Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Out of the woods, we think.

Well, we went to the specialist yesterday and Addison is measuring big, but not out of normal range. And he said judging by Mark's large head and my large feet, we have good stock for making large babies. She is now measuring 5 pounds and 18 inches long, so she fits in the 90 percentile for size right now. He just told me to get her to come out before 41 weeks and everything should be normal.
Except for one thing. The little stinker switched from head down to breech a few days ago, so now we have to coax her to flip back around. Today my regular doctor gave me some exercises that have been shown to help convince babies to go back the way they should. I am sure she will get sick of her current position and always having her head in my ribs and she flip back around.
So, as of right now, we are no longer high risk, again. That is so nice to say! We are just so thankful and blessed for all the support we have been given and for all the prayers everyone has prayed on our behalf. There is no way we can thank you all enough.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Here we go again

Since my last post, a lot has happened in this pregnancy. First, I flunked my one hour glucose test and had to take the three hour to see if I had gestational diabetes. I passed that test with no problems. YAY! But that was a very scary week for us.
With that behind us, we thought that maybe the rest of the pregnancy would be quiet. But then we went to our next doctor's appointment and found out I have been measuring 2 weeks ahead since the doctor started measuring me. I wasn't really surprised, Isabel was a large baby and so was Mark, so it just seems natural that all of our babies would be large too. And we already knew that Addison was measuring ahead at her 20 week ultrasound, so we didn't think that measuring 2 weeks ahead was that big of deal. That is until 2 weeks later when I was measuring 4 weeks ahead...
Because of the large increase in such a short time, my doctor told us to go get a level 2 ultrasound to see just how large she really is getting. So yesterday we had the ultrasound and apparently, Addison is totally taking after her dad. I was 31 weeks 5 days yesterday, but Addison's head is measuring 35 weeks 5 days, her tummy is measuring 35 weeks 4 days, and her leg is measuring right on for where she should be. That means her measurements are averaging her at 33 weeks 5 days, or 3 weeks ahead. She should be about 3 pounds 8 ounces and she is 4 pounds 14 ounces. And while that may seem exciting to some people (she will come early!) it really isn't. Big doesn't mean developed, especially when it comes to her lungs, as my brother found out with his almost 10 pound baby that had a month stay in the NICU because her lungs weren't developed. And because I do not have diabetes, there really isn't a reason other than genetics to explain why she is getting so big and how we can deal with this growth.
So, to be safe, my doctor has scheduled me an appointment with a specialist in St. George to see what he recommends for us to do moving forward. I don't know what our options are, my doctor has the habit of being pretty silent of telling you how things really are until there is a second opinion. We are really praying I don't have to have a c-section and that I can get a healthy, term baby.
I am really tired of being a high risk pregnancy. What would it be like to go through pregnancy without thinking about the possibility of not bringing home your baby? What would it be like to never have anything go wrong, to go into baby stores and not secretly think about putting all the cute baby stuff away because something didn't go right, again. I know compared to some of my friends who have also lost a baby, my pregnancy still isn't as rough as theirs. And I have to say that I admire them all for trying again and having faith that everything will be okay, even though right now things look bleak. But for all of you that have been pregnant, you can understand how hard it would be to hear that this or that is going wrong, plus have all those pregnancy hormones swelling inside you, plus still grieving for the two babies we have lost in this journey. It is almost more than I can deal with some days.
We are asking everyone to please pray for us. Pray that we are able to get some answers as to why this happens. Pray that Addison is healthy and safe. And most of all, pray for a good outcome to all of this. We are so glad that we have so much support from friends and family and are asking for a little more at this time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Catching up...

Wow! Can it really be since July that I last posted? I can't believe how long it has been. There is so much to catch everyone up on. First of all, Mark and I are very lucky that one of our babies has survived in this pregnancy and that we are having ANOTHER girl! We are so excited for Addison Emma to get here. She is so far perfect and healthy. We thought at first we might get a pretty chill baby because she didn't move very much and was pretty patient with ultrasounds. However, that all changed one day. I think Addison and her siblings had a chat and Addison was told that we were worried when she didn't move very much because now she is way active. We have parties at like 11PM, 4AM, and whenever Dad gets up for work. I guess she is training me well for after she is born. However, this pregnancy has been rough. First of all, we lost Addison's twin at around 7 weeks. Then I started having dizzy spells all the time. Just as that went away, I started having bad hip and pelvis pain that made Mark put me on bed rest. There are days still that I can't even walk very well on my own. Luckily I have a fantastic husband that takes very good care of me!
Mark and I are STILL in Cedar City. Mark got a "promotion" at work and is now the ICU Manager. All that means is that when there is a customer that is being super hard to work with, Mark gets to deal with them. YAY? He is still looking for another job elsewhere. But, in this economy, what can you do?
Just around the corner will be Isabel's 1st Birthday. We are asking everyone interested to get a new toy and donate it to Toys for Tots or any similar program on December 22 in honor of Isabel. We like to think that some little kid is benefiting because Isabel was born. We know she would like that too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Hope We Will Be Adults Soon...

When Mark and I started at CSI 5 years ago, we were pretty naive about what would happen when we graduated. We thought that we would graduate in 4 years and land awesome jobs and get to pick where we lived. HAHAHA. Very naive of us. Here we are, 5 years later, still looking for career after 6 months of looking. And I know that times are hard for everyone, but remember when you were told that if you got a college degree, you would get a job. I think those days are long gone, but what do we do now?
There have been some other things going on too. My job got discontinued at the end of June and because we keep thinking we are going to get a job and move soon, we are hoping that everything works out okay. But Mark is getting very discouraged with everything. He has applied to many many jobs only to find out that he is one of 70 applying and one of the least experienced. We have a sneaky feeling that he will finally get a job far away from here when I am 9 months pregnant. What a great move that will be!
So we are hoping that we will soon be settled into an adult lifestyle soon.

Isabel Remembered

So June 22 would have been Isabel's 6 month birthday and here were are marching up on her 7 month birthday. I can't believe it has been that long. Sometimes I think I imagined it all. I have long forgotten what it was like to hold her and sometimes I forget what she looked like. I look through her pictures and sometimes surprise myself with how much I forget. It helps that I have a couple of people that can help me remember. I wish that more people were there to help me. Memories fade so fast when all you had was 19 hours to make them.

But, it does help me when people that didn't even know her help me remember her. We have a couple of dear friends that made me jewelry to wear when I need her near me. A very creative friend made me a scrapbook page of her pictures. And recently, we became aware of a lady in Australia that spends her free time writing the names of babies who have passes away in the sand. This month she wrote Isabel's name in the sand.

We really appreciate when people will talk to us about her. I find it very hurtful when people don't bring her up or won't say anything when I mention her. Why wouldn't I want to talk about her? She is my firstborn! So to all of those who are reading this wondering how they could possibly talk about her to me, just ask me anything about her! I love remembering her and that is the only way I may recall all those fading memories.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Duckie's Big Adventures

Okay, so if you haven't heard, Mark and I have a little rubber duckie that is just like the one we buried Isabel with. This duck has become our reminder of Isabel and we take it with us when we go places so that we always have Isabel with us. Here are some of the pictures we have of Duckie's adventures.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Isabel is a BIG Sister!

Well, we just found out that we are expecting a new addition to our family! We are very excited about the new baby, but are also worried that it may not be healthy. We are praying very hard that we get a healthy baby. Please, we ask that you pray for us too. Still, we are very excited to be parents again and can't wait to meet this little one!

Monday, April 19, 2010

It all started one year ago...

This week marks not only what would have been Isabel's 4 month birthday, but it also marks the one year mark from when this whole journey really started for us. I was thinking today about what I was doing a year ago right now. Last year on the 20th I had my doctor's appointment where my doctor absolutely insisted that my first round of clomid failed and he showed me a negative pregnancy test to prove it. I had also taken a pregnancy test that day at home that came up negative, so I knew that the test in the office would be negative, but I was so frustrated that this round had not worked. When I took my home test and it came up negative, I drop kicked it in frustration. It was all very irritating. I kept thinking how obnoxious it was that some people really have it easy getting pregnant and having child after child and her I was going to have to have another round of drugs that cause hot flashes, mood swings, and loss of money.

Still, the next day I wasn't feeling quite right and after I got out of my last class of the day I remember walking across campus to my car debating whether or not to take a pregnancy test again. I finally decided that I would take one, knowing it would be negative. However, that isn't what happened. I remember watching the second line get darker and darker and just dropping to my knees and thanking Heavenly Father for finally trusting me with one of his special spirits. I then called my doctor to let him know and was told to go get a blood test. I remember what it was like going into the hospital and getting the blood test and thinking how everything I had always wanted for my life was coming to past. I was going to graduate AND get a baby all in the same month! I couldn't imagine a better end to 2009.

That was one year ago. I can't believe that a whole year has passed, but then again, those days seem like forever ago. I look at pictures from then and think that Mark and I look so young then and how much we have aged. It is funny how death can do that to you. I feel like we were 18 when we found out we were expecting and now I feel 50.

Yet, despite feeling older even if we are just college graduates, Mark and I are expected to have ourselves together. We are expected to know what we want now and to just keep going. But that is hard to do. We want what we had a year ago, we want to be having a baby, we want to be naive and think that if you get pregnant, you get to have a baby. I am tired of people telling us that we are young and that we will have other babies. Those babies are not Isabel and there is no guarantee that we will have other children. The only guarantee that we have is that we have to keep going. But, it has been nice thinking about the past too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Important Dates

Because Isabel's life was so short, there are certain dates of her life that Mark and I will always remember. We found out we were going to have her on April 21, 2009. We found out she was a girl and that she had Anencephaly on July 29, 2009. She was born and passed away on December 22, 2009. And we laid her to rest on December 31, 2009. And today, March 15, 2010, Isabel's headstone was set into place. Unfortunately, I am in Cedar City and not in Twin to see it. I feel so absolutely awful that I couldn't be there to see it. Truth be told, I feel horrible that I left her in the cemetery. I feel like a horrible mother. And now I missed an important date with her.
Guilt is nothing new to me. I feel guilty that she was sick in the first place and that she would have to suffer to death. I felt guilty that she was stillborn. And now I feel guilty that I missed this important date. Of all the feelings I wished I was numb to, guilt would be it. Not the sadness or the anger or the loneliness, but the guilt.
I had a very good conversation with my cousin last night and he said something I think I really needed to hear.. He told me that the guilt I was feeling for everything was from Satan. I know I know this. I wasn't supposed to fix Isabel. All I was meant to do was give her a body. And I did. I tried to give her the best opportunity I could to experience Earth, but that doesn't help me feel any better about what the outcome was going to be. I still am heart broken that we didn't bring her home and that she isn't with us right now. But, I also know that carrying her to term was the only decision for us, period. We would have lost our daughter one way or another, but now I know that she was with us for as long as she could be. What a blessing to us that time was!
Still, I feel guilty, because she was with me for all those other important dates. And today I wasn't with her, and it makes me so sad. I miss you Isabel.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Over The Month Mark...

Well, last Friday would have been Isabel's month birthday. We celebrated it with snow. Every important day for Isabel so far has snow involved. It snowed when she passed and was born, it snowed on the day of her funeral, and again on her month birthday. Mark and I like to think that Isabel makes it snow so that we remember her. In a lot of ways, Isabel is like a snowflake. She is unique, like a snowflake. She came and was gone quickly, like a snowflake. And she was so beautiful, just like a big snowflake. We miss her so much. I don't think anything can compare to the pain a parent feels when they miss their child. It is like a peice of yourself is gone. I can't stop thinking about how I could have an almost 6 week old baby. But, instead, I am watching the mountains, knowing that Isabel is covering them with snow.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today has just been one of those days. It started out when I got a call from a RN that works for my insurance company doing a follow up of my stay in the hospital. Basically, she wanted to see why I was there. When I told her that I had had a baby, that opened up a whole can of worms I wasn't wanting to visit. First, I had to explain that Isabel wasn't put on our insurance policy because she had passed away. Then I had to tell her Isabel passed because she had Anencephaly (which she probably should have known because it isn't like my doctor hasn't made claims with the insurance company because of that diagnosis). From there she tried to ascertain if Isabel had Anencephaly from something I did (which really pisses me off since even the medical profession realizes that this happens even when mothers are doing everything they are supposed to, their babies can have Anencephaly) and if our future children were also at risk. THEN, she asked how soon I was planning on having another baby! Okay, first of all, she is an RN, shouldn't she either know what Anencephaly is or look it up. And secondly, it is none of her or my insurance company's business when Mark and I are going to have children. Absolutely none. I was so offended when I got off the phone. She kept asking if my doctor put me on a special diet to stop all of this, if I drank and smoke during my pregnancy since that can cause birth defects, if I was sure I took my prenatal vitamins. How dumb does she think I am? Yes, Ms. I Work For Your Insurance Company That Can Kick You Off At Any Time Because We Are Not Regulated, I was messing around while I was pregnant, eating nothing but junk and fast food, smoking and drinking. AND, she knew that we were doing fertility treatments to get pregnant BECAUSE she could see my claims for last year. UGH.

Okay, that was the first thing that happened. Then, in the mail, we got stuff from the funeral home AND the cemetery. That was rough. At least that is better than when I get baby product e-mails from even though I reported Isabel as a stillbirth.

I know that under normal circumstances that Isabel's birth would have been the happiest time in my life. And it was, but her death will be the saddest part of my life too. Getting e-mails and mail reminding me that I currently am not taking care of my daughter, who would be 3 weeks old tomorrow is as difficult to deal with as knowing that there are people out there everyday that are having babies that didn't want them or there are people that neglect, beat, or even kill their children. I just don't get it. And I know that Heavenly has a plan. I know who Isabel is and that this short time on Earth was all she needed, but sometimes, in my humanly state, I question how much He loves us that we have to carry out His will. I keep saying to myself "Thy will be done," but my body also screams "why, why, why?" I am trying. At times I know with every fiber of my being that Heavenly Father loves me, that I promised Isabel a body, that I will get through this, and that someday I will see her again and we will hug and remember how wonderful our time was together. Then at other times, I am in my Earthly state and I have pity parties for myself because Isabel passed and I am now, to the world, a childless mother.

So, in other words, it is hard to balance the eternal perspective with the Earthly consequences of it. I know that that poor RN from the insurance company probably had no idea when she made the call today that she would talk to a mother that has just lost her baby only 3 weeks ago. I know that the cemetery and funeral home sending mail to us on the same day was a coincidence. But for me, it was one big day of ugh!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Isabel's Photo Shoot Part Two

There were so many good photos, I just had to post more!

Isabel's Photo Shoot

Here are some of the pictures Jessica from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep took of Isabel. They were done right after she was born, so she still had that newborn gunk, but she is still our beautiful girl!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Story of Isabel's Birthday

So, like I promised 2 weeks ago, I am finally posting the story of Isabel's Birth. We were scheduled to come in to be induced on December 21 at 1 AM. By the time we got to the hospital, I had been having contractions in my back for an hour, but like all the contractions that I had had for the month prior to the 21st, they weren't accomplishing anything. The initial assessment was that I as not dilated at all and I was put on Cytotech, which soften my cervix, but it works slowly, so we knew we were going to be in for a long labor. We were warned the Friday before by Dr. Gatherum that inducing my labor may take a few days and based on what we found out when we got into the hospital, we started to prepare ourselves for such a labor.

However, what we were not ready for was the fact that the Cytotech would make my contractions strong and one minute apart. Within two hours of having the first does placed, I was having them every minute and I was unable to sleep at all. By 5 AM I was watching Saved By The Bell to get my mind off of what was going on (it kind of worked too!). The nurse came and placed another dose and said that I had dilated a whole centimeter. Wow! All those contractions and only one centimeter.

Dr. Gatherum came in during rounds later that morning and decided that I should be switched from Cytotech to Pitocin because maybe the Pit would make my contractions longer and stronger, but further apart so that (1) I would be able to relax more between contractions so that I would (2) dilate faster. So, at 9 AM I was out on Pitocin. Unfortunately, Pitocin did make my contractions stronger and longer, but it failed to make them spread any further apart than 1 minute. So I continued on that labor pattern for the 9 hours and I only dilated 2 more centimeters. Keep in mind, I had not had any medication to relieve the pain because in the back of my mind I knew that if I had an epidural the chance of them wanting to break my water increased and I knew that Isabel would not live until after she was born if they did that. So when Dr. Gatherum came in and told us that he felt the best option was to turn off the Pitocin at 7 PM, feed me a good meal, and let me sleep until Midnight when they would turn the Pitocin on again, I could have hugged the man! I was so tired! He also warned us that if I didn't get into an active labor pattern the next day, he would send us home and we would be scheduled for induction the next week do that we could avoid a c-section. I really was hoping that a good meal and some sleep would help my body do what it was supposed to do.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sleep or eat very well. Mark went and got me Chicken Fried Steak from Chili's, but I was only able to eat a tiny bit of it because I was still contracting. Mark was able to eat it though, so it didn't go to waste! :) Then we went to bed and I wasn't able to sleep very well either. By the time the nurse came back at Midnight to start the Pitocin again, Isabel had a surprise for us. Apparently I had be contracting every minute the whole time the Pitocin was turned off, so the nurse was hoping I had dilated some more. So she checked me and Isabel grabbed at her hand. The nurse knew that wasn't normal and got an ultrasound machine in to see what was going on. Sure enough, Isabel had turned transverse and that meant we would need a c-section. But, before they were going to call in my doctor, they called in an ultrasound tech, just to make sure the nurse was right. So for the next hour Mark and I prayed that she would flip. Sure enough, by the time the tech got there, Isabel flipped and we were able to proceed with Pitocin. To this day I wonder what would have happened if she hadn't have turned.

So with the Pitocin going again and my contractions getting stronger and stronger, I decided at 3 AM that I would try out the tub again to help manage my pain. Well, Isabel didn't want me to, so before I was able to get in, my water started leaking. That changed the game for that day completely because I would have to deliver that day or I would have a c-section. So we knew that Isabel's birthday would be December 22 for sure.

I was so tired that by 6 AM I was asking for a second shot of Demeral (I had my first the night before) so that I could sleep and maybe my body would dilate. But, unlike the first dose, I was not able to sleep, but I was drowsy. So now I was trying to relax through contractions while drowsy good luck with that! My in-laws came to the hospital a couple of hours later and while Mark went and had breakfast, my mother-in-law sat with me. During this time, she, the nurses, everyone tried talking me into an epidural because I had been in labor by this point for 32 or so hours and was only 5 centimeters dilated. I really didn't want one, but the labor was back in my back and I was so tired that by the time Mark got back from breakfast, I wanted one. Let me tell you, those can be nice, if you don't mind the side effects.

One the epidural was in place, some things happened quickly. Because I had to lay on my side, the external contraction monitors no longer worked very well, so my doctor wanted to place an internal one. We thought because my water had a leak that we could place it without affecting Isabel. However, that isn't how it worked out. After the monitor was placed my water broke and flooded everything. Seriously, there was gallons of water still in there (because of my Polyhydrominos) and everything got soaked. Because my water was now broken and they were able to really crank the Pitocin because of the epidural, my labor progressed very quickly after that. But Isabel didn't make it. I felt two kicks after my water broke and sometime between then and her birth she passed. We don't know for sure because we took off the fetal monitor, but I think I know when it happened. In hindsight, I think we all knew when it happened. But we didn't talk about it, not even after she was born. If only my stupid water hadn't had broken. Her poor body just wasn't strong enough to survive literally gallons of water gushing. Or the pressure of the contractions on her now unprotected head. In the end, I will forever question whether or not I should have gotten the epidural. But, like I have been told, we make the best decisions with the information that we have at the time. I don't know that my water wouldn't have broken on it's own or that Isabel wouldn't have survived anyway, but to me right now, I wished I wouldn't have had the epidural.
So anyway, my labor ended with a little over 4 hours of pushing. Yes, 4 hours. That means that by the time Isabel was born at 5:15 PM, I had been in labor for a little over 41 hours. So if you see a picture of me with Isabel, that is why I look so bad. But what can you do? Isabel was beautiful and BIG too! She weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces, but had she had been healthy, Dr. Gatherum thought she would have been easily over 8 pounds. She was also 18 inches long and she was missing 2 or 3 inches of cranial. So, she was our pudgy cutie!

When Isabel was born I knew that she hadn't made it, but there was still some shock there. Mark really didn't take it well. I didn't know what to feel. It was one of the most precious days of my life. I really feel Like M'Lynn off of Steel Magnolias when she said "I was there when this precious spirit entered this world and I was there when she left." I know what that feeling is like now. I just couldn't believe that just like that, she was gone. I still can't believe that.

In the end we kept her with us for 19 hours before the funeral home picked her up. We talked to her, cuddled her, slept with her, and bathed her. Everyone got a chance to hold her. We have her hand molds, foot prints, and a lock of her hair. We took tons of pictures and Jessica from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep came too. We tried to cram a whole lifetime of memories into 19 short hours. I still stare at her pictures shell shocked with how fast time goes by. Today, if things were different, I would be holding a 2 week old. Instead, I am unpacking from going to her funeral. I don't know what to think. But I do know that on December 22 I got to meet the body that held an angel and I wouldn't have traded that time for anything.