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Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

Update

I knew a day would come when this blog was no longer a place I felt the need to maintain frequently.  It seems as though that day has come.  A big part of this can be attributed to how busy we are these days.  Writing, for me, is not about sitting down for 5 minutes and doing an update, though my most recent posts are definitely that.  What makes writing enjoyable for me is the emotional force behind it, glazing each word with depth and realism that cannot be conveyed in an everyday state of mind.  This type of writing requires going deeper within oneself, meditating on life, clearing the head, and letting one’s soul do the talking.  Getting into this frame of mind requires a commitment, both of time and emotion.   It’s a freeing place to be, and I do hope to work writing into my life again in the future.  But, for now, there are other things pulling at me, and I must choose.

I have an energetic 3 year old boy who wants to play baseball, sing songs, and color.  I have a 15 month old girl who wants to read books, snuggle (which also involves throwing anything in sight on the floor during this time), and play.   I have yet to announce this here, but we have another baby boy due October 9, 2014, just a day after Madelyn’s due date nearly 5 years ago now.  Oh, and we just got our final test result from genetics today – everything looks perfect and normal so far!  I’m still working a full-time job, which keeps me away from home more than I’d like.  And a year ago I finally decided to pursue a long-time photography passion, and have launched my first business.  My website is http://www.heathermohrphotography.com.  I invite you to check it out!   And, last but far from least, I’ve been working with Sufficient Grace Ministries to build a work here in the St. Louis area.   It’s been a slow process, slower than I’d like with so many other things happening in my life and only so much time available in a day, but I’m not giving up on that.  I did accomplish obtaining my doula certification through Still Birthday and have gotten on the call list for one hospital.  But I do need volunteers in this area, especially now that I’m expecting another child.  If you know anyone who is interested in this area, please do send them my way.

And so through all of this, writing has taken a back seat.  It makes me sad in a way, because, writing is what gave me the most peace while in my most intense stages of grief.   But, I am finding peace in many other areas of my life right now.   I’ll be the first to admit my life is far from serene.  But it makes me happy.  And I know writing will always be there for me as an outlet when I need it, as it always has been.

 

 

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The Missing Details

This week-end, I had the opportunity to share Madelyn’s story multiple times.  As I was doing so, I realized that while I have shared the details on this blog, so much is missing.  I’ve decided I want to go back and rewrite each of my children’s stories.  Some of this will be recap for those who have followed my blog since the beginning.  However, I’ve always known at some point I would pull all the pieces together into one cohesive story.   I’ll be starting with Madelyn in the next post, though it may take me days or even weeks to finish it, as I can’t always blog for long stretches of time these days.

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SGM St. Louis Event

Many who follow my blog do so because they have also suffered a loss.  If that describes you, then more than likely you are familiar with Sufficient Grace Ministries (SGM).

SGM, represented by founder & President Kelly Gerken, along with Vice President Holly Haas, will be in the St. Louis area the last week-end of July.  On July 27, 2013 at 9:00 a.m., a SGM event will be held for anyone who is interested in getting involved in this ministry.  Volunteer opportunities exist for bereavement doulas (you can take a class through Still Birthday), photographers, and those able to knit or sew to make items for babies.  Meetings will also be held with hospital staff members.

If you are interested in attending for the purposes of becoming a volunteer, or if you would like to simply come see what SGM is about so you can share this resource with anyone going through a pregnancy with a potentially fatal diagnosis or a loss, we would love to see you at the meeting.

The event information is here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/206106282879428/

Please help us spread the word!

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We have decided.  Our family is complete.

I know this is the right decision.  And truly, I’m ready to enter the next phase of our lives, focusing on raising the beautiful children we have here on earth, as well as carrying on the memory of our daughter in heaven.  Yet, as with any chapter’s end, it’s not easy to turn that final page.

The truth is, pregnancy isn’t easy for me on an emotional level.  I spend so much time on edge, worrying about how sick I am or am not, wondering if the baby is moving enough or too much, among many other things.  And we’ve had a NICU team in the room with us for every single birth.  So we should probably stop while we’re ahead.  I certainly wouldn’t take a chance on another unassisted pregnancy, and we simply couldn’t afford another procedure.  Childcare is expensive as well.   So we are done.  And I can’t emphasize enough that our family is PERFECT.  The children I have do not leave me wanting.

But letting go is hard.

Pregnancy and birth, while not always easy or uneventful for us, are beautiful, and I feel so very blessed to have been able to experience them the times that I have.  They have been a huge part of my existence these past several years, and it’s hard to picture life without them.  It’s hard to imagine that I will never again feel my baby moving inside of me.  And any newly born baby I hold in the future will not be my own.

We have much to look forward to as a family.  And I still have a newborn to hold and snuggle.  But I know how fast this goes.  I’m on maternity leave now, but in 10 more weeks I go back to work, and it will never be like this again.  So I’m determined to cherish every single second.

As for pregnancy and birth, I will always look back on those times with fondness.  And while it isn’t easy to say adieu, I am grateful that doing so is our choice.  Some have that choice made for them, and I do not take this privilege lightly.

So the new plan is to live the lives we have built for ourselves.  To raise our children with love.  And to put every effort into enjoying every single day of the lives we have been given.

Time moves too quickly to do anything else.

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This Thanksgiving, we travelled to Branson with my parents and brother.  A good time was had by all but, unfortunately, I forgot to take a camera so have no pictures to share!

Liam did great on the drive to Branson, but had a rough time headed home.  By this point in our trip, he was teething (his final 2 canines on the bottom), had caught a cold (yes, another one), and was ready to be back in his own space.  His favorite part of being in Branson was the drive we took through the Festival of Lights.  It was fun to see him get so excited about it!  However, he got very upset when Santa came to the window in an attempt to give him a candy cane.  I think we’ll skip the mall trip to see Santa this year!

In other Liam news, with all the time we’ve spent away from our own house, we’ve bumped into a bit of a nighttime issue.  He now wants us to lie down with him in our bed until he falls asleep.  Now we have to figure out how to get him back into his own bed before the new baby arrives!

I also want to note that Liam has mastered getting both feet off the ground.  He has been doing this for about a month now, but I haven’t yet documented it!

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Last week, my work surprised another pregnant coworker and I with a shower!  They surprised me with Liam, and I was absolutely not expecting anything this time around.   I am grateful to work with some very generous and thoughtful people!  I received clothes for baby girl and enough in gift cards/cash to purchase the Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper.  This is something that, in retrospect, I really wish I’d had with Liam.  So we decided to get it this time around.

Then, on Saturday, December 1, my dear friend Misty hosted a baby sprinkle for me!  It took place at Moonlight Restaurant in Alton, IL, and was attended by several close friends and family members.  We ate salad, fresh bread & butter, veggies & dip, fruit, cheese cubes, and chicken bites.   We played a baby shower trivia game (my mother-in-law was the winner), and then I received lots of adorable things for our baby girl to wear!  We also got some bottles, wipes, a couple plush baby blankets, 2 towels (so she won’t have to use all blue/green towels), and some wash cloths.   We are very thankful for all that we received, all of which was unexpected, but will be put to good use!

Here are some pictures of the day:

 

Opening a present

Liam & mommy

Cupcakes

Liam & GreatGrandma Shirley

 

On Sunday, December 2, we had a combination of maternity/family/Liam 2 year pics done.  Liam was not in the mood to model – he mostly wanted to run around campus (they were taken at Wash U).  However, our photographer was quick, and based on the sneak peek she gave us, I think we will be very satisfied with the results!  We get them back in 2 weeks.  Here is the picture she shared with us:

Sneak Peek

My final update is about my OB checkup today!  It went well.  I hadn’t gained as much as I thought I would have given our crazy schedules and all the eating out involved with that over the past month.  My fundal height is measuring at 32-33 weeks, and I’m 31 weeks 4 days, so that’s not too bad (considering Liam always measured 2-3 weeks ahead).  My blood pressure was 128/80, so right on target with what it has been the past few visits (and normal for pregnancy). 

I have an ultrasound a week from today, and I’m on every-other-week OB appointments now, so I’ll be back for another checkup on 12/12!

And here is a bump pic, taken today!

31w4d

 

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I think I covered everything I need to share here in the title.

I still owe this blog some pictures.  I simply have not had the opportunity to upload them.  I will definitely be doing that soon – with Christmas coming, I need to get those pictures on Shutterfly so I can start thinking about Christmas presents.  And that’s all I will say about that!

Halloween

So Liam had his first experience trick or treating this year.  He wore an Elmo costume (pictures to come later).  He wasn’t exactly sure what to think about the experience.  He was fine until people answered the door, and then he’d turn around and cry for one of us to hold him.   We only took him to about 4 or 5 houses as we didn’t want TOO much candy for him.   He did love the little bit we allowed him to have.  🙂

OB Checkups

I had an ultrasound on 11/5 and an OB checkup on 11/7 .  Both went great!  I didn’t get any good pictures at the ultrasound, unfortunately, because baby girl was in the worst possible position and would not cooperate.  However, she was head down, which was a relief!  Even though I know she could flip around a few more times, it is good to know that she at least CAN get into a head down position.  She was measuring 2 lbs 8 oz, putting her at the 58th percentile, and my AFI (amniotic fluid index) was 15 cm, which is perfectly normal.   My next ultrasound is on 12/12, and if everything looks good then, that will be the last of this pregnancy.  So hopefully we’ll get some good pictures!

My OB checkup was uneventful – my fundal height was measuring right on target with what the ultrasound showed.  I go back on 12/5, and then I start every other week appointments through the end of December, and then I start going weekly on 1/2 until the end of the pregnancy. 

I’ve also started seeing a prenatal chiropractor – my insurance covers it, and the experience has been wonderful!  It’s so incredibly relaxing and I’m glad I started going.  My chiropractor also does acupuncture, which is also covered by insurance!  So my plan is to start doing that at 38 weeks as a natural “encourager” for baby girl to come out.  I’m trying to avoid Pitocin if I can this time around! 

Sicknesses

Sickness has definitely abounded at our house.  Last week, Liam came down the with the adenovirus, which included a fever, double ear infection, all alongside cutting his canines!  He was finally getting better, and then the night before last he woke up vomiting several times.  We thought it was something he ate until we took him to daycare and learned that 4 other toddler had been sent home vomiting and with fevers!  Liam didn’t run a fever until the end of the day, but he did start running one, and he wouldn’t eat or drink all day, so he is home today recovering.  However, he is fever-free and acting like himself again, so I’m hoping it was only a 24 hour thing.  And I’m hoping I don’t catch it!

Renovations

My getting pregnant seems to be what motivates us to renovate our house.  Last time, we converted our garage into a family room.  This time, we’re updating and repairing our bathroom!  All of this started on Monday, and should be finished today or possibly tomorrow.  I’m excited to have this done, but it has been rough living out of a hotel all week, especially with Liam being sick.  I’ll be so glad to be back in my own house with my own things and my own bed!  That is especially true since we’re going to Branson with my parents and brother for Thanksgiving next week, so we’ll be away from home again.

Now all that is left is our kitchen, and then we can get our house on the market to sell!  I’m so ready to move into something bigger and more suitable to our family of four.  And whatever we get next, I want to be our forever house.  So if we have to rent for a while until we find that perfect place, I’m willing to do that to avoid buying another temporary place.

29 weeks

Tomorrow, I’ll be 29 weeks pregnant!  I can’t believe I’m almost a week into the 3rd trimester.  Baby girl is so strong these days – I’m already starting to get a little uncomfortable and feeling huge!  We still have much to do to prepare, but I’m feeling very ready to meet baby girl.  Hopefully we’re able to finalize a name for her!   Nathan is pushing very heavily for the name “Arwen”.  I’m still not 100% sure about it, but we shall see.  At this point, my hope is that when we meet her, one of these names we’ve discussed will simply feel right.  Or maybe something else will come to us before she is born.  We shall see!

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Saturday, we took Liam to Eckert’s to pick some apples.  He had a great time!  He was more interested in roaming the orchard than actually picking apples, but he definitely enjoyed eating them.  He loves eating apples and pears whole.   They also have a play area for children with live animals.  He loved the goats until they started bleating, and then he was a little nervous and wouldn’t go near them!

He was  not very interested in having pictures taken, but here are some of the few I was able to snap!

 

He has developed an attachment to this monkey blankey that he has had since before he was born, but never taken an interest in before now.  He also is extremely attached to his clothes for some reason.  If we try to remove his jacket or shoes, he gets very upset!  He even wants to take his shoes into the bathtub with him.  Hopefully that is just a phase he will outgrow, because I feel like I’m breaking his little heart when I don’t let him take his shoes in the tub, and I don’t like doing that!

He has always been an affectionate baby, showering us with hugs and kisses.   Until the past week or so, his kisses were always accompanies by the “mmmm-mah!” sound.  Now, he makes an actual kissing noise!  We still get the “mmmm-mah” when he is blowing kisses, though.

He likes to grab my purse, walk to the door and say “bye”.  It isn’t “bye-bye” anymore – just a simple “bye”.  He has also figured out how to put the key into the front door, and he knows exactly which key goes in it.  Smart boy!

In pregnancy related news, I’m now beyond the halfway point.   I had an ultrasound on Monday (9/24/12).  I was 21 weeks 2 days, and everything looked perfect!  She has plenty of fluid, is measuring right on track with her due date, and all of her organs look as they should.  She kept putting her hands in her mouth and she even switched from a head-down position to a breech position mid-ultrasound!  I’m sure she’ll change positions many times before finally settling into a head-down position.  At least I hope that’s how she settles!  Her heart rate was in the mid 150s.

I’m feeling movement more and more, though there are still days when I don’t feel as much.  Even on the quiet days, I’m still able to do kick counts, so that is reassuring, since it is early to do those.  I also still have my doppler for reassurance on those quieter days! 

Here are some pictures from my ultrasound. 

 

 

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