My Family!!

My Family!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Heart Palpitations and Old Wives Tale #4

So for the sake of keeping everything documented for this pregnancy, I am going to write about the latest symptom I have been having. Heart Palpitations. That's right, my heart has been a fluttering away. Now my husband claims I have to stop thinking about him so much, and they will stop. Very funny!

At first it was only once in a while. I googled pregnancy and palpitations, and it seems that since there is such an increase in blood volume, sometimes a pregnant woman can experience palpitations, along with shortness of breath with exertion. So, I let out a sigh of relief and went about my business.

Well, this weekend they picked up...ALOT! I was having 1-1.5 hour stints of constant palpitations. Some of them were taking my breath away, and on Friday I had to pull over twice while driving in order to vomit. I have had awful nausea with this pregnancy, but up until now, not much vomiting. the palpitations felt like they were in my throat, which then in turn made me throw up. So I decided it was time to call the doctor.

I called the office, explained what was going on and they called me back about 30 mins later. The nurse told me that if the palpitations were still going on by Monday, to call back. REALLY?!?!? They had been going on for a week. What would make them think that they would go away over the weekend!!?!??  So I agreed and continued on my way.

Well, surprise, surprise, they got worse instead of better. Foster and I headed out to my parents house for a little "Rapture Party", that's right, if we were going to go out, we were going to do it all together! :-) It was a lot of fun for everyone, and I didn't want to ruin it, but I felt the need to let my doctor know that the palpitations were getting worse. He wanted me to go to the ER. Not the closest one to my parent's house and not even the one that I work in, but one of the largest in Ohio. I agreed, but with more contemplation, decided not to. I had a few reasons.

#1 I was NOT going to pay a $150 copay! It is ridiculous! People come in all the time with stubbed toes and minor injuries and never pay a dime b/c they don't have insurance, and they "Don't have any money", even though they have their smokes and cell phones right there with them.

#2 Foster and my family were having too much fun killing ground hogs, and cooking out. I didn't want to ruin the fun, and I figured as long as I rested, and kept myself pretty calm, the flutters were bearable. I would go on Sunday if they persisted.

#3 I was afraid they may want to admit me if they DID find something wrong. I had a photo shoot on Sunday morning that could NOT be rescheduled because it was for a first Holy Communion. So it's not like I could ask the church to reschedule for Monday or something.

#4 I didn't know if the trip would be worth my while. If I went in and they were asking my history and found out I lost a baby last April and am now pregnant, they may just chalk the palpitations up to anxiety. If they decided to take and EKG, and it was when a palpitation was NOT happening, it would just confirm their initial thoughts in their mind. I was afraid they wouldn't take me seriously. I work in and ER, I know how it works sometimes, unfortunately. We see too many women come in who just want and u/s because they don't have an OB, and will use every excuse in the book to get one. This causes a lot of speculation and jaded perspectives on the part of the nursing staff and doctors. I hate that this is true, and I am not saying it ALWAYS happens, but I was afraid I would be categorized as a "crazy stillbirth mom" you know?

On Sunday, I just prayed and prayed that I would make it through the 2 masses without incident. Although I was faced with a few palpitations, there was nothing too extreme. When I called Foster after the shoot, he asked that I come home first, so that if I decided to go to the ED, he could go with me. I love him! I got home and fell asleep. I slept for 4 hours, and actually felt a little better afterwards.

For the past 2 days they have still been happening, but ALOT less. I only intermittently get them again. However, I am calling tomorrow. I am calling my doctor and letting him know that no, they haven't gone away, and explain my reasoning for not going into the ER. I hope he takes me seriously. He had mentioned that we may need to do a 24 hour holter monitor. I figured, since he has office hours on Thursday, he may be able to fit me in...I hope!

Foster and I will be heading to Georgia for my cousin's wedding, so I would like to have an idea of our plan before we head down south. It will be nice to just relax with Foster for a few days, and I can stay pretty stress free, since he is doing most of the driving and I can sleep!

I will keep you all updated!

On a happier note, although our u/s tech had a guess to the sex last time, I am still doing the Old Wives Tales. This time I did the baking soda test. If you take a couple tablespoons of baking soda, and add your urine to it, if it bubbles it is supposed to mean you are having a boy, and if it doesn't it means you are having a girl. I guess it has something to do with the acidity of your urine. Well, there wasn't a single bubble. So, according to this test, it confirms what the tech guessed, and we can expect a GIRL.

Results so far:

Declan: 50%
Avaleen: 50%

Looks like we are back at square one!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Week 14

So, I figured since I am officially in the 2nd trimester, I would start doing these little weekly surveys.

How far along: 14 Weeks!

Size of baby: From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces.
Maternity clothes: Yeppers...been in the pants since week 8. Sad, I know, but my belly popped, and the waistband of my regualr pants were digging in.
Sleep: It's hit or miss. There are days I can sleep for hours, and then others where I have so much energy I can't sleep at night. (probably because I sleep all darn is a vicious cycle!)
Best moment of the week: I guess getting out of the first trimester. Although I am still really nervous!
Movement: I feel flutters, some of them feel like they could be baby, but they could be gas too! ;-)
Symptoms: still tired, and lower back pain kicked in this past week.
Food cravings/aversions: fruit, fruit smoothies, and McDonald's Chicken Nuggets. No real aversions, just things that don't sound appetizing at the time.
Gender: The u/s tech said that if she had to guess when I was 13 weeks, she would say Girl, but not to paint the nursery yet....I hope she is right!

Belly button in or out: Still in

Stretch marks: TONS of old ones from Rosalynn, and a few new ones popping up on my boobs and hips.

What I miss: My wine! I was sitting on the couch and my husband opened a bottle, and I could smell it a mile away! It made me a little jealous. However, I would give it up forever if it meant having a living baby come home with me:-)
What I am looking forward to: Finding out the sex for sure and feeling the baby move more prominently.
Weekly wisdom: Drink LOTS of water.....GI cramps can feel like contractions, and is REALLY scary!!!!
Weird Dream of the week: I had a dream that Foster and I were at the hospital and I had had my C-section. For some reason, when they asked him the name of the baby girl, he answered "Ryan Sarah Foster". I came back from surgery and was SOOOOO mad that he named the baby without me. But I remember the joy...the happiness of holding this little one!! It gives me hope, because the weird thing about my pregnancy with Rosie, I NEVER had a dream about actually having her. This time it was sooooo real! I pray it comes true...minus the name part:-)
Belly Pic: I will post one later....sorry:-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bag Deliveries!! (Long Overdue Post!)

This is LONG overdue! I have made two deliveries so far. The first was a single bag and the second was a group of 11 bags to the bereavement group at OSU medical center.

The first bag delivery was a very emotional one for me. I received a phone call from my sister telling me that a baby in their NICU would be taken off the ventilator later that morning, and was wondering if I happened to have a bag in my car. I said I didn't, but when I got off of work, I would head home and grab one and bring it back to the hospital. When I got off at 6am, I drove home, and the tears started streaming. I was overcome with the grief for this family, for myself, for my precious baby girl, and for this precious baby girl who would be passing in a matter of hours. It was a hard delivery. I pulled up to the front of the hospital still in tears. My sister met me because I was not ready to meet a family in this process. One day maybe, but not yet, my own grief is still too fresh and raw. Bug had tears in her eyes ass well. She was supposed to get off at 7am, but decided to stick around until the family showed up in order to present them with the bag, and be with them as they said goodbye to their daughter. I honestly don't know how she does it. She is one strong cookie! From what Bug told me, the mom was extremely thankful for the items in the bag, and will cherish them forever. that is all I want to hear! This is why I do this!

For Rosalynn's first birthday in Heaven, I wanted to make a delivery to the hospital I gave birth to her in. So on April 19th, exactly one year from the day that I walked into those doors only to find out my beautiful daughter's heart had stopped, I met with Joan.

Joan has been an integral part of my healing process. She is one of the chaplains at Ohio State University Medical center that deals with baby loss. She took Rosie and bathed her, dressed her, and presented her to me all wrapped in her pink knitted blanket to be baptized. She sat with me for hours and let me cry. She spent time with my family and most of all treated my beautiful angel with love and respect. She found a beautiful dress to put my baby girl in that we ended up burrying her in. She also rounded up a memory box that now holds the few things I have to cherish.

My sister and Aunt walked into the hospital and were greeted with hugs and smiles. Joan was ecstatic to see me after this whole year, and was even more thrilled to find out we were expecting Rosie's brother or sister. We sat in her office and talked for a good hour. She told us that she had just come from a family who lost their baby that day. This makes me so sad that a project like mine is even needed! I ached for that family, because exactly one year ago we had been in the same situation. I know the hell they will be going through for the next few months; the questions, the pain, the dark places. At that moment, the family felt like there would be no tomorrow, that their lives had ended. Yes, their lives had ended the way that they have known them, but all I wanted to do was go up there, hug the mom and dad, and tell them that things will get better, that the pain will never really go away, but the days will get easier to get through. I was living proof that one year later I was smiling, pregnant again, and filled with hope; feelings that on April 19/20th 2010 I never thought I would experience again.

Of course we took pictures!

See the embroidery? My aunt did that! And on the back of the bags is the Project Sweet Peas Logo...i LOVE the bags!! And I love all the little Bear heads peeking out from the top:-)

Bug, Me and Joan

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Think Before You Speak

People try so hard to comfort your fears through a pregnancy after loss. They try to tell you "everything is ok", to "have faith", and that "it won't happen again". I have to be honest here, these are the WORST things you can say to me right now. I have been trying to find the words to explain myself, when yesterday it was made clear to me how to approach this issue.

I was watching TLC yesterday, and they had a special "Pregnant and Paralyzed". The story was about a woman who had was paralyzed an pregnant with twins. Rainbow twins. She lost her son  a year or so prior to the conception of her twins. They were interviewing the grandmother and she said, "I will not tell her that everything will be okay, because honestly I can't promise her that. No one can promise her that, because we have experience the worst. The only thing I WILL promise her is that no matter what happens, no matter if the worst happens again, we will get through it. We will get through it together."

I couldn't top this quote. I couldn't have said it better myself. When talking to a baby loss parent, don't promise things you have no control of. Don't try and tell them "everything will be okay". I have witnessed not one, not two, but THREE women in my online support group find out that their babies either died @ 18 weeks, or will die because of an incurable disorder in the past 2 weeks. One of them has already experienced a full term loss and has now chosen to carry her daughter who was diagnosed with a fatal disorder called Potter's Syndrome. I am sure many people told her to relax, trust, and that everything would be okay. I am sure they are feeling like idiots right about now. The other two had experienced multiple miscarriages, and thought they were in the clear once they passed that miraculous first trimester mark. Then their worlds came crashing down when they found out their babies' hearts had just stopped beating. I am devastated, and scared.

This can happen to anyone. I don't mean to scare my currently pregnant friends who have never experienced a loss, but it could happen to you, and it can happen to me....again. The statistics are ASTOUNDING! 1 in 160 babies are stillborn (dying after 20 weeks of gestation) That is 1 in 160 pregnancies!!! You know how many pregnant women are out there? I know of at least 13 people in real life right now who are pregnant, and NUMEROUS more online that are pregnant. Approximately 20% of known pregnancies end before 20 weeks, and 80% of those are before 12 weeks. This means out of 100 births, 20 will end. 16 of these will be before 12 weeks, and 4 of these will be later than that. If you think about it, with all of the women who experience pregnancy, this means pregnancy loss is more prominent than suicide (14 out of every 100,000 population in 2010 in the US) or murder (An average of 28.7 murders per 1million people world wide). Crazy huh?  Do you feel comfortable telling a woman who already experienced a loss that "everything will be okay"?

After this, I hope none of you make the mistake of offering false hope. Instead, listen to the mom's fears without judgement. My AMAZING friend called me the other day and asked how I was doing, and although I rarely go into detail with everyone who asks this question, I did with her. I expressed my fears of being left behind again with all of these pregnant women around me. I explained my relief that I was pregnant right now and didn't have to witness all of these pregnancies without experiencing it myself, leading to feelings of jealousy and pain. She just listened. She didn't offer words of advice, for she had never been in this situation. She didn't judge me or think I was "overreacting", or that I was a "bad person" for my feelings; in fact, her response was VERY similar to that of the grandmother on "Pregnant and Paralyzed". She told me she would be here for me no matter what, and that means more to me than anything.

The only One who can make this promise to me, is God himself. He is the only one who can bring this baby here safely. I have faith that He will, but I also have faith that if He doesn't that He will provide Foster and I with the strength to get through it again.

I am slowly creeping up on 14 weeks, and although I should be relieved that the first trimester is over, I am not. I am probably more nervous than before. I feel that there is more at stake now. i have seen the baby, and it LOOKS like a baby. I swear I feel little flutters in my belly and it COULD be gas, but it could be Pumpkin.  I have a noticeably pregnant belly already, and if I lose this one, everyone will know. So if I don't act like that normal, naive, happy pregnant lady, please understand and please don't judge. And above all, please, please, please think before you speak when it comes to false hope. But I do ask that you all still continue to pray:-)

....Welcome to the life of pregnancy after loss.

God Bless

"God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time is Getting Away From Me!!! Pumpkin Update

I PROMISE, I AM going to write about Rosie's b-day, the Women of Faith Conference, and my kitchen. However, all of these posts require me to download, condense and upload pictures, and I have been SOOOOO bad about doing this lately; and I DON"T want to post about these events without the pictures, b/c they are great!! So please hang in there with me:-)

As most of you know, Sunday was Mother's Day. What some of you weren't aware of, the 1st was Babyloss Mother's day, and Friday the 6th was Military Spouse appreciation day. Although I was unaware until the day of these events, my husband was prepared and knew about ALL of them! He never ceases to amaze me! With Rosalynn, I had so much swelling, that by the 24th week, I had to take my wedding band and engagement ring off and wear them on a chain around my neck. Although it didn't really bother me, because I was sure people weren't judging; Foster was worried that it looked like I was pregnant and not married. He didn't like this idea. We joked that if we got pregnant again, we would buy a cheap CZ from Wal-Mart in a bigger size so that I could wear it while pregnant again. I guess he never forgot this conversation.

Foster came home on Thursday and matter-of-factly stated, "I am taking you out on a date tomorrow night."
I was thrilled, because it had been so long since we had gotten a chance to go somewhere nice and enjoy a good meal together.

When I woke up on Friday morning, there was a pretty gold wrapped box from Kay's sitting on our entry ledge, "What is that for?" I asked.

"You can open it tonight at dinner. It is a combo gift for Baby-loss mom's day, Military  Spouse Appreciation Day, and Mother's Day. Of course dinner is also for Mother's Day. Right now it is just there to tease you!"

I fall in love with this man over and over and over again. He took me to this AMAZING, upscale restaurant called Martini's. I would rather have gone to this place while I wasn't pregnant, b/c their menu of martinis was overwhelming, and anyone who knows me in real life KNOW how much I love my martinis, but I was just glad to be spending some quality time with Foster. Before dinner was served he told me to open my present. When I did, it was a simple, but beautiful white gold wedding band. It is the same band he has, but still shiny, his was brushed, "I figure you could wear it when your hands swell up again. Also, we can get it engraved with all of our children's names in it." (Sorry in advance for all of these photos, they are from my camera phone!)

He is incredibly thoughtful. I LOVE the idea of having our children's names engraved! Right now, it is too big for my finger, but I have it on my right hand ring finger and it is being held in place by a ring my sister gave me that her, JJ and I all have matching.

Saturday we headed up to Foster's sister's house and had a cook out with his side of the family. I felt so bad, because right after dinner, I passe out on the couch! I felt like such a bum, but I was soooooooo tired, and they all seemed to understand. One of his sisters offered to let me sleep upstairs, away from all the noise, but I was fine on the couch, and slept through EVERYTHING, including Foster wrestling with the kids. I guess Basic Training taught me to sleep anywhere, anytime and add pregnancy exhaustion, and it is a dangerous combination.

Sunday was spent with my side of the family. We went to Sunday Mass with my mom, dad, Bug and Ky and then headed to a Chinese Buffet. My dad was RAVING about this buffet for days, so we decided to try it. It was okay, but I kind of felt like we could have taken mom somewhere nicer, but it was all about us spending time together, and we all had a blast.

Monday was my Nuchal Translucency scan. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that, it is the test that checks for the likelihood of Trisomy 13,18, and 21. They took my blood at my last appointment, and then performed the U/S on Monday. I am not one to trust statistics, due to my loss, but I took this as an opportunity to see Pumpkin again.

Of course I got nervous the night before, so I checked for Pumpkin's HB with my doppler. My AMAZING friend, Mrs. Prince, is letting me borrow hers through this pregnancy. This put my mind at ease in order to sleep. Foster was able to go to this appointment with me. We headed out in the morning, and i started saying my prayers that all would go well. As if cued to put my mind at ease, I got really nauseated.

The nurse took me in for my weight and BP. BP is running 110/64, and I am still down 1 lb since the first appointment. This is definitely how I wanted this pregnancy to go! By 13 weeks with Rosalynn, I had gained 13 pounds! My goal is to still not gain any weight, and if I do, keep it around 10 lbs this entire pregnancy!

As soon as the tech placed the wand on my stomach, she exclaimed, "Look at that baby moving all around!" Foster and I sat in awe, watching Pumpkin as the tech took all the measurements. She said that the neck measurements were looking GREAT, that they like it ti be under3, and ours was measuring 1.7. i don't know if that is mm or what, but sounded good to me. She then tried to get the bridge of the nose measurements, but Pumpkin would NOT move his/her hand away from their face. So we got a lot of screen time watching the tech trying to move the hand. I was okay with that. The HB was 163, and we were measuring 12w5d, 1d ahead of schedule. She printed off tons of pictures for us, and even said, "If I had to guess the sex right now, I would say it is a girl."

She warned us not to paint the nursery, but that was what she could tell at this time!! Another GIRL!! I would be soooooo thrilled if she is right with her guess. I am not going to get too excited till the 18 week U/S, but I will continue to hope this is true. Don't get me wrong, I would be happy as long as the baby was healthy, girl OR boy, but deep down I was secretly hoping for another girl. Foster's face lit up too. As much as he talks about wanting a boy, I think deep down he would be happy with another girl too.

The tech also informed me that the baby was settled into the left horn of my heart-shaped uterus. This is the same side Rosie settled into. I don't know how I feel about this, because OBVIOUSLY, this side didn't do much good for Rosalynn. All we can keep doing is praying.

The doctor came back to tell us the results, and we were thrilled to find out our child is already an overachiever. The best odds is <1 in 10,0000, and he/SHE made those numbers across the board.

On Thursday I am officially out of the 1st trimester. to most mom's they would be sighing a breath of relief. For me, on the other hand, I am hoping this means God will answer my prayers. I asked that IF this baby would be taken from me too, that He would be merciful enough to take it in the first trimester, before I feel him/HER move, before I see my belly growing, etc. I just pray that this is a good sign, however, we still have 21.5 weeks to go!!

Quick survey;

Weight: -1 lb from pre-pregnancy
HB: 163
Maternity clothes? Yes...i know, I know, it is soooo early, but I popped QUICK!! So my theory is I am losing weight from my butt or something, cause by belly is getting HUGE!

Yes, I am only 12w5d...luckily i didnt try and keep this one a secret! lol!

Craving: Fruits, fruit juices, chocolate oreos with milk, and McDonald's Chicken nuggets. Now, OBVIOUSLY, since I am losing weight, I am not caving to every craving all the time, but I indulge from time to time.
Best moment: Seeing Pumpkin dancing all around on the U/S screen. SHE/he is looks like a little human now instead of a glow worm!!
Random/Strangeness: Foster is getting sympathy pains! He has been waking up with nausea, had a Headache when I woke up with one, and has lost a few pounds too. Oh, and he eats my Oreos!

U/S pics:

Sorry about the camera

hand up by face! Such a cute little face!!!

See the little legs sticking up? and the tiny little butt!! Def does not take after me and her dad!! lol

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Old Wive's Tale #3

This one is a little riskay. "They", I am still trying to figure out who "they" are, I guess the Old Wives, say that you can tell the sex of your baby by which breast is bigger during pregnancy. I looked at myself in the miorror, and couldn't tell. So I tried to figure it out by feel, but STILL couldn't tell. So I recruited Foster's help in this one. Which, unsurprisingly, he had no objections in helping. I did not inform him which of the twins represented which sex, as to not make him biased. Before he did the "grope test" he said he was pretty sure the left one was bigger, but he had to chack "just to be sure". Sure enough the left girl is slightly bigger than the right one. So what does that mean? Well, Right means BOY and Left means Girl...according to "them".
Score so far:

Avaleen: 33.3%
Declan: 66.6%

For all you pregnant women out there...what do your "girls" tell you? :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's in a Name?

I promise, if you read this whole post, you will find out the names of our little Pumpkin!

While the Celebration of Easter morning was a family-filled, beautiful day, there was some sadness in the air. My mother had called to inform Foster and I that my priest of 15 years, the man who inspired me to remain Catholic, the man who showed that the young adults and teens were the future of the church, and the man that married Foster and I had passed early on Easter morning.

Was it a surprise? Not really. A little over a year ago, on April 20th 2010, we called Father Thomas to see if he would be able to come and baptize our sweet little angel, "I am sorry, Erin. I am in the hospital with bronchitis, and possible pneumonia," unfortunately, it was not the SAME hospital I was in, and although he offered to bust out of the hospital and come and see us, I told him to take it easy and get better. That was a little over a year before his passing. In the last year, he has endured heart surgeries, rehab, life support, and eventually went up to heaven to be with our Lord.

I know that there has been a lot of bad publicity in the press over the years about the Catholic priests, so I want to share a few funny, inspiring stories about this particular priest.

He was known for getting the children involved in the parish. He started a youth group at my old church, and I was blessed to be one of the first members. He took us high-ropes climbing, shopping at City Center, tours of the chapels and cathedrals, and many dinners with bible study at the church. The longer he stayed in the parish, his youth group grew, and the trips got bigger and bigger. My sister was able to be a part of the epitome of his time with the young adults. He took them to Italy, Germany and Amsterdam. As the group was getting off the plane, it was early on a Sunday morning, and my sister asked, "Father, since it is Sunday, are we going to go to church?"

He responded, "Heck No! I am on vacation!"

He was know for his sense of humor! He was known for being a little unorthodox, but kept everyone interested in Christ and the church.

He loved to invite people over for food, and always offered drinks to go along. When Foster and I had to get married fast (from NOT being a good Catholic girl) we came into a little issue. In the Catholic church, you are required to fulfill "Pre-Cana", or the pre-marriage classes. Unfortunately, none were offered in the time frame that we needed them in, so Fr. Thomas said we could make arrangements with him. We met him at the rectory one night and sat at the kitchen table. He offered us food and drinks, and preceded to talk to us about our relationship. The fact that he knew me so well, and I NEVER hold anything back, he knew most of our story, but we rehashed it for him. After 2 hours of chatting and hanging out, I finally asked, "So Father, how are we going to work this out? When and what do you want us to do?"

He looked at his watch, looked up at me, and replied, "Eh, I think that just about covers it."

That's right, a class that would usually consist of MANY meetings, and a weekend retreat was shrunk down to 2 hours of chit-chat for Foster and I.

I think the funniest story of all, was when I was studying in college. I had a counseling psych class that was talking about confidentiality. I was curious to see HOW bound by secrecy a priest was compared to doctors and psychologists. In the event a person is going to or admits to hurting themselves or someone else, the practitioner is no longer bound to the patient/doctor confidentiality. They are required to contact the authorities. So I called Father to see if the same thing applied to Catholic priests.

"Let me put it to you this way, Erin. If a man confesses right before mass that he has placed a bomb underneath the first pew, and it would go off half-way through the mass, I couldn't say ANYTHING. I would conveniently excuse myself to get a 'drink of water' and HIGHLY suggest to the rest of the congregation to do the same."

He had a soft spoken way about him, but could make anyone bust out laughing! Now, I don't want you to think any less of him, in fact, I though he was a GENIUS after this event.

Foster and I decided to take him out to dinner shortly after our wedding to thank him for everything he did for us. We took him to this AMAZING German restaurant. Foster ordered a beer, and Father Thomas ordered a vodka on the rocks (leave the man alone, he has to have SOME vice:-). As we ate and talked, I noticed that it never seemed like his vodka glass ever emptied, regardless of how many sips he had taken. I thought for a moment that maybe it was some miracle. That God had given him a never-ending vodka glass. I figured he had earned some MAJOR points with the Big Guy upstairs. Well, I soon caught how this miracle was happening. Every once in a while he would sneak a white Styrofoam cup from under the table and pour the clear contents into his glass on the table. Yep! He brought his own supply to dinner and ordered one as not to look suspicious and then continued filling his glass! I could have died laughing!! He was a genius!! I wish I would have thought of that trick YEARS ago. Can you imagine the money I would have saved on alcohol at dinner?

Anyway, as you can see, Father Theodore(Ted) Thomas was and amazing man. He did so much in the community, and loved all he came in contact with. His funeral was a testimony to this! The HUGE church Foster and I got married in was filled (standing room only 10 mins prior to the service) with people who loved him in return. Every priest in the diocese was present and a part of the service, and the bishop said mass. I have never seen anything like it! If you EVER get the chance, regardless if you are Catholic or not, go to a priest's funeral mass. You will be changed! I cried through  most of the service, and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst every participant.

On the was to the burial, Foster and I started talking. We had the first name of our child picked out if he/she is a boy, but were still up in the air about the middle name. Well, we found out on Thursday that "Theodore" means "Gift of God". I knew right away that was it! That would be the middle name. Sure enough, Foster was thinking the same thing! Not only did it have a meaning we could relate to, but it is for a man that we both admired.

We were going to keep the names a secret for the exact reason I experienced when I told my mom the boy's name. She doesn't like it. She is already trying to come up with nicknames. BUT my sister and best friend love it, so that makes me feel better. Honestly, Foster and I don't care. This is our child, and we love the names. So let me know your opinion if you like, but know that if you don't agree, that is fine but I don't care:-)

So, if we have a boy, the name will be Declan Theodore David Foster (I know, two middle names, but there is reason) Declan- Foster LOVES this name. It is the name of a rugby player in Ireland (David plays and refs rugby) but when I looked up the meaning, it means "full of goodness" and "man of prayer". Theodore- I already explained this, David- Foster's name:-) His family has a tradition that the son takes the first name of the father as their middle name. BUT Declan David did not have a great ring to it as Declan Theodore:-)

IF we are blessed with another little girl, her name will be Avaleen Rose Foster. We would call her Ava for short. Avaleen means "wished for or longed for child" in Gaelic. Now, if you look it up by that spelling, you would never find it. The ACTUAL spelling of the name in Gaelic is Aibhlinn. A COMMON English translation is Evelynn, but the actual pronunciation of the name in Gaelic is Ava-leen, so I figured we would keep it as close to the original as possible, and for the sake of the poor kid and future teachers being able to pronounce and spell it, we are spelling it phonetically. And of course Rose is from her big sister, and auntie Bug. I think it is a beautiful, unique name!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Here and Doing Well

Thank you all for the concern and personal messages of why I have been MIA. I promise all is well! I was sick for almost a week, and I am sure you can all understand that when you are sick, you don't feel like doing much of anything, including blog. THEN, the more things started to build up, the more overwhelmed I started to feel when I thought of all I had to update you on and write about. Here is a list of the topics I have to write about:
1. My finished kitchen
2. Rosalynn's Birthday and Easter Celebration
3. My 11 week check up with Pumpkin
4. The results of the 3rd Old Wives tales, new plan for sex/name reveal, and baby names
5. The passing and funeral of Father Thomas (my priest of 15 years and who married Foster and me)
6. The Women of Faith Conference and meeting Angie Smith! (Probably going to be 2 posts so it is not so long!!)

Yeah, so as you can see, it is quite an overwhelming list, and you can see why I have been at a loss for words. I made this list here in order to let you see what you get to look forward to, and also so I can remember everything!! I am going o post in no particular order, so today I m going to post about my 11 week check-up, because I am sure you are all wondering how Pumpkin is doing.

On the 28th I had an appointment. I figured I would use this opportunity to talk to Dr. C about the awful flu/cold I had been suffering through for a week. I went into the office, and Foster took the day off. Originally, he wasn't going to go, but we had a funeral to attend that afternoon, so he took the whole day off and accompanied me. I have had pretty low stress so far, however, every night before an appointment I start to get nervous. I was sooooo nervous about whether he would be able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. I figured he would try to locate it since I didn't have an u/s scheduled for that day and I was terrified that it would take forever to find the heartbeat, which would in turn cause me to get really nervous/upset.

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. As soon as I laid down on the exam table, Dr. C asked how I was doing, "Nervous," I responded. He got up, walked over, and grabbed the u/s wand.

"Let's just put your mind at ease," he placed it on my stomach, and right away we saw Pumpkin and his/her little heartbeat right away. Have I told you how much I LOVE this man? Well, at least until he started talking after my physical exam. I was asking him for an excuse from weapons qualification. IWQ (Individual Weapons Qualification) happens once a year. Last time, I spent over 3 hours on my stomach shooting my M-16, and the next day, I started bleeding from a SCH (subchorionic hemorrhage). Needless to say, I am nervous about doing it again, and this time I will be further along. With Rosalynn, I was 11 weeks. With Pumpkin, I will be about 17 weeks. According to the Army, you can do IWQ till 20 weeks. Honestly, I can't even lay on my stomach in bed anymore, what makes them think I can lay on the dirt ground? I think they should allow the mother to determine if she is able to lay on her stomach for 3 hours. Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so to make such a generalization of 20 weeks is unacceptable in my eyes.

Dr. C agreed to write me an excuse, and he said he would help me with anything I wanted, BUT he said that there is no way of knowing if IWQ was to blame, "Unfortunately, we will never know what truly caused all the problems. As doctors, we have to be careful at speculating. I could ask 'did you do a lot of grocery shopping and pushing carts in your last pregnancy?' and  because I asked, women will think 'Oh No! that is it! That is what caused the problems!' when in fact there is no real way of us knowing. There are so many women who do EVERYTHING wrong, smoke, drink, drugs, and go on to have healthy, living babies. Then there are the women like you who did everything right, and still lose their baby. It isn't fair, I know, but I see it happen all the time."

"But I should still stay away from things like painting and hair dye and stuff until the 2nd trimester right?"

"Not necessarily. There is no real research that says these things are harmful, just ventilate well."

"DOCTOR!!! Don't give Foster any ideas!!!" I exclaimed as I saw the light go off in Foster's head! He went from being my favorite doctor, to being on my hit list!  I have been telling Foster I couldn't help with the floors and the painting because of all the fumes, Dr. C was blowing my cover.

I know he meant well, and wanted to stifle some of my fears and I trust him, but I will still be cautious, it makes me feel better, that I am doing everything I can to bring Pumpkin home safely.

He continued on with my physical exam, and took the blood for the trisomy disorders, and then made my next appointment for my NT scan for May 9th. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures this time, but I guarantee there will be tons from the NT scan! Can't wait!

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