Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas without him...again

Another holiday season has come and we yet again celebrate without our firstborn son here.

We've tried to include Marcellus in what we do. We've tried to start traditions for him for celebrating Christmas. I feel like we have failed horribly.

This is our first real Christmas in North Carolina, where live. Our first real Christmas to celebrate our way (not that celebrating with our families in MN is bad, just our first time to really start our very own traditions).

It's not our first Christmas in NC though. It's actually our third. The first Christmas we spent here was the one right after Marcellus died. We had been in MN for his funeral (he's buried in MN) and stayed for a few weeks after. We got back early December. It was too soon to travel back to MN and on top of that we pretty much cancelled Christmas that year anyway. But shortly before Christmas the mom of a childhood friend of Mike's sent us flowers. A dozen beautiful white roses. On Christmas day we went around to a few cemeteries we had visited and left flowers at the baby sections (in the early days we visited the baby section of other cemeteries since we had nowhere to visit for Marcellus). We thought we had a new tradition for Marcellus, to get white roses for Christmas in honor of him.

The second Christmas we spent in NC was the following year...with Ethan in the NICU born just a week before Christmas. I was, of course, a complete emotional wreck about everything. And that included not being able to have our traditions for Marcellus. A friend got us artificial white roses and we hung one up on Ethan's white board next to his isollete in the NICU. That year we were also going to start another tradition. We were going to releases a lantern on Christmas Eve for Marcellus. Well just a couple of days before Christmas Eve our house was broken in to. With our first son dead, our second son in the NICU and our house just broken into we didn't feel like luck was on our side. So when I read the directions and warnings on the lantern I just felt like we would end up setting our neighborhood on fire. We didn't have a great open area to release it anyway. We still have never released one. They are currently stored in Marcellus's drawer with some of his other special things.

From when Ethan was in the NICU - Christmas 2012

The next two years we were in MN. I know one of those years we even forgot to bring Marcellus's special candle to light. Did we even get roses? I can't remember now. I don't think we even did in MN. I think we did have them at home though.

This year we had the chance to do it right. To create all the memories and traditions with Ethan and Weston while also honoring their big brother, Marcellus. But we messed it up. I had brought up that we needed to get roses for Marcellus, but then the next time Mike and Ethan went to the store we had all temporarily forgotten about it. I thought of it again last night, we still had a chance to get them today on Christmas Eve.

We also wanted to start a Christmas Even tradition with Ethan and Weston. I really wanted to drive around and look at lights. Mike had to work today and we had hoped to go immediately after. Last night we talked a lot about how we were going to try to get roses for Marcellus. I could have gone with Ethan and Weston, but that did not sound appealing at all. I figured the stores would be crazy busy to have them both out. Of course if I knew that was our only chance to get them I would have dealt with it and gone. Mike said he could stop after work or that we could stop when we were out looking at Christmas lights. Well, he ended up not getting off work right away. I made the decision that we shouldn't look at Christmas lights tonight as Ethan was getting tired. I didn't want to push him past his limit when we have tons of excitement for tomorrow. Mike said he'd stop on his way home from work to get roses. Turns out all the grocery stores were already closed though. After he got home we thought of trying Target. They're still open (until 11 if you by chance need anything), but they do not currently have any fresh flowers (I called to check).

And now I'm sitting here a mess. My heart is truly heavy and I am not in the Christmas spirit at all. I feel like we messed up Christmas Eve for Ethan and we now don't have anything special to honor Marcellus for Christmas day. Yeah, we do have his candle we will light, but that's what we do for everything. I want something special for Christmas. Four years and five Christmases without him and we haven't figured it out.

We do include him throughout the season. We take a tag off the Angel Tree for a boy that would be about Marcellus's age, we hang up a stocking for him, we include all his ornaments on the tree and we get him a new ornament each year. We get a family ornament too and make sure that it incorporates him. But we don't have anything for Christmas Eve/Day itself and that hurts my heart. It makes me feel awful, like I've let him down.

To end I want to share a story from today. This afternoon I was nursing Ethan down for a nap. He was playing with my Marcellus hand print necklace. It really drives me crazy when he does that so I asked him to stop. He said to me, "I'm just thinking about Marcellus." I had to ask him again and again what he said to make sure. My heart melted and ached all at the same time. Of course I let him go back to holding on to Marcellus's necklace. And he did, he held on to it until he fell asleep.

Marcellus, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I have failed you this Christmas. It makes my heart hurt. But really my heart would hurt regardless. It hurts because you are not here. Because we are having our fifth Christmas without you. Because I live everyday wondering what you'd be like. I hope your brothers know you are included in all of our Christmas celebrations. Even though you are not physically here, you are always a part of our family activities. I miss you so much my sweet boy, so so so very much. The only thing I ever want for Christmas is impossible, it's for you to be here with us. Merry Christmas my little mister....Merry Christmas. I love you! xoxox.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

12 days

Weston Morgan Lennon was born 12 days ago. He was born at 36 weeks 6 days gestation perfectly healthy. We held him immediately, he never had to leave us and he came home from the hospital WITH me. I will write his beautiful birth story soon, for now I want to focus on his age.

12 days. It has flown by.

12 days. It has been a crazy joyous whirlwind.

12 days. A marking of the amount of time Marcellus was on this earth.

12 days. In 2 hours and 40 minutes Weston will officially have outlived his biggest brother.

12 days. Yes, I calculated it to the minute.

12 days. Is just not very long at all.

12 days. But it is more than some other families have.

12 days. The age Marcellus will forever be.

12 beautiful days they were.

So, as I sit here typing this post on my phone with Weston snuggled up on my chest I feel anger over the shortness of 12 days while I also feel gratitude for the 12 days we had with Marcellus.

When Ethan was 12 days old he was still fighting hard in the NICU. We were less than one fifth of the way into our NICU stay. I was still fearing for his life.

To sit here with Weston at 12 days old, holding him in bed after he just nursed, to not be wrought with fear over his life is surreal. How has it already been 12 days since he was born?! And how is it that we only had 12 days with Marcellus?!?!?

Dear Marcellus, I'd give anything to have had even just one more day with you. Twelve days was not enough. But no amount of time would ever have been enough. Parents aren't supposed to out live their children. Period. Plain and simple. But here we are more than 4 years from your precious 12 days on earth. As I hold your 12 day old baby brother I reflect on those days with you. I am grateful for them and grateful to be your mother. I love you right up to the moon...and back. Missing you always my sweet boy. Always and forever. xoxox.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How am I supposed to...

How am I supposed to celebrate and grieve? How am I supposed to balance this pregnancy, this beautiful, almost full-term pregnancy with Marcellus's dates. How am I supposed to get ready for new life with the anniversary of my son's death just around the corner.

I have to be honest, I'm struggling. I'm struggling to figure this all out. To make sense of it all. And I feel like neither are getting the attention they deserve. I feel like I can't fully grieve Marcellus's death in the way I need to right now because of everything there is to worry and do and take care and celebrate and be thankful for with regards to Baby Cranberry (big one being cerclage removal coming up on Wed the 4th). I feel like I can't full enjoy and celebrate being at the end of Baby Cranberry's pregnancy because the intense grief I am currently feeling being in the middle of Marcellus's dates. Having the fear that this baby will be born on Nov 9th, on the 4th anniversary of the day his/her big brother took his last breath in my arms. How could I even deal with the juxtaposition of that?

Balance. I can't find it right now and I feel like all my children are getting gypped because of it.

I haven't even said much about Oct 28th having been Angela's. I haven't gotten and sent her birthday gift. I haven't contacted the adoption agency to see if they can contact her parents and give them a nudge to send me an update. It's been 3.5 years and I've heard nothing. And I haven't dealt with it.

We never sent anything to my mom to put out at his spot for his birthday. I haven't been writing like I'd want to. I intended to share the posts about my memories of his time on earth on Facebook and I haven't been.

And Ethan. My sweet Ethan. He's stuck in the middle of it all. The grief we have for his big brother. The anticipation and busyness and excitement and everything else that comes with the preparations for his little brother/sister. I haven't gotten to spend the time with him I'd like to before his little world is rocked by a new baby. We haven't had the quality time we need.

Lark...if only I hadn't miscarried Lark. I would have had a baby in August and not be at such a vulnerable time of pregnancy around Marcellus's dates. I wouldn't be fearing giving birth on the day he died. If only...

We're not exactly prepared for Baby Cranberry. The house is a disaster. Baby stuff is not organized at all. I haven't had even a moment to really soak this in. To soak in the fact that I'm 36 weeks along.

My head has just been spinning for weeks. I'm so grateful for this pregnancy to be going how it is. Really I am. But I also carry intense grief with me, especially this time of year.

Marcellus, I'm sorry if I haven't been taking them time I need to talk to you, to grieve you, to ache for you. This time of year is hard. And having this pregnancy with Baby Cranberry go so far along doesn't make it any easier. I think it actually makes it harder in a way. Harder to balance all of these crazy intense emotions I have going on. I'm trying baby boy. I really am, but many days I feel like I'm overwhelmed. I want to enjoy these last days of pregnancy. But I also know I need to grieve for you. For the fact that you are not here on earth with me. That while I believe you already know this baby's spirit, you will not know this baby earth side. Your little siblings, alive and well...but you are not. I just want all my babies with me. I love you so so so so so so so much!!! xoxox.

Monday, October 19, 2015

About little brother's birth story

I need to write Ethan's birth story. It's been almost 3 years and I haven't written it down. I would really like to write it out before this baby is born and that could be in just a few weeks.

It's not like I haven't had the opportunity to write it. I have. Many times. It's that I don't know how to go about it. I don't know how to find the emotional reserve needed to go through his birth story in detail. To see it all laid out before me.

You see the thing is, even though Ethan is here and healthy and thriving, his birth was very traumatizing. In many ways it was much more traumatic than Marcellus's birth.

I started writing out Marcellus's birth story when he was in the NICU, he was 9 days old then. I worked on it one night when I was up pumping. I wasn't able to finish it, but did so a couple months later. I couldn't even imagine trying to write Ethan's birth story when he was in the NICU at all let alone when he was 9 days old. When Ethan was 9 days old I was still under the impression that he was certainly going to die too.

And that's where the difference comes in. When Marcellus was born it was scary. It was incredibly scary. But the moment we got to that hospital when I was in labor I no longer feared for my baby's life. We were at the hospital, they could take care of him. So, when he was born at 28 weeks 5 days gestation I worried more about what disabilities he might have, what struggles he might go through and how long of a NICU stay we were looking at. But I thought he was safe. We were where we needed to be. When he was born and he let out his little cry, I did not fear for his life. It was so joyous and I was on cloud 9 during his birth (even though it was a cesarean, which is not at all how I had envisioned delivering, we were planning for a homebirth). 

When I went into the hospital pregnant with Ethan and the doctor confirmed how far into labor I was, it was complete and utter despair. My world just came crashing down. We found ourselves facing the birth of a preemie again. But we knew too much. We knew the worst. And for 48 hours we hung on to hope that he wouldn't be so preemie after all. But he was. He was 27 weeks 4 days, 8 days earlier than Marcellus was. And I was certain he was going to die. I can't tell you for how long I had daily thoughts that he would die too. I can't put into words how incredibly intense, scary, awful, grief filled it was to walk through those NICU doors again.

So Ethan's birth story doesn't have as much joy behind it as Marcellus's does. There was no glowing moment when we found out Ethan was a boy. In fact, we were devastated he was a boy (boys don't do as well in the NICU as girls because the develop slower). How do I write about moments like that? I do I put that down. How do I know one day he may want to know the details of his birth story and I'll have to tell him it was soul crushing enough just finding out he was a boy, let alone the other moments leading up to and following his birth.

 I know there was joy too and good moments to look back on. We have a video of him crying immediately after birth. Cry crying. Not just letting out one little cry like Marcellus did. Ethan really cried. And there was joy.

But overall the days leading up to and the day of his birth are dark and heavy for me. And I hate that. I hate that so much.

Marcellus, even though you had to die I am thankful that we were not aware of that the day you were born. I am so thankful that we were able to experience your birthday overall as a joyous day. Oh baby, how I remember so vividly when you were born and you let out that cry, the doctor saying "it's a boy!" The look on Daddy's face as we made eye contact. The intense pride and joy Daddy had when he came back to show me your picture telling me how good you looked and how you held his finger. So many beautiful moments. Although scary, your birth will always remain a beautiful day in my memory. I love you so much my squirmy wormy. I can't believe your 4th birthday is coming up so quickly. I wish you were here. Oh how I wish you were here. xoxox

Thursday, October 15, 2015

All over a bowl of cereal

Grief can make you feel crazy. It can make you feel irrational. It can make little things turn into big things. And for me right now that "thing" is a bowl of cereal.

We typically don't have cereal in our house. We're more of an eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles type of family. But with being pregnant and needing to snack and eat smaller amounts of food more often I have turned to cereal. Mike typically does most of the grocery shopping, so on one of his recent trips I requested he pick up a box of cereal. My only request was nothing too sugary.

So, the other night I went to the cupboard to pour myself a bowl as a bedtime snack. But when I opened to cupboard door I froze. He bought that cereal...the cereal...Kashi Cinnamon Harvest.

What's the big deal about that cereal you ask? Well here is a quote from Marcellus's birth story

I was restless and couldn’t get back to sleep. When I realized I was hungry I just decided to get out of bed and get something to eat around 4:40am. I left Daddy sleeping and went downstairs. I got a big glass of water and a bowl of cereal. I still thought I was just having a few BH contractions. After I finished my cereal I tried drinking lots of water and lying on my left side.
 The cereal mentioned was Cinnamon Harvest, one of my favorites at the time. And 4:40am on October 28th, 2011 is the last time I have had a bowl of it. It is the last thing I ate before he was born. Every time I think of his birth story I think of how I thought I was just hungry. That a bowl of cereal could make what I was feeling go away. And almost 4 years later I have not been able to bring myself to pour a bowl of that (delicious) cereal.

I guess at first it was maybe too triggering for me. Too triggering to do something I did in the hours before he was born. Too likely to cause flashbacks to the start of my recognition of being in labor with him. And maybe I'm still worried about that. Maybe I am still worried I will be emotionally triggered by eating the same cereal I did that morning.

But I think the "fear" of having a bowl of Cinnamon Harvest has evolved. Right now being pregnant there's that irrational thinking that if I do something I did while in labor with Marcellus maybe I would end up in labor with Baby Cranberry. Crazy, I know. I do. I know that sounds absolutely fricken crazy. A bowl of cereal can't send me into labor. I was most likely already in labor with Marcellus that morning when I poured myself that bowl of cereal. But grief is crazy like that.

When I really think about it though, at this place that I am in almost 4 years later...I'm not so sure it's about being a trigger or a flashback anymore (although I'm sure that would depend on the day). I think it is now something I see as a way to honor Marcellus. To keep that cereal to be "his" cereal. To have it be something I won't ever do again since the day he was born. To have some would be like betraying him. If I were to be okay with pouring a bowl of that cereal, would that mean I am not grieving him enough?

I don't know if I'll eat it. I've been going back and forth for awhile now. I think it's been in the cupboard for well over a week. Mike didn't realize it when he bought it. How could he. He wasn't up that morning with me when I ate it. I don't hold it against him in any way for buying it. I just honestly don't know what to do about it. Do I have some? Do we donate it and I stick with never having it every again? How will I feel if I do decide to have some?

It's so confusing. And all over a damn bowl of cereal.

Marcellus, I'm sure this seems absolutely ridiculous to some people. It's just a bowl of cereal, right?! But for almost 4 years that bowl of cereal has represented the start of labor with you. It marked the hours just before you were born. And now that that same kind of cereal is sitting in our cupboard, I don't know what to do about it. The back and forth. I don't want to betray you. To have that bowl of cereal would mean it's no longer special to just you. I will have turned it into just any other cereal. Am I crazy to be making such a big deal out of a bowl of cereal? It's just there's not much on this earth that is yours, that is special just to you. I love you right up to the moon and back my sweet boy! xoxox.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Simultaneous hope and grief

If you read my last post, you know the next couple weeks are huge regarding pregnancy milestones.

Today I'm 27 weeks and 1 day and I'm feeling overwhelmed. Usually when I'm feeling strong emotions the words just pour out. I can type without much thinking behind it. Sometimes a post comes to me and I "write" it in my head without even being at the computer. This time I feel I need to write, but the words are not coming to me. So we'll see where this goes.

A week and a half ago we had a very positive appointment. At 25 weeks 5 days, my cervix measured 3.1 cm long without any funneling. That is a normal length! With Ethan my shortening and funneling was discovered at 24 weeks 4 days. So I was more than a week later gestationally at my last appointment with this baby and the results were so clearly different. This did bring some peace of mind. This pregnancy really is different.

I can't help and compare though. To think of those pregnancy milestones. To think of what was going on during Ethan's pregnancy at this time. To think how making it to a certain day means staying pregnant longer than I ever did with Ethan or Marcellus.

The progesterone shot I got on Wednesday compares to the last shot I got with Ethan. Making it to my appointment this upcoming Wednesday will mean I will have officially stayed pregnant longer than I did with Ethan. Making it a week after that means I will have hit Marcellus's gestation. Tomorrow compares to the day I went into labor with Ethan. And it turns out the days of the week from Ethan's pregnancy match up with this one, meaning it was a Sunday I went into labor with him.

I'm hopeful. I really am. I'm hopeful this pregnancy will go much longer, perhaps even full term. I am getting better about saying "when we get to..." rather than "if." I am making plans as if this baby will be born in November. But the comparison is always there. My history is always there, in the back of my mind. Taunting me a bit. So while I am hopeful we will get to (or at least close to) full term, I fully understand it is not a guarantee. This baby could be born anytime. That is reality.

Another thing I've realized as we get closer to and more and more hopeful to get past Ethan and Marcellus's gestations is a different type of grief has come up. The more I envision this pregnancy progressing into the third trimester the more I am grieving Ethan and Marcellus's pregnancies. Don't get me wrong, of course I would much rather be grieving that than to have this baby born also premature. But that doesn't make it disappear.

I am left wondering why. Left with the intense realization of all the things I missed out on with them in their pregnancies. Left with the intense realization of what I missed out on at the very beginning of their lives. When they came into this world I couldn't even hold them. They couldn't even be with their momma. They had to be whisked away to an isolette and machines and doctors and nurses instead. And of course I know too well all the things I missed out on and will never have with Marcellus. But right now I'm just speaking to pregnancy and birth.

So to even have hope of something different for this baby is overwhelming. Overwhelmingly wonderful. But also overwhelmingly devastating to think of how different it was for his or her brothers.

And so while I am thankful for each and every day of this pregnancy, especially those to be experienced past Ethan and Marcellus's gestations, each of those days is a reminder of what I didn't get with my boys. Each of those days throws it in my face that I didn't get to that point with them. Each of those days brings up grief of its own.

What a mix of emotions I have right now!

Marcellus, before we even knew your life was going to be cut so short, I was grieving for your pregnancy. That our bodies were separated much too soon. That my womb, where you were safe, was empty and you were instead fighting for your life. 28 weeks 5 days. How unexpected it all was. How unreal it all sometimes feels right now. Suddenly being in labor so early, the c-section, the NICU and of course most of all, your death. As much joy as we felt during those 12 days (well 11, because the last day you were so sick and it was primarily filled with fear) we were also grieving during those 12 days. Grieving our home birth, grieving a natural vaginal birth, grieving the typical birth and newborn experience - yours was so mechanical. Grieving not having you with us 24/7. And while none of that can compare to grieving your death...those are still things I grieve. 28 weeks 5 days. Much too soon. If only I could have kept you safe in my womb, maybe you'd still be alive......
I'm so sorry. xoxox.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vulnerability of Pregnancy Milestones

 Am a little crazy to be doing this again?! This being pregnancy, trying to carry a baby to term. Don't get me wrong, this baby is very much a wanted baby, very much a planned and tried for baby, and we very very very much want to continue to grow our family. But now that I'm in the middle of it at a very vulnerable time of pregnancy the thought of "What was I thinking?!" goes through my head. What was a I thinking when I thought I'd be able to emotionally handle this?

I guess I thought the cerclage would give me more peace of mind than it is. I thought, "hey we haven't tried everything yet...we still have one more measure to take. It has to be the golden ticket to carrying this baby to term." And while it has lessened some fears, it hasn't taken them all away and it comes with it's own fears.

I'm 23 weeks 5 days today. I ended up at triage of Labor & Delivery on Sunday night. My reason for going in, an increase in what I thought (and probably ended up being) Braxton Hicks (BH) contractions. BH are normal in pregnancy. And especially this being my fourth pregnancy this far, I'm going to have them and feel them. But on Sunday night they were happening way more frequently than that had been. So, I called. The doctor on call is my favorite at the practice and she is super cautious with me (she was the doctor for Ethan's birth). On the monitor the "contractions" were showing up, but not to the extend as real/full contractions. She described it as irritability. My cervix checked out fine. She said that if this were my first pregnancy or I had a history of only full term pregnancies, she wouldn't even bat an eye at what I had described. But my history says otherwise. My history (my boys) say that I need to be checked for every little thing. That if there is even a minute change in anything (frequency, intensity, duration, discharge, anything) I need to be seen. And of course that never occurs during business hours.

Since Sunday I am really aware of my vulnerability right now. I think I was trying to be guarded before. But now we're getting close to some big milestones and that guard is failing. I have to admit I am a big ball of nerves. I'm scared. I'm so scared. Everyday the thought runs through my head that this baby may be premature too.

I'm realizing there are things about this pregnancy that are more difficult than Ethan's...because he was premature. When I was pregnant with Ethan the grief of losing Marcellus was so raw. And that definitely played a role in how I felt during Ethan's pregnancy. But there was still a chance Marcellus's prematurity was a one time thing, that for some reason it was just something about his pregnancy. But now we know, it wasn't a one time thing. It wasn't just Marcellus's pregnancy. We were taking precautions and preventative measures (we didn't do a cerclage, but had the progesterone shots and monitoring). Even after being put on modified bed rest I was feeling pretty good that we would get farther with Ethan. But we didn't, he was born even earlier. Something I was caught totally off guard about. At the time I really didn't feel that he would be born at an earlier gestation than Marcellus.

So now I have a body I can not trust to any degree at carrying this baby to term. I have an additional measure in place, but I can't fully trust that either. Everyday I'm left wondering if what I'm feeling is normal. If my body will at least give me more warning this time. If I will make it to Ethan's gestation, Marcellus's gestation, is there really a possibility I could get farther?!? I know the dates. I know when I hit certain gestations. I think about it way to often not to know. I know the big milestones related to premature delivery in general and then the milestones related to my other babies and then mix in there Marcellus's birthday and death anniversary. So here's a full list of big dates I have in my head.

  • The first big milestone happens to be this Friday, 24 weeks. It's where the chance of survival is over 50%.
  • Next Tuesday (Aug 11) is 24 weeks 4 days. That is when I was put on modified bed rest with Ethan due to cervical shortening and funneling. 
  • Sunday, Aug 30 is 27 weeks 2 days.That is when I went into labor with Ethan. 
  • Tuesday, Sept 1 is 27 weeks 4 days. That is when Ethan was born. 
  • Friday, Sept 4 is 28 weeks. In general there are better outcomes for preemies born after 28 weeks. 
  • Wednesday, Sept 9 is 28 weeks 5 days. That is when Marcellus was born. 
  • Monday, Sept 12 is 30 weeks 3 days. That is the adjusted age of Marcellus when he died. 
  • Friday, Oct 2 is 32 weeks. Lung development after 32 weeks is better and is another in general milestone. 
  • Wednesday, Oct 28th is Marcellus's 4th birthday. I'll (hopefully) be 35 weeks 5 days. 
  • Wednesday, Nov 4th is 36 weeks 5 days. That is the gestation Angela was born at. 
  • Friday, Nov 6th is 37 weeks. This would mean full-term!!!
  • Monday, Nov 9th is the 4th anniversary of Marcellus's death. While I would be so thankful to get to 37 weeks 3 days, I would not want the baby born on this day.
  • Friday, Nov 27th...due date! 
Why make a big deal out of all these dates?! It's just the way my mind works. It might have something to do with the mathematical part of my brain, focused on numbers. I don't know. My therapist would probably say I'm letting the dates have too much power. But in a way I think it can be a good thing too. Every single day I am still carrying this baby is a huge blessing. Each day makes a difference.

So if you see me or talk to me in the near future, especially around these dates, keep my vulnerability in mind. I might end up distant, I might end up anxious, I might end up tearing up from time to time. I can't predict how I will feel from day to day. But what I can tell you are some words and phrases that can help support me and show me your care.

Simply, you can let me know you are thinking of me. You can ask me how I'm doing (not just how I'm feeling pregnancy wise, but how I am really doing with everything). While I appreciate positive thinking about making it to full-term this time, I need my fear acknowledged. "I can't imagine how scary this must be for you. It's understandably a difficult time of pregnancy. I'm here if you want to talk about it and share your fears with me." There are some phrases that are good to start with.

Taking this pregnancy one day at a time, especially over the next month as I approach Ethan and Marcellus's gestations. One day at a time. Each day matters.

Mantra: Today this baby is still tucked safely in my womb and for that I am blessed and grateful.

Marcellus, this post again talks about how my body has failed. How it failed you. How it failed your littler brother, but it especially failed you. Not even enough warning for you to get steroid shots. I am so sorry baby boy. I am so so so sorry I could not keep you tucked safely in my womb for as long as you needed. I'm sorry my body failed you. It failed me too. It failed me too my sweet boy. Loving and missing you every single moment of every single day. xoxox.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

When I really think about it...

When I really think about it, it takes my breath away.

When I really think about it, I my heart can feel the same pain in those million tiny pieces it broke into that day.

When I really think about it, my head spins with confusion.

When I really really really think about it I think I'll never breath again.

When I really really really think about it my heart feels like it may stop beating completely.

When I really really really think about it my head, well my head just might explode.

And when I really really really think about it...actually, I just can't. I just can't think about it to that degree. Could you?

My mind, body and soul cannot comprehend living a life where my son is no longer here, where I held his tiny body as he took his last breath and his heart stopped beating. But yet, here I am living that life.

I have to tell myself it is what it is and keep on living day to day. To think about the fact that he was here. The joy is little life brought and brings me. The love I have for him. That I am his mother, forever will be, Marcellus's Mommy. Death cannot take that away from me. 

Dear Marcellus, your death took so much with it. But yet, your life brought so much joy and love into ours. And while your death is the most awful, horrible thing that has happened to us, your life is still one of the most beautiful. Death cannot take away what you brought into this world, what you gave to me, your momma. I will forever be your momma my sweet boy. Forever and ever and always. And as your momma I love you, miss you, ache for you every single day. xoxox.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Feeling crazy

I wish I could fully explain to you how crazy pregnancy can make me feel. Or maybe I don't because I don't want you to have to try to understand what can go on inside my head. I'm currently 16 weeks 4 days pregnant with my second rainbow baby and sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I was (as you could expect) worried about miscarriage, especially after having just lost Lark at about 6 weeks gestation in January. But honestly, I feel like I handled that part pretty well. Then we got through the first trimester and there was kind of a "honeymoon" period of little worry. I felt great! No symptoms really at all (except crazy dreams). But now, I'm getting bigger, I can feel Cranberry (nickname given since due date is the day after Thanksgiving), I'm coming up on my first appointment with the specialist (this afternoon actually), I start my extra monitoring and progestrone shots......and it's getting scary. It's getting blatantly obvious that this is is not a "normal" pregnancy. And so, the crazy is coming out. My anxiety is kicking in.

And because of that I ended up in the ER Sunday evening. Everything is fine, but I was having some questionable symptoms over the weekend. Saturday I had a pretty constant backache, twinges "down there" that I hadn't been feeling before and then Sunday came (TMI warning) discharge that I haven't had before. (More TMI) At my last appointment my OB specifically said to look out for mucousy discharge, that it can be nothing, but in my case it could also be a sign of cervical changes. So yeah, of course that's what I had and of course it happened on the weekend.

I don't care to go into the details of the ER visit. It went fine, everything is thankfully fine. What this post is about is how I feel like I am going crazy sometimes. The decision to head into the ER had me in tears. I didn't want to go (I mean who would). The thought of going made me cry, the thought of trying to wait it out made me cry. I couldn't help but think "what if I don't go in and we lose this baby too, then it's all my fault." I just envisioned getting to my appointment with the specialist today and him finding a little foot dangling out of my cervix. So, I decided to go in (so thankful for a great supportive practice that does not make me feel irrational for going in).

I had a similar experience around 22 weeks when I was pregnant with Ethan. When I went in with Ethan it was the day before Marcellus's first birthday and I thought that was why I was feeling so crazy. But the way I felt on Sunday reminded me of exactly how I felt with Ethan. Here are some experts from a blog post I wrote then (on the private blog I wrote in during Ethan's pregnancy).

From Ethan's pregnancy: "And so my mind went crazy with it. Actually I felt like I was losing my mind. I absolutely felt crazy. I said to Mike how much I hated feeling like that. The worry, the anxiety, the fear, the craziness. Since losing Marcellus we've often said we want a large family, 5 living children. I looked at him then with tears in my eyes and said, "I don't think I'll ever be able to do this again. I don't think I can do this 4 more times." It was the first time in my pregnancy it had gotten that hard. That hard, that I might just say one living child is enough the anxiety is too much."

When I got home from the ER on Sunday night I actually said to Mike, "even if this baby ends up full-term, I don't know if I'll be able to do this again." Very similar feelings as I wrote about with Ethan. 

From Ethan's pregnancy: "My body failed me when I had Marcellus by going into labor so early, I can't trust it anymore."

The above statement tears me up and is now two-fold. Even though Ethan is here and healthy and amazing, my body still failed him too. And he had to spend his first 10 weeks of life in the NICU because of it. So how do I not freak out?! How do I try to trust that things are going okay?! I really feel like I can't. I can not trust my body to keep my baby safe. And what an awful feeling that is. I even said this to my OB on Sunday (when she came down from L&D to see me in the ER)...I told her how hard it is not to be able to trust my body to do what it's supposed to. To keep my babies in until they are ready to be born.

Marcellus is dead because of that inability. He only got NEC because he was preemie. His death certificate even says "extreme prematurity" as a secondary cause. So I go a little crazy during pregnancy. I guess I can't blame myself for that. Two babies - one died, one in the NICU for 10 weeks....yeah, that'll give you anxiety during pregnancy. I'm sure it's going to continue until we are (hopefully) out of the prematurity range. That's a lot of weeks of anxiety left. I plan on starting to see my therapist regularly again to help me manage it. 

It's just not fair I will never have a normal pregnancy ever again. Never will I go through pregnancy without this intense fear that brings me to crazy anxiety provoking thoughts. Never again will I just be able to enjoy a pregnancy freely. And who knows, maybe after this baby I will never again be pregnant because I can't handle that. That in itself is not a thought I am wanting to explore in detail quite yet though.

Marcellus, I am so sorry my body failed you. That it did not do it's job to keep you safe until you were ready to be born. I hate that. I hate that so much. And then your little brother being born early, it failed him too in the same way. And now I fear everyday that it will fail your next little sibling. I don't think people can truly understand the fear you can live with after losing a baby. To have you die was my worst nightmare. And if it could happen to you, it could happen to another baby too. I'm going to work on managing my fear and my anxiety. So that I can enjoy this pregnancy with Cranberry in some ways I was able to enjoy my beautiful pregnancy with you. With you my sweet boy. I love you!!! xoxox.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Well, actually it's my 5th

I haven't written on my blog about this yet, but I'm pregnant again! I'm about 11.5 weeks along and this baby is due 11/27/15. We've nicknamed the baby Cranberry since the due date is the day after Thanksgiving. So far, everything is going perfectly!

I was at the dentist today for a routine cleaning. I let them know I'm pregnant. Now everyone at my dentist office is super nice, so I don't hold any of this against them. But that doesn't mean it's easy to deal with.

The dental hygienist asked if this was my second pregnancy. I responded that it's my third, however, I wanted to shout "Well, actually it's my 5th pregnancy!" Five, five times I've been pregnant. Three times I've given birth to beautiful children and pray every day that this baby will be #4. But I responded "Third," because who wants to really hear my complicated pregnancy/motherhood journey? What would it be like if I responded in detail...

"This is my 5th pregnancy. I had my first when I was barely 17 and placed her for adoption. I named her Angela Mae, but her adoptive parents named her something else. I haven't heard from her parents in 3 years now, so I have no idea how's she's doing. I pray that her family is still alive and well and that's she's happy. My second, my son, Marcellus Robert, was born at 28 weeks and he lived for only 12 days. Yes, only 12 days. That's right, my son died. He's buried in MN where I only get to visit his grave site about twice a year. He would be 3.5 years old, but he's not here. It sucks! My third child, second son, Ethan Michael, is 2.5 years and thriving. He's amazing, but we had a traumatic start to his life that still haunts me. He was born at 27 weeks gestation and spent 10 weeks in the NICU. I feared for his life and was sure he would die too. Everyday I know the outcome could have been different and am so so so grateful he is a healthy, rambunctious, joyful child. My fourth baby was not here for long at all, Baby Lark. I miscarried him or her at 6 weeks gestation. It was awful and I still haven't made complete sense of it, especially now expecting again. So, yes, this is my fifth pregnancy, but I only have one child at home. And while I am being optimistic that this baby will be born healthy and in November, I know that's not a guarantee. Now that I'm starting to get over my fear of miscarriage, the fear of premature labor is replacing it. Just the other night I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about what if this baby is born prematurely too. I just don't know how I could handle that or anything happening."

But my answer of "Third," was sufficient for most of the appointment. She never asked any details about my children and only commenting on how great I look for being in my third pregnancy. The dentist (who I've happen to never meet, she's only there on Tuesdays) on the other hand asked the question, "How old are your children?" I said my first son only lived for 12 days, but would be 3.5 years old and my second son is 2.5 years old. Here response was "I'm so sorry, that has to be so hard." and she examined my teeth, so I really couldn't respond. But yes, yes it is hard, very hard.

And while it's very hard most of the time it is what it is. It is my life. It is what I live everyday. But then there are the moments, the moments that make you feel the weight of it all. Moments like someone asking you how old your children are. While I am always happy to tell someone about Marcellus, to be able to speak of my children (and not just Ethan), answering those questions can cause me to feel the full weight of it. To step back and think "this is really my life."

It is my life though and everyday I work to make the conscience choice not to let that weight bring me down. There are moments where it will though. That's inevitable through the rest of my life. But in my daily living I choose joy. I choose to feel the joy of being the momma to all these babies. So, while I may have answered "third" I know in my heart that I am the momma of five. All very different circumstances and mothered in very different ways, but I carried each of them in my womb and loved them all from the moment I found out about their existence. They each take up a special place in my momma heart.

Marcellus, even though I didn't get to speak your name at the dentist office I did get to mention you. You are my child. You forever will be, even if you are not here to age. Forever my 12 day old baby, but I am always wondering who you would be as a 3.5 years old. I stopped by your tree. It looks good and is growing so big, just like I'm sure you would be if you were here. E and I are going to MN tomorrow. We'll stop by your spot right away. I hope we can find some beautiful flowers for you and will get it all cleaned up. I am so thankful for you and each one of your siblings. Yes, I wish the circumstances were different and somehow you could all be with me. But you all have shaped who I am and I know I am a better person for having carried and for loving each of you. Forever and ever and always I will love you, you will be my child, my first born son, my squirmy wormy. I miss you sweet boy!!! xoxox.    

Monday, April 6, 2015

I miss him

There's not much to say other than the title.

I miss Marcellus. I miss him every day. Every. Single. Day.

Missing him is just part of my daily routine. It's there, but I don't feel it intensely. But then there are the moments where it is more raw. I feel his absence in my entire being. I feel that tonight.

I feel it in a way that it seems so surreal. Surreal that he was here. Surreal that he is gone. Surreal that I am an infant loss mom. That I have a dead child.

I carried him, birthed him, heard him cry, held him, kissed him and yet he is not here.

He is not here. 

And damn, do I miss him!

Marcellus, I will always miss you. Every day of my life I will continue to miss you and wonder about you. I love you, forever and ever and always! xoxox

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An unexpected hard day

I wrote this first part on January 27th, just never published it.
Why does it seem like everyone else gets to have healthy full term babies and I don't?

I know it's not everyone, I know way too many mommas that have endure as many or more trials and difficulties than I have. But sometimes it feels that it's everyone but me.
On facebook I just saw two beautiful brand new babies from two different people. Not people that I'm close with or have talked to in a long while. I may or may not have even known they were pregnant (and if I did know, I didn't remember) when bam, Facebook makes sure I see those sweet babies.

And it stings. It still stings. I hate that. I hate that it hurts when I see pictures of other peoples newborn babies. I hate that my initial reaction is envy and the pain of my own experiences. I hate that sometimes I think "if they only knew..." but I don't want them to know anything different. And I don't know them well anymore, so maybe there was struggle before that beautiful baby came along. I don't know. But to me it just feels like it was so easy to them. So easy for everyone else.

"Hey let's get pregnant and have a baby! It's easy!" and for some, it is. The getting pregnant is easy, the staying pregnant is easy, the having a full term healthy baby that comes home from the hospital (or birth center or born in  your home or whatever) is easy.
But for others it's excruciatingly difficult to get pregnant. And there's heartache after heartache after heartache. There can be so many obstacles to overcome. And what I struggle with is why so much for some people while others sail through it??? Why does struggle not seem to be equally divided. Why do some go through so much, so so so much and others don't even have to try and everything just falls into place so damn perfectly?!?!?

Yeah, I know, a part of my consciousness I need to work on (I'm reading "The Conscious Parent"). I don't want to think and feel these ways, but for now I do.

So in that first part I wrote about how hard it was to still see pictures of brand new babies on Facebook. I came to sit down to write now because I just found myself crying over pregnancy posts. Seemed fitting to put them together. Damn you Facebook! I have mixed feelings about Facebook for various reasons and have considered getting rid of it on multiple occasions. But we live far away from family and it's an easy way to share what we're doing, especially with Ethan. And I have some awesome groups I'm a part of that I don't want to lose the online connection to.

I have really been doing well lately. I was even thinking about writing an "I am happy despite..." type of post. But then I just now I broke down a little. The other day I saw a pregnancy announcement for someone that has a little boy Ethan's age, she's due in August. Lark was due Sept 5th. Cue heart breaking and instant jealousy.

Then a couple of days ago I met a woman whose kids are about 14 months apart. She made a comment, "I wouldn't have them so close together if it was my choice." I don't understand how it wasn't her choice though?! I suppose she could have gotten pregnant while trying to prevent and I can only imagine what it's like to have two children that young (the oldest is 20 months). But then my heart screams, I want to know! I should know, my boys were born 13.5 months apart. The difference is my "oldest" is dead and that the youngest was supposed to be born 16.5 months after his brother. A dead son and 10 weeks in the NICU, now those weren't by choice.

Just now I saw pregnancy progression photos of someone else who is around 15-16 weeks. She also has up a picture of her little boy (younger than Ethan) in a brother shirt. I saw that and my eyes welled up, lump in my throat...and there they are, the tears. I guess each of the above encounters triggered me enough that with this last one it's all coming out.

I would be about 12 weeks pregnant with Lark. But I'm not, instead I just got my first cycle since having the miscarriage. Marcellus would be 3 years 4 months old. But he's not, instead his life ended at 12 days old.

I miss Marcellus. I miss what should be. I miss what I don't know I'm missing. I miss being pregnant. I fear we'll never have another living child. Ethan's going to get squeezed even tighter tonight because I know just how truly truly blessed I am that he is even here. How fortunate we are to have made it through those ten weeks and have them be relatively uneventful. My amazing little rainbow boy. But he does not erase the heart ache. He does not take away the grief nor should he. That is not his responsibility.

My grieving momma heart feels heavy tonight. Today turned out to be unexpectedly hard.

Marcellus, if only I had you here with your brother to know how crazy it could be to have children so close together. I would welcome that craziness, I want that craziness. Instead there is only one little boy in this house. And what an amazing little boy he is. While I am so so so thankful for your little brother, my heart forever aches for you. For all the days I live, I will yearn for you. And right now I am also yearning to be pregnant with Lark and the pregnancy milestones we'd be reaching soon. I miss you. I miss you I miss you I miss you. I love you. I love you I love you I love you. Oh baby boy, I wish you were here. xoxox.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It just seemed so perfect

When I found out I was pregnant with Lark, the timing just seemed so perfect.

Mike and I were wanting another baby, even in the trying stage. But we had accepted that it probably wasn't going to happen anytime soon. I'm nursing Ethan and that has affected my cycle. Just the month before we had a conversation about how as much as we want another baby, we weren't in as big of a rush to get pregnant as we had originally felt.

One reason I felt that way is that if the next baby has a NICU stay, I think for our emotional well being we'd have to be done having babies. With that realization, the next baby we have could very well be our last. I can't imagine never being pregnant again. So, for the time being I was happy fantasizing about the future. For the time being, a large family is still possible. If the next baby is born full term, we will most likely continue to grow our family. But again, there's that chance that we won't have that opportunity.

But then I found out I was pregnant on December 26th. Honestly, I was prepared to get my period. I felt like I was getting my period. I just was okay with the fact that I wasn't pregnant that month. But then my period didn't come and positive pregnancy test!

We were at my mom's when we found out. Mike was giving Ethan a bath and I took the test. I watched the lines appear. Yes, lines...two lines!!! I said to Mike, "There's two lines! Look, two lines!" He was happily surprised as well with an excited reaction "Really?!?!"

Yes, really! We got pregnant before we got that desperation feeling we had with Ethan (and even Marcellus). That feeling where it is so heartbreaking each month to not get pregnant. We had avoided that with Lark. That seemed perfect. But now, when my body is ready, I will have that desperation feeling again. Being pregnant with Lark sparked an even a stronger desire in me to have another baby. To have a growing round belly, to give birth, to have a squishy newborn baby. Each month of not getting pregnant will be crushing.

Lark's due date was Sept 5th. That seemed perfect too for multiple reasons. I would have ended this semester of teaching around 21-22 weeks, before I get into the "risky" zone of pregnancy for me. I then would have had the summer off. With Ethan I went on modified bed rest around 24 weeks. I was teaching two classes as an adjunct at the time. The doctor said I was okay to keep teaching and just to take it easy when I wasn't. Well Ethan was born three weeks later, so if I would get put on modified bed rest again, I'd have a hard time feeling okay with teaching. It would maybe be more of a mental thing, but it would be there. With Lark's due date, I wouldn't have had to worry about that.

It was perfect that I also wouldn't have had to be pregnant in October. When I was pregnant with Ethan I was 20 weeks around Marcellus's birthday. It was so hard. I actually spent the day before Marcellus's birthday in the ER. I'm sure it was stress, anxiety, grief causing physical symptoms, but I was a wreck. Now if I were ever pregnant with a baby that was supposed to be born around Marcellus's dates, then I would be okay with it if the baby came around those dates. It's the idea of being at risk for premature labor around Marcellus's dates that is terrifying to me. And now, being realistic, I think the earliest we would end up having a baby due is maybe December? Who knows, but that's my best guess if things go easily for us to get pregnant again. So yeah, a December due date would put me in prime preterm labor time around Marcellus's birthday. His due date was January 15th.  

The age gap between Ethan and Lark seemed like it was going to be perfect as well. I always thought I would have kids close together, 2ish years apart or so. But that obviously didn't happen. Being such a risk for premature birth, we had to make sure Mike would be graduated before we could possibly have another baby in the NICU. It's something I had been struggling with, seeing other people's pregnancy and birth announcements that have new big siblings Ethan's age or younger. I wanted that close age gap in my family too. But when my pregnancy with Lark came and the estimated age gap was 2.75 years, it just felt right for our family at this time.

Perfect. It just all seemed so perfect. We talked about how 2015 was going to be an awesome year for our family with Mike graduating and having another baby. How perfect. But it turned out to be not so perfect. Quite the opposite and instead 2015 started with miscarrying Lark.

Mike graduating will still be awesome and I can hope that 2015 will bring growth to our family. I just don't know if it will feel quite as perfect as it did for those 13 days all was well with Baby Lark.  

Marcellus, the thought of possibly having a due date near what yours was is terrifying to me. At your birthday and anniversary to be around the gestation you were born is scary. Of course, I know I have no control over these things. I should know more than most that as much as we try to plan and do our best, we don't have control. Life is what it is. It comes as it comes. So, I will need to work on letting go of those fears before we get pregnant again. Oh, Marcellus, I miss you so much. I also think of how perfect your pregnancy seemed. How perfect it felt to become a mommy, your mommy. So many perfect moments with you my baby boy. And those moments are locked forever in my heart. They make me forever your mommy. Forever and ever, I love you! xoxox.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How am I?

"How are you?" might be an innocent enough of a question in casual conversation. But when you're going through something difficult in life that question may sting. How am I?! Do you really want to know how I am?!? Even the phlebotomist that took my blood on Tuesday morning asked how I was. I wanted to look her in the eye and tell her she was taking the blood that would most likely (and of course now we know it did) confirm that I was miscarrying and then ask her how she thinks I'm doing. But I didn't. I had Ethan with me so I managed a half smile and said "okay."

And then there are the people who really do want to know. "How are you doing?" They know you are going through heartache and pain. And they genuinely care about your well being. They genuinely want to know, even if the answer is uncomfortable.

So, how am I doing? Honestly, I don't know right now. How am I supposed to be doing? I'm trying to sort it out. At first I was feeling very very angry. Incredibly angry.  As soon as things started on Thursday and through Tuesday, anger was my biggest emotion.

Then Tuesday the physical process really started. As my womb started to empty, so did my being. I feel empty, distant.

Ethan brings us so much joy. He really does. And I'm still feeling that joy. I still laugh at his silliness and am still warmed by his sweet hugs. But right now it just doesn't permeate my soul like it usually does. I know it will again, but for now it's like there's a shell even he cannot crack. I do not feel fully present with him and I hate that. I hate it so much. For me and for him. I can tell he feels it. I need to get back to being fully present with him. But at the same time I need to grieve for this pregnancy, for Lark. I need to grieve for Marcellus. I just need to grieve. I will find balance again.

And I still am angry. I'm angry about this miscarriage, I'm angry about Marcellus dying, I'm angry that Ethan was premature and in the NICU. And most of all I'm angry all of those things are true for me. All of them are my reality. And that's not even including the emotions that I deal with from placing Angela for adoption. I won't include that here because in a way I chose that grief. I made the decision to place her for adoption. Yes, I grieve not having her here. But again, I chose that, so it's different.

All my planned babies. All the ones I longed for before I even got a positive pregnancy test. Something has gone wrong. Marcellus's death being the most terrible, awful, horrific of them all. And now this. Now another baby gone. Who would have thought that my least traumatizing pregnancy and birth would be the one that resulted in two days of extreme measures to slow labor, a 2 pound 5 oz baby and 10 weeks in the NICU?!

I guess one reason I'm not entirely sure how I'm feeling or how I should feel is because of losing Marcellus. Yes, I am incredibly sad right now, yes I am angry, yes I feel empty, yes I am grieving. But when Marcellus died I literally could not function, I could not sleep, I could not eat. I almost fainted a few times. I sobbed and wailed and cried and cried and cried for whole days and days and days on end. My arms physically ached for the baby that was supposed to be in them. We spent days in the funeral home holding our son's dead cold body as our last physical moments with him. We planned a funeral, came back to an empty house with no child to care for. I didn't know how I would live. I thought my heart should stop when his did. I didn't think there was a chance to be happy again. It was dark. Very very dark. Very dark.

Miscarrying Lark sucks. It truly does. But for me, it does not come close to touching the intensity of Marcellus's death. And I think in a way that is preventing me from properly grieving this loss.

I need to grieve for Lark, for the dreams and hopes that started as soon as we saw that positive pregnancy test. It's going to look different than my grief for Marcellus and that's okay.

Marcellus, miscarrying Lark not only brings grief of another baby lost, but it also brings up some of the grief and emotions surrounding your death that I have not felt (or let myself feel) in awhile. Some of the same rawness is there again. Some of the deep deep anger. It's not fair all of this. It's so not fair. I want you here with your little brother. I want to be 7 weeks pregnant with Lark like I should. I want you and Ethan to both be waiting for the arrival of a new sibling. But we're not. You're not here. Lark is gone. Only Ethan is here on earth with me. And while I am so so so thankful for him, I miss you like crazy. Every day I miss you and long for you. Every. Single. Day. And now I long for Lark too. I wonder if you two are together. Are you? A younger sibling on earth and a younger sibling with you. I don't know that I necessarily find that comforting because really you should all be on earth with Daddy and I. I love you all so much! So so so so so so so much!!! xoxox. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Goodbye Baby Lark

For 13 joyous days we got to dream of you, anticipate you. But almost as quickly as you came into our lives, you were gone. Or were you never really here? We never even got to see you, I never got to feel you. Many didn't even get to know about you.

Medically, you may not have been considered a baby. But to us, you are our baby. As soon as we found out about you on Dec 26th, our family view changed to include you. Even with our fears (of premature labor, how Ethan would do, etc.) our hearts instantly expanded with love for you.

But something went wrong and you didn't grow. We will never know why. Your short existence did bring us joy and excitement. I was so excited for you. And now you're gone. We have had to say goodbye. I miss you already. My heart yearns to have you safely in my womb.

Goodbye Baby Lark. I love you.

We found out we were pregnant on Dec 26th while we were in MN at my mom's house. We were trying, but honestly didn't think it was going to happen that month. So, we were excitedly caught off guard to get a positive pregnancy test. We told a lot of our family and some close friends in person while still in MN. We nicknamed the baby Lark after enjoying a fun trip to Lark Toys.

Of course the first trimester is always a little nerve wracking not knowing what's going on. But I've never had problems in the first trimester before. In fact, I was trying to ease any first trimester fears by telling myself that between all the pregnancies my mom, sister and I have had, there has never been a miscarriage. Well, I guess there's a first time for everything and if it's something bad it seems I'll be the one to experience it. So here I am, having the first miscarriage in my family.

Earlier last week I would mention that I didn't feel pregnant. My exhaustion (an early pregnancy symptom for all of my pregnancies) seemed to go away. Something just felt off. Then on Thursday, Jan 8th, I had some bleeding. I went to the doctor and they didn't see much of anything on the ultra sound. The doctor said he maybe saw the start of a gestational sac, but that it was too small for the computer to even measure. He said at my suspected gestation, about 5.5 weeks, that they would expect to see a more defined gestational sac. He listed 3 things that could be going on, 1) Chemical pregnancy where the baby never develops, 2) Ectopic pregnancy or 3) I'm just not as far along as I thought. While I wanted to be hopeful, right away I didn't think 3) was very likely. I had my blood drawn and my hcg levels were checked. The number on its own doesn't give us any new information. I get my blood redrawn tomorrow (Monday, I'm writing this on Sunday) to see if they are going up as they should, decreasing (chemical pregnancy) or leveling off (would then suspect ectopic pregnancy).

Yesterday (Saturday) I started to get my hopes up. I hadn't had any bleeding since Friday morning. This whole time the "waiting game" has been awful. I already missed work on Thursday with everything going on. I didn't want to get my hopes up just to have them smashed early in the week. I don't want to have to miss more work. So with it being the weekend, which gives me time to process, I took another pregnancy test last night.

I took one Thursday night too (the nurse at the OB said my test earlier that day was faint and this was before I had my results from my first blood draw). The one I took last night is lighter, a sign my hcg levels are going down. That this is really happening. That there is no hope. Some people have said to hold on to hope until I know for sure the results of my blood draw. I'll let them hold on to that hope. Is it fair to say goodbye to Baby Lark before we are 100% sure? Maybe not. But for me I need to start this grieving process now to be able to function during the week.

So today, I say goodbye, yet again.

Marcellus, when we were in MN visiting your spot we talked to you about how you were a big brother again. Another little sibling we hoped to have in our home. But unlike Ethan, that little sibling is not staying here with us. And we grieve. We grieve not only the life we anticipated, but never got to know, but we grieve everything we've been through. We especially grieve you. I do have to say this is nothing like the intensity of losing you. But it still sucks. It still hurts. I still and will grieve. And all this grief is intertwined. Intertwined with the daily grief of you not being here. Of having to say goodbye to you when you were 12 days old. Of knowing I carried you safely until 28 weeks gestation, but that still wasn't enough. This baby didn't even get to six weeks. We never saw his or her heart beat. For you, we held you as yours stopped. It's all very different and it all sucks. I miss you my squirmy wormy. I miss you so damn much. Loving you always and forever. xoxox.

Updated Tuesday, 1/13.
I got the official call this morning confirming what I already knew, that I am having a miscarriage. Physically things have really picked up in the process today as well. So today is what we will consider Baby Lark's "birthday."