Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30: Tater Tot's Due Date

Dear Tater Tot,

Today, March 30, 2011, is your due date. You were scheduled to be mine today. I think about you every day. I miss you every day. I imagine every day what it would be like if you were still here.

I imagine you being our newborn baby—our dream come true after all our dreams died. I would be holding you, and nursing you, and gazing at you, and singing to you, and playing dress-up with you.

I imagine how pretty you would be. Your brother Gabriel was the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen. I imagine that beauty in the form of a little girl. Oh, my goodness. Daddy says he would be in so much trouble.

I imagine the little girl you would become. The dresses you would wear. The curls we would tie bows in. The baby dolls we would play with. The cookies we would bake. The books we would read.

I imagine the love we would have. Mommy, Daddy, and Princess Tater Tot. The cuddle time. The fun time. The play time. The sleepy time.

I imagine your name. I knew your name. Even then. Even in our short time together.

Now, Mommy has a new baby. It’s a wonderful thing to have on the day that I’m suppose to have you, but can’t. Still, it’s strange for Mommy, even a bit confusing, the feelings I have about you and Gabriel and the new baby. I love all three of you so much. I wouldn’t trade any of you for anything or anyone. I wish I could have Gabriel back. I wish I could have you back. I never want to let go of our little Miracle Whip. That doesn’t make sense, does it? You could have never been if Gabriel hadn’t flown away. So, how can I say that I wish I could have him back and then tell you that I love you more than anything else in the whole wide world? But, I do. I am so thankful for our new baby and am so very much in love. Today, though, on your due date, I wish I had just given birth to you. I wish you were still mine. That doesn’t make any sense, either. I couldn’t have my new baby who I also love more than anything else in the whole wide world if you didn’t fly away, too.

See how confusing that is? Mommy wants all three of her babies, but one couldn’t exist without the sacrifices of the one who came before. Mommy wants all of you. Right now, though, I’m very thankful to God for the time I had with you, the time to become your mother, and for the miracle who is growing inside of me.

I’ll see you in Heaven, sweet baby. I know I’ll go to you, but you cannot return to me (2 Samuel 12:18-23).


Monday, March 28, 2011

11 Weeks 5 Days: Twitterpated

Everytime I get done with an ultrasound, I get caught in the office staring at my baby pictures with little hearts and birdies circling my head. What can I say? I'm in love.

Heartrate 172 bpm

48.98mm. Wow! Last time I was only 32 mm.

Blurry because I'm wiggling so much.

I'm starting to fill out my sac.

The blob right above me is my placenta. It's looking good!

My perfect brain. Still Mommy's favorite thing about me!

Don't get too excited. That thing between my legs is my umbilical cord.

A 3D shot.

Can you see my spine?

Look at my long leg on the left. I'm giving a big kick!

I look like a blurry blob in this picture because I refused to hold still! I've got stuff to do in here!

I'm playing peek-a-boo! See my hands beside my face?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

11 Weeks: Thump! Thump!

Don't even try to tell me that's not what I felt. I. Know. That. Feeling.

Sitting in my classroom this morning with my students gathered around me, I am focused on them, not my baby. Out of nowhere I feel two small thumps under my belly button. Was that what I think it was?

I stop what I'm doing and look down at my belly, willing it to happen again. I know that feeling.

"I think I just felt the baby move!" I tell the kids.

One girl looks at me, a little unsure. "Is that (gulp!) bad?"

"Oh, no. It's good!" I am on Cloud Nine the rest of the day.

I know what you're thinking--it was gas. NO IT WASN'T! I know what gas feels like, and I know what a baby feels like. I felt my baby!

I don't know when I will feel him/her again, maybe not for a while. But honestly, this couldn't have been a better gift that the Lord just snuck in there for me today. We are 11 weeks today--exactly the gestational age and day of the week that we found out sweet Tater Tot went night-night. March 23 is also Gabriel's original due date (March 23, 2010 actually). We, of course, know the Lord had a better due date picked out all along.

Thank you, Jesus, for Miracle Whip. Thank you for the miracle of feeling him/her living life inside me on a day that I otherwise only know with sadness.

Friday, March 18, 2011

10 Weeks 2 Days: Let's Just Take A Vote!

The fact that this kid has so many nicknames is causing me to not use any of them and just call him/her "baby" all the time. And that is driving me crazy! So, I'm going to let you vote. Whichever name wins will be the baby's nickname.

Please vote. And in case you didn't know, if you comment anonymously, you don't have to log in.

Curly Fry

Sweet Potato

Sugar Baby

Baby J

Miracle Whip

Snack Pack

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Weeks: This is Really Happening

It always seems like something that only happens to other people. Everyone else makes it look so easy. When I find out another woman is pregnant, my first thought is usually, This isn't me we're talking about, so she's just going to be pregnant and have a baby and bring it home and live happily ever after because that's what everyone else does. (Then I do stop and pray that that exact perfect thing happens for that woman, just to keep my jealous side in check.)

Now, it's me! I'm that woman! That's us! I'm having a baby and I'm making it look easy (except for the shots, of course) and I'm going to bring it home and live happily ever after.

I was sitting and waiting for my appointment after my ultrasound, looking at my pictures. A nurse spotted me from across the room and came over to tell me that I looked so pretty and glowing looking at those pictures. I guess I just couldn't stop smiling. Feels good. Actually, I think I feel fabulous.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

9 Weeks: Miracle Baby

Our baby came up on the screen, but I delayed my celebration. I saw the baby, but I first thought, "Is it alive?" I remembered seeing sweet Tater Tot just lying there. I was afraid it was the same. I'm sorry, but yes, I was afraid.

I didn't watch too closely. Then, I heard Skyler say, "I can see the heart beat right there." The doctor confirmed.

"Really?" I looked, and there it was! Then, I heard it. 184 beats per minute!

Our little baby started moving and wiggling. He/she is the cutest thing ever. The baby measured perfectly for its gestational age. Here's the best part: a perfect brain! The sonographer showed us the perfectly formed midline between the right and left hemispheres. I could see it! It is the most glorious thing I have ever seen. I have been so worried about this child's brain. I don't have to worry. God made us a perfect brain.

Thank you so much for believing for me. I have been on the phone with people all night sharing the news, and you know what? No one is surprised to hear it. Overjoyed, but not surprised. Thank you, for lending me your faith.

The head is on the right. The blackish area is the brain. The circle on the left is the yolk sac. Do you see the little arm waving hello?

The baby's head is on the left. Do you see the little arms and legs? The spot on the right is the yolk sac.

3D photo. That is our little miracle! I think he/she looks like a seahorse. Incredible, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

8 Weeks 6 Days: Laying It Down, Picking It Right Back Up

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3:00 P.M. I have another ultrasound. This one is at my regular OB's office. The last time I was there for an ultrasound . . . well, you know what happened. My mind can't stop imagining it, can't stop replaying it in my mind, except with the new baby this time. I stop myself. Yell at the devil. Tell him to get the hell away from me and my baby! Then, I have to get on my knees and ask God to forgive me for doubting Him, to help me with my unbelief, to protect my baby.

Sunday, the pastor called for anyone who was worried about their children to come to the altar and lay it down, give those worries to the Lord. I went down, prayed, and asked God to help me quit worrying and trust Him. I came home, and later that afternoon, I suddenly realized I forgot to take my aspirin that morning (I take one 81mg aspirin daily as part of my treatment for antibody syndrome). I took it, then got to thinking that I didn't take it at all on Saturday. Oh my gosh! How could I just forget? I never forget.

Monday morning I was reading my Bible before work, and the thought came to my mind that I did take my aspirin on Saturday. I remembered taking it with a tiny sip of water because I was going to weigh myself when I got up and didn't want to weigh the water. I still didn't let myself relax, just wouldn't let myself believe this little tidbit. I've been upset, tired, and stressed out ever since.

This nine week ultrasound tomorrow is a big deal. We found out Tater Tot was night-night at 11 weeks, but she only measured 8 weeks. She probably wasn't alive at 9 weeks, but we never knew. Tomorrow, when our baby is alive with a beating heart and a bigger body and kicking and moving, it will be yet another of my great miracles.

Thank you, God, for my healthy, full-term, 46 chromosome, living, breathing, vaginally birthed baby. In Jesus name.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

7 Weeks 6 Days: Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh

Goes the sound of the perfect, rapidly beating heart. 166 beats per minute.

Did I believe with unwavering faith that this is what I would hear? No. I held my breath until the image appeared on the screen. What did I see first? A big, black spot. My heart skipped a beat. It looked like an empty sac! Then, I heard the nurse say something about a swollen ovary as she moved the wand, and I saw this:

I immediately burst into tears, for I knew I was looking at my baby, and I knew my baby was alive. It had grown! To anyone, this is obviously what is to be expected. But for me, the last time I had two ultrasounds in a row, the second one showed a baby who had not grown. I was relieved today to see that all my good eating has paid off! This kid is huge!

What you see in the picture is the baby with his/her head down. The black spot on the head is the beginning formations of the brain (A brain! That is no small feat!). The circle to the right is the yolk sac. It is feeding the baby until the placenta is ready to take over.

I wish I could say that I felt completely relieved when I walked out of the doctor's office (I feel like I must sound like a spoiled brat to say that.). My husband was on Cloud Nine after hearing that beautiful heart beat. I, on the other hand, sat in the car, buried my head in my hands, and burst into tears.

"I don't want my baby to go away!" I cried to my husband.

"Our baby is not going to go away," he reassured me. "You are doing a great job, Baby Mama. Our baby is perfect. We are going to have this baby."

I believe that. Really. I do. I'm just not a "pregnancy virgin" anymore. I miss Gabriel and Tater Tot so much, and I wish they didn't have to fly away. They are the reason, though, that this new miracle is here. And I want this baby more than anything.

"Please, God. Please. Please don't let this baby fly away."