Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy and Sad

I meant to write this Sunday, but time got away from me.  But I really want to share this paradox of feelings that really sent me reeling Sunday afternoon.  I know hormones play a part of it, grief a larger part, tomorrow being May 1st a larger one still.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling truly happy for the first time in weeks.  My heart felt light, I felt happy pregnant.  Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly excited to be pregnant, but I have been feeling awful these past several weeks.  I just haven't felt myself, and even though I pulled gratefulness out of each symptom, I was irritable and moody.  But Saturday morning, I felt good.  I told Willy I was happy, wished him good morning.  He welcomed me back.

The joyful lightness of it all continued through the day.  I felt that "glow" wash over me.  I felt happy pregnant.  I was so excited for this familiar emotion that I had been longing for.  We had a wonderful day and amazing evening with friends.  And I woke up Sunday morning feeling just as great.  I was excited to be heading to church for the first time in three weeks.

Our church has greeters at the door when you walk in.  They always welcome you with a smile, hand you notes for the day, and on the last weekend of the month, there is a calendar for the following month.  I was hurried in following three boys who were excited to be there and didn't have a chance to grab the calendar.  I spent time visiting with my church family.  Then headed into worship with Colton.

In middle of the first song I noticed the May calendar sitting in the chair in front of me.  And there it was.  Mother's Day.  Then Memorial Day.  Grief came flooding in.  Raw pain began to tear my heart.  May is tough.  I've felt it's impending arrival for a while now.  But here it was in black and white.  No denying it.  The fourth Mother's Day without two of my children to give me a card with their growing handprints.  The knowledge of the build-up to a holiday weekend where flashbacks will race through my mind at every turn.  How did May get here so incredibly fast?

Then there was this battle between happiness and grief.  Being elated for the life growing inside of me right now, and the sadness for the two lives that were too short.  I came home and had one of those really hard cries.  The type that shakes your whole body.  I told Willy how I was so happy for Lil' Turkey, but so incredibly sad for Lucas and Caleb.  How something so light as a piece of paper was causing so much heaviness on my heart.  We stood there in the kitchen and just held each other, as we have done so many times throughout this journey. 

After the flood of emotions, I was left tired and confused.  To feel the two emotions at the same time is rough.  (lack of better words)  It doesn't make sense except in grief.  But May is here.  I'm blessed to be expecting baby number six.  And the crazy emotions that come when the two are combined have only begun.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Beautiful Heartbeat

There's Lil' Turkey.  You can see her/his heart lighting up.  Love love love this little baby.  I am breathing the easiest I have since the positive result on the pregnancy test. Just seeing Turkey and a beating heart renews my hope.
I know I've said it before, but it's tough being pregnant after a loss.  I was a nervous wreck this morning.  I knew that once we went in that room there was no turning back.  Up until that moment, I assumed things were okay due to my symptoms being strong and my pants getting smaller.  But once we saw or didn't see a heartbeat, that was that.   And it took a few minutes for me to find Lil' Turkey's heartbeat.  I was trying not to panic as I scanned the screen for that little flicker that means so much.  What a sigh of relief when I saw.  I held back tears of joy, knowing that so far things are looking good.
As far as how I'm doing physically, well I still claim this is the toughest first trimester yet.  The nausea is hit and miss throughout the day.  I think I am figuring out how to control the amount of energy I have, and how I best use it.  My good friend, heartburn, arrived a couple nights ago.  My pants don't fit without the belly band, or I just wear maternity pants.  And the foil taste in my mouth is still sticking around.  But every ill feeling I have just reminds me that baby is growing and healthy.  I try to be grateful for it all.
The appointment went well today.  Heartbeat 174.  Measuring 9 weeks 3 days, right on with my calculated due date of November 17th.  One inch exactly.  Lil' Turkey was sleeping for the ultrasound, so didn't get to see baby move, but I really didn't need to as long as that heart was flickering.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pregnant in the Spring


My body seems to have a knack for being pregnant in the spring.  Turkey makes #4 pregnancy due between September and November.  Before Lucas and Caleb, springtime pregnancy was no big deal. But now it's tough.  Spring arriving means their birthday is around the corner.  May is creeping up quickly and with a roar this year. 

This time of year, they are so close to the surface of my heart and mind.  I think about them throughout the day, most days.  I'm not so graceful when I answer questions about my current pregnancy this time of year.  The questions about this is what number of pregnancies, or how many kids have you had.  Three boys at home, you might still get that girl.  I just want to put my hands on my hips and say, "I've had FIVE boys."  And most months throughout the year, I only wish to say it, but in April and May, I most likely am saying something along those lines.  I've informed so many people the last week or so who ask how my fourth pregnancy is going that this is actually my fifth.  I often let them know it's my fifth, and that it's tough this time.  Then afterwards, I feel a little guilty for not filtering my words and just letting theirs slide by.

And there is always the age gap question.  Why so many years between your first two and Simon and this one?  I try to dance gently around it most the time, but lately I share my two baby boys with whoever is asking.  I grip their necklace (which I wear most days throughout the spring) and explain to them we lost two baby boys four years ago.  And I always feel like I've ruined their day or something.  But being emotional and getting into grief season, I just let it all pour out.

We've already received some looks and comments when people notice we're having our "fourth" child.  I often want to add to their shock by telling them baby is actually number six.  And if it's a random stranger in the store who asks me if Lil Turkey is number two, I find my self saying number six.  Because Lucas and Caleb were here, they count, their pregnancy mattered.  It took it's own toll on my body as have the other pregnancies. 

So there's my sharing for the week.  I'm not planning on weekly updates this time around, but maybe on even or odd weeks, or just when I find the time to share.  I am sure more posts over the next couple of months will deal with grief, though I am really trying to focus on the joy of this life growing inside of me.  I am so grateful for this little one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lil' Turkey


Soooo, since we aren't sharing for some time....a couple of weeks...I am just going to make this a rolling post about the first few weeks of my pregnancy with Lil Turkey.  That way I'm getting it all down, and if you want, you can read it.  It's not a boring read, unfortunately.  I don't have textbook pregnancies anymore.  Wish I would have enjoyed that fact about the first two a little more.

March 8th,
We found out this afternoon that we're expecting baby number SIX.  Wow, baby number six.  Nickname is Lil Turkey since due date is Nov 17th.  We've been trying for six long months.  This is the first time we've really had to work at becoming pregnant.  I'm going to be honest, I've whined along the way to some close friends.  I've worried some, and been frustrated a ton.  I talked with my Dr L on the 3rd about it at my annual appointment.  She at that time reassured me she would see me again soon. 

I took a test after having a bloody nose for three morning straight.  My tried and true pregnancy symptom.  I tested three days early, knowing it was a long shot, but there it was, a faint, but definitely there positive result. I was instantly over the moon excited.  I showed Willy, and he confirmed what I was seeing.  He grinned and said, "Yup, we're having a baby."  Then it was quickly hush-hush because the boys came rumbling down the stairs. We decided to hold off telling them and most everyone until April for our reasons.

March 11th,
I started spotting some last night.  It was a little old blood, about the same I had with Simon.  It's continued today, but I'm not really concerned.  I did this for weeks during my first trimester with Simon, starting on the same day of the pregnancy.  I'm going to take it a little easy, but it's spring break, and I am sure all is fine.

March 12th,
This morning was AWFUL!!!!  I woke up and started bleeding.  Really bleeding a lot.  For an hour I was in and out of the bathroom, sure I was losing the baby.  I was texting back and forth with Dana.  Willy's mom was here, so I couldn't really use him for support. And she's had an early miscarriage, so she knew how to help me though it all.  The time passed, and I passed a clot.  I told Willy the baby was gone.  We told his mom about the baby and that I had lost it.  The tears flowed, my heart was ripping. 

The bleeding then just stopped.  An hour passed, and still nothing.  I called my Dr's office and the triage nurse s sounded perplexed and told me to come in to have my levels tested.  We had plans for the day to take the boys to an indoor water park in Branson.  I stopped on the way up there to have the blood drawn.  Still no bleeding. I ran into my nurse, Wendy, while there.  I told her what was going on. She offered me a big hug and told me she'd watch for my results and call me later.

We went up there and had a great time.  I checked my phone once an hour to see if the Dr had called.  At 4:53pm I received a call from my nurse.  I was feeding Simon a snack and my phone rang.  My progesterone was 11.4 and my HCG was at 193!  I could Dr L in the background.  She kept telling Wendy, "Tell her I told her we'd be seeing her soon."

I am on cloud nine.  I didn't expect those numbers at all.  Dr L is very happy with them.  Now to only wait until Friday when we do the second draw.  386 is the magic number.

March 14th,
I woke up early this morning to have my blood drawn.  I was hoping to have the results in time for the weekend.  Wendy called about 1:30pm.  The first words out of her mouth was, "They more than doubled, Carrie!"  YAY!  My HCG was 414!!!!  Everything number wise is wonderful, couldn't ask for better.  Dr. L. was again in the background telling Wendy different things to say to me.  I love that my OB team is so wonderful and excited about this little baby.

I also started to feel some nausea this afternoon.  Just a little, and it lasted for about an hour or so.  But it helps me to know that things are going well.

March 16th,
Church today brought something I've been needing throughout this pregnancy so far.  It's so hard to feel this is all true without being able to call my grandma and celebrate with her.  I know she would be so happy, yet she'd let me know that this really needs to be our last one.  She'd also be praying for a baby girl this time.  I have yet to really grieve her absence, until this morning.

The worship team at church began singing Amazing Grace.  The song that was played at Lucas and Caleb's service and at grandma's service.  And the tears began to pour out.  This song holds so much for me.  And everything that had been waiting just below the surface was released.  As hard as the emotions were to feel, I did need to work through it all.  One thing that is consistent about grief, is that eventually you have to feel what you need to feel in order to move forward.  You can't just skip the parts you don't want to deal with. I am grateful for this, even though it's tough. 

March 17th,
I'm not spotting anymore!  It's a little earlier in the pregnancy as compared to Simon's, but I'll take it.  And it's a great way to arrive at 5 weeks!

March 19th,
All day nausea has hit and hit hard.  I've felt awful all day today.  It's still tolerable, but it's the ick of it all. I've been napping daily this week.  I was really hoping I had another week before these symptoms kicked in, but I'll take it as it means that lil Turkey is growing.

March 21st,
I was up all night last night throwing up!  All night long.  I feel a little less nauseous this morning, but I'm wiped out.  I move between the couch and bed.  I have no desire to eat, and I am trying to keep fluids going in.  I'm beginning to wonder if this is something else, or if it's a little girl in there making me so sick.

March 22nd,
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good.  Then by around noon, the nausea came back full force.  By 4:00, I was giving up.  I had to go to Urgent Care for relief.  I was so miserable, there was  no way I could do this without some medical intervention.  I hadn't eaten in over a day, and I knew that baby was going to suffer soon.  They hooked me up to an IV for fluids and gave me a dose of Zofran to begin with. After an hour, the nausea had not let up, so they gave me a double dose of Zofran through the IV.  Then they took a urine sample and found that I have a UTI.  My blood work, progesterone and HCG levels looked great though.  The second dose of Zofran didn't touch the nausea much.  I left with a prescription for anti-biotics and another anti-nausea med. And I was able to have a decent night's sleep.

March 24th,
I'm catching up on sleep and my appetite is back.  But the spotting also came back this morning.  At first I panicked some, my heart sunk a little.  But it's nothing out of control.  I know this is part of my pregnancies since Lucas and Caleb.  I'm keeping an eye on it.  I'm 6 weeks pregnant with lil Turkey today.  I'll start the belly pictures today.  There's a little bump going on.  Being my fifth pregnancy, my body knows what it's doing.

March 31st,
Seven weeks today.  It feels like such a milestone.  So far from four weeks and so much closer to 13.  The last week has been pretty uneventful, the way I like it.  I am feeling more and more pregnant every day.  The nausea is usually gone by 4 or 5 o'clock.  Unless I totally sabotage myself and eat something that I know will probably make me sick...or wait too long to eat something at all.  I'm napping daily, it's the only way I make it to dinnertime.

We have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday.  It's the whole financial obligation and medical history appointment. And of course they'll make me pee in a cup to confirm my pregnancy.  Even when we've already done so with beta testing a few weeks ago.  Then we'll schedule the ultrasound, maybe even for next week.  I am sooo ready to see Lil Turkey.

We're going to tell the boys probably tonight.  I figure I'll post this post Wednesday after the appointment.  It's getting hard to hide it all now.  Between my exhaustion and growing bump, it's time.  I'm excited to share with the world.

April 2nd,
Dr appointment today.  Just the money stuff and pre-natal education.  Plus the five vials of blood taken from my arm.  All went well.  The ultrasound is scheduled for the 17th, which means two more weeks to wait to see a heartbeat. 

My nurse happened to walk by the office while I was sitting in there and was just so happy.  She hugged me so tight and practically was jumping up and down with excitement.  I love her!  And her excitement is just what I was needing.

The nurse that does the educating was a new one from last time I was in there with Simon.  I have to say the office needs her, every office needs her.  We were sitting there getting ready to do pregnancy history stuff.  She confirmed it was my fifth pregnancy.  Then she paused, and said that I have four living children at home.  I kindly corrected her and said no, three.  She gasped, and started looking through my charts again.  She said that she knew Lucas was stillborn, but nothing was said anywhere about Caleb passing.  She was very apologetic, saying that she tried to have all this ready so we wouldn't have to spend much time re-visiting it all.  She seemed upset that my chart didn't mention Caleb not making it either.  I love that she tried to do her homework before we came in.  I've never had someone try to be prepared.  And her sincere apologies were more than the pat, "I am so sorry." that we usually receive.  It made it all so much easier in it's own way.

I know this has been a lot to read.  Hope you feel caught up in the past three weeks.  Wow!  We've managed to hide this 95% or so for three weeks.
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