Monday, May 24, 2010

Decoration Day

We decorated the cemetary where most of my family is buried this weekend.

Including Shyla.

I worked on her flowers for about a hour and a half before we went to the cemetary and I think they turned out pretty.  I was afraid the arrangement would be too little...but now I think it is almost too big.  I forget how small her little rock is.

While making her arrangement, I blistered my right hand from using the wire cutters so much and blistered my left hand from hot glue gun burns.  It was tedious work.  And I loved it. 
There is not much in this world I get to toil over for her.  But flowers I can.  And I can add all those personal touches. 

 Like a little dragonfly

This is the back of her stone. 

And here is the family. 

All of us. 


I love this pink dragonfly windchime I just happened to find.



Just like her.

This day was special.  It was one of those rare days where I could spend time, money and energy on her and it was acceptable by the general population.  That's not to say I don't spend much energy and time thinking about her and doing things in her memory often.  It was just accepted today as normal.  I was there in that cemetary, like so many others will be over the next week, grieving.

My prayers are with you mothers who will venture out to the cemetaries to decorate for your babies and other loved ones this week.  May your time there be peaceful and may you feel God's comfort closer than ever. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Random Day

Who else could have such a random day?


Birthday invitations.




Chicken Noodle Soup.

Just another day, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The March of Dimes Mission/Support group met for our first official support group meeting lastnight.  We all introduced ourselves and shared a little about our babies.  We had everyone there from a teenager who has experienced a missed miscarriage, to a stillbirth at 28 weeks due to a clotting disorder (me), to a lady whose son was born premature and had to fight and still is fighting (four years later) to live a healthy life and she also had a baby girl in December at 37 weeks, stillborn due to placental abruption. Then there was the mom who delivered her twins at 24 is now an active almost three year old and the other passed after two days in NICU and then there was the couple who joined us later and tearfully told us about the miscarraige she experienced less than a week ago at 8 1/2 weeks.  We all had our own varied experienced with pregnancy and loss, but there we sat, in that small meeting room opposite the hospital cafeteria, bonding through our grief.

I shared what I believe the three main purposes of this group are. 

1) To support each other.
2) To support other grieving parents through care packages and resources.
3) To educate the community in the matters of prematurity and pregnancy & infant loss.

So after our introductions we started to talk about the care packages.  We are currently assembling care packages for our local hospital to give to women who experience stillbirth, but I really didn't know what was available for women experiencing miscarriage.  Come to find out...nothing.  The lady who had the most recent miscarraige said they gave her a stack of papers about pain management after the D & C and medical stuff and she just happened to find the brochure about the MoD Support group among those papers.  So we started a list of what we might include in these packages. 

This is where I need some help.  I know many women that have felt the pain of miscarraige and I would like your input on what to include in these packages.  If something was given to you during your time at the hospital or the doctors office that was particular helpful, what was it?  Or what do you WISH you would have been given at that time?  Thank you all for your input!  If you have thoughts to contribute, leave a comment below or friend me on facebook and we can talk.

I will be making a request later in regards to our "education" goal and I know lots of you have great ideas in this area as well!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

High Risk

(This post is in no way hinting that I'm pregnant.  I'm not.  I'm just trying to find the best doctors and facilities before I get pregnant.)

This has been a LONG weekend, but as promised, here is an update from my new doctor!

The facility is amazing!  Everything is brand new and part of the building is actually still being finished.  They have free valet parking and security guards on site to help in any way needed.  They even directed me to where the office I needed to get to was.

As I entered the office, I felt peaceful.  It was really beautiful and there were at least four preggo women sitting in the waiting area.  That was actually reassuring.  I listened as the nurses would call back mother after mother and greet them by name at the door.  Ask them how they were, compliment their maternity clothing, ask about their other kids or husband.  It was nice.  But as they exchanged pleasantries, I wondered what their stories were.  I mean, there was a reason that each and every one of us were in that room together.  In the waiting room of a High Risk OB.

I noticed that after about seven women got called back that we hadn't noticed any of them coming out and I began to think that we were going to be there a while.  Just then, the door came open and they called me by name.  My greeting was different.  I was the only on there obviously NOT pregnant and new to the facility, so they kind of tiptoed around the pleasantries until we were in a semi-private location to take my weight and blood pressure (both were fine).

The nurse asked me a few basic questions about both of my pregnancies and asked about and birth defects in my family.  Her eyes got big when I boasted about my 8 lb 14 1/2 oz son who was born healthy at 39 weeks and she lost eye contact when I mentioned how different it was to hold my 28 week, 1 lb 11 oz daughter.  Then, she walked us to the consultation room where I saw that amazing photo and things got more personal.  She asked lots of questions, but had obviously read through the forms I filled out before my arrival.  She talked about my extreme swelling and weight gain and any other odd symptoms I had.  Then she said the doctor would be right in.
Immediately when he came in the room I knew Dr. BC would be the "one".  He greeted us while a smile and a handshake and got right to business.  I had two pages of questions to ask him, but decided a lot of the Lovenox questions could wait until I actually was ready to use the blood thinner.  So here, to the best of my ability, is a brief summary of what we decided.

*More than likely, I also suffered from pre-eclampsia that sat in between my 24 and 28 week Dr. visit (that is why it went un-noticed).

*I will take aspirin until around 18 weeks of all subsequent pregnancies and at that time add Lovenox blood thinners to the Rx.

*I will also need 1mg folate in addition to regular prenatal vitamins to counter the MTHFR.  Since I am heterozygous for the C677T variation, he did not think I am in need of extra B-6 or B-12.

*Dr C (who is my regular OB and only about 45 minutes from home) will see me every 2 weeks from the very begininng of subsequent pregnancies and at around 22 weeks I will see Dr C. one week and Dr BC (High Risk OB 2 hours away) the next week.  So I will see some one every week.  At around 30 weeks, I will see Dr C once a week and Dr BC once a week (for example: Dr C at 30 weeks and Dr BC at 30 1/2 weeks, then back to Dr C at 31 weeks and Dr BC at 31 1/2 weeks).  At this time, I will probably start having non-stress test and fetal monitoring at every visit. 

*Dr BC will do ultrasounds to monitor blood flow and if at anytime past 24 weeks he detects a clot, we will be monitored and delivered soon there after.

*If I reach 37 weeks with no signs of labor, clotting, and/or fetal distress, I will stop the blood thinners, an amnio will be done (to check fetal lung development) and if the baby's lungs look ready, I will deliver then.

*He said I could call anytime with questions and I feel very sure he is very proactive and hands-on.

So, over all, great news.  I know that there will be lots of driving near the end of future pregnancies, but it will all be worth it and I will have the peace of mind of being monitored very closely.

I just realized that while I am gushing over this new doc, I don't think I have ever blogged about my other experience with a perinatal specialist...

Ugh.  To summarize...back in October, just 7 weeks after my daughter was stillborn, Dr. O told me I would never know what happened to her because I chose not to have an autopsy.  He told me that, "If what I was telling him is true..." my son should be dead and I will probably experience this again.  He treated me like I was lying and told me that he would only see me 3 times in future pregnancies and never before 12 weeks because he didn't consider anything before 12 weeks a loss and basically didn't want to waste his time.

So after having something to compare the new Doc to, you can see why I'm so excited to be listened to and treated so compassionately! 

Now I know that when the time is right and God does bless us with another baby, I will have access to the best care available and two great Christian doctors.  I am so thankful to find both Dr C and Dr BC.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Difficult Case

After a rough day yesterday, I was ready for today to come!  Today, I met with a high risk OB at a hospital 2 hours away.  "Why so far away?" you may ask.  Because it is still the closest one to where I live.  So hubby and I took off work and made our way up to the Women's hospital.  We got their about a half hour early, so I went over my notes and questions I wanted to ask him.  All two pages of them.

We made our way into the facility, which I am highly impressed with.  They have complimentary valet parking and I saw at least two uniformed security guards on the grounds.  One even sits at the information desk.  I checked in, paid my co-pay and waited.  When we were called back, they got my weight and blood pressure and asked some basic family history questions.  It was obvious they had already looked over the large amount of paperwork I had turned in when I signed in.

The nurse took us to a consultation room where she asked me to tell our story.  I did.  I'm getting used to telling it and today wasn't as hard as it used to be.  Thank God!  Progress!

After a few minutes going over things with her, she said she would get the Dr. and he would be in shortly.  As she left the room, I noticed a peice of artwork on the wall opposite the door. 

A doctor, wrinkled brow, studying patient files, medical books and his microscope.  Over his shoulder, an image of Jesus pointing at the answers.  It was called, "The Difficult Case".  I was amazed!  Luckily, I had my camera in my purse!

More to come on the actual appointment later!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

It is hard to describe the feelings I have had today.  It's been rough.  I just need to vent...

I have had a semi-blackout by choice this weekend.  Barely checked my facebook or email.  I just needed a break.

Please don't think I'm begging for a hundred notes of encouragement of how great a mom I am or anything, I just need to vent...

I hated hearing, "Happy Mother's Day" this year.  It made my heart wrench and my teeth clench.  Why should I be celebrated as a mom when I could not even do the most basic of motherly tasks...bring my baby, living and breathing, into this world?  It was my genes that are the reason she is not here.  My own body.  No one would ever celebrate a mother who harmed her own children.  I know my situation is different, but the thoughts have crossed my mind. 

Today was hard.  I'm just being transparent and honest.  It was ugly, it was emotional, it was real.  I kept it together part of the day.  But first thing this morning, we were all ready for church and I just emotionally melted down.  I needed a good cry. But...we missed church because of it.

Then coming home from visiting my mom and grandma today, we stopped at the cemetary.  I cried some more.  I apologized.  I wanted to feel her in my arms so badly today it was painful.

Today caught me really off guard. 

I really wasn't expecting that.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Angel Baby Names

A big thank you to Laura at Angel Baby Names for creating these beautiful images of Shyla's name!  Beautiful!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Before the Morning

I'm a believer in music.  In lyrics.  Every life has a soundtrack.  Music has been a very key part of my grief and my healing.  My praise to my Lord and my cries when I could not put words to my feelings.  I just love music.  Lately, I have been finding lots and lots of songs that are speaking to me stronger than ever and I just feel like I need to share them. 

The first time I heard this song I cried.  I usually get teary when the word "Joy" is mentioned in a song.  Ironic?  Maybe.  Done in love?  Definately!  I hope it speaks to you too (You can listen to the song by turning your speakers on).

Before the Morning
By Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,

if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming
so hold on, you got to wait for the light

press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming
so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning
yeah, yeah,
before the morning,
yeah, yeah

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
memory, memory, yeah

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming
com'n, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the hurt before the healing
the pain you've been feeling,
just the dark before the morning
before the morning, yeah, yeah
before the morning

If you would like to hear the amazing story behind this song, click here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Eight Months (AKA Bring the Rain)

That's how long is has been. 

I've thought about Shyla a lot today...even before I realized today was the 2nd.  It has been a pouring rain for two days now and things are starting to get flooded.  I wondered if all the rain would wash away the grass seeds Ben and Ethan sowed a couple weeks ago at her grave and wanted to go visit, but I know the cemetary would just be a muddy mess right now.

The lyrics to Bring the Rain by MercyMe have been on my heart since the downpour last weekend at the March for Babies.  I know I have talked about this song before, but I think today is an appropriate day to look at the lyrics again.

Bring the Rain

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain

So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty


Today is also International BabyLoss Mother's Day.  So I thought of you my friends.  I pray today was kind to you and that you experienced God's love, peace and comfort today and always.  Big hugs for all of you beautiful Mothers out there!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grieve Out Loud

Grieve Out Loud launched today!

This website was created by and is ran by mothers who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.  We are a group of moms who just want to support other moms.  Things to look for on the site are book reviews, resources and information about a pen-pal program.

I learn so much from other moms and I am honored to be a contributor for this site.