Happy Halloween 2012!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Surprised, right? Images up on the blog the DAY THEY WERE TAKEN? They were too cute I couldn't handle waiting to post these. It was a perfect night for trick or treating. Henry was TOTALLY into it, and so polite with his "Trick or Treat, thank you, Happy Halloween!". It was too cute. He pulled Claire in the wagon for a little ways and was so excited to be knocking on doors for candy. Such a change from last year where he wouldn't even put his costume on! Claire, obviously, didn't get it, but was pretty excited about her wagon ride. When people would ask Henry if he wanted some candy for his little sister, he would take it and put it in the wagon with her. Towards the end of the night someone finagled her way through a butterfinger wrapper and had eaten half of it before we noticed! Whoops! We all had a great time and can't wait until next year. Now, onto that candy! 2012-10-31_013 2012-10-31_014 2012-10-31_015 2012-10-31_017 Love this one to pieces!! 2012-10-31_016 2012-10-31_018 2012-10-31_019 2012-10-31_020 2012-10-31_021 2012-10-31_022 2012-10-31_023 2012-10-31_024 2012-10-31_025 2012-10-31_026 2012-10-31_027 2012-10-31_028 2012-10-31_029 2012-10-31_030 2012-10-31_031 2012-10-31_032 2012-10-31_033

New look.

Totally still figuring out this new template. I'm sure half the stuff you see doesn't work, and I've run out of nap time. None of that stuff on the menubar is relevant, so disregard that until I have time to figure out how to change it!

Claire's FIRST Birthday Party!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I figured that I needed to actually post Claire's first birthday pictures on the blog before I posted her second birthday pictures. I finally had a chance to quickly work on them the other week. Hopefully you'll see the second birthday party pictures sometime before next year :)

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Happy birthday, baby girl.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Today is your birthday! You are officially one year old. Though I will continue to call you my "baby girl" (because, really, I still call Henry my baby boy sometimes), you're definitely entering your toddlerhood. Walking/running, trying to communicate, snuggles and hugs and always wanting to be a part of the action with your big brother (except for the past few days with this sickness you have). A bummer you had to be sick on your birthday, but at least we got the party in first!

It's hard to believe it's been a year already. It seems like just yesterday I showed daddy those 2 pink lines, and then a few months after that I pulled that "Little Sister" onesie out of the box and we knew we were going to have a daughter. We've bought a lot of pink since that day. :)

You have brought so much love and joy to our family. We all love you so much. Your smiley face peeking over your crib in the morning and all your funny faces and giggles at mealtimes are some of my favorite parts of the day. You sure love your food (unlike big brother) and will eat nearly everything we put in front of you (but really, what was up with not wanting to dive into that chocolate cake? That took us all by surprise!).  Apples appear to be your current favorite.

You have a crazy obsession with Dora the Explorer and will smile and giggle whenever you see her face. You love your blankie, your pink bear, and any toy that belongs to Henry.

You are constantly on the move trying to get into most things that you shouldn't be and are especially eager to help mommy load and unload the dishwasher.

You have 8 teeth, weigh 20 pounds and have a bit more hair than Henry did at 1 year old. I'm hoping I can do pigtails before you turn 2. :)

Mommy, daddy, and Henry love you so much. You are our little sunshine and our lives wouldn't be complete without you.

Happy birthday, baby girl.


Come Wake Me Up.

Monday, October 1, 2012
Hatred is a fitting word. It's a strong word, not a lot of people like to use it, but it's the word I'll choose to use as it's as close as I can get to describe my feelings. Although, it barely even scratches the surface.

I HATE miscarriage. Backwards announcement? We WERE pregnant. Yes, it is with the heaviest of hearts that I report having to add another heart to the necklace I wear around my neck every day. A heart that will represent a 3rd child we will never get to meet, name, hold or watch grow.

3 miscarriages. 3 babies conceived and gone. The pain, like the first two times, is indescribable. I want to scream. I want to punch the wall. I want an answer. I want to know why this has to keep happening to me. I want to know why shitty moms on welfare, food stamps and meth can keep popping them out, but moms like me, who are good mothers, struggle to create the family of their dreams.

I had had a feeling that I should take a test, and so on August 14th, while I filled up the bath water for Henry and Claire, I took a test and 2 lines showed up immediately. I ran downstairs calling for Ryan to get in the house and showed him. Shock would best describe it. I was probably in shock for a few days, hardly believing it could be true (in the happiest of ways). Of course, like all other times, I had no idea how far along I was with no recent cycle to track. All I knew was the last date I had a negative test, and now, the 14th with a positive test.

My dr. advised me to wait until September 5th to come in for HCG testing. My numbers came back at 32,500 and a "Yes, you're really pregnant" from the nurse who called me back. Then, it sunk in. An ultrasound was scheduled for the following Monday.

I was dead tired, hungry all the time, and having the worst case of night sweats each night that I had ever had. I was also super bloated, enough to make me suspect that I would be upwards of 7-8 weeks at our first ultrasound. This was really happening! Claire was going to be a big sister at 18 months! We were so excited, we had even started throwing out a few names.

As we waited for our ultrasound on September 17th, I told Ryan I felt totally calm and collected. I just had this feeling that there was nothing to worry about. My feelings, I would soon come to find out, were all jacked up and completely wrong.

The tech began the ultrasound and right away you could see a sac and something inside it. She said nothing for long enough for me to ask "What's wrong?". Her response? Oh, nothing, I'm just having a hard time getting a good measurement.

We measured at 6 weeks, 1 day. Though I really had no true idea of how far along I was, the only way 6 weeks would be accurate was if the 14th was the very first day that positive line would have shown up--and what were the chances of that? I likely should have been 7 weeks.

There was no heartbeat, but hope in the fact that if I really was, indeed, 6 weeks, that it may just be a few days too early.

The tech was convinced it was maybe just too early, but could tell I was upset, so she paged my doctor who she got a hold of right away. When I reminded him of what my HCG was the previous week, he told me without a doubt, that this would be a miscarriage. With high HCG like that, there should have been a heartbeat.

I held back the wailing as I let the silent tears fall. We kept telling ourselves that he gave us this same story with Claire, but with Claire, it just turned out that my HCG's were on the high side and we thankfully carried to term and delivered our beautiful daughter.

Ryan held out hope that this scenario would be similar. I tried to, but didn't want to get my hopes up.

My doctor was 100% convinced, and wanted me to make an appointment with him the following day to discuss my "options".

Hell no, you're not discussing a D & C until we are absolutely sure via another ultrasound next week.

I still felt pregnant. Smells were making me gag, I was still tired, still hungry, still bloated. As we drew further away from that ugly Monday, my hope grew, thinking that maybe this would turn out as it did with Claire.

Only the following Monday came. There was no heartbeat. The baby had not grown. Miscarriage number 3.

I had the option to wait 2 weeks, be checked for HCG levels, then wait some more for it to happen on its own. I waited nearly 2 weeks before I couldn't handle it anymore. I needed to close this chapter.

I went to the hospital last Friday for my first D & C. It wasn't fair. I wasn't supposed to be there until April (we figured we were likely due around the end of April). I don't remember any of it except for briefly waking up in the middle of it. I had to sit in the holding area of same day surgery by myself. Ryan had to stay in the waiting room. I had to lay and cry by myself after having to answer to 5 different medical professionals who needed to confirm my name, birthday and procedure. They gave me some meds, I fell asleep, and before I knew it I was wheeled into recovery. The baby I had hoped, prayed and wished for for 44 days was really gone.

I think people think I'm ok, but I'm not. I just don't know what to say, don't know what to ask for, don't know what to do. There are no cards or flowers for a miscarriage. No special memorials. According to medical professionals, I lost "cells". While I don't argue with science and know that at this point in the game the baby looked nothing like a baby, but that's not the point. I don't look at this miscarriage like that. I see the two babies I have at home. That's what I lost. I lost the potential for another Henry or Claire. I love these children with every ounce of my being. I want more.

I have really strong feelings about not wanting to go through this ever again. 2 beautiful babies out of 5 conceived. The odds are not on our side. If we want to try for 2 more kids, how many more miscarriages will there have to be? I'm scared to death to have to feel this hurt even one more time.

What upsets and frustrates me the most is that my doctor is convinced that these were all just chance miscarriages (chromosomal abnormalities the body recognized, knowing the pregnancy couldn't continue). Really? How many miscarriages does one need to have before they try to really figure out what's wrong with me? I'm not convinced. And really, who's to say that the random "periods" I've had in the past 3-4 years (likely a total of 5-6) haven't been miscarriages? I wish there was answers so I at least KNEW why I have to hurt like this.

In an incredibly sick twist of fate, I have 4 newborns to photograph this month. Four. They were all scheduled a few months ago during the same week, all due around the same time. What are the chances that it would turn out I'd have this baby boom 1 week after having a miscarriage? Seriously.

Babies, are of course every where. Pregnant women are every where. I'm reminded daily of what I lost. I follow a lot of other blogs, and, of course, 2 blogs I follow religiously of two local MN moms both announced today they were expecting number 3 and 4, respecitvely. One due exactly when I was due.

It's unfair. It's really unfair.

Though this song is clearly about a couple who broke up, every time I hear this Rascal Flatts song on the radio, this part makes me cry instantly.

"I can't get over it I just can't put out this love
I just sit in these flames
pray that you come back, close my eyes tightly
hold on and hope that I'm dreaming
come wake me up."

Seriously. I wish I was dreaming and that this was some sick bad dream. But it's not. It's real. We have a 3rd angel baby.
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