My Family!!

My Family!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I Can't Keep My Mouth Shut Any Longer!

WOW!! There is soooo much controversy over the loss of Michelle Duggar's baby girl in the general population, the baby loss population, AND the infertility population.

I wasn't going to write about any of this, but I feel like I have read and seen too much to keep my mouth shut! Unfortunately, her pregnancy, loss, and now memorial service is becoming BAD publicity for the Baby Loss Community instead of raising Awareness like soooo many of us have been trying to do.

First, there was controversy when she conceived:

I read comments from the infertility community stating "she has 19 kids already, is pregnant AGAIN, and all I want is ONE!"
~I understand the want to bring home a child, and the pain and envy that courses through our hearts when others get pregnant so easily...HOWEVER, just because so-and-so gets pregnant with their 5th, 10th, or even 20th child...they did NOT steal that pregnancy from an infertile. Just because they got pregnant again, does not mean there is one less baby allowed in this world. Her pregnancy does not effect any of our current, past or future struggle with getting pregnant, staying pregnant, etc.

The stillbirth/preemie community made comments such as, "Didn't her last pregnancy with Josie teach her it is time to stop?"
~ Yes, Pre-eclampsia stinks! Yes, she is more at risk with future pregnancies...should she have called it quits? Probably. But, she got pregnant again, and instead we all should have just been praying for this new life instead of judging.

I expected comments like these from the general population, because they don't know any better. To many of them take getting pregnant/staying pregnant/healthy babies/pregnancies and raising children for granted. However, I was soooo upset to see these comments from my baby loss/infertility community, because Michelle WAS a BLM prior to losing Jubilee..she had a miscarriage with her 1st or second pregnancy that made her and Jim Bob  vow that they would have as many children as God would bless them with.

Then she lost Jubilee:

I noticed those same people who made negative comments now having feelings of guilt....but then there were comments that REALLY pissed me off! One in particular came from a support group of mine (not specifying which one or who said it, so don't ask) "One preemie, and one think she would take it as a sign from her body to stop."

Really?!?!?! I have 1 stillbirth and 1 preemie under my belt. Should I take this as a sign to stop having children? I know I don't have 19 others, and I am not in my 40s, but the woman's body is made to carry children...MANY children. My grandmother had 13...with a few losses in between. I know tons of Amish families in my home town that have close to 20+ children...and I am sure they have all experienced losses, and many of them continue having children into their 40s. IT IS NOT OUR PLACE TO JUDGE. Instead of giving the Duggars grief, who are financially supporting all of these children without government help may I add, why don't we say something about these families I see come into the ER with 4-5+ children, no jobs, on welfare, and pregnant AGAIN??!?!?

Even worse, there were people in the world who pretty much CELEBRATED the loss of this baby girl. I cannot even imagine being Michelle. My heart goes out to her. To have people ridiculing you and celebrating your loss when you are going through the most difficult thing a woman could go through. I know this is one of the downfalls to being in the public eye, but this is sooo upsetting that the public would be this cruel.

Then her family decides to have a memorial and pictures taken by Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, an amazing organization who specializes in maternity and newborn photos of terminal pregnancies and babies that are born still:

This is where I had to finally put my foot down and write. the photos that were taken are beautiful, tasteful, and memories that the family will cherish forever. I don't care how small or early Jubilee was, her family deserves to preserve those memories, and we are not in any place to judge. Our modern, western society does NOT know how to handle death. In the Victorian ages, they used to pose their dead on couches and take pictures with their living relatives sitting next to the deceased. Babies born still and even infant deaths were photographed in their mother's arms and in their cribs. These books were cherished by their families.

Death is talked about and celebrated and REMEMBERED in other societies. Dia De Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a Mexican Holiday where families celebrate and remember their loved ones. But in the US, we are expected to "get over it", "move on", etc. Moving on does not mean we need to forget or get over it! Luckily my friends and family know better than to tell me to "get over" Rosalynn. One person had the nerve to tell me this about 3 months out from my loss, and they were met with one angry momma!!

This whole situation which could have been used to help raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss has bred nothing but negativity. I feel as if the whole baby loss community is being bashed through this process as well.

I am heartbroken for Michelle, and I hope she stays away from all of the negative comments. I hope she never reads them and just revels in the good memories of her precious baby girl.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bless This Child!

Today was such a bittersweet day. Today was Avaleens Baptism.

Over 19 months ago we were sitting in a hospital room surrounded by family and friends while an on call Catholic priest baptized our beautiful stillborn daughter, Rosalynn. He allowed Foster to do the honor of pouring the holy water over her tiny head with a pretty little sea shell while saying "I baptize you Rosalynn Patricia Foster in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." You can read the whole account of her baptism here. (but I warn you, bring a tissue:-)

After this day, we were unable to sit through a baptism at our church without crying. It pained Foster and I that we would never be able to bring our daughter, Rosie into the church to baptize her. We were heartbroken.

Today was different. Today we walked into the church's sanctuary instead of sitting in a hospital room. Today we dressed our daughter, Avaleen, in a beautiful white dress with lace roses on it in remembrance of her sister as opposed to dressing our daughter in the one and only dress she would ever wear. Today, as her godfather, Ky, held her over the baptismal fount, Father poured the holy water over Ava's tiny head with that same small sea shell. Instead of tears of sorrow, I was shedding tears of remembrance and joy.

I glanced around at ALL the people who were present. Each person who stood in that hospital room were once again standing around us in the church, along with many others, and I felt the same thing today as I did on that mournful day of April 20th 2010. I felt the love and support pouring out of my friends and family, and I once again felt the Holy Spirit surrounding all of us as we celebrated this little child. It was as if Jesus...and Rosalynn were standing amongst the crowd and smiling upon us. I am truly blessed!

Bug and ky (her god parents with Foster and I)

All that joined us at the church (there were tons more @ the Meet the baby party!)

We are soooooo blessed!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My 30th Birthday and Thanksgiving

I know, I know....I am a slacker! lol. It's not like I am that I do a whole lot all day, but I do take care of my little Ava, and have been neglecting my blog.

For those of you who didn't know already, I turned 30 on the 17th. I always pictured my 30th birthday to be a big ordeal including a trip to Vegas with my sister and girlfriends. However, I spent the day the only way I  want to now a days...with little miss Ava and Foster. Foster took me out to  dinner at one of our favorite restaurants the week before, and I had a dinner outing with friends and family on the 18th, but on the 17th it was me, Ava, Foster, and a few burnt beignets.

I cooked an amazing Cajun dish suggested by one of my great friends from Louisiana, but when I made the homemade beignets, I accidentally burnt a few. Yes, I cooked. Foster offered, but I love to cook...but don't worry Foster washed the dishes for me:-)

People kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday, and for the first time in my life, I can honestly say "Nothing". I am the happiest I have ever been. I have a beautiful daughter that was a 5 week early birthday gift (remember, she was due on my 30th b-day:-).

Thanksgiving was amazing. Just a day filled with friends and family. I have decided I should NOT be making the turkey any more! If you remember THIS post from last year, well, the exact opposite happened this year. instead of the turkey cooking too fast,the turkey instructions said it would take 5 hours to cook, and it took almost 6.5 hours. We had almost given up, but I am glad we didn't, because it was one of the best turkeys I have eaten. I don't know if it was the EXTREMELY slow cooking, but it was sooooo moist and tender.

We had sooo much to be thankful for this year. Although Rosie is EXTREMELY missed, this holiday season is already starting out with a brighter outlook. Last year we were on the tail end of three devastating losses. Although we still miss Mama JJ, Mama Red, and Rosie more than anything, having Ava here and baby Cole on the way is making the holidays a lot easier to bear this year.

Ava got a SMALL taste of black Friday shopping. We headed out in the afternoon and caught a few really good deals on baby clothes and a few pairs of clothes for me. I am pre-pregnancy weight (with Ava, still have about 30 to lose from Rosie), but for some reason cannot figure out what I was wearing before I got pregnant with her. I know I didn't run around naked, but yet I can only remember 2 or 3 pairs of pants and a few shirts. They all fit, but I think my body has changed, because there are still a lot of clothes that don't fit that I swear did before I got pregnant with her. Oh well. I guess I will just have to focus on those areas now that I am starting to SLOWLY work out again. (I haven't gotten the OK from the doc yet b/c my appt is not until next week.)

Ava hung out in the Baby Bjorn while we were shopping. She absolutely LOVED it. She was so content to just look at the bottom of Foster's chin while we picked out a few Christmas gifts. I am so blessed, because she makes running errands easy. As long as I get everything done in a four hour time frame, she doesn't even need fed and is fine till we get home.

This Sunday is her Baptism and Meet the Baby Party. We are so excited! I will have tons of photos and a post about it, I promise!

Here are some photos from this past week:

WOAH!! What is THAT!?!? lol

I am such a daddy's girl!

and my puppies LOVE me!

WOW! this is amazing!

all content in the Bjorn

ready for a walk with dad and the puppies

all ready for my first Ohio State vs. Michigan game!

hanging out on my play mat with my glowworm/sea horse:-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Living In Two Worlds

Who would have thought that parenthood makes time fly ten times faster?!?! Thanksgiving is coming up on Thursday along with Ava turning 6 weeks! I have been SUCH a bad blogger. I really need to keep up better, because I want to have more of a journal about all of Ava's firsts. However, it is hard, because I don't want to hurt those of my followers who are still waiting to conceive their rainbows, or those women who stumble across this blog because of a loss.

It is very strange being involved in the two worlds. I AM a baby loss mom. No matter how many children I have, I will always miss Rosalynn. However, I am a new mom to a beautiful living baby girl here on earth as well. Because of my loss, I have very strange fears. For instance, my biggest fear is that I will trip UP the stairs, drop Ava, she will fall down the stairs and die. I probably check her breathing a few too many times in the middle of the night, and wake up scared if I look at the clock and it has been more than 4 hours since the last time she cried....always having that small thought in the back of my mind "This is it, this is when GOd will take Ava as well". I don't think that will EVER stop. I will always have the fear of losing another baby, no matter how much time goes by. HOWEVER, there are some things that I think I stress over LESS than the typical first time mom BECAUSE I have experienced a loss. I don't freak out about Ava's crying. I don't mind being woken up multiple times in the middle of the night, living on limited sleep,  and I actually smile when I turn on that light and see her pretty face. I don't freak out about every little red mark on her butt, if she goes a day or two without pooping, and am not completely upset that the breast feeding is already coming to an end. Yes, I am disappointed, because I wanted to make it 6 months breastfeeding, but my body had other plans. Even though I am a little sad, I am happy I have a living baby to feed...even if it is formula. Every problem/issue seems insignificant in comparison to losing a child.

I think this is where I have issues relating to the new moms on some online forums. They will complain and blow little things out of proportion, and I just want to reach through the screen and shake them and tell them things could be SOOOOOOO much worse! I want to tell them all to be THANKFUL they got to bring their first born home with them. But then I have to remember that I probably would have been the same way had we brought Rosie home. I would have probably complained about the small stuff. The LOSS of Rosie helps me appreciate EVERYTHING with Ava. It is a very strange road I walk between the two worlds.

I think Foster also struggles with this same issue. When a friend of his asked how the sleepless night were affecting him, his response was, "It is so much better than the alternative," but yet he will moan and groan like any first time dad when Ava does wake us up in the middle of the night. I think sometimes we feel like BECAUSE of our loss we are no longer allowed to moan and groan, and we feel guilty after a moment of frustration. But realistically, I know that is not the case, because we are human and we will have "First time parent moments".

To my BLMs: how do you balance the two worlds, and how do you cut yourself a little slack when you have those feelings of guilt after a moment of frustration?

Ava had her one month doctor visit last week. She was measuring 7lbs6oz and 20.75 inches long. She has grown ALOT in 1 month! Her little personality gets bigger and bigger every day. She is also staying awake for longer periods of time, which is alot of fun for me, because I love making faces at her, playing w/ her on her play mat, and seeing her BEAUTIFUL blue eyes.

Here are some photos of Ava from the past week:

LOVE how she stretches out when sleeping!! lol

That is my best friend's belly! She is BITING baby Cole!!! lol thinks boys have coodies already!

Auntie Bug and Ava

play date w/ baby Gabe/future

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photo Card

Storytime Pink Baby Announcements
Shutterfly has cute baby announcements and Valentine's Day cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


WOW!! I thought time flew by prior to having a baby in the house, but it has just gone twice as fast now that miss Ava is here with us. I realized she will be 4 weeks old tomorrow! Hard to believe! I feel like we just brought her home last week.

We have settled into a pretty good routine, and have been very blessed. Other than the occasional fussy night, Foster and I are blessed with a content little girl. She will sleep about 3-4 hours between feedings at night. She wakes up once or twice a day for about 1-2 hours and makes faces at us and takes in the world around her. It is amazing how I can just sit here and watch her all day long!!! She is just so precious.

I am a little disappointed. My milk production is lagging. I have been on the phone on and off w/ the lactation specialist and doctor, trying different things (power pumping, upping my calorie intake and fluid intake, rest, skin time, etc.) and I just don't seem to be keeping up with the demand. I started FenuGreek yesterday, so hopefully this helps a little. I am still able to feed her 2/3 breast milk, but I have to supplement with a small amount of formula. If not, she is SCREAMING for more food in an hour or less. The hard part, is that she is not a crying baby, so when she DOES cry, there is something wrong. Usually she just whines a bit or makes her little coos and grunts and that is how we know she has a dirty diaper, is hungry, or wants attention...but if she CRIES...there is something wrong (gas, STILL hungry, etc). Breaks my heart!

As you can tell from prior posts, Ava has been busy getting her close up! I have also been back in the studio working with other families. Yeah, I know, I am only 4 weeks post-op, but I was ITCHING to get back behind the lens. I had a BLAST taking my friend's newborn son's photos, and because of my new found confidence, they came out AMAZING!!! If you want to see them, head to my facebook page! Make sure to "like" it, and send your friends and family to get their photos taken too:-)

So...that is what my life has been consisting of. How have you been?!?! I miss having the time to blog every day, but would not give up being a mom for ANYTHING. I will leave you with a few sweet pics of my baby girl.

HAHAHA I LOVE how she sleeps all stretched out...NOT the typical

loved her first bath

ahhhh man! cute!

look at the furrowed brows...can you see a resemblence?!? lol

sweet sleepy baby

Friday, November 4, 2011

I know, I know, I am OBSESSED!!!

When I first ventured into the photography business, I wanted to be a great newborn photographer, but was timid with newborns. I was nervous about handling other people's babies, so I think I was a little conservative. So what is the best part of being a photographer with a newborn...of course other than the obvious of being a mom??!?!? LOTS of practice...and LOTS of "free" photos of my newborn:-)
So here is what I did when I went into the studio for ANOTHER 3 hours today!! :-) lol

WHO puts a baby ina bowl!?!?!? This girl!!lol

she looks like she is up to NOOOOOO good!

for my fellow Buckeye fans!! My sister made the tutu and headband for her:-)

"Her first look!!" (anyone who gets the movie reference....kudos to you!!!)

bloomers are still a littl ebig for her...but OOOOOsooooo cute!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Photos (Maternity and Newborn)

We DID have maternity photos taken by my mentor/wedding photographer, we had them done a few days before we had her, so I never got them posted. Then today Foster, Avaleen and I headed into the studio and I got a few shots of us. I even set up the camera for Foster and he shot a few of Ava and me. So, enjoy!

The magic word to get the dogs to look like this is "Squirrel":-)

Ohio State VS. Notre Dame

Stick it out Foster!! lol

Rosie bear with Ava's boots:-)

I have tried this with other babies od soldiers, but they have all been too big:-) lol. this is one plus of having a preemie!

I LOVE this:-) he loves her soooo much!!

She is a photographer's dream posing baby!!!

Nothing sexier than a man in uniform.....except a man w/ his little girl in uniform!!

Kisses for my sweet girl!!!

I don't look TOO fatin this guess you can see it;-)


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