Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tent Fun

My sister gave Natalie this tent for her 2nd birthday. Tonight we put blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals in it (resembling her bed) and we ended up playing with all this for over an hour.

Pretending to sleep (and snoring)


Opening the tent "window"


Monday, August 25, 2008

Discipline

It is something that is becoming important in our home. Natalie is a very easy-going toddler, and minds exceptionally well. We have a lot of love, fun, and laughter in our home, always surrounding her. Mike and I say to each other often, "I love having a two-year-old!" (we've said this about every age/stage with her)

However, like every two-year-old, there are moments that require us to discipline her. Thankfully, they're always minor things, and are resolved quickly. I will admit though, it was not easy to figure out the best way to correct her. She is sensitive, and very much a tender-heart. What works for many children, I think would crush her.

I have found that most problems can be avoided by explaining 2 things to her. WHY I'm asking her to do or not do something; and WHAT she should be doing instead. Once she gets a warning, if the behavior doesn't improve, I ask her if she needs a timeout. If things still don't improve, she has to go sit on the bottom step for 2 minutes.

I used to roll my eyes at the idea of using timeouts to discipline children. Most kids would shrug off a timeout (and Natalie might someday) but for now, it works...and works well! She sits for two minutes, (usually crying loudly so everyone in the neighborhood can hear) After the two minutes are up, I put her on my lap and explain again why she had the timeout, and have her apologize. (She is usually saying "I sorry, Monnie. I sorry." between breaths before I ask) Then reassure her, tell her how much she is loved, hug and kiss her, etc. It is a process, but one that I have come to respect b/c of the wonderful results we see, and how lovingly it is done.

One of the last times she got a timeout, my parents were visiting. Afterward, when I was explaining everything to Natalie, my mom took a picture.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Testing Day

Mike and I decided not to proceed with the blood tests for clotting disorders. I have been praying about this a lot over the weekend, and although I feel we need to push for preventative answers, the closer we got to having these tests done, the more uncomfortable I felt. (and no, I don't fear needles at all)

All we know of my first miscarriage was that I had very low progesterone levels. They were borderline with my second miscarriage--although not the cause. My OB suggested (today) that we check my progesterone levels while not pregnant, to make sure they're within normal range. This way we can fix any potential problems before conception even occurs.

Once Mike and I decided this was what we wanted (b/c it's actually addressing the issue we knew of from the first miscarriage) I have immediately felt a wave of calm over me today. I told Mike this is the first time in a month I have felt truly at-ease.

Testing will happen either this week or next week.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Where to start?

I've been neglecting our website for quite a while, because I don't know how to put into words all that has been happening. I've also debated about whether or not I should openly discuss our miscarriages. Many people (myself included) feel it's a very private thing to go through. It is much easier for me to type out our experiences on here, than talk about them in person. If you're a friend of mine, you know I haven't taken phone calls in the past 3 weeks. Simply b/c, I don't want to talk about it. However, it shocks me that as painful and common miscarriage are, they aren't discussed. It's very much a hush-hush thing, and that helps no one going through it. It makes you feel very alone, isolated, and hopeless when you feel that others can't relate. So for the chance that someone else going through a miscarriage, or will in the future, I will share our story. This opinion is reinforced by my own experience of only wanting to speak with one friend of mine after this whole ordeal. This is the one person I knew who had a similar experience. She understood and affirmed my feelings. Here goes my attempt:

As I mentioned earlier, we had a 2nd miscarriage a few weeks ago. The night before we found out the baby had died, I was bleeding and I passed 2 clots. I am all too familiar with these symptoms. I have never cried so hard, and pleaded so much in my life. I was nauseated, hanging over the toilet, and desperately crying to God, "please don't do this to us again." over and over. The next morning, the bleeding had stopped again, and I was feeling better that this was just a tear in the placenta or something more minor that required bed rest. I told Mike to stay home and sleep as I went to my apt.

As the baby appeared on the ultrasound screen, I immediately recognized there was no heartbeat. No blood-flow. Nothing. I didn't think it'd happen again. I cried in my doctor's arms, as she assured me we'd figure it out. I left the office, and had to walk back through the waiting room--the sea of pregnant women. I got home and Mike and I cried in each others arms. We spent our last evening with our baby.

This baby was further along than the 1st, so my doctor wanted me to have a d&c. (she was concerned with the size of the baby that I might have trouble delivering at home, and run the risk or hemorrhaging) Medically, everything with the d&c went well. Emotionally, I would go from being very stoic and numb, to weeping. This was off and on for the next several days. I think Mike and I both, were very shocked this was happening again. You just never think anything like this could happen to you. It's a sad wisdom to realize you're not immune from anything in this world. The things you do have control over, aren't the important things in life.

Mike and I had a very important conversation after this where I asked Mike if he was angry about any of it. He said "no", and I said I felt the same way. Not angry, just very sad. We talked a lot longer and just affirmed to each other that we feel loved. Knowing that while we don't understand ANY of this, God is somehow blessing us. He knows what He's doing, and He loves us.

Despite this, I have spent the last three weeks putting on a happy-face around other people so no one would feel uncomfortable, or sorry for me. My days with Natalie have been truly happy times, then she goes to bed and I stop and try to wrap my head around what has just taken place. When Mike leaves for work at night, things get worse. I cry a lot, but worse, my mind won't stop. It won't shut up, I can't get away from it. I can't sleep. I am up until 4am most mornings. Then up again with Natalie the next morning. I am tired. Exhausted. I hate how this has robbed me of being ME. I feel old. I'm 25. Oh God, please take this anxiety away.

I had a follow-up apt this past Tuesday with my doc. My body has healed, and is back to normal. We got a phone call from her yesterday with lab results. Our baby had triploidy. Which, in short, is 3 sets of chromosomes instead of 2 sets. (2 sperm, 1 egg) This is a lethal condition for baby. As I started researching it further, I started reading the list of all the symptoms/birth defects this causes out loud to Mike. When it suddenly dawned on me that God has just given us an enormous blessing, I started to cry. Many of these babies can make it to 20 weeks or more; some make it to be born, only to die shortly after. I couldn't imagine. God has spared us from so much more heartache with the pain of this miscarriage. It is a very humbling experience to have a blessing (which you couldn't possibly have understood at the time) be revealed to you. Esp. when you pleaded with Him against it.

Triploidy is something that is considered a fluke occurrence. There is no increased risk of it happening again. B/c we got a diagnosis for this recent miscarriage, my doc doesn't think it's as necessary to proceed with blood draws to check for clotting disorders. However, I do. Something inside of me feels that we need to push for this, even if it is for peace-of-mind. We still don't know the cause of the first miscarriage. I've explained this, and she is supportive. Blood draws will be done on Monday. If they are negative, I will be happy. If they are positive, I will be happy to have an answer.

Our babies are in Heaven together. This is another source of peace.

That's our story so far.

Monday, August 11, 2008

31 years

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I hope you all have a great day together.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Relaxing

Pretending to sleep.


On long car drives, we use her portable DVD player to keep her entertained. She's rather comfy, wouldn't you say?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Our Week

I wanted to post an explanation for the prayer request. Most of you didn't know that Mike and I were expecting again. I would've been 10 weeks along now. Things were looking promising with the many ultrasounds showing a healthy heartbeat. We found out a week ago that our baby had died.

I was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and underwent a d&c. Next week will be the start of many tests to figure out why this is happening again.

Here is a picture of our sweet baby that we will hold in our arms...someday.



This is a part of God's plan for us. We don't understand it (and He knows we don't like it right now) but He is in control, and that gives us comfort and peace.