Sunday, October 31, 2010

38 weeks and still pregnant :)

Hopefully my last belly shot with Samantha ;)

How far along? 38 weeks!!!  If someone would have told me that I would get this far 8 months ago, I never would have believed them.  Just as I never thought that I would be one of them women who would endure months of bed rest after my water broke at 23 weeks, that experience led me to believe there is no way I would have a "normal" pregnancy again.  And here we are, sitting every day waiting to see if it will be the day Samantha decided to come out :)
Weight gain/loss: 42 pounds.  Down a little from last week, but I have no appetite and feel like I'm constantly trying to force myself to eat.
Maternity Clothes?  I was thisclose to buying more the other day.  But reminded myself I have 2 weeks tops and it's silly to buy clothes that will get worn only a couple of times.  I have a couple pairs of pants that fit, but nearly all my shirts are far too short, so I've resorted to borrowing from Dusty on days I don't think I'm going to see anyone :P
Stretch Marks?  Nope.
Sleep? Hit and Miss.  Some nights I can get a good several hours without getting up for anything, and then some nights I'm up for 4 hours in the middle of the night with back aches and cramping so bad I have to take an hour long bath at 3 in the morning. 
Best moment this week?  Feeling ready.  There hasn't been a single day in the last week where we haven't been ready for her to come out.  The house is clean, laundry and dishes are always caught up on, fridge and cupboards are stocked, car seat is installed, labor bag and camera bag are in the car.  Now we're just waiting for little miss to decide she wants to come to the outside :)
Food Cravings?  Milk.  Still.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out.
What I miss?  Being able to easily get out of bed!
Weekly Wisdom? Even though time feels like it is dragging by, the days really aren't.  Enjoy them!
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday is my 38 week appointment.  We'll make some decisions on what we're going to do for delivery (assuming she isn't born by then, which I'm hoping she is!!) and Dusty and I have talked.  If we go the cesarean route, I think we are going to schedule it for November 11 (if we can), I know it's pushing it a little bit, and I hate the thought of waiting another 11 days to count her fingers and toes, and see if she looks more like Matthew or Kaitlyn, but it would be an ideal day for Dusty, since it's a work holiday he would get an extra day off, free, and Kaitlyn has a 4 day weekend starting that Thursday, so she would get lots of bonding time and ideally wouldn't need anyone to take her to school or anything.  And while I am very, very anxious for her to be born, I would really rather her not have a Halloween birthday, of course, I'd be thrilled to meet her today, but I wouldn't want her to have to share her birthday with a holiday!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Laura Bush and Infertility

You know, I'm not usually shy to admit it, I have a lot of respect for the Bush's.  I liked George Bush as a president and proudly voted for him.  I know hindsight is 20/20 and I'm sure that if we were all privy to all of the information all of the time, we would consistently make different decisions and take different roads.

But, that's not my point today.  Today, my point has more to do with the struggles they endured with infertility.  An excerpt from her book reads:

For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-beribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?

Not only do I think she has an amazing way with words, I also feel as though she captures the feelings that I have no doubt far too many women suffer through.  We have been incredibly fortunate, we have given birth to two children and we are very near delivering a third.  While we have lost Matthew, we had him.  He was here, we held his hand, we hugged him, kissed him, knew him and shared him with the world. 

Infertility and baby loss are two life experiences I wouldn't wish on anyone, ever, under any circumstance.  And I know it's something that until one experiences they believe they know how they would respond, but the reality is, they don't. 

I hope and pray that one day we can eliminate both infertility and pregnancy/baby loss.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

37 week appointment....

Well, I can't say the p17 shots weren't effective.  :P

I had another lovely internal exam which showed that baby Samantha is no where near on her way out.  There is no difference from last week.  Which seems so crazy considering that I've been having a ton of contractions, and yesterday I went for 6 hours with contractions 2-4 minutes apart, and while painful, not painful enough to head in to the hospital.  She is still high up, my cervix is high up there, skinny and closed tight.  The only difference was if he really tried he could barely touch her head.  He said in his experience, in moms with previous pregnancies and baby's presenting itself in this way after 37 weeks, baby waits until their due date or later.  Which means, we're more than likely going to be having a cesarean unless something drastically changes.

So, for now, I'm going to just hang out and wait to see what she and my body decides to do.  If I end up with a cesarean I just hope I have enough time to recover to have Kaitlyn's birthday party and not be miserable and of course to participate in Black Friday!

Otherwise, everything was great, she's head down, has a strong heartbeat, is still active, my blood pressure was 100/72 and my urine dip was great.  I get to go back next Wednesday in the morning and schedule my cesarean.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pushing yourself too soon

The last 3 years have been hard for us.  I don't think that without going through at least part of it someone could understand the toll it takes on your life to lose a child.  The way it changes you, the way it changes your day to day life, the way it weighs on you or changes your outlook on every single thing you do and experience.  I think it makes you experience the world in an entirely different way, and not necessarily in a bad way.  I think you have a deeper appreciation for many things in life and you understand things on a different level.  And while those are great qualities to have, I'm sure there isn't a single parent out there who has lost a child that wouldn't trade that insight, that knowledge, or the "new you" to have your child back even for a brief moment.  It adds years to your life. 

In 3 years we've buried a child, tried to get pregnant and succeeded 4 times in a 12 month period.  Obviously to succeed in pregnancy that many times in a 12 month period, it means that at least 3 of those pregnancies didn't go well.  Pregnancy loss is such a whole different world, it takes away any innocence you may still have left.  And it can cause a hell of a lot of bitterness when you have shows on TV like "Pregnant and..." or you see "crackheads" on the street obviously pregnant and you wonder to yourself "why them? why not me?"  Or you see obviously fertile couples who don't have a care in the world announcing their 78th pregnancy caused by just looking at each other from across the room.  It is so easy to wallow in self pity and wonder why there can't be just a little fairness in the world sometimes.

I'm a pretty darn positive person.  I like looking for silver linings, I like the bright side, I like thinking that tomorrow is a new day filled with new possibilities.  And I like to think I am a pretty strong person, but everyone has their limits.  Some people push those limits for whatever reason and some people recognize those limits and respect them.  I wish I could say I was the latter.

Yesterday, a post on facebook got me thinking.  When I woke up this morning, I was still thinking about it and how it related to us.  I was starting to push it out of my mind when I did my morning blog checks and came across this article posted on a blog, Facebook and Infertility, and while we obviously are not infertile, I found myself relating to quite a bit of the article. 

"Diane Colling, an occupational therapist and fertility patient, was scrolling through her Facebook page last week when, once again, she was bombarded by a friend's exuberant broadcast about her pregnancy. "Your daughter will hold your hand for a little while, but will hold your heart for a lifetime," her brother's pregnant girlfriend posted."

I can completely relate to that.   At least twice a month, to half the people on facebook it's son's week:
It's "Son Week" : If you have a son who makes your life interesting and fun, who has been a blessing in your life and makes life worth living just by being around - click LIKE! Your Sons will outgrow your lap, but never your heart! ♥
And every time it is a bunch in the gut.  I hate that it affects me at all, but at the same time I think I would hate myself if it didn't.  It's such a terrible feeling.  I can completely relate to people who have a hard time facing it or facing facebook.  
When Matthew first passed away, we still participated in everything.  Even if we had to force ourselves.  Some things I'm really glad that we did.  I'm glad that Kaitlyn still had a big birthday party, I'm glad that we still celebrated Christmas and I'm glad that we tried to make life as normal for her as possible.  But, there are so many things I wish I would have done differently.  I wish I wouldn't have pushed myself to go to baby showers, to buy baby things, especially baby boy things, to hold babies, to be at births, to surround myself with pregnant people to just do things I wasn't emotionally ready for.  And for what?  To prove something?  To pretend life was still normal?  It wasn't.  It didn't make me feel any better.  It didn't help my healing.  I think in a lot of ways I was worried about being selfish.  But, if at anytime in my life I should have been selfish, this was it.

Only recently did I start practicing more "self preservation" and I have no idea why I didn't sooner.  Now, if a person is friends with me on Facebook and does the classic "joke" 2 toddlers for sale or just the general complaining of how rough life is for them because of their kids, I hide or delete them.  I have no tolerance for it.  I can see being frustrated or upset, or seriously just feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and the last thing you need to hear is kids screaming, but there are thousands of couples who would give anything to trade shoes with you.  
3 miscarriages in 10 months was an emotional roller coaster I wouldn't wish on anyone.  You can only hear the words "bad luck" and "I'm sorry" so many times before you seriously want to scream at the world about how absolutely unfair and evil it is.  And it has nothing to do with not being grateful or happy for what you have, it has everything to do with longing for what you don't.  I can clearly remember being between the second and third miscarriage and going to visit a new baby in the hospital.  It took everything I had to keep my composure on the way to the car.  And then I completely and totally lost it.  I couldn't help it, I couldn't control it, it was just this huge slap in the face.  It isn't about not being happy for that couple because you are, you are so incredibly happy for them.  But, it is absolutely possible to be really happy for someone else and have your heartbreak for yourself.  Just as it is entirely possible to be incredibly happy for yourself while your heart breaks at the same time.

I guess my whole point is, if I had to go through and relive the last 3 years, there is a lot I would do differently.  And really, I don't think I would care what anyone around me thought or said about it.  The only ones that truly matter are the friends and family that showed support and I do believe they would understand.  And if you are a recent addition to the awful world of baby loss, don't force yourself to do anything you aren't ready for.  Don't feel as though you have to take care of anyone but you and your family.  At the end of the day, that is what is most important.

Monday, October 25, 2010

37 weeks pregnant :)

How far along? 37 weeks!  We are FULL TERM.  Seriously, I never thought again we would have a full term, uncomplicated pregnancy.  When I asked my OB about future pregnancies after Matthew was born he said I had a 70% chance of recurrence and typically it occurs even earlier in subsequent pregnancies.  When we then had 3 first trimester miscarriages, I assumed it was a sign of all our future pregnancies.  But, instead we have been truly blessed.  And let me tell you, I don't think I have ever before appreciated so fully how amazing it is to be full term in a pregnancy and know that we get to keep this baby with us and take her home with us.  Knowing that her risks factors for SIDS are lower, her risk factors for learning disabilities, physical disabilities and lung problems are lower just because my body decided to do what it is supposed to.  Let me tell you, I can assure you going to the doctor at least once a week for the last 5 months, going to the perinatologist on a bi-weekly basis, being injected with a thick medication that is put inside of castor oil (isn't that crazy, p17 is typically put into castor oil and helps prevent pregnancy, the same oil that some women ingest to try and induce labor!) and causes severe itching and pain, all of it has been more than worth it.
Weight gain/loss: 43 pounds.  Gain ;)  I'm pretty sure I'm not going to gain much, if any more.  My appetite is staying the same, but for days I haven't even gained an ounce.
Maternity Clothes?  I've outgrown nearly all my tops, they are all too short now so my tummy sticks out.  I've resorted to either wearing a tank like you see above under my clothes, which usually looks ridiculous or borrowing Dusty's.  Of course I've had a few people say that there is no way I'm so close to my due date haha.  And I'm still arguing with strangers that it is in fact a girl regardless of the perfect basketball shape my tummy has lol.
Stretch Marks?  Nope.
Sleep? It's getting better.  I get to sleep in 2 4 hour increments, which isn't bad.  I get up to use the restroom and go back to sleep.  I usually can't sleep past 6 and wake up with awful heartburn.
Best moment this week?  It's amazing to know that this could possibly be our last weekend without a baby in our arms.  And this past week we had our LAST p17 shot!  Everything is ready for her, Dusty's FMLA paperwork is filled out, he figured out his time off and work schedule for after she is born (he is taking 3 weeks off then a month of half days so I don't have to take Samantha with me to pick up Kaitlyn from school), labor bags are packed (still), camera bags are ready (batteries are charged!) and everyday I make sure to put on make-up just in case we go into labor that day :P
Food Cravings?  Milk.  Still.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out.
What I miss?  Not having heartburn.  Being able to get out of a chair.  Being able to get off the ground by myself.  Not having to search out restrooms constantly to pee.
Weekly Wisdom? Enjoy every moment of pregnancy!  Realize how fortunate you are to be blessed with the baby you're carrying, and relish in even the most uncomfortable of pregnancy symptoms.
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday we have our 37 week appointment.  It will be the first time I get to go to the OB office since like May and not get a shot!  We *might* even schedule our "just in case" cesarean. Depending on if my cervix has done anything, if she has moved down any and what the liklihood is of our needing a cesarean.   I am also headed to the chiropractor today.  I feel like she has moved down a little bit, but not much, so I'm getting adjusted and hoping that will encourage her to move more into my pelvis and be that much closer to coming out :)

Friday, October 22, 2010


We're gonna have a baby.  Probably not today, and I doubt it will be tomorrow, but sometime in the next 2 weeks or so, we will have a little girl in our arms.  A cuddly, pink, chubby tiny baby.  Kaitlyn will be a big sister 2 times over, Matthew will be a big brother and there will be a new baby in our arms to warm our hearts.

Kaitlyn just realized how close we were this afternoon, her face absolutely lit up.  She is now very concerned about the dogs.  Archie she doesn't worry about too much, she said he has experience with babies, Chico worries her.  She thinks he should just stay outside until Samantha is older :P

I think Dusty also just realized how close we are to going from being pregnant to having a baby.  And he's nervous.  Right now, I'm the only one that is responsible for her well being, her health and her healthy arrival.  Once she's born, all that's out the window, she becomes *real* in such a different sense.  It's one thing to feel her through my skin in my stomach, but it's a whole different responsibility once she's born and in his arms.

I'm sure that the first year is going to involve a lot of fears, worries, constantly watching, taking turns sleeping, questioning every single sneeze, cough, weird breath, deep sleep, cry and all the typical things a newborn and a baby go through.  I'm also sure it is going to fly by!

Yesterday I tried to make some hospital favors.  I was going to pass out something like these:

Except they were bird shaped.  Following the directions found here, it did not go well.  Did you know if you cook bird seed at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, it will pop like popcorn all in your oven?  I'm sure you can imagine what that smells like...  So, I'm debating if I should work on something else, skip the favor idea or what. 

Speaking of, I'm being limited to having 4 people in the room during actual delivery.  So, it will most likely be Dusty, Kaitlyn and our moms.  If you are local and what us to call/text you when I go into labor or when I deliver, let me know!  I obviously already put people on the list that said they wanted to be on it, and our siblings and parents.  But, if I haven't heard from you, I don't want to make the assumption and possibly interrupt your sleep with something that may not be something you feel you need to know ;)  And my feelings are not hurt at all lol. 

That's it.  I'm swollen all the time now.  I have spent most of my time with my feet up, Samantha hasn't engaged too much more, Sunday I'm full term and one week from today should be the latest the p17 medication will leave my system and labor could be any time :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

36 week appointment

Hello to 36 weeks and 3 days!!  Good-bye to premature or preterm delivery!

Today I had my last p17 shot!  YAY!!  I don't know who was more excited, me or my doctor!  After my appointment I could hear him telling the good news to more than one person :).  We are now out of the NICU woods and are on our way to a healthy, full term delivery and that is an AWESOME feeling.

The appointment started as all the other ones, weight check (+1 pound from last week, YAY me!), blood pressure check (100/60), another yay me!, my LAST progesterone shot.  Woo-Hoo!  Fundal height check, another good one, baby heart beat check (144 bpm), another yay!  And tonight I get to take my last and final baby aspirin during pregnancy!

Then, the uncomfortable cervix check.  My cervix hasn't done anything yet.  Boo.  But, he didn't expect it to be any different.  Baby is still a little high up and has more dropping to do.  While it isn't necessary for baby to drop prior to delivery after your first baby, it helps.  So, starting this week I can start walking as much as I feel comfortable walking, doing squats and lunges, using the exercise ball and all that good stuff to help her make her way into her birth canal.

My OB agreed that most women go into labor 9-10 days after their last p17 shot, which puts us at next Friday/Saturday.  Of course, it isn't an exact science, a promise or a guarantee that I will go into labor at that point, but the odds are in our favor.  Of course, it's also harder to know what our case will do since I don't have a history of pre-term labor, I have a history of my water breaking in the middle of the night far too early.  So, who knows what will happen.  And, if I have not gone into labor by my appointment in 2 weeks we go to the calendar and pick Miss Samantha's birthday with a planned cesarean. 

So, all in all, a great appointment.  And we're thisclose to meeting our full term and healthy baby girl.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Holy Moly What a day!

This morning started out like most others, I got Kaitlyn up and ready for school, got me ready for the day and added hot chocolate to the mix since the weather is finally a little cooler :)

Then I looked at the raggedy band-aid that has been on Kaitlyn's elbow since last Wednesday.  I touched it and she screamed.  Like always.  Since we had plenty of time, I decided to go to my friend, Dr. Google, and see if I could find painfree ways to remove a band-aid.  The suggestion I saw over and over again was to use vegetable (or any) oil to help loosen it.  It sounded like a genius idea, so I tried it.  According to Kaitlyn that suggestion was a bunch of bull because she still cried.  But, we got it off.

We also got a quick picture of her smile minus the tooth she "lost" yesterday.  And by lost, I mean Daddy ripped out so it would stop bothering her so much.  It earned her some squirming, crying and a $5 gift from the tooth fairy.  This morning she said "Mommy, isn't it nice that the tooth fairy gives money to little kids even when they run from their daddy's and scream when their tooth comes out and they don't deserve it?"

After Kaitlyn was dropped off at school, I came back home for a little while and tried out the exercise ball Dusty blew up for me Sunday night.  It was actually one of the most comfortable positions I've been in for a long time.  After a little while, I went and took Dusty some breakfast and then headed to Goore's.  It was actually the first time I've been too Goore's since I've been pregnant.  They have a ton of cute stuff but nothing screamed out at me.

I walked through Goore's for about an hour and then decided to go to Arden mall to walk.  Since I've been cleared to go back to my regular activities as of yesterday, I decided to take full advantage of it.  I walked the whole top level and went into every store that looked interesting.  I found two GORGEOUS Christmas dresses for Kaitlyn.  I'm going to have a hard time deciding.  I think I've found what I like for Samantha too, which is perfect for one dress if I can find the perfect sweater.  Otherwise I will have to find one that matches the other dress or start all over haha.  It seems so weird to be shopping for Christmas dresses already!

After walking the mall for a couple hours, I headed to Toys R Us to see if there was anything in the world I could possibly need before Samantha's arrival.  I couldn't find anything :(

Then, I went to CFA for some yummy, yummy lunch and let myself have an Iced Tea :)  I figure I'm on antibiotics for the remainder of the pregnancy anyways since the UTI will not clear up, I might as well have a treat once in a while.

After CFA I went to the post office and bought 120 stamps.  I needed 10 more to mail out Kaitlyn's invites, which I did, and I thought 110 would be enough to stamp all of the already addressed envelopes for announcements and Christmas cards.  I was wrong lol.  I need to go and get more, probably another book or so.

I picked up Kaitlyn about 20 minutes early from school so that she would make it to her appointment with Dr. Kono on time.  Kaitlyn started having cold like symptoms 3 weeks ago.  Which turned into pink eye, and while the pink eye cleared up easily, the remaining symptoms have only gotten worse.  Even though her tonsils and adenoids were removed to prevent sinus infections, it appears that she has another sinus infection.  She is on antibiotics for the next 10 days to try and clear it up.  Her next ENT appointment is in January.  We're going to watch her until then and see if she begins to get them chronically again or if she just got a cold that turned into bacteria and it was a fluke.  Fingers are crossed that she doesn't get another one.

From Kaitlyn's doctor's appointment we headed to Walmart.  I read a tip somewhere recently that before you go into labor you should be stocked up on things you know you'll need and won't want to run to the store for.  We had already done that in regards to diapers, wipes and stuff for the baby, but now we have enough toilet paper to last a couple months, detergent to get us through the new year, and a ton of snacks, goodies and easy to eat snacks and mini meals.  While I didn't love watching that receipt grow longer and longer and longer, it's good to know we won't need to go to the store for basics for a while.

All the walking and shopping I was absolutely exhausted.  After picking up Kaitlyn's prescription of antibiotics, I opted to get Bowinkles for dinner.  And I'm glad I did, it was delicious!  And stayed warm while I put away all of the groceries and got Kaitlyn set up.

My mom also had her 4th surgery today as part of her plan to beat breast cancer.  And so far, aside from all the icky feelings that surgery brings, all is well :)

While eating I was able to order all of the rest of the stuff for Kaitlyn's birthday party and now I'm beyond ready for bed...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

36 weeks - 9 months!!

That's right, today marks 36 weeks, which is 9 months pregnant, which means we have officially hit all of our goals!  We obviously passed 12 weeks, then we passed 24 weeks, and now we've met and are on our way to passing the ultimate goal.  This week she becomes full term and we can expect to meet her anytime in the next 3 weeks :)

How far along? 36 weeks!  9 months :D
Weight gain/loss: 39 lbs.  I have very little appetite and when I start eating, I get full easy.
Maternity Clothes?  Every day :)
Stretch Marks?  Nope.
Sleep? On and off.  I go to bed pretty early these days, but I can't sleep past 6.
Best moment this week?  We have everything all ready.  House has been cleaned from top to bottom in every room, the swing is now put together, I even packed the diaper bag.  Being ready is a GREAT feeling.  And Samantha is lucky that she is going to have a couple of cousins and friends close-by similar in age.  2 girlfriends who will only be 5-6 months younger than her, a cousin (we don't know yet if it's a boy or a girl) 6 months younger and another cousin 7-8 months younger than her :)
Food Cravings?  Milk.  Still.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out.
What I miss?  Bending at the waist.  You don't realize how much you miss it until you can't.
Weekly Wisdom? If you can be ready early, be ready.  Then, your last couple of weeks can be all about rest :)  Or in my case working on some treats I want to take to the hospital.
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday I go in for my 36 week appointment.  I get the results of the GBS test, MIGHT get checked, and get my LAST p17 shot!  Woo-hoo!  on average, most women go into labor 10 days after their last shot.  That would put us at Saturday, October 30.  :)  Regardless, I go once a week now and she will be here within the next 21 days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 15th

I just plain and simply don't like that day.  Just looking at it somewhere can make my blood run cold.  And when the calendar says that is what the day is, it makes you not want to look at the calendar. 

Yesterday marked the third anniversary of the day Matthew left us.  It's a crappy anniversary to remember.  Yet, it's one that you not only cannot forget, but you don't want to forget.  Forgetting that one day would mean forgetting the days that led up to it, and while the pain is unbearable and unbelievable I will take it if it means remembering the time we had together.

But how do you honor that?  How do you make that day have meaning?  In a perfect world the day obviously wouldn't exist, and if it were a nearly perfect world, perhaps the world would just stop doing everything that day?  Obviously, it doesn't.  Life continues to go on.  People continue to live their lives, those around us still get to have this wonderful and blessed day and strangers go on as though there is nothing different in the world.  But you can't.  You don't.  Everything you do drifts back to what the day is, the importance and the significance of it and how everything else that you seem to be doing is meaningless.

Now that Kaitlyn is in school, she isn't here with me on Matthew's angel day.  And while I contemplate every year keeping her home, I ask myself why?  Why should I deny her the fun of being with her friends and enjoying the sunshine and what the day has to offer because it would make me feel better?  How selfish is that?

And it is days like yesterday, days when you know that you have been robbed of having a toddler home with you, that the silence is even more deafening.  It's those days where you can almost hear what it should sound like at home while Kaitlyn is in school, but you don't hear it. 

So, I kept the day simple.  Kaitlyn went to school.  Fridays are her favorite and least favorite day of the week at school.  She loves homework celebration day (a celebration for everyone who turns in their homework on time and complete) but hates Friday afternoon sing (she says it's a waste of time when they could be learning).

I came home.  I did some cleaning.  Really, I made sure that everything was picked up and put away and organized so today could be a deep clean day.  And normally I would go online for a little while, but honestly all that does is remind you that lives everywhere continue to go on.  And the news serves as a constant reminder that there is pure evil in the world, parents who do not deserve the gift of children and innocent lives suffering because of it.  Considering that it's already an emotional day and I'm obviously hormonal, that's the last thing I need.

Then I decided to go shopping.  Dusty has been telling me to go and buy myself something at the Coach store (I have a coupon that expires tomorrow) and to treat myself and what better day to do it?  Except I drove there and honestly didn't find a single thing that I really liked.  I toyed with the idea of getting another diaper bag, but I already love the one I have and really do I want to spend that much on something I am going to shove under my stroller?

So instead I went shopping for my two favorite little girls in the world.  Kaitlyn and Samantha got new wardrobes from Gymboree and The Gap.  As though either of them needed even one more piece of clothing.  But, oh well.

From then I went and picked up the fall decorations for Matthew's site.  I opted to keep it simple and figure Kaitlyn will undoubtedly pick him out a baby pumpkin and decorate for him to take out there on Halloween and I want to leave room for it.  I met Dusty at the cemetery and decorated with the things I had brought.  We sat there for a while.  It was incredible and almost irritating how warm it was.  It seemed so odd to have it be so hot and so close to Halloween.  And I'm sure this extended heat we've been experiencing is why the grass looks so bad.  Dusty thinks we should put turf in, I'm contemplating hiring a landscaping company to re-sod his site and then upkeep it until it's nice and implanted.

Dusty and I were able to have lunch together, which is always nice.  I went to Walmart to pick up a few things we needed around the house before I went to pick up Kaitlyn from school.  We went to the grocery store and picked up some things for dinner and snacks for daddy to eat while he watches today's game.  She opened all the goodies I got her while I put away groceries and then together we worked on stuffing the envelopes for her birthday invitations.  They are just about ready to be mailed out :)

For dinner we had shrimp and beef tacos together and after more time together it was finally time for the day to end and us all to go to bed.

The most important things we can do to honor Matthew's life is to continue to live ours.  To keep our family together and strong and to remember him in our daily activities.  No matter how much I may want to be able to, I cannot go back in time, I cannot bring him back, I cannot replace him, I cannot pretend that year never took place.  He is a part of our family and a part of our lives.  Thank you so much to everyone that helped keep his memory alive yesterday and who included us in their thoughts.  Knowing that others care is always comforting and appreciated.  Thank you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

70 days

Matthew Jackson Miller
August 6 - October 15, 2007

Today marks the anniversary of Matthew's last day on Earth with us.  It marks his 70th day.

I really don't believe that any parent should be faced with having two dates to remember their child by, a starting date and an end date.  It is so wrong, so unfair and so unnatural in many ways.

The fact that we were even blessed with 70 days after the diagnosis we were given when my water first broke is miraculous.  In those 70 days he got to meet so many people that loved him, have his sister "read" books to him, go on a spooky Halloween train, be held, cuddled, nursed, changed, played with, see the birds chirping, the sun shining, go to the park, be sniffed by a curious beagle, have over 600 pictures taken of him, see his nursery created just for him, ride in a stroller, in a car, go to the zoo and just experience life as a "normal" baby.

If Matthew were still here, today would be like just any other day.  We would have a nearly 6 year old, a 3 year old and one due in a month.  We would be busy, outgoing, playing and entertaining each other while big sister was at school.  We would be chasing the dogs, playing on the playground, and who knows what else.  But he is not, and we are not.  We are forever changed, and that will not change in this lifetime.  Instead today Dusty and I will get to do one of the few things we still get to do for him and decorate his site at the cemetery.  And no matter how much one eternally screams for the world to stop spinning and time to take a break and just let things be, time and life will continue to march forward.  And we will continue to live life knowing our family is missing one.

Today is also Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.

People are encouraged to light a candle at 7 PM (their time zone) and allow it to burn for one hour so a wave of light can be seen over the entire world in memory of all babies gone too soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A welcomed surprise

So, I LOVE getting mail.  Most mail, obviously bills and junk mail are not even close to my favorite thing lol.  But, I LOVE getting other mail.  I stalk the mailbox waiting for the mailman to drop things in it.

I've ordered a lot of things from Etsy this pregnancy.  I just absolutely love that site.  Most things have come pretty quickly, but a few have taken a couple months to get to us, which wasn't really a big deal since I ordered things far before she would even be here to enjoy them.

Anywho, today has been a not so fun day.  I spent most of the day volunteering in Kaitlyn's classroom.  Normally I do an hour on Tuesday and an hour on Thursday to help with their reading groups and that's it.  But Kaitlyn really wanted me to help with Apple Day at her school today and since I'm a sucker for making her happy, I sucked it up and went in.  All day.  From 9 AM to 3 PM.  It was exhausting.  Not all kids are as well behaved as I'd like them to be and seriously by 2, I was over it.  I knew I had reached my limit and since Samantha started kicking like crazy I have a feeling she had heard enough too ;)

Then, a talk with our pediatrician revealed that we will not be sent home with an apnea monitor for Samantha because he really doesn't think it is necessary and will cause more frustration than anything else.  And reminded me that this pregnancy is so much more different than Matthew's and therefore she is at much less of a risk of falling victim to SIDS. 

So, that was my day, a bit of disappointment, an incredibly sore back, exhausted and a headache to boot.  AND, since we have a central locking mailbox, I normally drive to it on my way home from picking up Kaitlyn, when I did just that today, it was empty!  No mail yet!  Grrr!!

I decided to get home, have some milk, watch House on and relax.  Then, I needed to take out some recycling and decided to get the mail.  And there was a surprise...

The return address was for a boutique that didn't sound familiar.  I tried racking my brain of things I may have bought and forgot about, but I couldn't come up with anything.  Even though the walk is maybe a minute I managed to open it before I got in the door.  And seriously, it was the cutest stuff I have seen in forever!!

And some cute baby leg warmers!!  LOVE it!  And imagine my surprise when the cards inside showed that my cousin's wife had created these and sells them in her etsy store!

SnuggleBug Baby Boutique  CHECK it out!  I couldn't find a single thing in her shop that I didn't oooohhh and awwweee over!  Not to mention, I've been searching for something cutesy for them to wear for Christmas card pictures and this is perfect! 

And really, it's amazing what a thoughtful surprise can do to change your mood of the day...

If you knew...

If you knew today was the last day you had to spend with your little one, what would you do different?  Would you hold them a little tighter?  Would you smother them with a few more kisses?  Would your hugs last a little longer?  Would you show a little more patience?  Spend more time on the floor at their level?  Talk to them more about their dreams and their thoughts?  Work harder to create more memories?  Have quality time with them?  Read them their favorite story just one more time?  Sing their favorite song with them as loud as you can? 

Sadly, we don't live in a Utopia.  We haven't created an Earth yet where tomorrow is promised and there is no longer a need for small caskets or baby urns.  It's horrible, gut wrenching, morbid and absolutely heart breaking.  But every day babies and children are ripped from the arms of caring, loving parents who would undoubtedly put their lives on the line to save their children from leaving this world before them.  Babies die for no apparent reason no matter how hard their parents fought for them or how much they sacrificed for them, how strongly they loved them or how well they cared for them.   Children are forced to battle diseases many adults cannot overcome as their parents sit at their bedside praying as hard as they can, begging and pleading for just one more day.  Far too often tragedy strikes and parents are faced with the ordeal of making funeral arrangements and burial plans for a child that they loved with everything that they are. 

Three years ago today we had no knowledge that it was our last day with Matthew.  We had no idea, no one to tell us, no way of knowing that our hopes and dreams were about to come crashing down, the life that we knew was over and we would never be the same again.  We didn't know that the days following this day would be the darkest we would face and we would be put in the position of telling our son good-bye and preparing for him to be put in his final resting place.  We were fortunate that this day was a good day. 

Children are this amazing blessing, a miracle that we create, be it physically or through providing a nurturing home and environment.  And far too often that blessing is taken for granted.  No one ever said that tomorrow has to be here with everyone in it.  It was never promised to us, yet we take for granted that the sun will come up, and we will go about our lives the same as we did the day before. 

If you knew tomorrow the sun would not rise as it has and your life would be forever altered, would you be happy with how today went?  If you don't feel as though you can close your eyes tonight and go to bed knowing that today you showed those you love how much you care and showed gratitude for all that you have been blessed with, the day is not yet over.  There is still time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

35 week appointment

And it went well!  Aside from that whole running 45 minutes part. 

According to the doctor's scale I've lost 1/2 lb since last week.  My scale shows I've gained 1 since last week.  But, they said they don't care about my scale since I get weighed there are the same time of day, same part of the week, each and every week.  So, I've been instructed to eat more!  As if I could.

My blood pressure was great again, 100/60.  My belly is measuring great, she was still moving like crazy and had a great heartbeat.  He was surprised by how much she is still moving considering how big she is.  I did my group B test and should have the results back at my next appointment.  I also got all of my pre-registration paperwork for the hospital and the form to fill out for her birth certificate. 

And of course, I don't know who is more excited that I got this far, me or the doctor!  He is so surprised and pleased that we were able to get passed the 35 week mark and he has no doubt that we'll skip the NICU all together this time even if we delivered today.  Our goal is to get passed Sunday and then we're golden!

After my appointment I had an appointment to get my dtap vaccine (prevent whooping cough and tetnus) in Roseville.  So, to pass the time I went to BRU and picked up some more diapers (yay to Alicia for the BRU coupons!) and a super sweet outfit.  Then the Carter's in the same parking lot.  And from there I headed to Target.  I picked up some more nursing bras and a few of the final little things we need for her arrival. 

And that's it really.  We go back in another week when we'll get our last p17 shot :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

35 weeks down, 35 days to go!!

(Ignore the quality of this picture, I took it real quick so I could change my clothes lol)

How far along? 35 weeks!  35 days until my due date, 4 weeks/28 days until I will have her!
Weight gain/loss: 40 lbs.  Gain obviously lol.  But, I've reached the point where I'm not at all hungry.  Ever really.
Maternity Clothes?  Every day :)
Stretch Marks?  Nope.
Sleep? None.  I miss sleep.  I am up every hour to use the restroom or check on Kaitlyn.
Best moment this week?  I feel like Samantha has dropped, heartburn is a little better, but I'm peeing more and my back hurts.
Food Cravings?  Milk.  And that's it really.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out, really out.  To the point where Dusty laughs at it.
What I miss?  Wine.  My doctor thinks that at this point a glass or two a week is fine (I think he almost recommends it), but I just can't bring myself to drink it.
Weekly Wisdom? Rest.  As much as you can.
Upcoming Appointments?  I go weekly now for appointments.  I have actually scheduled them through the rest of my pregnancy now :)  This week I get my progesterone, group B strep test and they will start internal exams to see if these contractions are doing anything to my cervix.

At 35 weeks, I'm to the point where they believe if Samantha is born it's unlikely she'll need any assistance.  If I go into labor, they will not stop it.  Her lungs are too developed to get or need steroid shots, which is AWESOME!  And in one week, I will have met the ultimate goals of my OB and the perinatologist.  This is all GREAT news.  In just 1 more week I can resume all normal activity.  I can walk again as much as I want, pick up and carry Kaitlyn, go to the gym, anything I want really.  Of course, I doubt I'll feel much like it :P   So, what do you think, 2 weeks ago (to the day and obviously same shirt) to this week, does it look like I dropped any?  Sometimes I feel like I absolutely did, and other times I say no.

Friday, October 8, 2010

How do you prepare for the unexpected?

I have officially been pregnant 6 times.  Those 6 pregnancies resulted in Kaitlyn, Matthew, 3 first trimester miscarriages (spontaneous, blighted ovum/missed miscarriage and chemical pregnancy) and now 34w5d with baby Samantha.  To say I was skeptical to even get out of the first trimester this time would be a huge understatement.  And after all we went through with Matthew, I was just hoping and praying that we would get further than 24 weeks before my water broke and I landed myself on bed rest or in for a long NICU stay.  I don't think I ever really expected that I would get this far.  And there are times even now when I almost don't realize how close to full term I really am.  In 16 days Samantha will be full term and can meet the world as a full term baby.  That is absolutely amazing to me.

In 6 pregnancies, this is only my second time getting past the hurdle of 33 weeks.  And really, that 33 weeks was so different than this 33 weeks.  For one, I wasn't strapped to a hospital bed this time, I didn't have to make sure that I held my urine for as long as possible to minimize how many times I got out of bed, I didn't have to have my temp and blood pressure taken every 4 hours of every day, I didn't have to spend hours staring at the ceiling, and I got to not only shower standing up, but those showers could last as long as I wanted.  Truly a blessing.

The last time I was this pregnant was 6 years ago, just about exactly.  And in that whole pregnancy I gained 15 pounds less than what I've gained so far.  I find myself questioning how much of what I feel is normal.  For example, her movements have become slightly painful at times.  Enough to take my breath away, as though she is scraping my innards with her fingernails.  My first hypochondriac thought goes to "my fluid levels must be low, this is how it felt with Matthew" and then I have to rationalize with myself "well, she is 6 lbs, my stomach is only so big, fluid has to start dwindling down at this point and my skin is so stretched it really feels more like tight pulling than anything else." and then go on with my day.

Contractions are a lot more painful and a lot more frequent.  Which, I was told at my appointment is completely normal and just my body getting ready for the big day.  Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't rather they just ease up a bit on the pain in my back, the cramping or the 1-2 minutes I spend not wanting to move, talk or keep my eyes open through them ;)

I think my biggest obstacle right now is the waiting.  It isn't that I want her born today (although if I would have ovulated a couple weeks earlier, this Sunday would have been an AWESOME birthday to have!), but more like I want to know how it all is going to go down.  Part of me has thought about sleeping on towels.  The other part worries that I'll be jinxing myself.  With Matthew, my water broke in the middle of the night and it was quite the mess.  BUT, at least it was at home.  There are times I get worried about it breaking in the car, at Kaitlyn's school, in the middle of a grocery store, at a pumpkin patch, you know, anywhere that isn't a controlled environment.  Anywhere where I would have to tell a stranger "hey, I'm headed to the hospital, mind cleaning up the amniotic fluid I left behind..."  And I'd really like to not have to do that.  And it isn't like you get this little warning that your body sends off that says "hey, in a few minutes, you're going to hear a popping sound followed by a gush of fluid, just FYI" you just don't get that.  One minute you're nice and dry and the next minute you're not.

And of course, I wonder when.  Will she share a birthday month with Kaitlyn?  Can I start planning their joint birthday party for next year?  Or will they have different birthdays?  Should I plan on having a newborn with us bundled up on Halloween, or will I waddle a few houses with Kaitlyn, let Dusty finish up and pass out candy so I don't pass out in the middle of the street?  And birthday parties, how can I RSVP without knowing if we will even be able to go?

With Kaitlyn, it was different.  We had more than one false alarm trip to L&D, including the morning she was born!  I've been able to avoid that this far, but how likely is it that I will go in for a false alarm this time?  Or too early and just be miserable?  And with Kaitlyn, it wasn't a big deal, Dusty was already off for FMLA, so he was always there with me and it didn't really matter if we went in at midnight or 2 PM.  It was just us.  And obviously with Matthew, Dusty was there every single night and no more than 20 minutes away during the day, I could easily hold a cesarean off for 20 minutes for him to get there.  And Kaitlyn couldn't be in the room regardless, so again it didn't matter what time of the day I delivered.

But this time, this time it's different.  Kaitlyn is 6 and she's in school.  And this month alone she's already missed 4 days (1 for a migraine and 3 for pink eye and a cold) so ideally, she would only miss the day I deliver, if that. 

In the perfect world, I would deliver on a Saturday morning.  Around 10 I would go into the hospital, already showered, put make-up on, Kaitlyn would already be showered and dressed and in the time Dusty is showered and dressed, I could have the car seat and our packed bags by the door.  I would go into labor and delivery, already well dilated, start pushing in a couple of hours and 3 pushes later we would hear her cry and she would be placed on my chest, Dusty would cut the cord, they would weigh her, clean her off and then Dusty could hold her and then Kaitlyn followed by our moms and the rest of the family.  Kaitlyn can spend the night with a family member, Dusty can stay with us without guilt, Kaitlyn can visit the next day and we'd be discharged and she wouldn't miss any school and we wouldn't have to ask anyone to take her out of their way to get her there.

Of course, unless it's October 30.  And in that case, it would be more ideal to go into labor late Friday afternoon so I could be discharged prior to Halloween because I would hate to miss Kaitlyn trick or treating this year.

And that really leaves only 1 Saturday after 36 weeks (and it would be really nice to get passed 36 weeks), which is October 23.  Which is putting a lot of pressure on one day.  So, then I think about it and I would be ok with a weekday birth, IF I went into labor around 3:30.  I would have already gotten Kaitlyn from school, Dusty could get home and get us to the hospital before traffic got too bad, we could have a quick labor, deliver around dinner time or maybe a little later, spend time together and Dusty could go home with Kaitlyn, take her to school in the morning and then be back with us.

That is how my mind works.  I need to have the answers.  I need to know how it is all going to work out.  I need to know every little detail of how it is going to play out, when it is going to play out, what details do we need to work out?

Obviously, I have some severe control issues.  Severe control issues.  Oh what I would do for a crystal ball...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

34 week OB appointment

And it went great!  Weight gain is up to almost 40 lbs, I'm sure we'll pass that by my next appointment!  Uterus is measuring right on target, blood pressure is at 100/68 and my urine dip was good.  I was sent to do a Urine Analysis immediately after my appointment though because of my experience the last couple months with UTI's we want to be sure the last of it is all gone :)

We had the opportunity to discuss labor.  Contractions have definitely picked up and gotten more painful.  At this point (34w3d) they will not try to stop labor, so I just need to see if there is a pattern, it's close enough and then take our bags and head in to L&D if it's time.  We made a decision regarding the whole VBAC vs. Cesarean dilema.  He agreed that a VBAC is a great option for us and there is no reason, as of right now, why it wouldn't be feasible.  His question: If it turns out that I get to 41-42 weeks, what will *I* want to do.  Will I want to try to wait it out for a VBAC or would I want to cut it her out.  Induction is not an option because of the risk of uterine rupture and I know well enough to expect to fall into the 1% group when making any decision.  I told him, honestly, I don't want to get too far past 38 weeks.  He said that was fine with him, he would be willing to do a cesarean anytime after 37 weeks if that's what I wanted.  So, my chart has been updated to read that if I do not deliver by my 38 week appointment (Nov 3) I will get the next available surgery time and Samantha will be born.  Which means, Samantha will be here no later than November 8!!!!  That is only 32 days away!!  And this is something I feel really comfortable with.  More than anything I just want her here and healthy.  And the positive note is that it will give me at least 12 days to recover before Kaitlyn's birthday party, I don't have to worry about not being there for Kaitlyn on her birthday, their birthdays can still be close without sharing a weekend and I can know that within the next 787 hours she will be in our arms.

If we go before 38 weeks (which is still highly likely), we will have a VBAC.  It will be at Mercy San Juan and as long as we go another week and a half, she will come home with us.  Dr. Z did tell us that because it's a VBAC and because there are still risks associated, that I cannot have the room full of family I wanted for delivery.  Which sucks.  I had really wanted to at least give aunts an opportunity to be there when Samantha was born, but he said there is limited space and if something were to go wrong and I would need an emergency surgery, they want to be sure I'm easy to get to and the room is easy to clear out.  So, we are limited to 4 people.  Obviously Dusty and Kaitlyn will be there and then we will ask our moms if they would like to be.  Which of course means I need to rethink all of the camera angles I was originally thinking about...

So, there it is.  32 days, at most, until we meet our little girl.  And there is a possibility, if we go cesarean, that she could share a birthday with Uncle Scotty, Cousin Lisa or Auntie Jamie.  Lol, like we don't have enough November birthdays as it is :P

*Edit to Add*

I forgot to add the latest update regarding the Factor Leiden V!  Which is another reason we discussed cesarean.  So far, the clotting disorder has been managed just fine with simple baby aspirin.  However, he does want me to stop the baby aspirin 2 weeks before I deliver to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding after delivery.  Obviously, I want to be able to clot then to help my body heal.   He would like me to stop baby aspirin when I get my last p17 shot in 2 weeks.  BUT, if for some reason, I don't go into labor in that time, I worry about the risk of a blood clot in the placenta or umbilical cord or diminishing her blood supply by being off of the baby aspirin for so long.  I would hate to put her in a position where she wasn't thriving just so I can have the birthing experience that *I* want. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

We added a new member to the family!

And no, I did not deliver yet :P

Instead my youngest sister married her "one true love" (as Kaitlyn likes to put it) on Saturday surrounded by family and friends.  Before the wedding, Kaitlyn asked me how a wedding makes people married.  We discussed the promises people make to each other in front of everyone and to God to stay married forever.  Her response was simply that you can do that everywhere, why do you need a wedding to be married.  Finally she told me that she believed that when you kiss after the wedding, it's the kiss of true love and it makes you married forever.  I like that idea.

Wedding preparation started Friday.  Well, actually it started over a year ago, but our hard core get it done weekend started Friday.  We decorated, had lunch, had manicures and pedicures, practiced the ceremony and then had a yummy dinner before heading to the hyatt to spend the night with Samantha before she traded her last name in for another.

Kaitlyn was obviously SO excited to be the flower girl and took her job seriously ;)

Saturday morning (after being awakened by the hooker next door much too early) we all started getting ready!  Jen Edens did an AMAZING job and made sure to make it fun ;)  The non-pregnant, non-five year old girls enjoyed mimosas and we all had some pastries and fruit.

Before we knew it, the time had come to get to the wedding.  Samantha's photographers did some bridesmaid shots at the hotel and then we started walking down K street to the waiting cars that were taking us to the Capital Plaza Ballroom for the ceremony and reception.

I can't wait to see the pictures they got!

The ceremony was beautiful!  Kaitlyn performed her duties as flower girl perfectly.  She chose to sit next to Grandma and Grandpa and Great-Grandma Mauda during the ceremony and sat still pretty much the whole time.  Then, it was time for more picture taking before we headed down to mingle at the reception.

I was very proud of Kaitlyn, when they did the announcement of the bridal party.  She did her Miss America walk down the steps and then the "daddy" dance until she got to Grandma's seat.  I REALLY hope someone got pictures or video of it, I would love to see it in action.  AND, it only cost me $2 to get her to do it :P

The reception was beautiful.  Everything was perfect, food was delicious, dancing was great and everyone was gorgeous.  I really wanted to stay until the bride and groom left, but I couldn't.  Kaitlyn was passed out in a chair by 8:30 and I was finished by the same time.  It was too much for me in one weekend.  :)

And I need to give a special thank you to Dusty for being absolutely AMAZING.  Not only did he run a few blocks when both Christina and I forgot our speech in the car, but he also made sure to take care of getting all the gifts out of the venue, AND he carried a sleeping Kaitlyn to the car, got me in the car and took me home.  Then, as I got home and laid down so that I could rest and he took all the bobby pins and the hair comb out of my hair for me.  I really lucked out to marry such an awesome man.

So David, welcome to the family!

34 weeks!

Holy Moly, within 6 weeks I will go from holding my princess inside of me and nurturnig her through a cord that connects us to holding her in my arms!  How amazing!!

How far along? 34 weeks!  We're sooo close!

Weight gain/loss: 39 pounds!  I have no idea how I'm up 3 from last week, I feel like I have NO appetite!
Maternity Clothes?  Every day :)
Stretch Marks?  The ones I thought I saw last week are gone, so I don't think so :)
Sleep? I'm not getting up as much, but I'm not sleeping that great either.
Best moment this week?  I survived Samantha's wedding :)
Food Cravings?  Milk.  And that's it really.
Belly Button, in or out?  Out, really out.
What I miss?  Bending at the waist, being able to stay up past 9, wearing my wedding ring, energy.
Weekly Wisdom? One moment it will feel like 12 weeks will never get here and then, in a blink of an eye, you're down to a month and a half before your due date!!  Find something to enjoy every day of it!!
Upcoming Appointments?  Wednesday is my 34 week appointment.  I'm hoping to get all the information I need to make a labor plan :)  I *might* be going in today as well.  It looks like Kaitlyn has pink eye and I've been exposed.  I am calling when the office opens to see what I should do.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Do you have a word where sometimes you hear it and it can make your blood run cold and your body stop in it's tracks?

October can do that to me.  We went into October three years ago with such happiness and halfway into it the world as we knew it completely stopped.

Three years ago yesterday, Matthew was discharged from the PICU after a 3 day stay for an undetermined virus.  Considering that he was only 8 weeks old, premature and only a couple days past when he was supposed to be born when we took him into the ER, any fever was taken incredibly seriously and needed to be treated.  The PICU was so different from the NICU.  If there wasn't a parent there, the baby or kid was basically by themselves, the nursing staff was so much smaller than we were used to.  I literally stayed by Matthew's side around the clock.  I would leave for 45 minutes a day to take a shower and get changed when Dusty came and I would only go use the restroom if someone else was there.  We spent a lot of time cuddling, nursing and resting.

When he was discharged, it was such a great day.  In all of his labs, nothing new was found.  He still had high bilirubin levels, but that was ok.  We were just advised to nurse as much as he wanted and to take him out in the sunlight as much as possible.  Our baby was ok.

The next 15 days were wonderful.  We were able to take him to the pumpkin patch with amazing friends and have the first, and only, picture taken of the 4 of us together.  We were able to take him on the haunted train ride with our families 14 days after he came home from the PICU.  He went to Sunday dinner, he was visited by friends and family, he took his sister to school, he had books read to him, songs sang to him and had the opportunity to share our lives with us.  15 days is such a short amount of time.  If we had known that was all that we had left together, I don't know what we would have or could have done differently.  He was surrounded by love, covered in kisses and held nearly all of his waking hours.

The start of October starts the 15 day countdown to the day we lost him.  The wee hours of the morning where we found him not breathing, where we tried to save him, where we screamed for them to try to save him, where we rocked Kaitlyn and promised her everything would be ok.  How could it not?  We had already jumped through the hurdles to have him, to keep him, to raise him, how could we go through all of what we did to have him taken away?  How could the universe do that to a family?  A family that loved their baby, cared for their child and desperately wanted him regardless of what they had to do to have him?

15 days until it will be 3 years since we held him, kissed him, felt his warm, soft skin, changed his diapers, nursed him, pumped for him, prepared a bottle for him, changed his clothes, read him a story, sang him a song, tried to coax a smile from his sweet face, stared into his eyes, smelled his sweet scent, gave him a bath and listened to his coos.  How could 3 years of already passed?  How have 3 years already passed?  There are times when it feels like just yesterday we were physically living through the nightmare and there are other times that it feels like it was just yesterday.

October starts the 22 day countdown to the day where we had to watch him be put in his final resting place.  Where we had to pick out his clothes, his casket, the programs for the services and then we had to go.  We had to go and say good-bye.  We had to explain to our then nearly 3 year old Kaitlyn that Matthew wasn't sleeping, he just looked that way and he couldn't wake up.  He wouldn't wake up again.

He would be 3 years old now.  He would be running, playing, jumping, riding a tricycle, talking, singing songs, playing with Kaitlyn, starting preschool, potty trained, having his favorite movies, food and television shoes.  He wouldn't be a baby anymore, he would be a little boy.  And we are missing all of it.  How in the world is that fair?

He is also just a few weeks away from becoming a big brother.  And while I do deeply believe that he had a lot to do with finding just the right spirit to fill this baby's body, I would much rather he actually be here to have fun with her.

October also marks a few national observances as well.  October itself is National SIDS Awareness Month, and it is Breast Cancer Awareness month,  and while October 15 is Matthew's angel day, it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day.

Of course there are positive things that happened in October that can not be forgotten, and there are happy times ahead to be had in October.  But that doesn't mean a part of me doesn't want to just skip it on the calendar every year and pretend it isn't there.