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Archive for July, 2010

Well, this is the last month of the first year. It’s so hard for me to comprehend. It’s still hard to believe we gave birth to and lost a baby girl, and even more so that it’s been nearly a year.

If she were here, we’d probably be planning a big birthday bash for her. I’d be deciding who to invite, where to have the celebration, and I’d be looking forward to taking pictures of her with cake all over her face. But I can’t even picture that little girl in my head. I can picture the event, but when I think of her all I can see is the newly born baby girl I held in my arms. I can still see those eyes fluttering open for the briefest of moments, and so easily remember the weight of her in my arms. I remember being on a bit of a high after giving birth – I don’t think I truly realized the finality of losing her until we went home without her.

For the longest time I couldn’t imagine a day when the pain wouldn’t be physically unbearable, piercing through my body at all times. And at first, I never wanted that pain to stop. Now I can look at her pictures and talk about her without tears forming in my eyes. Sometimes they still come, but most of the time they don’t. I still miss her so very terribly, but it’s different now. I guess I’ve found my new normal – the one everyone promised would come. But my normal really isn’t normal at all. Even in the happiest of moments, the little voice in my head is there to remind me that I am mother to a baby who lives only in heaven. And it’s exhausting.

Today I had my first annual skin cancer check at the dermatologist’s office (I don’t have it, by the way), and the nurse practitioner who checked me noticed I am pregnant and wanted to know if this was my first. As usual, I said no, and I hoped we could leave it at that. I didn’t feel like getting into the discussion of how I had a baby last year that didn’t make it. Well she wanted to know how far apart they would be, so I said just a bit over a year, still hoping I wouldn’t need to elaborate. Her response was “Wow – oops!”, and then she proceeded to tell me about her friend who had a baby and found out she was pregnant again a few months later because she thought nursing was sufficient birth control. I wish that was our story. That Madelyn and Liam would grow up together, making my life a little crazy for being so close in age, but in such a beautiful way. I could have been completely straightforward with her, but I just didn’t feel like having the conversation, especially not while dressed in nothing but a paper gown as she was examining every inch of my skin, and I mean that very literally. It was awkward enough without introducing death to the conversation.

But that is my normal: having to explain to people that Liam isn’t our first, but that we also have a daughter who is no longer with us. Madelyn will always be our baby, worthy of inclusion in our growing family. I just wish the “but she’s no longer with us” part didn’t exist.

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On another, much lighter, note, Stephanie from Beyond Words Designs is offering a special promotion for everyone who is expecting after loss. She hand paints beautiful canvases that are perfect for any nursery! Her promotion ends August 7, so be sure to stop by and check out her work!

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Well, as mentioned already, today I had an ultrasound that confirmed we are having a baby boy! It is so exciting to know the gender of the baby I’m carrying – that’s something I never got with Madelyn. I know some prefer to wait until after the birth, but I absolutely love knowing that the baby I’m going to be meeting in 5 months is our Liam Miles!

The ultrasound went great, Liam was dancing all over the place, flipping around, kicking, and just moving in general. He even started waving at us as soon as the ultrasound machine was turned on! The ultrasound tech said he definitely has rhythm! Even more awesome than seeing him move was that I could feel a lot (though not yet all) of it as he was moving, which confirmed for me that I am definitely feeling him move! It still feels like butterflies at this point with a few jabs here and there.

We were able to get a good look at all of his organs except the diaphragm, and they won’t look at that until the comprehensive anatomy scan in 4 weeks. It is such a relief to know that of what they can see, everything looks perfectly healthy.

Liam is still measuring on the bigger side – he measured as 17 weeks and 3 days, and he weighs 8 ounces, which is what the average baby weighs towards the end of week 18.

I am pasting some photos below. These aren’t as good quality as what I’ve been getting since I forgot to bring in the cd they gave me for storing pictures! Instead I took a photo of the printouts they gave me.

It’s a boy!!

Liam’s long legs

And his sweet face!

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I’ll update more later, but for now I just wanted to say we are having a (so far) perfectly healthy baby boy! Liam Miles!

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Today my OB didn’t need to deliver a baby, so I had my checkup. So far, everything looks good! My blood pressure is 110/80 and I’ve gained about 8 pounds total. I’m not too excited about the weight gain, but my doctor said it was normal. Oh well. We also listened to the baby’s heart, and the rate was in the 140s/150s, which is pretty normal for this baby!

My OB also showed me how to feel my uterus, and it is already nearly to my belly button! It’s generally a few inches lower at this stage, but apparently I have a big baby and I also have a small torso, so that’s probably why my uterus is already taking up more room in my belly than it would for most at this gestation.

I had my thyroid checked on Friday, and my TSH is at 1.67, which is good, too. Hopefully that will stay under control.

I’ve been having this weird vibration both in my left foot and in my lower stomach. I asked my OB about this and he said the baby is probably laying on a nerve, and that can cause weird vibrating sensations sometimes. Until I felt it in my foot, I just assumed it was the baby, but I guess I was wrong! However, I HAVE been feeling little tiny pokes every now and then, which is exciting! It’s not consistent yet, and probably won’t be for another month.

I guess that’s about all! My next OB appointment is on August 18, and my next ultrasound is coming up next Tuesday! I can’t wait to confirm if I am carrying baby Liam!

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I had my OB appointment scheduled for today, but when I arrived, I was told my OB had just rushed away about 5 minutes earlier as one of his patients had broken her water early. So my appointment is being rescheduled for tomorrow. I hate that I will now be scheduling another appointment in the middle of my work day, but am glad my OB went to be with his patient who is in labor.

That’s all for today!

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I confess…

It still startles me when I get monthly updates on how Madelyn should be developing;
Yet I can’t bring myself to unsubscribe.

I love that my belly is growing into an obvious baby bump;
Yet I wonder who views it with pain in their heart, due to what they’ve never had or what they’ve lost.

Holding babies is much easier for me now;
Yet every single one of them reminds me of Madelyn and what she might have been. I wonder if that will ever change.

Most days go by without me shedding a single tear;
Yet when I do cry, the pain still consumes my entire being.

I wish life didn’t have to be this way.

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I wasn’t scheduled for another ultrasound until 7/27, but last week I had a bit of a freak-out, as this is about the time when signs that things weren’t normal would’ve started showing up with Madelyn had they been looking for them. So, I called my OB’s office to ask if they’d please let me have an extra ultrasound this month. Thankfully, they obliged.

It was so wonderful to see our baby again, and to see that all is well! We saw kidneys today which, of course, is a huge relief for me, as Madelyn’s never developed properly. They also took a look at the umbilical cord, and that looked good, too.

They took baby’s measurements, and it appears we are going to have a big little one! Two weeks ago this baby was measuring 4 days ahead. Today, our little one was measuring a week ahead! Going by today’s measurements, this baby should be born on 12/31, not 1/7.

Finally, the ultrasound tech took a look at “the goods”. Once again, she said she thinks we are having a boy. As I mentioned after my last ultrasound, the gender guesses are about 80-90% accurate at this stage. However, she said due to our baby’s size, she is even more convinced we are probably having a boy, because the parts are easier to assess correctly when the baby is bigger. Looks like little Liam Miles might be on his way! We’ll find out for sure at our next ultrasound in 2 weeks. Nathan and I are both thinking blue after today.

The only downer on today’s appointment was the perinatologist who stepped in at the end. I had never seen this one before, so she was either new or filling in for someone. She told us that everything looks good and normal for this gestation, and they don’t see anything abnormal. However, she was also sure to point out that things can change, and they can’t see a lot of the organs until closer to 20 weeks, and we don’t know whether or not something abnormal will appear at that time. I have no idea what the point of that was, but it really made us mad.

I got several more pictures today, but not a lot of really good ones like last time. Here is one of “Liam?” looking right at us!

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