Monthly Archives: November 2012

Celebrating Week 28!

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Celebrating Week 28!

How far along? 28 weeks, 4 days.
Total weight gain/loss: + 21 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yep. You know it has to be a maternity dress when you take a 2 hour nap in it. Nothing else can be that comfy!
Sleep: Really good. Wow, I’m so thankful for that!
Best moment this week: Going to Disney on Ice with Granny and my girls. There just isn’t anything that makes me as happy as watching them be so happy.

Movement: Yeah – all over the place.

Food cravings: None, really. But Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes are back. And they are good.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Papa John’s pizza.
Have you started to show yet: Yep.

Gender Predictions: It’s a boy!

Labor Signs: A few more contractions this week. Enough to make me a little nervous, but also not enough to make me do anything except drink some water and ask for a foot rub. :)
Belly Button in or out? IN
Wedding rings on or off? They have officially made the switch. It’s been 9 months since my rings were on my left hand!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Really good except for the “birth plan talk” night.
Weekly Wisdom: Christmas Tree cakes help everything look better in the world.

Milestones: Kyle is over 1 pound! This is a HUGE deal – There are several medical intervention options that aren’t even really options until he hits a certain weight…so seeing him grow 5 ounces in 2 weeks was fantastic news.

Exercise: Nope. But I really want to. Maybe I’ll get some walks in this week.

Weekly Prayer Request: We have to make a decision about what hospital we’ll deliver in this week. One hospital provides an incredible NICU, but none of the doctors I’ve seen so far can deliver there. The other hospital has just what we need, but isn’t equipped to handle NICU baby cases. BUT, we could have the exact birth experience and doctors we wanted. It’s just a big decision at this point. There will most likely be another hospital visit coming up as well as a few more meetings with doctors to help us make the best decision.

Hey there, little guy!

I was SO happy to see you again this week – you’re getting bigger! And you’re moving all over the place these days. You’re definitely starting to make me feel pregnant. I had to ROLL out of bed after a nap this afternoon! I hope your first Thanksgiving was happy for you like it was for us. We opted not to cook – something about being on my feet all day – and even though it pretty much killed me not to be cooking with your sister, it was nice to not have to do any dishes after dinner was over. ;)

I am thankful that you are still with us. Kami was thankful for breakfast. Chloe was thankful she got to go to Disney on Ice with Granny. And Daddy was thankful for all of us. Together. I’m guessing if you could talk you’d say you were thankful for that big piece of pumpkin pie I ate for dessert.

We decided on your birth plan this week. That was the hardest conversation your dad and I have ever had. Ever. But we did it. And we feel at total peace about our decisions. We still have one big decision to make though. Which hospital gets to have you inside their walls. It’s such a complicated decision! But we keep trusting that God will order our steps. He won’t let us mess up.

This whole situation is so strangely numbing at times. I glanced at my google history to find something the other day, and I was kinda shocked at what I saw. “Christmas tree chocolate cookies” (for Kami – she really wants to make some.); followed by “trisomy 18 birth plans”; followed by “funeral services for infants”. All in about 6 minutes’ time. And kinda without even really thinking about it. Like, this was just what any other pregnant mom does. Plan a birth; plan a funeral; find a cookie recipe.

Sometimes I just hold my stomach and wish I could fix you. Make you better. Sometimes, I don’t even want to talk to you – for fear that I’ll fall even more in love. Usually in those times, though, you give me a good kick in the gut. Literally. And I get over my own selfishness and open my heart again. I can’t ignore the many doctors who keep saying that you shouldn’t be here. But you are. And that they don’t know what to do with you – because they’ve never seen a baby this severe last this long. And I can’t ignore you. Partly because as I fall asleep you’re practicing your drop kicks. But also because you’ve grown so much bigger than one pound, 2 ounces, in my heart. In all of our hearts.

I can plan all I want. I think it’s how I cope. But, I can’t promise anything will happen like I’ve planned at this point. I can promise you, that you will never be forgotten. And the lessons you have helped me learn about my God will never be forgotten.

That’s why I was thankful for you this Thanksgiving.

I’ll get to see you again this week. But until then, know that I love you, and I always will.

XOXO,

Mom

Thank you.

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Thank you.
And thank God. For if you’re simply reading this – you, like us, have so much to be thankful for.

“And be thankful in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.”

So, come on over to our place for a couple of minutes. And have a wonderful day of Giving Thanks.

Celebrating Week 27 – hello Trimester 3.

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How far along? 27 weeks, 4 days.
Total weight gain/loss: + 20 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Sigh. Yep. But only sometimes. Like, not today.
Sleep: Really really good this week. Still no more restless leg syndrome this week. :)
Best moment this week: Watching my tummy move. No matter what the circumstances…there just isn’t anything like it.

Movement: Sometimes a ton, sometimes not so much. The not so much days make me nervous.

Food cravings: None, really.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: Yep.

Gender Predictions: Boy, buh-buh-buh boy.

Labor Signs: A few more contractions this week. Still nothing to give more thought to than just answering this question.
Belly Button in or out? IN
Wedding rings on or off? On – still on my right hand. They might not ever switch. My feet were a bit puffy this weekend though after all the traveling.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Not a bad week. Staying busy really does help a lot. And the prayers of all my warriors out there – known and unknown.
Weekly Wisdom: God gives you what you need in so many “little” trials that come up during every one’s every day. And He always gives me what I need in the “bigger” trials that come up every week. (This week’s being putting on a baby shower for my pretty sister’s little baby boy.)  It would be silly, after seeing all that God has answered for me, to think that He won’t give me what I need when Kyle gets here.


Milestones: For the first time in 14 weeks, I didn’t see Kyle this week. My girls were a bit sick with some severe coughs and wheezing…I certainly didn’t want to spread that to any of the other high risk mothers I see in the dr.’s office. So, this week will be really special. I can’t wait to see how much bigger he is!

Exercise: Nope. Got the “no-travel, no-exercise” letter thing from the doc this week. I guess no more 5K’s or half marathons until the spring. Part of me is sad. Part of me isn’t. Hee – hee. :)

Weekly Prayer Request Praise: I am so thankful for all of you, who so faithfully read, and support our journey. Your gifts of love, prayers, support, cards, are all treasures of candlelight that have burned into my heart and brought so much warmth. So many – hundreds even – that we don’t even know personally who have been so generous with their time of prayer and gifts of love….we are truly humbled and so grateful for all we’ve been given. How could we ever complain?

Hey there, Little One.

Big week, huh? Whatever you’re doing in there – I don’t know. I didn’t get to see you this week…at least from the inside. Boy can I see you from the outside these days, though! And the high fives you keep giving your sisters – well, now, they just make their day.

There were a lot of people praying for the two of us this week. I met several of them this weekend.  I drove down to Georgia to do a shower for my sister. I was floored by how many people I knew, and didn’t, who mentioned they were praying for me. I found a printed blog post at your great grandfather’s house on his coffee table. (He’s not too big on reading about you on a computer screen.)

See, your little cousin, Caleb, is due the exact same day that my last little heaven-born baby was due. Funny when you realize that his mom, and your mom, have the same birthday, too. It’s hard to believe I could have been just a few weeks away from having another baby the week or so after Christmas. But it’s ok. Because as much as I miss that little baby….I wouldn’t trade it for you. You are

Perfect.

Yeah, you’ll be a third of the size of your sisters when you’re born. But you’ll have so many medical conditions, you’ll need a chart three times the size of theirs before I even get to the hospital to deliver you. You’ll own one pair of shoes – I’m not even gonna say on here how many your sisters have. You’ll have one blanket. You have four outfits now. And you might not even need them all. You might have hair. You might not. You might be able to reflex-grasp my finger. You probably won’t. You won’t nurse. You probably won’t even cry.

But, I can’t wait to see you – to touch your sweet face. Because you’ll be perfect. God gives me everything I need. And He’s given me you. I need you – or I wouldn’t have you. And I’m so glad I have you. And I’ll have you as long as I need to have you.

I’m excited to have that day. I’m just not quite ready for it yet.

I’ll see you tomorrow. For now, though, know that I love you, and I always will.

XOXO,

Mom

Celebrating Week 26!

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Celebrating Week 26!

 

(Kim’s note: for those of you who waited for this post right on time, and it didn’t show – sorry about that. I think WordPress is still adjusting to the end of Daylight Savings Time. :) It’ll be all fixed by next week.)

Wowzers. Really? So many times this week, I’ve sat back and thought, “Wow. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far with you, Kyle. I am so blessed.”


But yet, here we are. And here we go. :)

How far along? 26 weeks, 4 days.
Total weight gain/loss: + 18 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yep. I think there’s a pair of jeans somewhere that I really like…
Sleep: Really really good this week. No more restless leg syndrome this week. :)
Best moment this week: Hearing from a new friend that her baby boy, who we thought would be in the same situation as our Kyle, is in fact, completely fine. Or healed. Whichever you want to call it.


Movement: Yes. I seriously think he’s bigger than the 13 ounces they’re saying he is. I mean, I can see my stomach moving.
Food cravings: Mexican, I think. I made a 2 week menu for the family – and there was something Mexican on it for 4 of the 14 nights. Should tell me something.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I actually vomited twice this week?! So weird to have that coming on this late in the game. But it seems to have dissipated quite a bit too.
Have you started to show yet: Yep.

Gender Predictions: Boy, boy, boy.

Labor Signs: A few contractions this week – all Braxton Hicks, though, nothing painful, and nothing severe or longer than a few seconds.
Belly Button in or out? IN
Wedding rings on or off? On – still on my right hand. They might not ever switch.
Happy or Moody most of the time: It was a pretty good week. A few down days – but more good than bad.
Weekly Wisdom: Living by faith: what happens when you have nothing else to lean on. No doctors, no medicine, and no better of the two to buy if you had more money. All you have left is God. This is faith.
Milestones: Baby measured in at 13 ounces. This is 22 ounces smaller than he should be right now.

Exercise: Nope. Can’t chance that preeclampsia creeping in.

Weekly Prayer Request: This is the “write out your birth plan week”. We’re hoping to have it done before Thanksgiving, so we can present it to all the NICU doctors and nurses who might be over Kyle’s care before everyone begins going their separate ways for the holidays. And my sister and I are throwing a baby shower for my other sister. I’m not gonna lie. That’s gonna be tough.

Hey there, Little One.

What a week. Not only was there the regular “let’s go see Baby Kyle” day, and the day filled with your sister’s violin lessons and speech therapy appointments. But there was also the big NICU doctor visit. You’d like this doctor. She’s a sweet one.

And after seeing all your info, she doesn’t know how you’re still alive. None of us do. You shouldn’t be. There are so many things “wrong” with you that she’s never seen anything like it before. Sure, she’ll see a baby with one of your “issues” come through her NICU – but never all of them together.

You’ll need about 9 operations in your first year of life. The first one being minutes after birth. The other one being a few minutes after the first. But only if you’re 4 pounds. They can’t operate on a heart that’s half the size of a jellybean. And on the right side of your chest. And upside down.

Then there’s your stomach. Which, up until this week, we didn’t think you had. But now we see it. It’s where your heart should be. And while we don’t see how it’s working…it has to be, because your mouth is opening and closing – swallowing fluid like you should be. And your bladder is always full. And your two kidneys are working. So something is happening between there and there. We just can’t see what. And how.

We saw a baby this week. A tiny baby boy. His whole foot was the size of the “return” button on my wireless Mac keyboard. And he was over twice the size you are now. I think I’ll be doing some serious alterations to your outfit.

Your dad and I have to decide what to do – and what not to do – in the minutes after you are born. This, of course, assuming you’ll be in the 10% odds and be born alive. I think you will. I don’t know how you’re hanging on this long not to make it to the beginning. Even if the beginning is within seconds of the end. I don’t know how anyone could ever make these decisions for someone else. Much less for their own child whom they love so dearly. But, I can promise that every decision is bathed in so much prayer and we’ve gathered as much information as we can to make these decisions. So, no matter what we decide, we will do what is best for you. We promise. And God “orders the steps of a good man” – He will not let us make a mistake with you.

On that note, I hope you’re enjoying your first fall as much as your sisters are.

I love you so much, Son. And I’m so happy that I get to by your Mom. So very happy.

I’ll see you again tomorrow – you’ll probably be all over the place again. You sure do like giving your sisters a show to watch these days. I can’t wait. And until then, know that I love you. And I always will.

XOXOX,

Mom

Bears and ‘Heart beeps’ – How to Talk to Siblings about Infant Loss

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Bears and ‘Heart beeps’ – How to Talk to Siblings about Infant Loss

To some people’s surprise, we’ve chosen to make our sweet baby Kyle an important part of our family.  I guess it could be easier to shield our girls from the truth a bit. Especially, when we thought we’d lose Kyle early on. But I’m so glad we haven’t kept the truth from them. They know about each pregnancy and each loss. And while they think my tummy is just a baby factory right now (“It’s ok, mommy, when Kyle goes to Heaven, your tummy will just give you a new baby.”), they also know a lot more about God than they did 12 months ago.

So, for those of you who have asked how the girls are handling things, or if they know what’s going on, and to those few of you in similar situations who have asked how to help your own small children understand something so deep, I hope this is a help to you.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say to little ones so young about something so big. I’ll admit, they’ve been my shoulder to cry on more than the other way around. But they do understand as much as their minds can fathom what is happening inside my body and to their little brother.

We’ve chosen to avoid words like “he will fall asleep” – only because that could cause some major fear in the long run every time they fall asleep. We’ve decided to be as open and honest with them as we can. They know Kyle can’t live on earth the way God designed him. They know that God is the only one who can “fix” him, and that God could fix him here on earth if He wanted to, but that He will probably wait to fix him until he gets to Heaven. And that yes, Mommy and Daddy will be very sad about it, but we’ll also be happy knowing that he’s all better finally and happy in Heaven with Jesus.

We do use the words, “Kyle is really sick” – and this isn’t a sick we can fix with medicine or doctors. Even though they ask every week when we go if the doctor can make him better “this time”. Or every time they see me take my 8 different vitamins if it’s medicine for the baby to feel better. They know that nothing here on earth can fix Kyle.  They so desperately want something to fix him. But they know that if he is healed, it had to be all God. And if God doesn’t heal him here, He will heal him in Heaven. But we keep telling them, as many times as they need to hear it, “Kyle is still really sick, but look at him – he’s still happy. He doesn’t feel sick at all! God is helping him be happy. Look at him all dancing around in there!” Which, as far as we can tell from his medical data, is totally true.

We include them in the decisions we make. We pray for him with them every night. We tell them why Mommy cries a lot, and sometimes, why we get upset with them over things that used to not bother us. And why, sometimes, their cards, and sweet hugs and kisses don’t always make us better. Because our sad is really big, only God can make it better. And He will. And He does. And they are watching it happen in front of their eyes.

We encourage as much interaction with their brother as they want. Without forcing it on them. So, yeah, they poke my belly button all the time “to make the baby laugh”. And they put my iPhone up to my tummy while they’re watching a video so “Baby Kyle can see it too. See? He likes Handy Manny. But we can’t turn on Tinkerbell. He wouldn’t like that one. It’s just for sisters. Not brothers.” They feel him kick. They love listening to his heartbeat during ultrasounds. And while they know he won’t be here much longer, they are truly enjoying every moment they can with him.

Is there a better way to help little ones understand? Probably. But this is just what we’re doing. (And I’ll happily take any other suggestions some of you may have out there who’ve been on this road before me!)

Something we did do this last week on vacation that I highly recommend to the way-too-many of you precious ladies in similar situations sitting on the other side of your computer screens…and those of you who might know someone in a similar situation and want to help….we built Baby Kyle bears. And from here, I’ll let the photos do the work of telling this sweet story.

The girls picked out the bears they thought Baby Kyle would like most.

Then they grabbed the special recorders. These recorders are perfect for adding in any sounds you like – up to ten seconds – to your bear. We all unanimously chose to record the sound of Baby Kyle’s beautiful “heart beep”.

I wasn’t planning to really share our story with this lady. I couldn’t have done it without crying, and I just wasn’t feeling up for it. But I should have known with Chloe in the room….it all came out.
“These bears are so we don’t forget Baby Kyle. He’s going to Heaven soon because he’s really sick. But God will make him better when he gets to Heaven. And we’ll make him a bear too. Because I don’t want him to be scared in the hospital and when he has to go to Heaven.”

“And this is my sister, Kami. She’ll be sad too, but that’s why she is making a bear too. Just like mine and Baby Kyle’s. I can’t wait to make my bear!”
The poor employee didn’t even get a warning. She excused herself for a moment. I did too. I think for the same reason – we didn’t want the girls to see us crying during such an exciting time for them.

After a few moments to compose herself, the sweet worker returned, and Chloe happily helped get her bear stuffed nice and perfect.

She picked out the perfect heart to put inside. She had to make a wish for his heart. Her wish was “i hope Baby Kyle will always remember me and that I love him very much.”

And her Kyle bear was ready.

Kami’s turn!

Balancing on a foot pedal is still hard for this little one. But she was not going to let that bear out of her site for a moment. He had to be perfect.

And, he was.

She picked out a heart, too, and was instructed to “rub it on your nose, so he’ll always know who you are.”

And after a bit more scrutiny and a quick sew up job, her Baby Kyle was ready to go as well.

Chloe took great care in giving her bear a bath.

And brushing him up really good, so he’d be nice and fluffy.

Then it was time to test out the heartbeat. It worked perfectly. For ten glorious seconds, she could hear her brother’s heartbeat. Anytime she wants.

And she couldn’t wait to share it with all who would listen. (Note: since this day, I’ve heard my sweet boy’s ‘heartbeep’ numerous times a day. From both bears. And I can’t tell you how much I love it. It makes me smile every time. Kami, my three year old, especially loves to play it over and over again. It really has been so comforting for all of us.)

After their bears were done, they made a very special one for Baby Kyle. They can’t wait to give it to him. They’re keeping it really nice and safe under a warm blanket so it won’t get cold. And they’re sure that it will keep Baby Kyle from being scared about going to Heaven. I think it will too.

(I am not an affiliate of Build a Bear Workshop. This post is purely based on the amazing experience we had at the Asheville Mall location. We are so thankful for the ladies who invested so much time into our girls and their bears.)

Celebrating Week 25!

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How far along? 25 weeks, 4 days
Total weight gain/loss: + 17 lbs (ahem. Vacation.)
Maternity clothes? I pulled out a few t-shirts and things for vacation this week. And washed my jeans halfway through the week.
Sleep: Better! Not much restles leg syndrome at all this week. And all the walking around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Dollywood probably did some good.

Best moment this week: Well, there were actually 5 of them – waking up as a family of 5, still, all in the same bed, every morning in front of our fireplace, looking out at the beautiful mountains outside our cabin.

Movement: Yes. And we all still love it.


Food cravings: Doughnuts? Dangerous. I’m glad we’re just a one car family – and my husband has to go to work everyday.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Driving down the mountain rode from our cabin. And the teacups at Dollywood that my daughters “just couldn’t keep” from spinning.


Have you started to show yet: Yeah…feeling kinda large and slow this week. I guess I should start feeling something not-so-pleasant – I am close to Trimester 3 here!

Gender PredictionsBoy, sweet handsome boy.

Labor Signs: A few contractions this week. Nothing serious – just braxton hicks things… but enough to remind me to kick this planning stuff into high gear now that I’m back at home.
Belly Button in or out? IN
Wedding rings on or off? Still too big for my left hand. This is awesome! At this point with Kami, I had my rings cut off. :(
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy – for most days except one this week – we had a fantastic vacation away. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Weekly Wisdom: As fearful as I was about it, it’s OK to rejoice with those who rejoice – even if you can’t rejoice in the same way. One of my dear friends (one of 6 close to me who are all expecting little boys between now and next April) had her little baby boy this week. It’s also OK, if at times, it’s hard to rejoice. That doesn’t make you any less of a friend.

Milestones: Baby Kyle is just precious. I didn’t get a weight on him at his ultrasound this week. I just looked at him in awe. I’ll do better about that this week. All he seemed interested in this week was playing punching bag with my placenta.

Weekly Prayer Request: Big, tough decisions coming this week. Things I never thought I’d have to think about, but they have to be decided. Just pray for wisdom. Our NICU consult is Thursday – this is where we’ll get a NICU dr’s wisdom on formulating our birth and post-birth plan as far as what interventions to consider and refuse. After that consult, we’ll be putting together said birth plan and then meeting with the NICU dr’s and nursing staff to “brief” them on our wishes. We’re hoping to have all this done by Thanksgiving.

Hey there, Baby Kyle.

What a fun week we had with you. Thanks for behaving so well.  There were a lot of firsts this week – the girls’ first sitting through 96 pages of Little Bear stories; our first pumpkin carvings; their first shark sightings, and Chloe’s first bumper car ride.

It was also your first family vacation. And we think we did well to make it a great one for ya. The girls were constantly trying to “feed” you chocolate, s’mores, fruit, graham crackers, and anything else they could shove down my throat – just to keep you happy. I didn’t  mind all too much.

And they made you a very special bear – just to have in the hospital – “in case you get scared”, they said.

Another special moment, was buying your first outfit. It might be the one of the only ones I buy. So, it had to be perfect. And, I think, for you, it will be. Do you know how hard it is to find cute boy clothes – let alone ones that are for a baby so tiny? I think the four of us made a great choice.

Your daddy had to buy it though. I was kinda crying a lot in the back of the store with your sisters. The rest of that day was pretty rough. But your daddy and your sisters do so much to help me pull through those rough days.  And carving my first (and second, and third!) pumpkin, really helped, too.

So, now, your box is growing. At first it was just a stack of Ultrasound DVD’s and CD’s of photos. But now it has your first outfit in it. And I just love it. Your puppets are in there too, for whenever your sisters feel the need to tell you a story.

I know things are tough on you now, but not long from now, you’ll have a perfect body. And I, for one, can’t wait to see it one day.

For now, though, your tiny body is making a big impact on a lot of people. Your sisters tell everyone they meet about you, it seems, about how you’re going to Heaven soon so God will make you all better and there you won’t be sick anymore. You can see it in these stranger’s eyes. Sometimes it’s a look of shock – they’re not quite sure they heard correctly. Sometimes it’s a look of sadness, as they try to come to grips with something in mere seconds that all of us have had these 12 weeks to think about. But many times, it’s a look of faith. That maybe, just maybe, there is a God somewhere that will heal you. Whether here on earth, or in Heaven…they seem to have faith, that perhaps there is, in fact, a God. And that, my dear, is a thought that not just anyone can plant in a grown “already-made-up-my-mind-about-God” adult. That is a gift.

You are a gift.

And until I see you again tomorrow afternoon, know that I love you and I always will.

XOXO,

Mom