My Family!!

My Family!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

First Hurdle Cleared!! First U/S Pictures!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. (1Samuel 1:27)

Well as you know, the much anticipated ultrasound appointment was today. To say I was nervous was an understatement. It is tragic what a loss does to you. Last time I was walking in for a first trimester U/S, I had no fear. The thought of a molar pregnancy, a blighted ovum, or no hear beat neaver crossed my mind. I fully expected to walk in and see my little one moving aroung with a strong heartbeat. Not this time!

This time I was awake until 2 AM watching episodes of "Bones" and "House" in order to keep my mind occupied. I tossed and turned and prayed the rosary four times. I'm sure it didn't help that Foster was out of town, and the only company I had was my two furbabies, but I could not settle my thoughts. In times like this, knowing too much information can be a detriment.

Since Foster was out of town, I aked my sister to accompany me to my appointment. She is a NICU nurse, and I figured she could make sure to aske the questions I might have forgotten. She met me there at 1:30 and we headed up to registration. My stomach was in knots, and I felt like I was going to vomit the entire morning. We sat.....and sat.....and SAT! My MFM office needs to learn that making a nervous mamma wait is not the best thing to do. I paced and fidgetted and talked WAY too much. My poor sister was probably ready to tie me down to the chair and tape my mouth shut! The aide took me back to check my weight and BP, and suprisingly, my BP was 118/64!! I figured it would be sky high from all my anxiety. Then after an hour of waiting, they finally called me back to the u/s room.

I undressed from the waist down, and hopped up onto the table. It was a little nerve racking, because the last baby u/s I had was the one that told me my daughter's heart had stopped. Granted, it wasn't in this office, but I was a bundle of nerves.

The tech got the internal probe ready, and as she proceded to start the u/s, we immediately saw a gestational sac. As she moved a little further in, the fetal pole was visible. When the fetal pole became visible, there was the most beautiful sight an expectant mother could see, the flutter of the baby's heart! Bug's hand tightened around my hand which she had been holding since the beginning of the exam, and we both had tears well up in our eyes. Our smiles spread from ear to ear, "There it is!" I exclaimed.

"Nice and strong, and beating away," the tech said. "I am so happy, because I was nervous with as early as you are, the heart beat would be intetectable," She made a few measurments, "143 beats per minute. That is wonderful! You are measuring 2 days behind you estimated gestational age, so that makes me even more suprised we were able to see a heart beat. Hold on one minute," she said. She explained I was measuring 6w5d as opposed to 7w as she moved the wand and isolated the heart, "Hold REAL still and quite," she said. Then as we all held our breaths, we heard it, "WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH" the little heart beat!! It was too soft for me to pick up on my phone recorder, but it was fast and strong. I could not contain my excitement. I asked the poor tech a million and one questions, one I KNEW she couldn't answer, but instead we had to wait for the doctor's answers. She printed me up seven copies of me little pumpkin, ended the exam, and escorted us to the doctor's office.

Dr. C was amazing. I was a little annoyed, because I had to remind him I had a 34w4d loss, and not a 20w loss. I don't know where he got that number, but I will give him some slack, I know they just started a new computer system, and it has been over 8 months since he has seen me last. He confidently mentioned about taking the baby early. When I mean early, I don't mean 38 weeks, I don't mean 36 weeks; he said he would feel confident pumping me full of steroids at 33 weeks, and taking the baby at 34w3d, "Our biggest concern is getting that baby out of that environment safely. "We're not going to go crazy and take the baby at 28 weeks, but as big as Rosalynn was at 34w4d (5lbs12oz) I am confident everyting would be just fine. We are concerned about your anxiety. You may feel okay now, but as 34 weeks gets closer, PTSD can set in." Although they are keeping my

If he is comfortable about this, I am comfortable with this. I debated awiting and seeing if I could take the baby closer to term, but God forbid I decide to try for 37 weeks, and something happens at 36! I would never be able to forgive myself. My sister says that they rarely see an issue with 34 weekers, and often see them go right back to their moms after a thourough check from the NICU.

All in all, the appointment went well. I did forget to ask a few questions, like am I on any restrictions thus far, but I will call the nurse in the morning to double check with him. I still plan on taking it easy, but I have a new pregnancy work out video I was looking forward to trying out after the doctor's approval.

Here is our very first picture of Pumpkin! I LOVE how this baby is already cooperation with mommy. He/she really knows how to make me happy!

Pumpkin's first picture!!

My mom says Pumpkin looks like a Gl.ow.wor.m. For those of you who aren't old enough to remember, this is what they look like:

BIG head on top, LITTLE SKINNY body! I can see it:-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Letter to My 17 Year Old Self

I was driving in my car listening to the radio when Brad Paisleys "Letters to Me" came on. For those of you who don't listen to country, it is a song about a guy who talks about what he would write in a letter if he could send it to his 17 year old self. It got me wondering what I would do if I had the same opportunity. So, here is my letter to myself:

Dear 17 year old Erin,

I wish I could warn you about all the bad things that are going to happen in your life so that you may avoid the hurt and disappointment, but I am not going to. You see, every mistake you made and every pain you feel from here on out will turn you into a happy, faith-filled, loving woman.

First and foremost: LISTEN TO YOU MOTHER!! She is actually really smart. She is going to warn you NOT to get credit cards when yo turn 18. LISTEN TO HER! The ONLY exception to this is when she suggests you give a certain guy your number. Give it to his friend thirty minutes later. I PROMISE, it all works out the way it should.

When it comes to men, you will date some doozies! I mentioned that I wouldn't tell you what to specifically avoid, so I want you to date all of them. Why? Because when you do meet your future husband, you are going to appreciate him so much more than you would if you met him without dating all the jerks. With that being said, you can learn your lesson from the chef after the first year. Don't keep going back to him, seven + times!!! The four years you stay will just be constant disappointment and a repeat of the first devastating year. This is the situation you should heed the phrase "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me!"

You do things your own way. You are going to take 11 years to get your bachelors.  You will join the military. You are going to get yourself in debt (unless you follow my first lesson). But you WILL finish, you WILL enjoy it, and you WILL pull yourself out. The one thing I must say, is that you have been pretty persistent, and you try to keep a smile on your face the entire time you do it.

Remember JJ? How about your sister Bug? I know you and JJ have been friends for years, but you only see her 1-2 times a year. Well, you will end up living together, and becoming inseparable. Your sister and you fight like cats and dogs right now, but once she hits college, you and JJ and Bug will become three peas in a pod. Where one goes, the other two follow, and between the three of you and your guys, you will create your own little family unit. It is the most amazing feeling! Sure, they will infuriate you at times, but they will be there for you at your darkest moments.

You will be a mother. Your first born will change your life in ways you could never imagine, and take you in directions you would never have gone without her. Trust me. It will be a life changing experience.

Friends will come and go. Just like Carl Jung says, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." People come into your life for a reason, if only for a few moments; but people grow up, they move on. Those that are worth anything will be there for you when you need them most. You find this lesson out after a tragedy. People came out of the woodwork, and some girls you have not spoken to since high school become your biggest resources and supporters. Plus, you don't always need to meet people in person to become great friends. This same tragedy causes you to meet some amazing women on the internet, and a lot of them have become some of your closest friends.

Please, amongst all things, stay true to yourself. Stay close to God. By the time you are 29 you will feel like you have lived three separate lifetimes, but will be a better person because of them. Just keep that smile on your face, continue your positive attitude,  treat people the way you should, and you will be just fine.

See you soon!
29 year old Erin

If you could write a letter to your former 17 year old self, what would you say? What advice would you give?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Waiting Game With Hope...6w5d

That is what this past couple have weeks have been for me. Every time I have a slight cramp or feel something "Down there" I rush to the bathroom expecting it to be the end of this pregnancy. I have been having nightmares of someone trying to poison me to kill my baby, and have woken Foster up numerous time. I believe he told me I woke him up with my screaming 3 times in a matter of thirty minutes! For the most part, while I am awake, my mind is at ease, and I am at "peace". I don't know if it is the fact that I know that at this point, if anything were to happen, that there is nothing anyone can do about it, or if i truly have a feeling that everything is really going to be okay.

I may sound a little anxious right now, but can you even imagine how I am going to be the closer we get to that 34 week mark.

I have a feeling everything is growing as it should in there. I have to believe that the all day nausea is a sign that Pumpkin is growing big and strong in my belly. Reduced Fat Cheezits and Diet Sprite have been my best friends. No vomiting yet, just debilitating nausea at times. Foster has been a trooper and helps me out when I am feeling too "yucky" to move from the couch.

He also gets to see my "ladies" grow by leaps and bounds, but does not get the pleasure of getting to know them! I am not taking any chances with this little Pumpkin until my doctor gives us the thumbs up. (Sorry mom if that is too much information!)

I found myself a pregnancy work out video to bring with me for approval from my doctor on Thursday. I also bought a very exciting piece of work out equipment. I figured that since I can't do push ups anymore, and should not be lifting too much weight, I had to figure out a way to have sexy arms still. So......I bought the SHAKE WEIGHT!! HAHAHAHA Foster is STILL laughing his head off, and I seem to be the center of his amusement now. You just wait, when the rest of my body has become lumpy and dumpy, I will have the sexiest arms in Ohio! I did about 15 combined minutes with it yesterday, and honestly my arms are SORE!!!

Please say some prayers that we see a strong heart beat on Thursday, and Pumpkin is growing big and strong. I am playing the waiting game, but my biggest supporter is Hope right now!

“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TONS Going On!! Sorry I Have Been MIA

Sorry I have been a little incognito lately. I have to admit, I am in a sort of limbo. I am waiting. Waiting to know if everything is okay with Peanut, waiting to see if it ends before it even really began. I am waiting to see that little heartbeat and waiting to see how many little peanuts are in there. Foster is CONVINCED that we are having twins! His theory is that if God can answer my prayers for getting pregnant, than He can answer Foster's prayers of getting pregnant with twins!! I think he is nuts, and I would probably freak if Foster DID get his prayers answered. No, I am not on fertility treatments; remember I was supposed to start Clomid if this last cycle was a bust. He also mentioned that my belly is popping out already. Thank you Foster for pointing that out!! I am only 5w6d and my belly looks like it did when I was 16 weeks pregnant, getting married with Rosie in my belly. I know they say your second makes you bigger faster, but this is really ridiculous!!! My pants still button under my belly, but not around it. I am afraid I am going to be transitioning to maternity clothes sooner than later, and am very glad that I let everyone know we are pregnant, because if they didn't know, they would think I was just getting FATTER!

I feel like I want to be excited about this pregnancy, but am nervous all at the same time. If you remember the friend I talked about that found out she was pregnant a week before I did? She went in for her first ultra sound, and everything seemed fine, only a few days later she started bleeding and lost her Little Bee at 7 weeks. We have talked, and I expressed my fears since our journeys have been so similar. Her response was "This is where our paths will diverge. do not waste a minute on worry. Love that wee one!" I have to say she made me cry. She is so strong and such an inspiration to me and all the other Baby Loss Moms out there! I hope this is where our paths diverge, but until I see this little one on U/S in 8 days, I am going to be a little nervous. I also hope that she will soon be expecting again as soon as her body is ready. Please send a few prayers her way!!You can visit her at her blog "Valentina in the Sky".

As I feared, I have lost a few followers. I have gained a few more, but sadly have lost a couple. I knew my announcement would be hard on a few of my BLMs. Some are just in a different place in their grief, and seeing pregnancy announcements are just a little too hard.

We have been pretty busy! The kitchen demo has commenced!!! I figured I would post the process on here. The demo was yesterday, the electric today and tomorrow, the drywall on Thursday and Friday, and then the cabinets go in next week. Here are my before pictures:

I will miss that bench/corner eating area!! that is about ALL i will miss about this kitchen!!

This white has been a pain in my butt to keep looking clean!!!

fluorescent lights anyone?!?

you see that hideous border and "backsplash'?!?!

Electric stove circa 1970!!

tthe floor may not seem TOO bad, but it is TOO light, and a cheap pergo (I think i saw it for 67 cents a yard @ the store!

This is  what I am living with now! My microwave is in the formal living room, and this is what our dinners have consisted of:

Eating out, paper plates and bowls, plastic cutlery, and cups are what we have been eating out of because I have no sink to clean them in. We have been eating in our living room and letting other people cook for us  because THIS is what my kitchen looks like NOW!!

Nice Butt Foster;-)

why so dark? because there is no electric in this part of the house right now

 I am thrilled to see the finished project. I will keep you all updated, and when it is all said and done, party at my place!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Guest Blogger

I wanted to direct you all over to a fellow military wife's blog. Her husband is currently on R&R, and while they are enjoying time together, she asked me to make a contribution to her blog. As usual, I told a story that I have never shared on here, hoping all of you will visit her, and maybe even follow her (if you aren't already). So hop on over, and see how I communicated with Foster when my cell phone was taken away @ basic training and he was in Iraq! Click Here: A Blog A Day While You're Away

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Therapy, Prayers and Symptoms

We are all aware that I will be getting the best medical care in the state of Ohio, however there was one aspect of my journey that my OB's nurse was concerned about. Although Dr. C (My high risk doc (MFM)) will be medically the best, the office is so busy, and see so many patients, that my OB (Dr. P) and her nurse (Shar) are worried I wouldn't have the personal attention I crave. In my OBs office, they are so friendly and will let me talk to them for an hour or more at visits. They have been so understanding and supportive, and they are truly afraid that the new MFM office may not do the same. If you know me I LOVE to talk, and when things are bothering me, or making me nervous, I tend to talk even more. So, Shar suggested that if I wasn't already seeing a therapist, that it would be a good idea to start.

Well, I never stopped seeing my therapist. She has been a God send! It is great to have someone listen to me without interruption and focus only on my problems for a whole hour. I was so excited to actually bring her good news this yesterday.

Foster doesn't share my views on therapy. He thinks I should be "cured" now. He thinks that still seeing a therapist is somehow a bad sign, or a sign of weakness. I tried to explain to him that I just like talking to her and it made me feel so much better every time I left. We talk about my nightmares that I still have on almost a nightly basis, we talk about my feelings and now my fears for this new baby. Foster claims that he is here for me to talk to also, but I tried to explain to him that it is not the same.

I have to admit, getting told I was not deploying was a HUGE factor in my anxiety relief. I felt like there was this HUGE weight lifted off my chest, and that I could breathe for the first time since Rosalynn died. I was finally able to focus on her and my healing as opposed to getting prepared to ship out. Also, I am slightly surprised at the LACK of anxiety about this pregnancy. If I had gotten pregnant right after our loss, I would have probably requested to be admitted to the mental ward for 9 months. Now, I think I am ready. I think I am emotionally and physically prepared for whatever is going to happen with my little pumpkin. Don't get me wrong, I still have my moments, but it is definitely as bad as I had expected. I am sure that will change the closer to the end in the third trimester.

I am realistic this time around. I WISH I was still naive about pregnancy, but I know better now. I know that one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage, so I am not out of the woods with that. I also know the statistics for stillbirth and almost all the causes for it. Along with this awareness, I have such a better appreciation for each day that passes that I am still pregnant with Pumpkin. It is a miracle....a TRUE miracle! Every night at dinner, Foster and I start our prayers by saying "Thank you God for letting us be pregnant another day". That is how I am doing this, the same way I dealt with Rosie's death; second by second, minute by minute, day by day, and hopefully eventually week by week.

One thing I promise to you all here and now, is that you will never hear me complain. Not about nausea and vomiting, pain, headaches, or anything else. If I ever mention a symptom, it will be to inform everyone what I am experiencing right now, or to ask advice if something is normal. Other than that, I will embrace this pregnancy and everything it has to throw at me with open arms, for God has answered my prayers and I will eternally be grateful for that.

2 weeks from today I will be having my first U/S. Today I am officially 5 weeks pregnant!! Please, your prayers are still very much appreciated!

Symptoms up to week 5:
Low blood sugar feeling if I haven't eaten in a while.
HUGE boobs and sore
the slight pangs of growth in my belly...not painful, just twinges from time to time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


you see that VERY faint line!?!?!?!?!?

I wanted to share this post with all of has been hidden in my "vault" since the day it happened. I posted this on my support group the night it happened to get their advice, but was not ready to announce it to the word...that came after the blood test confirmed! I know, I am sure you can't see the line without tilting, and squinting, but I promise it is there, and I promise I took TONS after this one, but this is the first test that let me know Pumpkin was on his/her way!!! here is the post from that night:

 10DPO (days past ovulation)

I got really light headed yesterday and today when I had not eaten in a few hours, and I was REALLY irritable last night (no normal for me, i have the patience of a snail usually when it comes to my husband). So, when the nausea/lightheaded hit again only 2.5 hours after eating a small lunch, I decided to break down and test. I peed in the cup, dropped a few drops, and waited. I waited about 1-2 mins and when there was not pos sign, I walked away. I went back in about 15 mins later to throw the test away, and there is DEF a faint pink, positive line.
So, I immediately got a First Response test out, and took another one...BFN...and I thought FR was more sensitive, but it was with a different urine.  And of ALL the HUNDREDS of tests I have taken from other people in the ER with the QuickVue, I have NEVER had a false positive, and never had one appear as an evaporation line at the hospital(we let those thing sit on the counter for hours after testing). I don't want to get too happy, I don't want to get anyone else excited, but even my hubby saw the faint pink line.....ugh! I think I will just retest tomorrow morning w/ FMU and hope I get a darker line than today. It would just be too perfect if this was my month.....there is NO way my life works like that! I only have 2 more weeks of school (one finals week), we are just about to remodel our kitchen, which last time we scheduled to have our kitchen remolded, we found out we were pregnant with Rosalynn so we canceled, we were SUPPOSED to start clomid next month if I wasn't pregnant, and I was NOT looking forward to that, AND my EDD would be my birthday (NOV 17th) IF i got pregnant this month! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray that I get a darker line tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance....

Well, maybe not exactly. I am one online final short of FINALLY finishing my bachelors. For those of you who know me in real life, you know this has been a LOOOONNNNNGGGGG time coming. For those of you who don't know me, it has been about 11 years. Sure life has thrown my obstacles; money problems, military training, and the loss of a child, just to name a few. However, I have driven on and I am done in 24 hours. A lot of people would have thrown their arms in the air and given up. Some people would have lasted six or seven years before calling it quits. Not me! I refused to give up. I have been bound and determined to finish my education.

In true Erin style, I procrastinated and did not get my walking papers turned in on time. Actually, I was about a week and a half late. What does this mean? Well, I will get a diploma, but if I want to walk for graduation, I have to wait till June. At first I wasn't going to worry about it. I was going to happily accept my diploma and go about my life. The more I thought about it though, the more I decided that I WANT to walk. I have fought too hard and too long to idly sit by and not properly celebrate. Also, after finding out that Foster and I are expecting again, I want to make as many memories as possible with this child regardless of how much time I have with him/her. Rosie got to do soooooo much, remember this post? I know it is negative to think this way, but please don;t judge me, it is normal for a Baby Loss Mom to feel this way; I want this baby to experience a lot as well, in the event something happens. So, pumpkin seed and I will be walking in Ohio State University's famous horseshoe in June!!

Now, if you think for one moment I am done with school, think again. I have been a career student and my life would not be the same without classes. So, I have already signed up for my very first formal photography class. It also helps that my work pays for classes, so there are minimum expenses for me to continue learning. I have learned so much from my mentor and from the books I have read, however, you can never know too much about an interest. The way I have been taught so far is more of the "here is HOW you do it", and not necessarily the WHY. I figured a formal class will tell me the intricate details of shutter speed, apertures, and lighting. I will come out that much more knowledgeable and earn the respect of my clients and fellow photographers. Then one day I MAY be able to consider myself a professional.  I have the eye, now it is time to build on the knowledge. I guess it is safe to say that my education isn't over until the fat lady sings (hopefully whoever sings the national anthem at graduation isn't fat, b/c i am not sure I am ready to stop:-)

Monday, March 14, 2011


baby Logan!!! Here are the pics I could not show from my maternity shoot until today!!! They were my all time favorite from the shoot!! I am so excited!!
Stay tuned, I have another maternity shoot tomorrow w/ another pregnant belly!!! this time a girl!
Baby Logan kicked and the "O" and knocked it over!! lol

Friday, March 11, 2011

Signs Signs, Everywhere are Signs!

I am a skeptic. I honestly don't know how I feel about "signs" and "ghosts". I want to say I believe in them, but there is no logical way of explaining these phenomena and there is no scientific way to proving them. In the baby loss community, there is a want to get signs from our children in heaven. We look for things signifying to us that our babies are okay, and that they are looking out for us. A popular signs amongst the group are butterflies and rainbows. I would like to say that I feel these same emotions towards butterflies and rainbows, however, I can't. I don't know why, I find roses have a bigger impact on me; to each his own. Anyway, in order for me to believe in a sign, it literally has to smack me upside the head, or else I think to myself "I was looking for that", or "I am thinking too far into it."

A little over a week ago a fellow baby loss mom, blogger, and someone I have become pretty close to through my journey announced her pregnancy. I was OVER the MOON with excitement. I don't want you to think that for one instance I wasn't thrilled for her. However, it was official, I was the last one standing. You see, we have been on very similar journeys up till that  point. For instance, she lost her daughter seven days after I did. We were pretty much on the same cycle(if you know what I mean) we would check up on each other when that dreaded Aunt would come to visit every month. We were both struggling with our weight, the list goes on. I was fully expecting that we would find out we were pregnant around the same time, and carry our rainbows together, so when I found out she was pregnant, I decided to throw my hands in the air and give up! (obviously the thought NEVER crossed my mind that one of us may get pregnant a week or two ahead of the other.....hear the sarcasm!?!?). So I started praying. I started praying to God and talking to Rosie. Asking them to send me some sort of sign that I would be expecting a rainbow baby at some point. I didn't care when, I just wanted to know that Foster's and my efforts would not go ignored.

For the past three months I have been using an online tracking program called It helps me keep track of my ovulation tests, and predicts when is the best time to conceive. It was pretty spot on in it's predictions. After I ovulated, it would tell me every month what my expected due date would be if we had been lucky enough to conceive that month. Well, for some reason I had yet to look at that date this cycle. So I decided to scroll down. There it was in BIG BOLD letters "NOVEMBER 17, 2011". For those of you who know me in real life know the significance of this date. For those of you who don't, it is my 30th birthday! I didn't want to think too far into it, but I almost felt like that indeed was my sign. The next night, in fact, I told Foster about my "sign". You see, I have gotten these "signs" before, even prior to Rosie's death, and never told anyone and later regretted it. I feel that if you tell someone after the fact that you had a "sign" that it seems invalid or something of that nature. I hope this makes sense to all of you.

As we all know now, I DID get pregnant this cycle. You guessed it, that means my EDD is Nov. 17th. Even thought the baby will be taken by c-section sooner than this date, I still feel this has great significance, and was the sign I needed to rest my anxious soul.

Then I decided to call my sergeant and let him know. I have a PT test this weekend, seeing that this consists of sit ups and push ups and running, it can be strenuous on your body. I am willing to do some exercises, but not willing to push my body that hard. He was ecstatic that I was expecting again, and agreed to let my leadership know. As I got off the phone, my mind started reeling. All of the "What if's" started to run through my head. I was scared and worried that something might happen to this little one. It had only been a little over 24 hours since I had learned about his or her existence, and already he or she was giving me so much hope and I was already falling in love with him/her.  I was stopped at a stop light behind another car. I glanced down at the bumper where I saw a sticker. I am one who likes to be entertained by bumper stickers, so I read it. This is what I saw:

If you can't quite read that, sorry, my camera phone is not as good as my Canon, and I didn't have my Canon on me. The sticker says "Why Worry? God's in control!
I guess I get what I ask for. I DID ask God and Rosie for a sign.....

This is just what I needed, just at the right time. I started laughing and crying at the same time. I looked up to heaven and said "OK God, I get it, this is all You this time!" I immediately called Foster to tell him what I saw and tell him I thought everything would be okay. He is more of a skeptic than I am. He just blew it off to pure coincidence. However, I think his mind was changed the next day.

Rosalynn's rose petals from her funeral. Foster had a single bead made that he wore around his neck with his saint medals. One day, it was gone. He could not find it. We searched the house high and low for it. We looked in the cars and in his clothes thinking it had come off in one of his shirts. We even checked his gym bags. We finally gave up. well, Foster was playing fetch with the dogs in the back yard of Tuesday, and low and behold, he found his "Rosie bead"!! Our back yard is not small by any means, and what are the odds?!?!?!

"Do you believe in signs yet?" I asked. He is still not sure, but I think it is getting harder for him to deny that our Rosalynn, our beautiful daughter is trying to put her parents' minds at ease.

These are a few of the reasons i decided to share our news so quickly. Something tells me to feel good about this pregnancy, that everything will be okay. What do you think?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Post Everyone Has Been Praying For!!

***Warning to BLMs...pregnancy triggers****

If you have learned anything about me over the past eleven months, is that I am not one to hold anything back. It is almost impossible for me to keep a secret, just ask my family. I have to wait until the last minute to buy Christmas presents, or else I tell everyone what I got them before Christmas morning rolled around. When I got the positive pregnancy test on Sunday, Foster and I were convinced we were going to keep this a secret until at least Rosie's birthday on April 20th. I wasn't going to tell my family, my friends, and I was definitely NOT posting on facebook or my blog. However, after reflecting on the positives and negatives of telling this soon, I realized the positives outweighed the negatives.

If I told everyone I was pregnant now, there would be so much hope in people's hearts. Of course there would be the fear, but I am praying HOPE would beat out. Fear is from the devil, HOPE is from God (Remember this post?). Also, if I told everyone now, I would have an astounding amount of prayers all over the country, even the world praying for this little pumpkin. After all, doesn't the bible say "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst." (Matthew 18:20).  The way I figure, although we are not all in the same building, we are all praying for the same cause, a happy healthy pregnancy and a crying baby in nine months. IF God forbid anything happens to this baby, I will have a support group. My friends and family will already know about it, and help me through another tough time. Trust me, I am not trying to be negative, however, I am VERY aware of the odds this early in a pregnancy.

The negatives were obviously losing the baby early on in the pregnancy, and also possibly losing followers of my blog. I have debated starting another blog for my rainbow baby, however, I purposefully named my blog "Journey of Life and Love" because I knew I did not want it to be just a blog about Rosie. Obviously that is the reason I started online blogging, but this space is about my life. Plus I have felt Rosalynn present more in the past week than I have in a few months. She is all around me and Foster, and has been showing us signs left and right (I will post about these signs tomorrow!).

That being said, please realize this is not a cure for my grief. Getting pregnant again will NOT stop me from loving Rosalynn, it will not make me forget about her, and it will not stop me from pursuing the things I am doing in her name. If anything, these past few days have made me miss her even more. All I think about is how she would be a great big sister, and she should be here with us going through this with us. I have been an emotional basket case. Remember the definition of a "Rainbow Baby" The understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened, the family is not still dealing with the aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope."

So how far along are we.....EARLY. Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks. That's right, I am going against what most would do. Most women would be afraid of announcing this early. However, remember, I did not lose one in the first trimester, I lost Rosie in the THIRD!! So, my new motto is "No matter what happens tomorrow, I am pregnant today, and I am going to celebrate that, and thank God every morning I wake up still pregnant." I am going to let this little pumpkin get all the love he/she deserves regardless of the amount of time he/she is in my womb.

Thank you all for you continued prayers and support. First u/s scheduled for March 31!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

True Love

"Love is what you've been through with someone" James Thurber

I am feeling extra sappy lately towards Foster. I am not sure why, I just feel like I am so blessed. I have truly found my true soul mate. It's funny, I have gotten so many wonderful compliments on him as a person and as us as a couple.

When I went to the ball with him, a couple of his old friends approached me and complimented me on how well we mesh as a couple, how well we balance each other out. I was completely flattered by their remarks. I am the outgoing, fun loving, sometimes TOO talkative woman, and he is my strong, silent, easy going man...unless he has a few drinks in him, and then you can't get HIM to shut up!

Then I received a compliment from Kam. She met him for the second time at the silent auction this past weekend. I called her today to see how well the auction did for BIHAA, and she wanted to tell me something. She explained that when she first met Foster, about 2 months after our loss, she could tell he was an amazing man. However, she could tell in his eyes he was angry. She said it was just his demeanor and his eyes that told her this. I have to admit, at this point in our journey, we were probably BOTH a little angry.

This past weekend, however, as he held and played with every child in that room, and made every baby giggle and smile, as he teared up during the stories of loss, Kam's feelings of him being an amazing man were solidified. She says out of everyone there, he was one of just a few that made a HUGE impression on her.
He makes a huge impression on me everyday of our life together.

I honestly feel like our loss has made us strong as oak. No matter what, there will be no tearing us apart. We have gone through the "through sickness, through bad times," all we have to look forward to are those "good times, and through health". Right? To reiterate the quote at the IS what you have been through with someone, and Foster and I have been to hell and back together, our love is unstoppable!

If you can't tell, I love him so much! :-)

"Not only do I remember all the reasons I fell in love with you; I have found so many new reasons to love you even more" (Anonymous)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

With One Voice: A Strong Foundation

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”(Matthew : 24-28)

When this parable was read in church today, it made me start thinking, hard. I realized that I was blessed with a family who encouraged and helped build a strong foundation in my faith. Growing up I probably complained more than I should have about attending church, but if I didn't I wouldn't have been a typical teenager. I was unaware of how important my faith would be to me later on in life.

Luckily, after growing up, I continued to practice my faith and hold a personal relationship with God. Just like any other relationship, the foundation is the most important piece. If you have a strong foundation in a marriage, friendship, or with God, no matter what obstacles are thrown in the way, your relationship will take the beating and survive. If however, your relationship is built out of weak "material", the relationship is doomed in tough times and tragedy. Examples of this material may be greed, pride, lust, you get the point. If you are with someone purely for sex, most likely the relationship won't hold up once something strains it, makes it too "real". If you are friends with someone because they can benefit you in some way, shape, or form, there is a good chance the friendship will end as soon as they are no use to you. The same goes for a relationship with God.

If your relationship is an "as needed" relationship, where you turn to him when you want something, but do not thanks him when you get it, or give yourself the credit without realizing you didn't do it by yourself; then most likely as soon as a major tragedy strikes, you will easily turn your back on Him. I have to admit, there have been many moments int he past ten months where I have gotten angry, asked Him "Why?" and tried to understand why he would take my child away from me. However, just like when my best friend JJ and I fight, as soon as I calm down, I am able to think clearly, and realized that it was not His fault and I must have faith that He will comfort me. "Just a a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13)

What are the basic building blocks of a strong foundation? Just as the deadly sins make for a weak foundation, the virtues are best to build a strong foundation; Faith, Hope and Charity.

Faith by definition is "belief that is not based on truth". As Christians, we have a faith that there is an amazing afterlife for us to look forward to, and eternal life in paradise with our Maker. We have faith that God knows what is best for us and will never give us more than we can handle.

Hope is the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. We have hope that we will make it to heaven if we lead a good life here on earth. I have that much more of an incentive to lead a good life here. I want to meet my daughter for the first time. I want to walk through the gates of heaven and hold her and hug her and play with her. I also have hope that God will bless me. It may not be on my schedule, or in the time I want, but he will. I may have to wait until I go to Heaven to get these blessings, but I have hope I will receive them.

Charity is the practice of benevolent giving and caring. "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40). Loving and giving to our fellow brothers and sisters is one of the most important ways to live a Christian life and build your relationship with God. Jesus' life was spent caring for the sick and poor. Every person we help is as if we are doing it to Christ. "Treat others the way you want to be treated."

I know the loss of a child can literally rock a foundation, it rocked mine, but I am blessed that it did not crumble my house. To my BLMs: How has your faith been tested since the loss of your child? Did your foundation hold up?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In the Arms of Angels

Last night was a pretty emotional one. Back in His Arms Again held the first silent auction fundraiser. It went off without a hitch, and there were a lot more guests than I had expected. I was a little ashamed of myself because I have been so busy with work and school, getting ready to graduate, and working on roses from Rosalynn and my photography, that time had ran away with me, and I was unable to really help. the auction had originally been my idea, and the board took the idea and ran with it. They did an amazing job!!

It was held in a local church's banquet hall. Decorated with beautiful candles, and flowers, soft lighting and calming music. The theme was "In the Arms of Angels". A great spread of food and wine, cake and coffee were offered. Kam and her husband spoke of their losses and the start of the ministry. I had hear the story many times from Kam, and knew about her two losses, so I figured it wouldn't make me cry. Boy was I wrong! When she described laying on the exam table at her doctors, waiting to see her baby's heart beat, and hearing those 7 awful words that flip your life upside down, "I'm sorry, your baby has no heartbeat", I lost it. I looked over at Foster who was holding one of the other guest's twin baby girl, and he had tears streaming down his eyes. I know what was running through his head. I know at that moment he was reliving that moment in his mind too.

Then they featured a video of a family who recently lost their daughter after a two week stay in the NICU, and eventually went up to heaven. This is one of the MANY families that BIHAA helped over the past six years. It was heart breaking, and I continued to cry through the presentation. If their goal was to pull at people's heartstrings and cause them to donate, I am sure it worked!

I donated a photo session to the auction. A 1.5 hour session and free CD of pictures. I was more than happy to do this for the ministry. My mom was stalking the auction tables. She was bidding on a rosary made out of buckeyes, and a basket full of Starbucks coffee and goodies. It was pretty amusing to watch. She refused to lose either, so she over bid the estimated value of both items. She figured it was all going to charity, so why not! She is so funny. I had an amazing time with Foster, mom, dad, JJ and Mr. JJ. I was so happy that they accompanied me to support an organization that is near and dear to my heart. If any of you would be interested in what BIHAA does and what their mission is, check out this There is a list of their services and a button on the bottom to donate. It is not just limited to the state of Ohio, they have helped families all over the country, so if you know anyone who has lost a baby, it doesn't matter how old (5 weeks gestation-3 years old, it doesn't matter) feel free to direct them to this website.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ok....HERE They Are!!

So I emailed my friend last night and sent her a sample of the photos of the naked photos she was self conscience about. She love them, and gave me permission to use them online. She was just worried I would post the naked belly photos before she got to see them, and she wanted to make sure I didn't use her real name. I COMPLETELY understand. I don't know if I would want my name with my naked belly online either! Here are my FAVORITE shots from yesterday!!! (spcae being left for those who still have pregnant belly triggers, and I promise my website is being designed so I don't have to post these any more)

Overcoming a Fear and First Studio Shoot!!!

I was going to wait until I had permission to post all of the photos from this shoot (there was a little confusion that needs to be ironed out), however, I was sooooo excited after the two hour session, that I couldn't wait. i came right home, did some MINOR editing (cropping, black and whits, etc) and am so proud of the products thus far that I just had to share.

This shoot was an important one. It was my very first maternity shoot. After losing Rosalynn, I have voiced my feelings on here about pregnant women and bellies. I was terrified that this shoot would be heart wrenching. In the past couple months I have gone from the BLM to the BLM who is now infertile club, and for all of you fellow BLM and infertiles out there, you know how pregnant bellies usually make us feel. Well, that wasn't the case. I was so excited about the shoot and the artistry behind it, learning to use the different lights in the studio, and creating photos that this couple will cherish forever, I completely lost the feelings of jealousy and resentment.

She was beautiful, he was handsome and their little man even kicked a few times and knocked the blocks off her belly. Unfortunately, you will not get to see the block photos yet either, because they have the baby's name in it, and they have not told a soul what the baby's name will be. That's right, I was blessed to be the third person on earth to know what this baby's name would be! What an honor!! Of course my mentor was the 4th person since he was there too.

My mentor, we will call him Phil M (get, was so helpful and informative. the studio was decked out to the max with lighting and backdrops and props. I could not even tell you what all they had, because the place was packed with stuff. I opted to go for simple. Simple backdrops, simple fabrics, focusing on the family to be and the belly. Here are the first few photos that I can show. I took some bare belly shots, and now my friend is having second thoughts of me posting those. It is my fault. I printed up a release form, but forgot to get them to sign it because I was soooooo excited and nervous about this shoot, then I was so excited about the photos that I forgot to get them to sign AFTER the shoot also. I emailed her, and hopefully within a few days I will be able to post those also. Note to self: DO NOT forget to get that release form signed! (The naked belly photos and the block photos take up 2/3 of my files!!)

So without further ado (I am going to leave a space here for those of you who still feel bad seeing pregnant bellies!)


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