Monthly Archives: September 2012

Happy birthday little man

Our newborn sweet boy the day after he was born.

Thursday, September 29, 2011, was the day before my life changed forever. It was the day before Carter was born. It was the last day, or so I thought, that I would not a have a child in my arms or by my side. I decided to take the day off to spend some time alone before the big day. I slept in, ate lunch at Chipotle (Jeff isn’t a fan, so I have to go when I get the chance), and spent a relaxing, quiet day at home. I knew the next day was going to bring big changes in our life. I knew the quiet moments were going to be few and far between in the coming days, weeks and months to come. The next morning, you see, we were scheduled to arrive at North KC Hospital to be induced and finally meet our “little” man. So, the morning of September 30, we headed to the hospital at 4:30 am to get checked in. It was a relatively slow process of blood work, fluids, pitocin (the devil) and lying around…well, until the contractions started. Carter was finally born at 3:41 pm. I couldn’t believe his gargantuan size. I couldn’t believe how perfect he was. He had the perfect head of dark hair. He was just perfect…in every way. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have such a handsome little man in our lives.

Sleepy boy…before he decided he didn’t like naps…

I remember when they sent us home from the hospital we were scared s***less. We couldn’t believe they were letting him go home with us. We had no idea what we were doing. I admit that we probably had more of a clue than some of our friends that had babies and were first time parents…we have a niece and nephews that we had spent considerable time with so we at least knew that basics of changing diapers, feeding, and that’s about it! 🙂 It was still frightening knowing that we were responsible for this little person. I’ll never forget that first night at home. It was awful. Because Carter was so big, Jeff and I couldn’t decide what size clothes he should be in. He certainly wasn’t about to fit in newborn clothes and 0-3 month seemed to swim on him (looking back it really didn’t….wishful thinking on my part…ha!). We finally settled on something and attempted to swaddle him in a ridiculously tiny receiving blanket to put him down. Needless to say, the poor guy was up about every hour (probably because he was freezing) or two that first night. We were so tired. I desperately missed the nurses that night!

It didn’t take us very long to get the hang of things and before we knew it our little guy was sleeping 5-6 hour stretches through the night. He liked his sleep (much like his mommy) and we were very blessed that he got good sleep during the night because he didn’t so much like to nap (much UNlike his mommy). It was such a struggle to get him to nap longer than 30 minutes after he was about 2 months old. I guess he was afraid he was going to miss out on something big happening, so he wouldn’t nap. Looking back, I wish I could have enjoyed every moment with him…even those where I was frustrated because he wasn’t sleeping…had I known what was to come, I guarantee I would’ve appreciated every single moment even more.

Our little blue eyes

We were blessed to have a very happy baby in our sweet Carter. I can’t believe it’s been a year since he was born. I never would have guessed a year ago this is where we would be…wishing our baby was with us instead of throwing a big first birthday bash. It just plain and simple is not fair. We plan to spend a quiet day with family on Sunday and will probably go to the cemetery to release some balloons into the air for our sweet boy. I so wish we were celebrating with all of our friends and family and watching our sweet boy dig into his own, personal cake. Unfortunately, all the wishing in the world won’t get us our sweet boy back. I know he will be up there watching down on us on Sunday (and every day). I’m sure they are throwing a big party for him up there in Heaven…at least that’s what I have to believe.

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A Rainbow…

As very perfectly stated on babycenter.com, “a rainbow baby is a (miracle) baby conceived after the loss of another child.  “Rainbow Babies” are the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and the clouds. Storm clouds may still loom over but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and much needed hope.”  Jeff and I are expecting our “rainbow baby”…due March 8, 2013.

We could not be more excited and happy to try this whole parenting thing out again, but this time around, it comes with a million different emotions than we experienced when we were expecting Carter.  With Carter, I feel like I was a pretty “normal” pregnant person.  I didn’t call the doctor 100 times between appointments.  I didn’t overreact over the smallest things.  With this rainbow baby, I already feel like I am somewhat of a crazy person.  I can’t relax.  I’ve already called the doctor’s office between my first two appointments.  I can’t just be excited and let myself enjoy it.  At least not yet.  Of course, I’m excited, but hesitantly so.  To those that have never experienced the loss of a child, I’m sure you think I’m insane and want to tell me to chill out.  Those that have lost a child and have been through the emotions of pregnancy after that loss, you probably understand where I am coming from.  It’s hard to know what to do when you’re still grieving the loss of a child.  On one hand, you’re very excited.  On the other, it’s hard to show that excitement because you don’t want to be disappointed should something happen again.  The rational part of my brain tells me that I had a very normal pregnancy with Carter and things will most likely be fine this time.  The irrational part tells me that since we lost Carter, we are bound to have something bad happen to us again.

Losing a child changes you.  When we were expecting Carter, I couldn’t wait for the showers and all the pomp and circumstance that comes along with having your first child.  This time around, I can’t think past our next doctor appointment.  Is there going to be a heart beat?  Should I get my hopes up that this baby is going to make it full term?  Should I get my hopes up that this baby is going to make it to 4 months and 18 days?  I know that has to sound so disturbing to people, but I can’t stop my mind from going there.  I can’t bring myself to celebrate too much yet.  I just can’t go there yet.  At what point will I get there?  I’m not sure, but I hope I can get there soon.

baby at 12 weeks 4 days
due March 8, 2013

We chose to do the first trimester screening and had our appointment this last Monday.  The measurements and blood test results all show that we have a healthy baby on our hands.  What a relief that is.  We did this same screening with Carter.  One of the blood test results came back “a little low” that showed that I was at risk of pre-term labor and Carter at risk of being low birthweight.  Labor had to be induced and he was 10 lb. 12 oz., so it must have been inaccurate.

Tuesday was our second regular appointment at our doctor’s office.  I was so nervous that there wouldn’t be a heart beat.  I don’t know why as I’d seen the baby moving around the day before during the sonogram.  I guess I just needed to hear that wonderful sound.  I expressed to the doctor (I see all the doctors at the practice I go to, that’s why I don’t refer to them as “my” doctor) that I have so much anxiety about everything and obviously she understood.  After she found the heart beat (a good strong 161…Carter’s at this same appointment was 163), she asked me if I had a smart phone.  She thought it would be a great idea for me to record the sound of the heart beat that way I can listen to it if I’m feeling anxious.  I thought that was so thoughtful of her…and I was so excited to be able to share that with Jeff since he wasn’t able to make that appointment.

Please pray for us as we go through this journey.  We appreciate the kind thoughts and the excitement that everyone has shown us so far as we have gradually been making this announcement.  Jeff and I both feel very blessed that we will be able to do this whole parenting thing again.  As we approach Carter’s first birthday on September 30, we have a whole range of emotions going through our veins.  Excitement for what’s in store.  Sadness for what we have lost and won’t get to experience with Carter.  Mostly, though, I will try to focus on all of the very fond memories I had with our sweet angel Carter during his 4 months and 18 days here on earth with us.   I will try to focus on the joy that we felt the day he came into this world, when we brought him home from the hospital, when he smiled and giggled for the first time…all of those wonderful memories.  We look forward to making many similar memories with his little brother or sister in the future and my goal for the coming months is to try to not focus on all the fears that I have, but instead, enjoy the months ahead.  I know that’s what Carter would have wanted.