rational brain=non existent

I’m pretty sure that the last two weeks of this pregnancy are going to just drive me absolutely up the wall crazy. Since last Wednesday when I posted last, I have gone off the deep end it feels.

Thursday we had our NST, and it was CAKE…like nothing has ever gone so smooth in my life kind of cake. We walked in, I peed in a cup- all was good, I lost two lbs, blood pressure was like ridiculously perfect, and Alden was kicking the NST’s ass. We were in and out within what felt like 30 minutes. After, we went to Panera bread and enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch. I love Thursdays with Shane because we always get lunch together and it’s just so relaxing to be with him.

So, fast forward to Friday. Landon is in school, and my mom came to visit for the weekend. Everything is going well, but just somewhere in the back of my mind I feel super uneasy. I think the closer it is getting to d-day, the worse I’m feeling. Saturday I convinced myself that she wasn’t moving “right”, or that her pattern was different. Of course this caused me to spiral and push on her a bunch to see if she would move (which she did). I would get so close to saying I had to go into L&D, then she would move enough for me to feel confident in her being alive.

Saturday night however was a different story. She didn’t move while I laid in bed with Shane watching tv. She didn’t move when I rolled on my back, or my other side. In the tiny little rational part of my brain I have left I’m thinking, ok…she is sleeping so much right now, everything is fine. It’s constantly overshadowed by the giant irrational (read: totally legit) part of my brain that says  OMG. IT’S BEEN FOREVER SINCE YOU FELT HER MOVE. GET UP. GO TO LABOR AND DELIVERY. GO NOW. WHO CARES IF YOU CAN HEAR HER HEART BEAT ON YOUR DOPPLER. THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Saturday night I slept like SHIT. I was up 4 times to pee, and one of those times I was woken up by a contraction that hurt like hell.

Oh and at 4:45 am that “legit” part of my brain made me use my doppler to hear her heart beat.

FOUR. FOURTY. FIVE. AM.

Tomorrow it will be 16 days until she’s here. Kenley died a week before her scheduled c-section date. I cannot stop thinking about how were coming up on that date. Sure, this is a different pregnancy, and things are different this time yada yada yada, but honestly? Things are so much worse this time. Before, I was excited. I wanted to let her cook in there as long as she could! I asked for a c-section at 38 weeks and was told no. If my doctors would have agreed, she would be here. They had no reason to not agree.

This time, my MFM is willing to take her at 37 weeks, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to beg her to take her at 36, or 36.3 I don’t know, just something. She needs to come out while I know she’s alive. I didn’t know that Kenley wasn’t alive. It was so unfair, and cruel. I want to be able to say that this isn’t driving me insane, or that I’m handling it super well, but the truth is I’m not.

My anxiety is overwhelming. My fear of losing this child has become to much. I am excited for Alden to come…but what if she doesn’t get to come home with us? What would I do? People are taking time off of work for her arrival- just like with Kenley- and what happens if she doesn’t survive. It’s all too much.

Tomorrow we have an NST followed by a Growth Ultrasound and an appointment with my MFM. She is so reassuring, so I know she will calm me down, but I really really hope that she considers my mental health when I ask her if we can go any earlier.

I’m sure she’ll say no and try to talk me down…but I feel like my concerns are valid and my opinion matters.

Having a baby should not be this god damn hard.

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NSTptsd.

Yep. It’s a real thing, at least it should be a real word anyway.

Yesterday at our first NST of the week, Alden decided she would be a super jerk and not let the nurse find her heart beat right away. And, by right away, I mean it took THREE WHOLE MINUTES to find her heartbeat. Sure, 3 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but remember the standard NST testing hook up is how we found out Kenley died. That was the longest probably 10 minutes of my entire life…

So, I’m sitting there… the nurse says “ok lets have you roll toward me” (I do) still no heartbeat.

Lets have you roll on to your other side (I do) still, I hear nothing.

I’m feeling her move inside me, or so I think; I thought Kenley was moving, too, but I was horribly mistaken.

I say, “ok let me lay flat on my back for a second because sometimes when I do that she moves and brings herself pretty close to the surface and we get her heartbeat”.

I lay flat. NOTHING. 

I lost it; I cried and was shaking so much we had to turn the machine down because it was so loud. I’m sorry, but there is only so much you can handle! I had reached my limit about 20 seconds after we couldn’t find her heartbeat in the beginning so the nurse is lucky I held out as long as I did.

Finally, we got it. It was faint and sounded super distant. I don’t know what she was doing in there (besides stressing me the hell out) but she just kept her distance. We were finally able to get a good trace on her, and she passed with flying colors, as per usual.

After the nurse left to let my MFM read the strip, I lost it again. Shane could tell I wasn’t holding it together very well, and I could tell he was a little stressed out too. He swears he heard her faintly in the beginning, and that the Nurse was never worried…well, I sure as hell was (and I know he’s lying and was scared half to death too…) 

So the rest of the appointment I was scared. I wanted to just cry to my MFM and beg her to take Alden now. Please god just take her while we know she’s still alive. I know that she will be fine on the outside. What if my body kills her again between now and the time she’s supposed to come? Kenley died 7 days before her scheduled c-section date, so what am I supposed to do around that time with Alden? I’m pretty sure I’ll either be at an NST, in Labor and Delivery getting monitored, or I’ll be sitting here with my doppler on my stomach listening to her heartbeat all night.

I talked with my MFM, and told her I had been having some Braxton Hicks contractions, and that they pretty much happen every time I stand up. I sit down, and they eventually go away after a few seconds. I drink tons of water, so I know I’m not dehydrated. She told me that if they increased, or the pain intensified that I should head to L&D. She didn’t seem too worried about them, but I go for another NST on Thursday and so far today they have been happening again so I will mention it to her.

She told me that she had put her cell phone number in my chart so that if I end up at labor and delivery in the middle of the night they know to call her for delivery- That kind of freaked me out I won’t lie! We also discussed that I need to stop Lovenox 12 hours before I deliver because if I don’t, they won’t give me a spinal due to bleeding risks, and I’ll have to be put under. I would just lose my mind if I had to be asleep for her birth! Not cool!

I have been trying my hardest to not let my mind get the best of me, but the NST just pushed me over the edge. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next 20-something days. I really don’t know.

On a happy, less neurotic, note- Alden now has a light fixture for her bedroom!

lydia-flushmount-chandelier-c

 

 

husband. 

Dear Shane, 

I know you don’t read this, but maybe someday you will. 

I want to tell you how much I love you. 

I want you to know how special it is to me to watch you lay your head on my belly and talk to your second daughter. 

It almost brings me to tears to hear you laugh when she kicks you in the hand or the side of the head randomly. 

She loves you, and so do I. 

You worked super early the past two days, yet you are having a sleep over with Landon…on his floor… telling ghost stories way past his bedtime because he asked you to. 

You’re an amazing Father. 

You’re an amazing Husband. 

I cannot wait to see you hold Alden, and to see the love in your eyes. 

I love you more than you will ever know. 

Love you always, 

Your best friend

weekly randoms.

Yesterday we had an NST and Alden did wonderfully. She was SO active this time that I was seriously concerned something was wrong. The nurse always reassures me that there is no such thing as “too much activity” which I don’t know if I agree with. I mean I guess too much activity followed by immediate decreased fetal movement might be what I’m thinking is bad, but I don’t know. It’s just always something; too much movement, not enough movement, weird movement, different movement patterns. It’s all enough to drive you crazy, honestly.

After our test we went to get Lunch at a little cafe. We talked a little about how we are planning to set up people being at our house for the c-section date etc. It really really sent me into a PTSD spiral. A lot more than I expected to be honest. I just couldn’t help but think about December and how Landon had to stay with my Mother in Law for days. He was confused, and worried and thought everything was fine until he came to the hospital and everything changed. I literally can’t even think about it without getting dizzy and wanting to hyperventilate, so we decided to table that conversation until we are closer.

Shane’s been replacing all the doors in our house with new 2 panel doors.

This is the Nursery closet and bedroom door


 He got some handy tools for Christmas (not by coincidence) and he’s been busy with that for a few days now. It looks so much better. I hate that the people who built this house went so cheap on everything. It would save us a lot of work if things were done just a little nicer. Instead, we are planning on replacing all the doors, painting all the god awful trim work, remodeling both bathrooms, and that’s just inside. Oh and we had to repaint the entire house when we moved in because…just yikes. It’s amazing what a few days of work can do for your home. I can’t wait until spring so we can plant some flowers, and do some more work outside. Unfortunately, I think we’re going to have to paint our fence which I am NOT looking forward to.

We hung Alden’s mirror above her dresser the other day. It looks really awesome, and I’m pretty happy with out it turned out. 


We keep putting off working in the Nursery, and I know it’s just nerves keeping us from doing things in there (by doing things I mean going through her clothes, washing them, organizing her closet etc etc). I can vividly remember washing Kenley’s things, and folding them with such love one night. I am not there yet. I cannot do that again, and lose another baby. So, I guess in my mind I think if they’re just hanging in the closet, and Alden doesn’t come home then I’m one step ahead of where I was with K.

It’s going to be in the 60’s all week. It’s February. What is happening? It’s fine, I’m happy the weather will be nice, but it just makes me feel like I need to be outside, when I really need to be focusing on crap I have to do inside my house. You watch, when March 15th rolls around, it will be freezing and snowing.

I tried to get Landon to go see Aladdin with me today at the movies- sort of a Mother Son afternoon date- and he pretty much straight up told me that he’s too cool for me. He said that Aladdin was a girls movie (he’s never seen it), and that he didn’t care if we went to get milkshakes afterward or not, that he just didn’t want to go. I’m to the point now in my pregnancy where I’m really emotional, so it made me cry. I didn’t let him see that it made me cry, but it freakin hurt my feelings! FINE. We won’t go then. I don’t have the emotional strength to drag him out of the house and listen to him whine the entire time. I just am running low on the Fucks that I give. So instead, he would like to stay home, and play board games with me all day. Ok then. When he says things like that, it makes my heart ache for Kenley. I know that she would just love spending time with me, and he did too when he was her age. I guess he’s just out growing me.

I really wish that Shane and I could go on a vacation. I could use some relaxing time with just him. We are home during the week together on his days off, but it’s just not the same. We have so much that we have to do here that we never get a chance to just relax and enjoy each other. He is my calm, happy place and I’ve been feeling pretty rattled lately. Pretty sure the anxiety of what’s to come in the next 26ish days is really hitting home, possibly for both of us more than I realize.

I am so thankful for the loss moms that I’ve connected with. There are days where one of us will feel just awful, and will send out a text that we all can relate to. I’m so thankful for that fucked up connection we all have. I feel like I can go into our group chat and just say literally whatever I need to, and they will understand, and not judge me all in one. Just so thankful to have them in my corner.

Tomorrow I’m getting my hair done. I’m going to go super light, more white than honey blonde. Here’s to hoping that my well water doesn’t screw it all up. My sister, and my friend both suggested that I buy bottled water to wash my hair and I seriously think I’m going to do that. I have the right kind of shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair, so we’ll see if this makes a difference.

I need to hire a professional organizer. I have so much crap in my house that just needs to be thrown away, and then the house needs to be organized so well. Ugh. It’s got to be the nesting kicking in, but I want to just organize everything and it’s driving me nuts cus I can’t. My giant stomach is in the way of everything, and it’s frustrating because I get dizzy and winded. I’m not complaining about being pregnant, because honestly I love being pregnant, but damn! I sometimes forget that I gotta take it easy.

Off to do laundry.

 

30 days left.

We had an NST today, and Alden was once again an over achiever. They want to see 2 accelerations in 2o minutes- she had 10. I’m so thankful that she is proving to me she is healthy, and active but damn I can’t wait until she is earth side and in my arms. While we were sitting there listening to her heartbeat (which, by the way is computer generated and not the real noise… I feel like I’ve been lied to!) I looked over at Shane and told him that I cannot wait to see him holding Alden. He was sitting so close to me, keeping a hand on the monitor because he wanted to make sure we were getting a good reading (her heartbeat wasn’t showing up strong so the nurse suggested I keep a hand over top of the monitor).

I am so thankful for him. I know I say it a lot, but sometimes it just hits me really really hard how much I love him. He really can’t wait for her to be here, and I am so excited to watch him be a Father again. I wanted to watch him Father Kenley, but I get to see that done in different ways. I know that he is going to love this little girl so much. I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to see Landon interact with her, too. Ugh, my heart is exploding just thinking about it! I know she will bring so much joy to our lives, and I am genuinely looking forward to that, but I am still so scared of Kenley being forgotten.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day. Last year on Valentine’s day I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, in my robe, crying- no sobbing more like it, and thinking about how this was supposed to be Kenley’s first real holiday. I had gotten a cute little onesie for her to wear as an xmas gift; It say’s “Daddy’s Sweetheart”. I was looking through the clothes in the closet the other night when I came across it. It sent chills down my spine. I wanted to rip it out of the closet and throw it in the trash, yet at the same time I couldn’t stand to look at it long enough to even remove it. I’m not too sure what will happen with that outfit…

Last year at this time- specifically Valentine’s day- I did not want to be alive. I remember thinking about how badly I wanted to be with Kenley. I would never actually kill myself, but I remember thinking how sad I was, how lonely I was. I was in the raw grief period, and that period is like no other. There is no way to prepare someone for the darkness that you feel in the early days after a loss. It’s indescribable. I knew I needed help, so I called up some therapists and scheduled an appointment with one. I am so proud of myself for doing that because honestly? I could have literally laid down in bed and refused to get up again because that’s how awful I felt. I STILL feel that way sometimes.

I (we) saw a therapist until August, when all of a sudden one day it just didn’t feel right to go anymore. Shane and I agreed that we felt like we were just wasting money by seeing the therapist, not that she wasn’t a great one, but just that we were at the point in our grief where we could lean on each other. Before, it felt like I needed someone to hear everything I had to say, all the time, and I would sometimes lay it on thick to Shane (who was also grieving but wanting to make things easier on me so he would just listen to me cry for hours when that wasn’t fair to him). I can honestly say that I feel 100% not seeing a therapist anymore. There are days where I feel the darkness heavy inside of me, but I can battle that now. I know when it comes that it will pass, and I know why it’s coming- be it a trigger, or just a bad day.

Losing Kenley was a terrible, terrible thing. I think I can confidently say that losing a child is one of the worst- if not THE worst- things in the world. People think that just because you didn’t “spend time” with the child you lost, that you should heal quicker and move on; just the notion of that makes zero sense to me. Where in these people’s minds do they think it’s okay to expect, well, anything from a Mother who lost a child?

I text with a group of loss moms (Hi! I love you all!) and we were discussing God + losses today. We’re a pretty open minded bunch, and a few are religious (while a few aren’t) so this  next stuff isn’t some anti-christ opinion here. Anyway, we were discussing the things that people say to you after a loss, specifically when someone tells you that “it’s God’s plan”.

First off, no. Just no.  Yikes. Like…do you not realize what that sounds like? It sounds like you are telling a person who’s CHILD JUST DIED that God intended that to happen? Like he specifically chose that person and said ok, that baby won’t live. Just does not make sense. Also, there was another comment and it was greeted with a reply from one of the women who said “Ask that woman which one of her children she would like to give back” and that makes so much sense. People say things, such as “God needed another angel(this saying makes me cringe deep into my soul) with intention of making you feel better, when really it’s just making THEM feel better (fuck if I know how it makes ANYONE feel better???). When you say God needed another angel, you’re telling that person “God” wanted your baby more than you deserved it. So, because he’s “God” he should just get what he wants. What about what you want? The chance to raise your baby (in a faith that serves him NONETHELESS!!!). 

Bottom line, don’t say dumb shit. Like, before you open your mouth, take FIVE seconds, and really, really think about if what you’re going to say is REALLY going to make this person (not yourself) feel any better.

Chances are, the answer is no because there is no comforting a child loss mother.

There just isn’t. 

This post really went all over the place.

l&d

Last night before bed my back started to hurt, and I felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath. It’s not unusual for me to not be able to take a deep breath cus, well, all of my space is taken up. Breathing is not a fun activity these days. I went to bed with some back pain but didn’t think anything about it. I also felt really tired, but again, that’s normal these days. When I woke up this morning, my back still hurt; I couldn’t bend over without being in pain. Shane helped me by getting Landon ready for school this morning. When he was off to school, I went back to bed. I ended up sleeping until 11:30.

When I woke up, I was waiting to feel Alden move and I didn’t feel it. I kept waiting, and waiting…But I didn’t feel anything. I turned from side to side while laying in bed, expecting her to kick me hard like she usually does but nada.
I drank a sprite. Nothing.

I ate some food. Nothing.

I took a shower. Nope.

I ate some candy. Nothing.

I had her HB on my doppler which didn’t really calm me down, and she had the hiccups twice which also didn’t do much for my anxiety.

So, we decided that it was best for us to go to Labor and Delivery. I really really really didn’t want to go, but, I know that it’s better to be safe than sorry or whatever. I knew the PTSD was going to be full blown today, and I just really didn’t want to feel all that. We got there, and went back to a triage room.

They told me to give a urine sample and leave it in the bathroom …PTSD SOOOOOO much PTSD. I remember walking into L&D with Kenley, and giving a sample, and just feeling so naive to anything being wrong. Like, I think I made a joke about how bad I had to pee. But, it was like the clearest memory of the entire night when we found out she died. I left my sample in the bathroom that was in my personal room, and climbed into the bed. The nurse came in, talked to us about why we were there, and hooked us up to the monitor. We found her HB right away, thank god, but she wasn’t moving. Her heart rate was up in the 160’s and the OB resident wanted to see it a little lower so we kept monitoring her for about an hour.

The OB resident was so freaking sweet. She came in and discussed my history with us. She brought up Landon’s birth, and asked how we lost our second child. She offered her condolences about Kenley and she let me talk about her for a few minutes. It always feel good when someone cares about our story. She told us that Alden was showing good signs of accelerations, but she wasn’t moving as much as she liked so we were going to keep watching her for a while longer. After about 30 more minutes she came back in and told us that she was going to get the ultrasound machine (cue super PTSD- This is where I saw my sweet Kenley, lifeless, on screen. A mobile ultrasound machine is what confirmed my worst fears) and was going to make sure that they could see physical movement on the screen. I started to cry. She told me that she wanted to do everything possible to make me feel comfortable because of our history. I felt like she actually cared, and I jokingly told her to let me stay there for the next 5 weeks.

Once she brought the machine in, we were able to see Alden moving and squirming around. I don’t know if she had just changed positions again, and I’m just not able to feel them as much or what, but ugh. She showed us Alden’s stomach and told us that it was “black and fluttering” which meant that she was practicing breathing (a good thing), and that if she was in any kind of distress that this would be the first thing that would stop. Because she was breathing, having lots of movements, and her heart rate had dropped back down into the 130/140s, they said they felt comfortable sending us home. The resident said that there was no reason why she felt that our baby was in distress, and that we should feel confident in her health.

I cried a few more times, and thanked her for taking so much time with us to show us all these things even though we just had an NST yesterday.

Pregnancy after loss is a mind fuck.

Pregnancy after a full term stillborn child is a whole different kind of evil.