Tuesday, December 28, 2010

26 Weeks - 3D Ultrasound

Today I had a doctor's appointment which included the Glucose Tolerance Test and an ultrasound. David met me at the doctor's office, I drank the not-so-great-tasting orange drink and we waited. My friend's mom was our ultrasound tech today. As soon as she put the little wand on my belly, Ella had her hands over her face as she always does. She was squirming all around. I was so surprised when she switched it over to 3D! This was unexpected (I knew they had the capability, but didn't know she was going to use it today). She took several measurements and checked all of Ella's organs. Everything seemed to be great. She started showing us all of her different parts (and once again confirmed that she is definitely a girl). Then David asked if she could get a good view of the umbilical cord. We got a very clear picture of it and then David asked if she could show us the blood flow in the cord. As soon as she switched it over and said the blood flow looked great, I kind of lost it. So many emotions went through me all at once. I am so happy that Ella is healthy and whole and it seems that she is going to be just fine, but I miss Noah so much and to be honest, I get so angry sometimes just thinking that if they had only checked the blood flow in Noah's cord...

I know...I can't play the "what if" game. It doesn't help anything.

I apologized to the ultrasound tech (my friend's mother) for my sudden emotional collapse, but she understood. After all, her son and daughter-in-law lost their daughter shortly after we lost Noah. They just recently had a healthy baby boy. She's seen the emotions of a mother who has lost her child. I was thankful in that moment that she was our tech.

Here are a few 3D pictures of our beautiful Ella Jane...

Her feet...

I will try to get a belly pic posted soon. Please keep us in your prayers over the next several weeks. Everything seems fine with Ella and I believe with all my heart that she is going to be born healthy and alive, but there is always this fear that lingers that I just can't seem to push away completely. With each passing day I love Ella even more and I miss Noah even more. I keep thinking about the weeks prior to losing him. In some ways I'm terrified of returning to that same hospital wing where we kissed our son goodbye and left empty-handed. I am pleading with God to let me keep Ella. To let me leave that hospital with her in my arms.

I'm 26 weeks...just 5 weeks away from when we lost Noah. Maybe some of the anxiety will taper off once I get past week 31.

Monday, December 13, 2010

24 Weeks and praying for a miracle

***Because of the title of this blog post, let me just start out by saying Ella is just fine!

Ella decided to scare her mommy and daddy this morning. Every single morning for the last 6 weeks I have felt Ella moving and kicking. She is usually very active in the mornings. But not this morning. I got up at 7:00 and started getting ready for work...no movement. I got Ethan ready and I took him to school at 8:15...still no movement. I stopped by a McDonald's and got a Dr. Pepper hoping to get some movement out of her. By 10:00 I had tears in my eyes. The nightmare of the day we lost Noah was flashing through my mind. I called David and he was ready to go to the house and get the doppler...then she started kicking....and kicking...and kicking. Yep, this girl is gonna be trouble! At least that will teach me to keep the doppler with me at all times. Anyway, Ella is just fine and has been moving a LOT since about 10:30. My heart still hasn't slowed down though! She had me terrified!

Other than this morning's incident, everything has been great. I'm feeling great (other than a sinus infection that lasted for a while). I'm definitely more anxious as the weeks go by. I know I need to enjoy every moment of the pregnancy, but I will feel so much better once she is in my arms, alive and well. I'm just still so terrified something will happen to her in my womb. I just try to remember that the Lovenox is doing what it's supposed to and Ella is safe.

I'm struggling right now with the fact that I will only have 12 weeks with her before I have to return to work. I stayed home with Ethan until he was a year old, but that is just not possible for us (financially) right now. If only David had benefits with his job....(sigh). I've been very stressed out about the thought of handing my 3 month old over to a daycare worker. I keep thinking about all the things I will miss out on...all the things I got to share with Ethan that I won't be able to share with Ella. It's hard. It's very hard. I'm praying for a miracle (maybe a great new job to land in David's lap???). I know God can make it happen if that's His will for us.

Will you pray for a miracle with me?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beautiful Girl

Sweet girl,

Your mommy, daddy, and big brother can't wait to meet you. Keep growing strong. We love you! You are so very beautiful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

21 Weeks

"Wow, your pregnancy is flying by!".....that is so easy for YOU to say! Haha. Things are starting to speed up a little, but so far this pregnancy has felt SO STINKIN' LONG! Don't get me wrong, I feel great! Nothing to complain about. It's just that every time I feel Ella move, I desperately just want her here, safe in my arms. It's hard to believe that I'm just 10 weeks away from when I lost Noah. I'm trying to just take it one day at a time. The next milestone I'm really wanting to hurry up and get to is the week of viability...24 weeks. Right now Ella couldn't survive outside the womb (even with medical help). While I do not want her to be born anywhere close to 24 weeks, it will still be comforting to get there.

Ok, so I guess I have some catching up to do....

First, there was Halloween...

My pumpkin patch

Ethan & Hayden

Hannah & Sarah

Brady, Ethan, & Connor

The whole gang

And there was a trip to the Georgia Aquarium with Grandaddy, Tar-Tar, Aunt Erica, Uncle Grant, and cousins Natalie and Julianna.....

And then an early Thanksgiving/Christmas get-together with my extended family on my Dad's side...

Ethan playing "War" with his Great Papaw!

The McInnis Family

The grandkids (and great grandkid) and spouses

My grandad and his 4 children...

And here are my parents. Yep, that's my mom...102 pounds lighter!!!!

We've had a busy few weeks and I haven't taken the time to take another belly shot, but I promise I will do that this week along with an update after my high risk appointment tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

19 Weeks and Kickin'

Noah's crib...

It was time. Time to take Noah's things down and prepare to put Ella's things up. And we are already in that transition stage of calling "Noah's room" now "Ella's room". My mom purchased the crib set for Ella and brought it to me on Thursday night. Before mom arrived I took all of Noah's things down and then it all hit me again. The finality of it all. Like I've said before, it's a strange thing to feel joy and sorrow at the same time. I thought I would be excited about the newness of putting up pink girly things, but I sat in Noah's room listening to his little mobile that I played hundreds of times while I was pregnant with him and I just sobbed. I selfishly kept telling God, "I want them both". I cried hardest when I pulled Noah's crib sheet off his crib. So many times over the last year I had rested my hand on that sheet right where Noah should have been sleeping. They are just things, but taking down his things felt so wrong and I fell apart for the first time since I've been pregnant. When my mom arrived I got it over with quickly. I put Ella's crib set on the crib right away. But then we realized the crib sheet that was supposed to come with the set was missing. What a bummer. Then I thought about Noah's sheet and wondered if it would match Ella's crib set. I pulled the sheet out and put it back on the mattress and to our amazement, it looked like it belonged with the set. It's white with little green polka dots which perfectly match the green polka dots on Ella's quilt. I know it may seem like a silly thing to some, but to me it was God-ordained.

And before you ask...yes, I will eventually post pics of Ella's room, but not until it is all done and painted.

Week 19 and David felt Ella move for the first time tonight! He felt one swift kick and was really excited about it. They are no longer just movements, they are actual kicks! I've been feeling her move so much I haven't needed to check her heartbeat at night. I know she is doing just fine!

My emotions are definitely starting to get the best of me. I know hormones play a big role in it. I am still able to find so much joy and excitement even through the days that I miss Noah so much. This may sound strange, but I feel like maybe Ella's birth will give the loss of Noah some sort of redemption. Like he saved her life in a way since in losing him we learned of the Factor V Leiden and the necessity of the Lovenox injections. I want Ella to be born healthy not just for us, but for Noah. Maybe some of you know what I mean.

I know I'm a little late in posting pics from Halloween, but I'll get those in on the next post. Goodnight everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

18 Weeks

Ella and I are still doing very well. I'm now 18 weeks and so glad to be almost halfway there! My belly is really starting to grow, but I still haven't had anyone ask me if I'm pregnant.

Ella is moving a lot more. It's comforting. I really have found a lot of joy in this pregnancy. Honestly, I didn't expect to. I thought I would only be filled with fear and anxiety. There are still difficult moments. It's an odd thing to be filled with joy while still walking through grief. Sometimes the joy numbs the grief, but it's still there. I find myself daydreaming a lot about a life with 2 sons and a daughter. It's a strange thing to think about Ella being here...a newborn. Noah would be almost 16 months old now, but it's as if he's frozen in time as an infant. I only have pictures of him as a tiny 3lb, 6oz baby. I stare at the pencil portrait of our family above our t.v. as I type this....Noah, a tiny baby in my arms. But then Ella will be the baby in my arms. She won't replace Noah...he cannot be replaced. It's really hard to express in words what I'm trying to say...but I just wish all of my children could be here. And I don't want other people to forget Noah either. Being pregnant doesn't make it all better. I definitely feel very blessed and I'm thankful for the newness God has brought us by giving us a daughter.

I have recently started to worry a little about the next few ultrasounds over the next 8 weeks as they will take a closer look at Ella's organs. I know that so many of you who have lost babies found out around the 20-week mark that your baby would not live. I have been so excited over these past few weeks about how well Ella is doing, that I fear bad news could be looming. I'm sure these are normal feelings and I hope I really have nothing to fear. The high risk doc even told me at my last appointment that as of right now, this is like a completely normal pregnancy. I hope it stays that way.

While I still grieve the life that should have been, my brother and sister-in-law are grieving for the life they feel like should have been for them as well. For so many, this thing of having children comes so easy...sometimes even by accident. But it's not always so simple. Please pray for my sister-in-law as she is having surgery on Friday...another step in preparing her body to possibly carry a child. They need a big dose of HOPE...so please pray! They are trusting in God's plan for their lives.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

16 Weeks and a Getaway

Sorry for the lack of updates. Things are going well. Nothing to report (which is always a good thing!). I go back to the high risk doctor next Tuesday and then to my regular OB on the 1st. We check Ella's heartbeat daily and it is such a beautiful sound! I'm 16 weeks along (17 on Sunday).

If you think about it, will you please pray for my brother and sis-in-law as they go back to the fertility specialist on Monday? They found a few cysts on Esther's ovaries last time she was there and we are praying they will be completely gone!

This past weekend was a great get-away for us. My friends, Lori and Jeff were going to Pigeon Forge for the weekend. Jeff's parents have a time share there and they had to cancel, so they were letting Jeff and Lori use it. My other friend April and her husband, Dan were free for the weekend and so were we (which is rare for us since David always has to lead worship on Sundays...but Brien was leading this week!), so Lori invited us to stay at the time share with them. It was a nice 3 bedroom condo, so it was perfect. April, Lori, and I went to middle school and highschool together...we've been friends for nearly 18 years! (Wow that makes me feel old!). I've never gone on a trip with them so it was nice to just hang out and get to talk with them. They have really been great support for me since we lost Noah and it was nice to be able to share with them the joy of being pregnant with Ella. They are such genuine people and I love them dearly. It was also nice to get to spend some time with their kiddos.

Here are a few pics from the weekend....

Sadly, I didn't get a pic of David, Ethan, and me together. Bummer.

Anyway, it was a great time with friends and a good inexpensive trip for us. I really wish we weren't so spread out (Lori lives in Greenville, SC, April lives in Nashville and of course we live in east Atlanta), but I'm glad we have remained good friends through the years.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

6 Years Ago Today

October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss
Remembrance Day

It was 6 years ago today that our journey with pregnancy loss began. You can read about that day HERE. At the time we had no idea that we would face more loss in the future.

Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Please remember those who have lost, whether it was recently or a long time ago. As my grandmother would tell you, even if the loss was over 50 years ago, it can still be so difficult....you never forget.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's A Girl! ...What's in a Name?

Today I went to get my hair cut and I was telling my friend who cuts my hair that we were pretty sure our baby was a girl but didn't have a really good look yet. She has a friend who is an ultrasound tech (the same one who did Noah's gender scan for us), so she called her up and asked her if she would have time to do an ultrasound to confirm our baby's gender today. She said she would be happy to, so I stopped by her work around 3:00. It took a few minutes, but we finally confirmed IT'S A GIRL! She was moving all over the place, but she had her little legs tightly closed. Finally after several minutes of me rolling from one side to the other, we were able to see and she is definitely a girl...

Here she is sucking her thumb (just like her big brother!)

And here she is already showing her support for the "#1" football team in the country (Alabama Crimson Tide!!!). She's holding up a "#1".

What's In A Name?

As for baby girl's name.....we have chosen Ella Jane. "Ella" is a form of the name "Helen" which was both mine and David's grandmother's name. I absolutely love the meaning of the name because it is so appropriate for how we feel about her ...especially after losing Noah and all that we've been through in the last year. It means "torch or bright light" or "a torch in the dark places". The name "Jane" is the name my other grandmother goes by (her real name is "Mary Jeanette" but she has always gone by "Jane"). This name means "God is gracious". We feel like this is the perfect name for our sweet miracle baby!

David and I are so excited and can't wait to meet Ella Jane. We are so in love with her already!

A friend of mine is working on editing the video of the ultrasound I had today. I'll try to get it posted soon!