, yep number 2 and even the person she was talking to said, oh, I thought you had another one. After a moment my mom did say, Oh, well Anna had a little girl but she didn't live.  I let it go, but thought- gee mom, if I didn't live would you tell everyone you only ever had 2 children then??  But being as far down the "grief road" as I am, I was able to let go of it- well mostly, because I'm obviously talking about it now :).  My Nana lets balloons go on the anniversary of Morgan's due date, but gave my husband a "First Father's Day" card this year.  My sister in law wore one of the March for Babies team shirts on Morgan's birthday, had cake with us but looked at the white Angel stocking and thought it might be "little brothers" stocking not Morgans.  Anyway, I wish someone would remember her this year.  One lucky thing is I'm blessed with several nurses here who "get it."  As a matter of fact my nurse this evening has had 3 friends lose babies and her sister as well.  So she is a proud Aunty of an angel and she really gets it.  Her eyes definitely tear up when we start talking about Morgan/her nephew etc. 

Well, my sister is here so I'm going to end my post here. 

Hope everyone is having a great and Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 10

10 days of (hospital) bed rest and now I am 25 weeks!  Very exciting and it also earned me the "party lights" again and just in time for Christmas.  The party lights are a string of lights with flamingo's, fish, parrots and palm tree's on them.  My Doc has this "tradition" of putting them up for his bed rest patients who are going to be here for awhile.  He generally doesn't put them up right away, but the "success" rate of them being lucky in keeping his patients from delivering for awhile is pretty high once he puts them up.  They "worked" with Hunter- we made it from 25 weeks to 37 almost 38 weeks.  So it's a tropical Christmas here in my room.

Nothing exciting to report from the last 24+ hours.  It's really hard for it to feel like Christmas here in the hospital.  But I guess having it feel like Christmas and being super depressed about it could be worse.  Jesus is the reason for the season, but I just can't capture the extra special Christmas joy.  But I'm thankful for where we are just as much as I am thankful for the gift of Jesus.  Hopefully this bed rest will help in that next year we will have to little boys to celebrate with on Christmas and hopefully won't have to be missing Morgan and a brother.  So overall, while I can't quite grasp the Christmas joy, I am for the most part at peace with where we are this year.  Although odds are pretty good that since I'm saying that out loud I'll have a big old emotional breakdown later tonight.  But at least for now I am at peace and am going to work on staying at peace.

Tomorrow's update will probably be just as late in the day as this one as Chris and Hunter are coming up right away in the morning to have breakfast with me and then open presents.  Then my in laws will be coming up late morning for awhile, after which Chris and Hunter will go down by them to eat dinner and bring me back a plate.  So it will probably be mid afternoon before I get on here- just so no one gets overly worried if there isn't an update.  Not that I expect many people be checking my blog on Christmas...  :)

Merry Christmas to everyone.  Praying for a gentle day and comfort for all those missing their little ones, whether it's a new loss or it's been 20 years- Christmas can be an even more difficult time when all our babies aren't here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 9

One day closer to 25 weeks!  Tomorrow is actually the 25 week mark, which means today is the exact gestational age in which I ended up on bed rest with Hunter.  Crazy, considering this time I've been on bed rest for over a month now, and over a week in the hospital.  All seems to be "well" nothing exciting seems to be happening with baby, my uterus or my cervix- which we are very thankful for!

This morning we had Christmas present opening with my Nana & Bapa (my grandma and grandpa) & my sister.  Hunter had A LOT of presents, also a few birthday presents from Nana & Bapa in there.  He got some pretty cool stuff including cars, a very different building set- it's not blocks, but interlocking pieces (sort of look like combs a little), some clothes, books etc.  Nana is quite the shopper.  She shops and shops all year long and has bins of stuff for everyone that she goes through at Christmas time/birthday time.  It's quite the collection of clearance, garage sales, thrift shop finds.  Some of it is great and then some of it is... not so great.  It's totally the thought that counts of course, but I have to chuckle sometimes at what she finds.  Although every now and then she does buy a "new not on sale item" like the electric bread knife that she claims I told her we didn't have (we do, but you never know when you'll need two!).  Anyway, while Christmas definitely isn't about the gifts, it's always fun to see what Nana comes up with every year. 

And that is about all of the excitement in the last 24 hours.  I did get to see Hunter for a little bit yesterday, which was great after not seeing him on Tuesday at all.  And of course he was here this morning too.  Looking forward to tomorrow and Saturday when he'll be up here for longer than just and hour or so. 

Praying that tomorrow's update is again boring!  I'm also praying that I'll be able to truly feel and celebrate the joy of Christmas the next two days, even without going to church or having any traditional Christmas celebration's. It's all about the gift of Jesus- and I hope I can hold that feeling close even during the hours that I'll be alone here in the hospital while Chris and Hunter attend some of the family celebrations that will be going on tomorrow night/Saturday afternoon. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 8

Another day complete. 

I did go down to the memorial service last night and am glad I did.  Not only to participate in Morgan's memory but it was nice to get out of my room and talk/see other people- even if it wasn't the happiest reason to get together.  And the best think about it is that it doesn't seem to have caused any ill effects... no cramping or contractions or anything in the 12 hours since. 

Today already seems very long.  I woke up a bit earlier than usual to start with.  I've already eaten breakfast, watched one movie on Netflix and played a dozen rounds of a game on Pogo.  Now I'm not overly sure what to do with myself...  And I don't think I have any visitors to look forward to today.  Not even Hunter.  If he doesn't get up here today it will be two days in a row of not seeing him.  Makes me sad, but when we are relying on other people to help us out by taking care of him, I can't always expect everyone to run up here.  Still sad though. 

I don't have much else today. Feeling pretty blah and sad today.  Not necessarily negative, just one of those not so upbeat days.  Praying for strength and hope to get me through the day. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 7: Hospital Bed Rest

Well, I've made it a week so far here at the hospital.  I hope I'm not boring any readers with (almost) daily updates, but I don't have a whole lot to do here so at least it passes some time for me! 

So tonight is the RTS Bereavement program's Christmas Memorial service here at the hospital.  Unless something dramatic changes (contractions, cramping, bleeding etc) I'm going to be attending via wheelchair.  My Doc (Dr. L) had said last week that I could go pretty much no matter what- but I wasn't overly sure I was comfortable with going after yesterday's ultrasound.  Doc called last night (on his day off! how is that for a wonderful doctor??) to find out how my ultrasound went and my nurse came in and told me he was still okay with me going down to the memorial service.  So I felt somewhat more comfortable with going after hearing that from him, but decided that I would ask whichever of the partners was rounding this morning to take a look at my cervix just to make sure I'm not dilated or have membranes visible.  Well in the process of asking the dr this morning to do that, she led me to believe that the peri's thoughts were that I was dilated and membranes were "visible" based on the ultrasound.  So of course I was super confused seeing as how Dr L was so okay with me being up in a wheelchair for an hour or so and also because this was news to me, no one mentioned anything about dilation and yesterday's on call doc had said they really considered the u/s to show "no change."  Needless to say there were a few tears on my part and we finally concluded that the on call doc would take a look, but was not going to "feel" my cervix.  Which was fine by me, and I think she thought I was upset she wouldn't do a full exam.  So after taking a look, she said my cervix looks closed, no visible membranes.  She then pretty much read word for word the peri's report from yesterday which said he did not believe the cervix was open or membranes were "bulging."  So now I'm not sure if I completely heard what she said wrong or if she actually said the opposite of what was true, but in conclusion, my cervix is closed and I'm going to the memorial service.  Part of me is still pretty nervous, but in addition to her exam she got Dr L on the phone.  He and I talked and he assured me that I should go, that he was completely comfortable with me going, and the likelihood of an hour up in the wheelchair being a "make or break" situation was very slim. 

The only other excitement to my day was Chris and I were able to have a "date morning."  Hunter is going to grandma's on Monday's & Tuesday's- therefore he spends the night.  So we snuggled in (the hospital) bed, watched Fireproof then ordered room service up for lunch before he had to leave to go to work.  We both of course missed our little monkey, but since he wasn't home, we took advantage of the mommy daddy time.  Which was especially good for Chris because he is finding "single parenthood" to be quite challenging.   He generally refuses to give up any of his off time with Hunter, even though I encouraged him to try to find someone to watch Hunter for a couple of hours over the weekend so Chris could just relax for a short time. He's such a dedicated dad, which is great, I just am concerned with his mental and emotional health sometimes. He's really doing so much with working, taking care of Hunter, taking care of the house, running up here to the hospital with Hunter to see me, keeping me supplied with the things from home I need etc.  So it was good for him to have a break- and get a full nights sleep last night as well. 

Well, here we go- on to week two of bed rest, Christmas in the hospital (boy am I going to miss going to church on Christmas Eve, I look forward to that service all year long!), and hopefully on to 25+ weeks of pregnancy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Days 4, 5 & 6: Hospital Bed Rest

The weekend itself was pretty uneventful on the little brother side.  All was calm.  I did get to see a lot more of Hunter and Chris this weekend as well as a couple of friends who stopped by. 

Today's u/s didn't bring the greatest news for my cervix.  According to my nurse (who talked to the on call doc from my ob office because my Doc is off on Mondays) I'm down to about 3mm from 5mm, but the on call doc says this is considered "no change"...  I don't about anyone else, but when you are talking about the amount of cervix that is holding my son in, I personally think a change of even a half a mm is a big deal.  Not that it really changes anything that we are doing or can do, but it indicates things are progressively getting "worse."  And while I wasn't happy about the change, I'm even less happy about the fact that the doctor is minimizing the change.  But anyway, so the u/s tech brought in the peri to look while she was doing the internal u/s, because it looked how it did.  They seemed to agree on the fact that my cerclage is in fact not holding.

Little Brother is continuously proud of his boy parts and made it very evident once again that he is boy!  He is also measuring in at an estimated 1lb 14oz.  Which is great to hear  especially if he does end up premature. 

Honestly, today I feel in my heart that this little boy is going to be premature.  Of course, God could certainly prove me wrong- because nothing is impossible with Him, but today that is my feeling.  Today my feeling is that we won't make the 28 week point either.  I'm not saying that to be negative- just the feeling I have.  I hope that I'll be able to post in March that I was wrong,  but I continue to pray for the strength to handle whatever happens whether I need that strength for many more weeks of bed rest or strength to deal with having a premature baby in the NICU.  I continue to pray for God to hold us close throughout this, I know and believe he is good- all the time.  And whatever happens He will use it some way for good. 

I think that focusing on 28 weeks is not going to work for me right now.  I just need "focus" on a closer date.  So today is Monday and my "turnover" day is Friday.  So on Christmas Eve I will be 25 weeks and right now, that is the date I'm looking to.  Every day makes a difference. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 3: Hospital Bed Rest

Well, day 3 was pretty calm and uneventful for Little Brother, my uterus, and my cervix.  An exam by my doc this morning concurred with Tuesday nights exam- so it's pretty much confirmed that at least one part of the stitch has pulled "out."  But it's still "holding" or "attached" in about 3 places and the knots are still where Doc expected to see them.  On Tuesday the other doc said he thought I might be about 1cm dilated but had the nurse put closed in the computer as he didn't really want to push around down there, which is also what my Doc said to the nurse this morning.  So my cramping/contractions of the other day don't seem to have done anything worse.  Today will be my last day with the procardia to keep my cervix relaxed.  Hopefully it will stay "relaxed" on it's own.  24 weeks today!

So in non cervix related news for day 3... I got to see Hunter twice for a total of about 2 hours yesterday.  My sister brought him up for a bit after lunch but he got pretty crabby pretty quickly.  And my sister in law brought him up after dinner (he was in a much better mood too).  I didn't however get to see my husband, looking forward to him and Hunter coming up here this morning though.

I also got to take a quick shower last night which was nice.  Even nicer was knowing that it didn't seem to cause any problems or further issues with my cervix. 

Let's see, what else...  I got a delivery of cookies from the NICU Parent's Board.  They are yummy and beautiful.  I have to keep them away from my reach though or I would eat them all.  But we start checking sugars tomorrow to make sure/find out if the whole gestational diabetes thing starts happening again and I'm kind of afraid that I won't be getting to eat too many of the cookies after this weekend.  My sugars have been fine for the last two months that I've been testing a couple times a day, but the beta shots make them go up and I just feel like they aren't going to come back down.  But we'll see.  That will make food here even more boring! 

I think that's about all.  I'm just going to end with a verse that I've chosen to concentrate on today and my thoughts on it.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."-Romans 12:12 (NIV)

Joyful in Hope... we will continue to have hope for nothing is impossible with God. 
Patient in affliction... patience is a fruit of the spirit I constantly need to work on so God is always giving me opportunities to work on it- like lying in a hospital bed for an undetermined amount of time.
Faithful in prayer...we continue to ask Him for the strength and patience to get through this and for Him to hold us close no matter what the outcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 2: Hospital Bed Rest

So I'm not quite through my second 24 hours yet, but wanted to report that all is quiet.  Saw my (WONDERFUL) Doc this morning.  Our "plan" (obviously subject to change on a dime) is to do a physical exam of my cervix tomorrow- because I asked.  Not that checking it will change anything, but I want to know where we are- if the stitch looks as it has, if there is any dilating etc.  Then next Monday or Tuesday he's sending me to the Perinatal Assessment Center (aka PAC) here at the hospital to have an u/s done to see if there has been any change.  Assuming I have any cervix left and am not too dilated, I will be allowed to go down to the RTS Bereavement Program's Christmas Memorial on Tuesday night- via wheelchair.  Which if it happens is sort of a big bonus because I wasn't going to be able to go if I was at home on bed rest.  Well I might have been approved by my wonderful Dr but I wasn't even going to ask, because as important as the service is I really really wanted to be allowed to go to Christmas Eve Church service and that was what I was going to ask to do if things had stayed in the 1cm range.  But when one door closes...

So in my internet travels this morning (which have been pretty extensive as I've been awake since about 3am when I had a vital check and my procardia dose and up and watching tv/surfing the internet since 3:50am) I came across a verse I want to share and talk about. 

  5 But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. 6 I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me. Psalm 13:5-6 (NLT)

This verse struck me today, because from where I'm sitting, it would be really really really easy to get down and feel discouraged- and at times I do get pretty down.  So reading this this morning really made me think about how good He has been to me.  First and foremost, I'm saved through Jesus dying for my sins.  That is the most important thing.  During all the years that I wasn't much of a follower, He never abandoned me, never let go of me even though I didn't know it.  And then there are all the amazing things that are in my life.  My husband.  My living son.  My wonderful family.  My awesome friends.  A roof over my head, food on my table, clothes for us and other tangible need fulfillments as well as pretty fair amount of want fulfillments.  My daughter.  Yes even though she isn't here, her short life has touched my life in ways that have inspired me to touch other lives- through March for Babies and donating to other causes in her memory, to be more compassionate to those who suffer, to be (in my opinion) a more appreciative parent than I probably would've been.  And I hope to do so much more in her memory.  He has gotten me through the really tough times, even those really tough times when I didn't know he was getting me through- he placed people in my life- that got me through times when I might've done regrettable things (even more regrettable than the things I was doing).  He used some bad circumstances (most which I had brought upon myself) to keep other even worse circumstances from happening.  And since I have begun devoloping/working on/growing a relationship with Him I can see all those things and I can appreciate the good- even in the bad times and the scary times.  This is something I'm going to need to continue to remind myself to do- remember, reflect, be thankful for all the good things- during this part of my life when the outcome is so uncertain.  Not that any outcome is every guaranteed, but with the loss of "pregnancy innocence" comes a huge wide scary realm of knowing what went wrong for you and what has gone wrong (differently) for everyone else- which makes it hard to blindly hope.  Instead it is an conscience effort to place all of it in His hands, every day and every moment.  Which I'll admit I'm not always able to do every moment. 

Thank you so much to all of my "blog" friends and all those I don't know who are reading and keeping us in their thoughts and prayers.  I do have an additional request for prayer for my husband.  He's already struggling some with being Hunter's main caretaker, taking care of the house, trying to sleep, arranging people to help and working a 5 day a week 2nd shift job with 4 nights of on call a week as well as having me and "little brother" on his mind.  I know worry is my personal "spiritual inhibitor" but I am so concerned for him.  Next week should be better (hopefully) as Hunter will stay overnight by grandma on or two nights and then my Nana will be back for two nights so hopefully Chris will be able to get a little more sleep, but it's on my mind so much that he is not getting nearly enough sleep to be out on the road driving for his job 8 hours plus possible middle of the night calls.  So any prayers for him would also be deeply appreciated.  In a way I have the "easy" job right now. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 1: Hospital Bed Rest

I'm through my first 24 hours here on hospital bed rest.  I'd like to say things are completely boring but not quite so.  Last night when the on call partner from my Dr's office came by he did do an exam and check my cervix.  Although his "official" report for the nurse to note down was cervix closed, he said he thought I was dilated about 1cm but didn't want to push around too much and that it's seems as though the stitch has pulled away in one spot, which is in line with what my sonographer thought via the ultrasound.  So while it was somewhat expected news, it was still a bit hard to hear.  My night was long with little sleep, which is to be expected considering the events of the day as well as the first night in a hospital bed with different noises etc.  So I'm hoping once my lunch arrives and I get my second beta shot I can take a nice nap.  Anyway, so this morning was also not quite uneventful... around 7am I was feeling fairly crampy so I let my nurse know and she hooked me up to the monitor.  Not long afterwards I starting having contractions.  Ones that were not "intense" enough to be picked up on the strip but yet were very evident to me.  A lot of the "discomfort/tightening" was going on in my back and very low on my belly.  We are hoping it wasn't causing any changes to my cervix but Doc didn't want to go in there again this morning so he just prescribed something (can't remember what it's called) to relax my uterus.  I'm happy to report no more cramping.  Hopefully that continues.  But I was a little of a mess this morning.  I was laying here on the monitor, feeling the contractions, listening to KLOVE and just trying to give it all up to God.  Your will be done was one of the things I just kept thinking/saying over and over, but I was still getting pretty teary.  As soon as the resident came in to check on me I just busted out crying.  Then my wonderful doc came in and I started crying again.  Lack of sleep + the numbness of yesterday wearing off I guess.  But really it all comes down to His will.  Not a thing I can do myself except trust in him.  Of course I pray for baby to stay put, to be born weeks and weeks from now, to come home healthy and grow up with his big brother, but I always have to end or start those prayers with "should it be Your plan/will."  And I have to remind myself not to worry or be anxious.  Really trying to concentrate on Philippians 4:6.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hospital Bed Rest

Today's u/s did not bring good or reassuring news.  Instead it has landed me a stay at one my favorite but yet least favorite places.  I love this hospital, it's great, the staff is great, but I don't like having to come here for more than just delivering a baby!  However, this is now where I reside again for awhile.  My cervix is down to .5 cm/5 mm.  And the sonographer today said she thinks the cerclage has pulled away.  Currently I've not been checked down there by a doctor or anything, because they don't want to disturb anything- but it's seems possible I'm even dilating already  (this is me guessing, not anyone saying anything concrete).  I received one shot of steroids for little brothers lungs with the second going to happen tomorrow.  I'm 23w 4d.  We are praying for little brother to stay put for many more weeks, but realistically I feel that we will be having a premature baby.  I just don't know how premature.  I hopeI'm wrong but... only God knows his plans for us, for this baby, and I fully trust that whatever happens He will get us through it. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hunter is Gone Overnight...

As mentioned in today's earlier post Hunter is having his first overnight away from Mama tonight.  He just left and I can't stop crying.  :(  I'm crying like... well, like someone is dying (ridiculous I know).  I was crying before they even left.  Sad.  :(    Not a good start to week 4 of bed rest. 

I know he'll be fine, but I'm still sad.   **sigh**

Bed Rest: Week 3

3 weeks of bed rest down!  Friday will be the 24 week gestation mark which = viability.  Not that there is anything close to a guarantee that early (not that there are ever guarantees), but at least there is a chance right?  We'll see tomorrow if anything has changed. 

So let's see- week three in review...  My mom was here (just left this morning) which was awesome.  She was a great help and it was so nice to get to see her.  She had a nice time spending time with her grand son and she got to be here for his official 1st birthday AND his birthday party yesterday, which was nice.  Having her here made the week go really fast- which was good and bad too.  Good because it brings us farther along in this pregnancy and bad because it feels like she left way too soon!  But since she lives 5.5 hours away she needed to get home to her stuff (like taking care of the foot or so of snow waiting for her!).  Obviously Hunter's birthday was also last week- seriously can not believe he is one... and that is about it for last weeks news. 

Well there is one more piece of "news" from this morning...  Hunter is having his first overnight away from Mama.  He's been away from Daddy before, but never from me/both of us.  His other grandma (Chris' mom) who lives about 20 minutes away is watching him today and tomorrow at her house (so she can get stuff done) instead of here so she asked if he could stay over.  Let me tell you this Mama is absolutely not ready for this.  But I'm forcing myself to allow it because it's quite possible that it will need to happen sooner rather than later if I ended up in the hospital on bed rest or when we go to deliver little brother.  If it were up to me it would be a long time before he spent the night away from me.  I know it's probably a good thing or so many parents say (and especially my mom etc) because if he never spends the night away from me and something happens that forces it when he's even older- then it will be even harder on him but still... I am not ready.  When my mother in law called to ask this morning Chris handed me the phone (with no warning on what she wanted!) and I was just about speechless.  I mentioned that he didn't sleep very well last night due to a little cold (probably hoping this would deter her from wanting him overnight!) and then told her Chris phone was dying (it really was) and I'd call her back from my phone.  I got off the phone and started bawling!  Even though I agreed to it, I had to have Chris call her back while I sobbed with my head under a blanket.  An hour later when I called to tell my aunt (who I knew would "get it") that Hunter was having his first night away from me I started bawling again.  I am really not ready for this step, but don't feel like I have a choice.  :(   Worst part of it is it's not like he's going there today and coming home tomorrow morning- he's leaving around 12:30 today and won't be back until after dinner tomorrow!!!  so like 30+ hours.  :(  Now I'm going to cry again.

Speaking of crying, I had another "crabby/emotional day" yesterday.  **sigh** I wish I could say I was accepting and dealing with the bed rest with a cheery positive attitude all the time- which if nothing else I should at least not be crabby towards those who are helping me/taking care of Hunter- but I often fail at the positive/peaceful attitude. Bed rest is hard.  I think it's harder at home than it was in the hospital.  At home I can see what needs to be done- at the hospital the hardest thing was being lonely even though I wasn't ever alone for long because of the nurses, but I was certainly lonely for my husband not to mention I went from spending 4-8 hours a day 5-6 days a week with some awesome co-workers to mostly seeing nurses (albeit great nurses) periodically  all day long.   But this time I think bed rest would really suck in the hospital because I'd barely see Hunter.  But bed rest is made even harder right now by watching my son become clingy to his daddy.  He's never been necessarily a "mama's boy" or "daddy's boy" although there were certain things I could always get him to do better- like take a bottle, nap... but now he clings to daddy when he's tired or upset.  Put him up on the couch by me and he just climbs down.  :(  Don't get me wrong- I love the bond that they have, I'm just missing the bond the he and I had.  I get to watch him put his arms around daddy's neck or even grandma's neck, but not around mine because I'm not down on the floor playing with him, or picking him up and carrying him.  It's quite sad.  Part of me feels super guilty for feeling unhappy about any of this.  I mean, everything I'm doing I'm doing because I want the healthiest start for "little brother" and because I know how it feels to have a baby die.  And while bed rest guarantees nothing- it's what I can do- upon doctor's orders.  So what right do I have to be sad, crabby, unhappy?  I should be grateful, I should be graceful in doing this, I should "glory in my sufferings" as "suffering produces perseverance" (see Romans 5).  So my goal this week is to maintain a more positive attitude- and at the very least stop being crabby with my husband!  We'll see how I do.  I  know one key is to turn to my bible more during my rough emotional times as well as turn to the Lord in prayer more too.  So bring on week 4 of bed rest....

Well that is all for today-  but I will hopefully be posting a short u/s & dr appt update tomorrow from my couch.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


November 20th 2010 was Morgan's 2nd Birthday & Heaven day.  So to celebrate and remember her we did a balloon release down by Lake Michigan.  I also wanted to write her name in the sand but it ended up being really cold and windy so we just let our balloons go and then left.  Here are a few pictures from the balloon release.  

After our balloon release we went for lunch at Schlotzky's Deli- yum.  Usually we go to Thunder Bay Grille because that is where we ate the morning after Morgan's funeral but Little Brother Mama was craving Schlotzky's. :)  And on the way home we stopped for Morgan's flowers- some pink Lilies this year.  We've been trying to buy Daisies but nice daisies in November are hard.  So I think from now on we are going to go with lilies.  Some of our friends actually sent lilies to us in the hospital.  After we arranged the lilies in a vase at home Chris said, "It smells like our hospital room did."  So I think lilies it will be. 

Then it was off to church where we were joined by our sister in law, niece, nephew and my sister.  It was pretty cool to see that we were all wearing our March for Babies team shirts that say "In Memory of Morgan Marie" on the back.  I thought it was very nice of my sister and sister in law to think of wearing them.  After church we decided to invite our sister in law and the kids back to our house for pizza and to have Morgan's cake.  Initially we weren't sure we'd want extra company, but the day wasn't super depressing.  We miss her so very much of course but that intense "end of the world" grief is gone.  

I decided on an angel food cake this year and made one completely from scratch. (It was fantastic if I do say so myself!)  We had it with whipped cream and strawberries (hence the no frosting on the pictures) but used a little icing to write on the plain cake. 

And then yesterday was Hunter's 1st Birthday!  His cake and ice cream birthday party is actually tomorrow, but I had to share a few pictures from his official birthday.

The first picture where he is 1.  Okay it probably wasn't the first picture, but the best of that series I took.

 Then his Gramma (my mom) took him outside to play in the snow for the first time.  She got him a new sled and they did play with that for awhile, but Daddy was upstairs napping so he didn't get a picture of that.

Getting ready- "Look at my cool camouflage mittens!"  or maybe he's saying "Enough pictures Mama!"

All ready to go play- so excited!

And finally in the snow!

He and Gramma tried to build me a snowman out the window where I'm laying but the snow was not packy enough. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My baby boy and 23 weeks

One year ago today I was in labor with Hunter!   At 4:22am tomorrow morning he will be a whole year old.!!!

I'm amazed at how fast the past year went.  And if it's in God's plan for us, this time next year it will probably feel like time moves even faster.  With the exception of this bed rest thing.  Although this week is going quickly, probably because my mom is here and as much as I wish she could stay for the rest of my bed rest days she has to leave on Monday. 

So my baby boy is going to 1 in a few hours and I've made it 2.5 weeks on bed rest, bringing us to 23 weeks tomorrow.  One more week until viability...  Ideally we hope and pray for about 14 more weeks before little brother would arrive but getting to at least 24 would be a good step.

I'll try to get on tomorrow and post some 1 y/o pics and stats.  I also have some pictures of Morgan's Birthday balloon release, cake, flowers etc that I've not yet posted, so maybe I'll do a dual birthday picture post.  Not like I don't have time to do such a post- just a little boy who likes cords and cameras and computers that doesn't let me upload pics very well.  LOL

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where we are now...

At the end of July this year Chris and I found out we were expecting again.  While we had talked about another baby, Hunter was only 7.5 months old so it was a little earlier than we intended but yet we were happy.  We certainly hoped (and still hope) that it is in God's plan for us for this new baby to be born safely, healthy and that we may bring him home to raise. 

Our due date is April 8th 2011.  A little scary to be paralleling Morgan's pregnancy so closely but overall, so far it's been a lot less stressful than our pregnancy with Hunter.  I think that is in part due to having done this before and in part a deeper trust and faith in God.  I'm a worrier.  It's one of my greatest faults, but I've been able to do a much better job of just giving my worries up to Him this time around than with Hunter. 

The pregnancy started off slightly rocky with some bleeding in August.  Turns out I had a polyp on my cervix so the bleeding had nothing to do with baby, but you can imagine where my mind was going with all the "similarities" to the beginning of our pregnancy with Morgan.  My cerclage was placed early October and we began ultrasounds November 5th.  I decided we were finding out gender (obviously and proudly a boy) because Chris got to choose not to find out with Hunter. 

My November 5th u/s (18weeks gestation) looked wonderful.  They measured my cervix at 6cm!  I was shocked, my cervix had NEVER been 6cm on any other u/s ever.  But I was excited, maybe no bed rest this time?!?  Not so.  Our next u/s at 20w 3d, just 2 days after Morgan's 2nd birthday, showed my cervix to be 1.3cm.  So since November 22nd I've been on bed rest at home.  Luckily we've had family around to help with Hunter and also to help me out so I can stay laying on the couch as much as possible. 

As of today I am 22w 4d and we are hoping and praying to get to at least 24 weeks next Friday.  My appt today indicated things are about the same (by exam only, no u/s) and our next u/s is a week from today.  So stay tuned for the weekly bed rest update as well as some birthday posts!  I can't believe Hunter is going to be 1 year old on Friday!  It's so amazing.  (Hopefully some pictures will accompany those birthday posts!)

Hunter's Story

After losing Morgan I was anxious to be pregnant again.  I knew I couldn't replace Morgan and that a new baby would not make everything "all better." But I wanted to bring a baby home into our family.  My Dr with my pregnancy with Morgan was a family practice daughter.  He was a wonderful Dr, who was actually the son of the Dr who delivered me.  So I originally planned on seeing him and an OB or Peri throughout another pregnancy, but we soon heard news that he was going to be moving.  It was a tough blow for me, followed by finding out that the OB Dr he recommended was also not going to be available either.  One of the ladies we met at the support group at the hospital highly recommended her Dr who she felt was just amazing through her loss.  It turned out that our favorite nurse from the night Morgan was born also highly recommended him both as being his patient and working with him.  So during our 3 month recommended wait before we began trying to get pregnant we made an appt with Dr. L. 

I wasn't overly sure about him at first, he gave very "vague" answers talking about the pros and cons of everything and not really giving a 100% definitive answer.  We wanted to know what his plan of action would be considering what happened with Morgan and he agreed that a cerclage could help and bed rest may be necessary as a "there is nothing else to do measure."  I decided not to look any farther for another Dr at that point though because of the cost with our insurance plan.  (It turned out that he is absolutely wonderful and I don't know how I could go through any pregnancy without him!)

We were very happy to find out that the first month we were trying to get pregnant we were able to.  No doubt our problems with bringing a baby home were not the getting pregnant part, but the staying pregnant part.  And so began our long sometimes scary subsequent pregnancy journey.

I took the pregnancy test around mid April and was so excited that it was positive.  I had taken the test during my lunch hour and had just enough time to hop in the car and drive to Chris' work to tell him right away.  He was just as excited and probably as scared as I was.  Once back at work I couldn't contain my news and had to tell one of my co workers right away.  I called my Dr's office next and because of my previous loss they had me come in right away the next day to check my HCG levels and repeated the test early the next week.  My numbers were going up well.  We scheduled an early u/s for shortly after the time in which they can usually find a heartbeat, which just happened to be after we took a vacation to Las Vegas. 

By the time we went to Las Vegas over Mother's Day weekend I was quite nauseous and happy to be nauseous as it generally means hormones are going up as they should be. The day after we came back from vacation was our u/s and we saw a beautiful heartbeat!  A few weeks later we had our first official OB appt at which we confirmed that the cerclage would be placed around 12 weeks as long as the pregnancy was progressing as it should be.  A couple of ultrasounds and a "freakout" later by me it was finally time to get the cerclage. 

I was very hesitant to share the news of this pregnancy.  Honestly it made me very uncomfortable every time we or rather Chris, shared it with someone new.  I disliked the encouraging comments that seemed to "brush away" what we went through with Morgan.  I especially didn't share it at work besides in my office.  It was also a little difficult to find out anyone else in my life was pregnant.  Not that I was so happy for my friends/family who did get pregnant, just that I no longer had that pregnancy innocence and they did, so they could have what seemed to be "carefree" pregnancies while I knew from personal experience just what it felt like to have a baby die.

The weeks crept by until we were finally to the "big" ultrasound.  Chris wanted to be surprised at birth on whether it was a boy or girl so we didn't find out gender but that was the start of bi-weekly u/s to check my cervical length.  Once we were to the u/s around 22 weeks I was starting to feel more comfortable.  We were past 21 weeks and my cervix looked good!  I scheduled the next u/s for 3 weeks instead of 2.  When we made it to the 24 week mark, viability, it was like a huge weight off of my shoulders.  Just a week later at our u/s though we found my cervix to be down to about 1cm and I was placed in the hospital on bed rest. 
I spent a very long 33 days in the hospital before going home to my couch for another 3 weeks of bed rest before I was able to start having a bit more activity. 

The weeks continued to go by until I was 37.5 weeks along.  It was Wednesday December 9th 2009 and I was baking Christmas cookies when I started having contractions.  I timed them for awhile until they jumped from over 12 minutes apart to like 5-6 minutes apart and then we headed to the hospital.  I was sure that it would end up being "false labor" and they would send me home and was so happy when the nurse announced I was 4cm dilated.  Shortly after midnight on 12/10 I was fully dilated and actively pushing.  But after all of those measures to keep that baby in, the baby would not come out!  I pushed for about 2 hours before the doctor (not my doctor but one of his partners) told me it seemed I had a narrow birth canal and he gave me about a 50/50 chance that I would even be able to get our baby out without a c-section.  So I opted for the c-section at that point, I was just ready to meet my baby, hear him/her cry etc. 

At 4:22am December 10th Hunter Robert was born.  Hearing him cry was the best sound! 

The subsequent pregnancy with Hunter was so full of emotional ups and downs.  I could not have gotten through it as well as I did without a lot of prayer, strength from God, a fantastic doctor and encouragement from my many friends.  But every moment, even of my 33 days in the hospital was so worth it when I finally held Hunter in  my arms.  God is so great and I try to thank him every day for the little boy who right now sleeps upstairs. 

Morgan's Story

At the end of July 2008 I found out I was pregnant.  It was a "surprise" but one that Chris and I quickly adjusted to and were happy about.

About a week or so after I discovered I was pregnant I started spotting.  My doctor sent me in for an early u/s and some blood work.  The early ultrasound gave us a due date of April 1st and showed everything looked as it should for where we were at, but they couldn't see a heartbeat yet.  My HCG levels were going up, not quite as much as they are "supposed" to so another u/s was scheduled.  At the second ultrasound a heartbeat was found!  We were so happy.  As the weeks progressed the spotting stopped and I began having "all day sickness".   I finally stopped being so nauseous sometime late October/early November and started to really show.  I remember posting a "halfway there" status update on Facebook at 20 weeks along.  I couldn't wait for April. 

Then on Wednesday November 19th (my sister's birthday too) after a normal day at work I started cramping at home.  At first I disregarded it, thinking it wasn't really anything.  After going to the bathroom and having it recur I started to worry a bit about it.  I looked it up on the internet.  I read about braxton hicks and thought maybe it was just that.  It seemed to be getting more painful.  I called my aunt who thought maybe I should call my doctor.  So I called the on call answering service.  Sometime in there Chris got home from work.  Before the on call doctor could call back I decided we should go to the ER.  Once at the ER they sent us straight up to L&D.  Upon an exam from a resident it was determined that my bag of water was visible/protruding.

My doctor came in to explain to me that my cervix was dilated and because I was only 21 weeks pregnant if the baby arrived there would be nothing they could do.  It was very surreal.  I thought, okay, so I need to lay here for 3 weeks... it could happen right?  This baby wasn't really going to be born too early to survive was it?   I was moved to a room and someone came in to do an u/s to check out my cervix.  After that I tried to rest but the cramping- which I now knew was contractions- was getting worse.  I was given a couple of doses of pain meds but they hardly touched the pain.  Finally a doctor came in to do an exam and said that the babies head was right there.  This baby wasn't staying inside.  I opted to have an epidural and this gave my own doctor enough time to come back in.  At 5:27am on Thursday November 20th 2008 Morgan Marie was born.  She was 10.5 inches long and weighed 15 oz.  She was so so tiny.  She lived for mere minutes.  Due to the medications and delivering the placenta I don't really remember her being alive. I held her for a moment before they gave her to Chris while I continued to push to get the placenta out.

We kept her with us almost all day, with the exception of a couple of hours while the nurses took some pictures and made molds of her hands and feet.  Chris' parents and siblings all came to "meet" her and hold her.  One of the hardest things we ever had to do was let her go that evening when we gave her up to the nurses to have her picked up by the funeral home.

The days following were so hard and emotional.  Sometimes I felt numb sometimes all I could do was cry.  We decided to drive up to my families for the week of Thanksgiving and just get away from town and our empty house. 

We had planned her funeral for Dec 1st to allow time for my family to make preparations to come down and so that it was after Thanksgiving.  She was cremated and we brought her home in an angel urn after the service.

I chose to stay home for a full six weeks before returning to work.  When I did finally return to work it was very uncomfortable to be out in public and interacting with people again.  My co workers were fantastic, other than my new boss who was hired while I was on leave.  It was the customers who would say hurtful things (unintentionally of course).   I was anxious to try for another baby, but we were following Dr's orders and waiting at least 3 months.

We love and miss our daughter every day, but she has most definitely touched and changed our lives in so many ways.  We've met so many new friends because of her short life other mom's and dad's whose babies/children aren't here on earth with them.  The loss of our daughter has brought Chris and I closer to each other and has also brought us closer to God.  We've also gotten involved in the yearly March for Babies walk, raising money to help research and prevent premature birth. 

It's one of the saddest hardest things to go through to have a child die, but she is waiting for us with Jesus in Heaven and there will be a day we will see her there.