Monday, December 31, 2012

Partial Release

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I haven't cried since last Thursday morning when we confirmed that Adam's mighty heart had indeed stopped beating.  And that was but a brief cry before being admitted into labor and delivery.

About 30 minutes ago, Scott came to me and told me that Sam had just taken our memory bag upstairs.  He overheard Sam take Adam's tiny hat and tiny diaper that I made out of the bag and tell his buddy "I can't believe my mom did all that and the baby still died."

And I cried.  

I cried for my son.  I cried for all the pain that he doesn't understand nor know how to process.

I cried just a little so I could be strong for him.


And about 15 minutes ago, the funeral home delivered Adam's ashes. Scott, Sam and I were given two little boxes.  

The funeral home gave us a plain white box with ashes that we'll scatter into the ocean when we return to Topsail Island this summer.  Topsail Island...where this journey began.  Topsail Island...that was my husband's beautiful, perfect idea. 

We were also given a sweet little urn with a small amount of ashes especially for Sam.  When I explained to Sam about cremation and our plans, he asked if he could keep just a small bit of the baby's ashes.  

I'm telling you, that child has always been wiser beyond his years.

 
As we finished up with the funeral director, Sam asked to see the ashes.  We opened up the white box and pulled out a little bag filled with all that is left of my beautiful baby boy. Well, all except Sam's small token.  Sam regarded the bag for just a moment and then slowly walked away without a word.

And again I cried.

But this time I cried for me.  

All I've been thinking about as I've looked at Adam's pictures over the last few days is one, heartbreaking thing. For as long as I held him and talked to him and tried to lock in every last detail so as not to be forgotten, I wish I had held him longer. He was beautiful. He was peaceful. He was mine.  He had the cutest little lip hiding the sweetest little tongue.  I couldn't stop smiling and marveling at my child and loving him and telling him all about his family and thanking him for watching over us as he walked with God. And it took every fiber of strength I had to pass him back to the loving arms of the nurse.

Letting go of him was hard because I knew the next time I'd see him, it would be in a little white box. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sam's First Piano Recital

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Yesterday was Sam's very first piano recital!  And I had no idea how exciting the day would be!  On Saturday we went shopping for a new outfit and I swear he looked just like Scott when he was all dressed up and ready to play! He just took my breath away!

And for our families, and anyone else interested, here's the short video:





Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Praying for a Miracle Today

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Today is the day we've anticipated for a very long time.  Today was supposed to be our first ultrasound since finding out we were pregnant.  Today was supposed to be the day that Sam joined us as we found out the sex of the baby.  Today was just supposed to be normal.

And I am fighting like crazy to make this day everything we wanted it to be and everything Sam has looked forward to.

Because this is Sam's baby.

This is the baby he has prayed for.  While Scott and I had become content with our family of three, the only tears I ever shed were when Sam would be sad about not having his own brother or sister, his own "always home and ready to play" friend.  That's when I cried. And Sam just kept on praying.  So we've joked all along that this was his baby, that he got me into this wonderfully surprising condition through all his prayers and his heart's desire.

 I'm also praying desperately and humbly for a miracle.

I'm pretty sure that both of my doctors did not think we'd make it to this day.  But my little fighting angel has sure showed them!  And come what may after today, at least we made it this far.

While I am also preparing myself for what seems inevitable, I can't help but hold onto faith and the fact that God has blessed me with a life beyond anything I'd ever imagined. Surely he can bestow one more blessing upon me.  Before two weeks ago, I've always refused to ask God for anything for myself.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I pray for strength and serenity and I pray for friends and have no problems asking for specific things for them. Just not for myself.  But in the last two weeks, I have prayed and begged for a miracle that only He can deliver.  I have prayed for the life of my child.

Nothing would make me happier than to walk out of today's ultrasound with some small bit of evidence that things were improving.

So, in a few hours we shall see.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Post I Wish Were Not True

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I used to blog all the time.  And I LOVE writing and recording our lives here.  But sometimes life gets in the way and I drop out for a while.  I've been so completely exhausted with this pregnancy that I have hardly been at my computer, much less taken the time to document this most special event.

And of all the times I neglected writing and all the events I've neglected recording, I will forever most regret not recording the last few months.

For those closest to me, I offer sincere apologies that you may be hearing our news here.  I simply cannot endure having to say some things over and over.

Tuesday, Scott and I had a regular OB appointment and Dave surprised us by pulling the ultrasound machine in the room so we could find out the baby's gender.  He was immediately concerned and quickly sent us to another room for a more advanced ultrasound.  There were some serious concerns about what we could see and he got the specialist to rush us in first thing Wednesday morning for an even more advanced ultrasound and a possible amniocentesis.

Basically, the baby is filled with too much fluid.  It probably started as two big cysts at his/her neck and has just spread from there.  Everything structurally looked perfect but he (?) also has extensive edema. My precious baby is incredibly swollen. In the next few weeks, his perfect little heart will not be able to pump against the pressure of the fluid and he'll pass away.  I'll then be induced and will deliver.

But for now, we wait. And pray. And hope for a miracle.

We are of course heartbroken.  I am only surviving because I know that God has a reason for making this a part of our journey.  I'm not sure what the reason is yet, but I have faith that one day we'll understand it.

Within a day or two I will post more about my feelings and how we are all processing this news.  


Monday, October 8, 2012

Two Miracles in One Week

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This is Part 1 of our story.
Coming soon:  Part 2--This is Sam's Baby

I have to agree with a friend of mine who told me "I truly believe that the Lord loves to bless us with something extra special AFTER we come to a place of contentment with the current place he has us."

 Either that, or God has proven to me that he has a sense of humor.

Here's the short version:
  • 2000--We started trying to get pregnant. Actually formed one of those pregnancy pacts with two of my girlfriends!
  • 2002-04--Three, possibly 4, miscarriages and 1 D&C led us to a fertility specialist.
  • 2006--Our first, very successful IVF attempt blessed us with Sam!
  • 2010-11--A failed frozen embryo transfer and a failed IVF attempt maxed out our insurance benefits.
  • August 2,  2012--While at the beach on vacation, we celebrated 15 years of marriage with Lomi Lomi massages among other special gifts.
  • August 15, 2012--Accepting that we'll simply never need all that space, we finally downsize our minivan and trade it in for the CR-V
  • August 18, 2012--After taking three pregnancy tests, I finally accept that I am indeed pregnant.

Yes, after reaching a state of pure contentment with our lives, we have indeed been blessed with our own little bundle of surprise!  Or, as we like to call it, the anniversary gift that keeps on giving!

But the miracles didn't stop with us getting pregnant!  A week after finding out, I had an ultrasound--early, at a day short of 6 weeks, but warranted given my history.  My blood work had been so strong all week, that we were all expecting to see a heartbeat.  What we found was an empty sac. Nothing whatsoever was there. No baby, no heartbeat. Another ultrasound was scheduled for 5 days later to confirm that the pregnancy wasn't viable.

I wasn't surprised at all.  I had prepared myself for bad news. Those who've had miscarriages know the feeling. But it's funny. Scott spent the 5 days preparing for the worst news, accepting that it wasn't meant to be. But as each day came and went, I grew more hopeful. And I can't explain why.

It is hard to describe the feeling I had as soon as the ultrasound image appeared and you could clearly see our baby with the strongest little heartbeat!  Not only that, but the measurements aged the baby perfect for our timeline at 6 1/2 weeks!


We sat in Dr. D's office and prayed and cried!  He had no medical explanation for what happened and had already prepared himself to have a very different conversation with us. Dr. D is one of our very best friends so emotions were heightened all around and it was simply a beautiful day!

So, here we are at 12 weeks!  Scott and I went to hear the baby's heartbeat this morning and are now shouting our news from the rooftop! 

I can't wait to write about Sam and the pregnancy so far, but for now, we're just celebrating our two miracles!!

Oh! I almost forgot!  The baby is due on April 21, 2013--Sam's 7th birthday!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Hate the Easter Bunny

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I have a really hard time wrapping my head around the whole Easter Bunny concept.  I just don’t get what exactly the Easter Bunny has to do with this most significant day.  And I’ve worried this year because Sam has totally noticed all the Easter Bunny Hoopla  and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the situation.  I just can’t bring myself to perpetuate the Easter Bunny myth but I wanted him to have an Easter Basket.  Thankfully, a conversation with a very special friend guided me in the right direction. Forevermore, Sam will know that his Mama and Daddy give him an Easter basket because we love him, just as God loved us and gave us his son. Whew! Finally I have peace in my heart about how to handle the commercial side of Easter.  As for the EB, he’s a great character that ushers in Spring and Easter. That’s it!

EB funny 2

I love spending Easter with Sam.  We have our traditions and it’s the day I feel like I do the best job of teaching him about God. Today was probably my favorite Easter yet. 

Last night, Scott and I prepared Sam’s Easter basket.  This was my favorite basket of all time!  I went with a pirate and shark theme.

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Sam brought the basket to our bed early this morning and he was so excited! It was fun watching him pull out all the fun things I had collected for him. I carefully chose a card that I knew Sam would be able to read and was still amazed by how easily he read it!   I wish I could convince him of what a great reader he is!

Easter 2012 card 1Easter 2012 card 2Easter 2012 card 3

Within a few minutes, Sam abandoned our bed and his basket. We got up for the day and Sam came back, asking for a gift box.  “Sure, buddy, watcha doin?”  “I’m making something for you and Daddy.”  A few minutes later, he brought us a gift bag with an envelope attached.  “It’s something for you to decorate your room for Easter.”

Easter 2012-1 

The little egg he made us was precious, but it was the note he wrote that pushed me over the edge.

Easter 2012

That kid never ceases to amaze me! He genuinely felt the spirit of giving and my heart could almost burst with love for him!

Sigh.

Scott was up and out of the house soon after that to play for an Easter Service and Sam and I got busy in the kitchen!  We make “Jesus Cookies” every year.  (Read about our Resurrection Rolls here)  While they were baking, Sam and I sat outside reading his Easter story books and talking about all things Easter.

I don’t think I’ll soon forget this Easter and how I conquered the Easter Bunny  nor will I foget the look of love in Sam’s face while Daddy and I read his note and opened his gift.

Happy Easter everyone!