My Family!!

My Family!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thirty-One PArty to Benefit Roses from Rosalynn!!

He there everyone!! This past sunday I hosted a Thirty one party! It was a lot of fun and had a lot of great women attend. The consultant is an old friend from highschool, and she had told me if I hosted a party, that I she would donate a portion of the profits to Roses from Rosalynn. Now, I know living all over tha country, you couldn't attend the big event, but if you act fast, you can still contribute to this great cause!! Go to this link, and order by Wednesday morning, and you will be able to be a part of donating to Roses from Rosalynn!!!

Hurry!! Time is running out!

HUGE Sigh of Relief! 19 Weeks and Gender reveal!

This entire pregnancy I have been making small goals for me and Pumpkin. First it was "Get pregnant", then "See a heartbeat" then it was "Make it to the second trimester", "Have a healthy anatomy scan", and my next  will be "make it to viability" (23-24 weeks).

Prior to my appointment on Thursday, I wanted to do one more Old Wives's Tale. I went to CVS to pick up a gender predictor test, and brought it to the pharmacist counter to check the price. "You really want to spend thirty dollars on that thing?!?!" the pharmacist asked, "I can tell you what you are having."

"Really?" I asked.

"I have 8 grand kids, and I guessed the sex correctly of every one of them....I have a knack for it." So I faced her, twirled, and stood to the side, "My guess is a girl. There! Now you don't need to buy that kit."

I found this really funny, but a great final "test". So going into my scan, the tally was Avaleen: 71%, Declan 29%.

I had my anatomy scan at 2:45 PM. Most expectant mothers go in for the anatomy scan looking forward to finding out the sex. Me, on the other hand, I was more worried about the baby being okay. My nerves had been increasing for the past few days, and I was a little anxious going in. Unfortunately, entering the baby loss community makes you ALL too aware of all the problems that can arise DURING a pregnancy. There are so many awful, life threatening conditions that a baby can develop within the safety of mom's belly; Anacephaly, Potter's Syndrome, Spina Bifida, tumors, missing organs. It is really scary when you think of it. And I know WAY too many people who have experienced this devastating news, and some that are currently carrying their babies to term knowing they will most likely never take a breath here on earth. So you can imagine my nerves were on end.

Foster was also noticeably nervous. I think, however, he was more anxious about seeing what we were having. "This is the first time in my life you will ever hear me say that I want to see a penis," he claimed as he paced back and forth in the waiting room.

My sister, Bug, Foster and I sat in the exam room, and as soon as the tech put the probe on my belly, Pumpkin was bouncing all around, flipping, and kicking, and waving. "I love when we have active babies, but man it is hard to get measurements!" The tech explained.

"Oh well, that just gives us more screen time with the little one," I said as I watched the scene in awe as my little pumpkin danced in my belly, "Can you tell if it is a boy or girl?"

The tech looked, and at first Pumpkin's legs were squeezed shut. It looked as if the babe would not cooperate, but after a little coaxing and poking, the legs spread, revealing a perfect little "hamburger". There was no denying it, no matter how many times the tech "rechecked" for Foster, we are expecting our second daughter! A beautiful baby sister for Rosalynn!

Most importantly, everything checked out PERFECTLY!! She is measuring 10 oz, and over 7 inches from crown to rump. My placenta looks great, her cord is right where it needs to be (her sister had a marginal cord insertion which can be dangerous). My baby girl seems to be spreading out the uterus just fine, and making herself at home, the septum is almost non-detectable now, and my fluid levels are perfect.

This pregnancy is going so much differently than with Rosie. This is probably one reason I am alot less anxious than I expected to be through this process. At this point with Rosie I had been bleeding for 9 weeks already with a SCH, she had been diagnosed with the marginal cord insertion, and I was told to come back in 2 weeks because they couldn't see the fourth chamber of the heart ( they found it just fine 2 weeks later). Along with the constant moving, Avaleen was moving her mouth throughout almost the whole scan! She is definitely her mother's daughter! I started speaking in full sentences at 16 months, and have not shut up since...looks like she is trying to beat me to the punch and started talking in-utero!

My doctor came in, and we discussed my palpitations a little more in depth. I told him that since having the monitor, Foster and I realized that I had an increase in action every evening. "Do me a favor," he said, "Take a pepcid 2 times a day."

"Really?" I asked.

"It could possibly be indigestion, or esophageal spasms. They can VERY easily feel like an issue with your heart," he explained. I started taking them on Thursday evening, and ever since, I have had only 1 or two episodes a day as opposed to 7-10. I would be THRILLED if this is just a GI problem as opposed to a heart issue, although, I would be a little embarrassed!

As we walked out of the office, I asked Foster if he was a little disappointed this wasn't a boy. He was honest, and said yes, but by the end of the day he was so excited. He said his disappointment was very short lived, and he is now ecstatic about having a little princess. He has been talking to my belly and calling her by name, "Avaleen, mommy and daddy love you and are excited to meet you," he says. It is so precious! When I thought he had fallen asleep on Thursday night, all of the sudden he started prating out loud, "Thank you Lord for a beautiful baby girl, and Lord thank you for allowing Erin and I to be pregnant another week," and he reached over and rubbed my belly. I know I say it often, but I have to say it again, I LOVE THIS MAN! He is going to make an amazing father!!!

So for week 19 here is my survey:

Size of baby: 10 oz. and a little over 7 inches crown to rump

Maternity clothes: I have a few maxi dresses that are not technically maternity, but everything else is!
Sleep: Doing pretty well so far int he 2nd trimester! Still getting up to pee about 3 times a night, but heck, that just comes with the territory.
Best moment of the week: Finding out Pumpkin is officially a HEALTHY Avaleen Rose!!!
Movement: Alot stronger now. Although she really doesn't have a set pattern yet, I can really feel her if I stop and relax and sit or lay down. I can feel her when I am sitting at the desk at work at night...this is NOT a good sign!
Symptoms: Honestly, other than the occasional "palpitation", all of the first trimester nausea and vomiting is GONE!! YAY!! I still have to urinate frequently, and have tenderness in my breasts, but I will take that over the vomiting any day! Now, I have to admit, Ky farted in the car without warning the other day, and I had to open the door and get out to get away because I was gagging, but honestly, I think ANYONE would was AWFUL!!! HAHA
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: Beautiful HEALTHY baby GIRL!!!! Miss Avaleen Rose (Ava)
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 and on the top side of my belly button!!! BOO!

What I miss: Rosalynn...i really wish she could be here to be excited for having a baby sister!

What I am looking forward to: At this point making it to viability!
Weekly wisdom: My doc told me that too much water is as bad as too little, and salt is a MUST to help produce and move enough blood through your system. His words: "Drink when you are thirsty, eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired!"

Dream of the week: I had some awful tornado dreams. "In dreams tornadoes can symbolize feeling that some form of destruction or ruin is imminent. It can symbolize a situation over which one feels powerless or feeling like some random misfortune is soon to enter one's life.

Tornadoes may be symbols of fear. In waking life, tornadoes rip away everything one cares about most. Is there some situation in your life that you fear will cause you to lose it all?

"A tornado dream points to emotional turmoil, as in a "whirlwind of emotions"; and/or rapid or sudden changes in your life. It is a sign to "get a grip" on what is possibly spinning out of control & deal more effectively with your emotions. Meditation and finding some private "think time" for yourself would be a good idea."

This all seems VERY familiar right now! Maybe I should start doing some pregnancy yoga to calm my mind:-)
Belly/Baby Pics:

Ava's little face....she would not flip long enough for us to get a profile, so only the creepy "skelator" face:-)

Her little foot!!! i can't wait to kiss those little toes!!!

19w4d....and you can see the LOVELY wires from the monitor :-)

 We did have a gender reveal for our parents, and I will have to tell you all about that tomorrow, b/c this post has gotten LONG!!! Thanks if you made it to the end!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I had a slight breakdown this past Friday. It was bound to happen. It was partially my fault.

I returned home from my cardiologist appointment. My blood pressure was elevated for me (139/89 when it usually runs no higher than 110/69) and my ankles were a bit swollen. I chalk it up to slight dehydration, because when I peed in the morning, it was pretty dark. However, it was a little disconcerting, because I had woken up with a headache and my head was continuing to pound. My doctor decided that whatever they found on the 24 hour heart monitor, was worth continuing to monitor for another 30 days! Yes, 30 days! She also set me up for an echo cardiogram (ultrasound) of my heart this Thursday.

When I got home, I was sitting at the desk looking at u/s pictures of Pumpkin and saying prayers to myself that he/she makes it safe and sound, unlike Rosalynn. Then I made the mistake of pulling out Rosie's u/s pictures to compare their features at 13 weeks. BAD idea! The tears started pouring. I was feeling so overwhelmed, which I am sure was not good for my blood pressure either! They look so similar at 13 weeks. they both have big foreheads with the same nose. Rosie had a bigger belly than Pumpkin has, but I am sure that will change the bigger Pumpkin gets. I started sobbing out of fear. Thursday was the first time I truly started feeling fear for this little one. I want this baby to make it more than anything, and I don't care what I have to do to make Pumpkin make it here safely. I am TRYING to keep my anxiety levels down, but all of these palpitations are not helping anything.

It is like an awful cyclical pattern. My palpitations start....leading to me getting nervous....probably being the cause of my BP going up...being bad for both baby and me. Now, before telling me to "relax", I am trying. I truly have been really good up until this past Friday. I think under the circumstances, I have been pretty carefree in this pregnancy. However, there will always be a slight bit or worry and anxiety with a pregnancy after stillbirth. Telling a baby loss mom to relax in a subsequent pregnancy is like telling someone who is drowning to just breathe. They may try, and depending on how strong they are, they may actually succeed from time to time but will never be completely successful.

This Thursday I have my echo @ 1145 and then my anatomy scan @ 1445 (2:45pm). Please. please, please, the prayers have been so helpful up until this point. Please pray a little harder on Thursday that everything turns out fine at both appointments, I will update you all on the Echo as soon as I can, but sorry, I won't be revealing the sex until after Saturday when we announce it to the family!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rosie's First Heavenly Birthday Post

I know, I know, this is way long overdue, along with my kitchen remodel post. But, as I mentioned before, it was all about getting motivated to empty my memory card. Having a 16MB card is sometimes a bad thing.

Leading up to Rosalynn's birthday, I was nervous. There were so many feelings and emotions that correspond with her day, and they were becoming overwhelming. I am sure that the new pregnancy hormones were not helping a whole lot, but it was also the pregnancy that was exacerbating these emotions.

April 20th loomed over my head, and to me it almost seemed like a jinxed day. I was terrified that I would wake up in the morning and this pregnancy would end, or some other tragedy would happen in my family. I don't know why I was feeling this way, probably just because my life will always be defined as "Life before April 20th 2010" versus "Life after April 20th 2010".

I didn't know what exactly to expect. If she was here on earth, we would have had a HUGE celebration with both sides of the family, friends of mine and all the kids her age too. However, how do you go about celebrating the short life in my womb and her death? Some people voiced their disagreement with a memorial/celebration. Of course, for those of you who have followed me and gotten to know me, or know me in real life, I choose to ignore people like this and do what I feel is right. I felt like she deserved a celebration and fortunately, most agreed.

Rosalynn has touched so many lives, more lives than some people who have lived for 50+ years could ever come close to touching, and for that I think she deserved a celebration.

I knew one thing, I did NOT want to be alone on this day. Foster had an exercise he had to attend for his unit, but said he would try to get off early, if not, we would have the evening together. I should have known at that moment that my family would never have let me go through this day alone. I think they needed me as much as I needed them. I didn't even have to ask, my mom and sister took the day off of work, and JJ got off around noon. I also got a call from my aunt saying she was coming in from NY to spend the day with us. I can't even begin to explain how blessed I am to have a family like this.

We made plans to spend time together in the local out door mall that boasts a grand assortment of restaurants and shops. We ate at one of my favorite places, California Pizza Kitchen, and spent some time wandering around the mall, not really looking for anything in particular, but just spending time with each other.

Mid afternoon we all stopped off at the party center store in order to buy a bunch of balloons. I had decided that with the loss of my daughter, I had gained a group of friends that I felt deserved a special gift on this day. All of the women from my baby loss community have been such and integral part of my healing, and I wanted to do something to thank them. We bought 31 balloons, 15 pink for the girls, 15 blue for the boys, and one red one for my Rosalynn. JJ, Bug and I spent the next hour writing the names of babies taken too soon from their parents on the balloons and taking pictures of all of them (which will be posted at the end of this post and can be clicked on to enlarge and copied for your own enjoyment!)
we had a few casualties of war!

Us girls hard at work with the balloons!

Rosie amongst all her friends!

Rosie and Ellie (my sister's old roomie and my first nurse who took care of me and Rosie...her niece)
The notes we attached to the balloons to send up to Rosie:

We headed out to the cemetery around 4:30pm where Papa JJ, my dad, Ky, Matt, Mrs. H with baby H, and Mrs. Compass, her 2 kids and her VERY pregnant belly, my oldest sister Jan and my niece Lish joined us girls for some prayers, balloon release, and champagne/sparkling grape juice toast. Others made out notes to Rosie that were also attached to the balloons.

The day was pretty windy, and had a chill in the air. It looked like it would rain any moment. I was afraid of the balloons getting stuck in the trees of the woods across from Rosie's headstone, so Foster, Ky, Matt, Mrs. Compass' daughter and I stepped out further away from the woods to make sure they made it over the trees. Unfortunately, 2 of the three bunches of balloons got stuck in the ONLY TREE in the middle of the hill!! OF COURSE!!!

We all had a good laugh about this, because it just proved that Rosie would have been more like me than we probably wanted. She and her friends did not want to leave the party!! They wanted to stick around, and be stubborn.

balloons in trees!

uncle Mr JJ climbing the tree to release the balloons

Papa JJ and Foster lead us in prayer and we even sang a happy birthday to Rosie. I have to admit, I had been really good up until this point! As the group sang Happy Birthday, the tears started streaming. This should have been a totally different scene.

beens" at that moment.

After a lovely gathering, the majority of us headed to Rosie's favorite place to eat, Max and Erma's. Mrs. Prince and I frequented this establishment multiple times a week throughout our pregnancies. Rosie LOVED the French onion soup and Cesar salad, so I ordered it. I also had sweet tea, although it has had a tendency of making me sick through this pregnancy, Pumpkin put up with it for this one occasion.

I was given many gifts this day. Cards, phone calls, texts, and things to remember Rosie by were given to me in abundance. I was even given over $170 from my mom's school to put towards Roses from Rosalynn!

Pumpkin wasn't left out either. My sister gave me something I had not seen in exactly 362 days. The card said "To my little brother/sister From Rosalynn". They were onsies that everyone made at my baby shower exactly 3 days before we gave birth to our sleeping daughter. My sister had kept them at her place so they could dry, and although I wanted them, I was never ready to actually see them. When I pulled them out, I started crying again. So many memories of my baby girl, and she never took a single breath here on earth.

Since the JJs had yet to see the new kitchen, them and Bug and Ky came back with us and my parents and aunt to the house to eat ice cream cake. It was the one thing Foster had requested. We skipped the singing this time, because I wasn't sure my heart could handle it again, and we all dug in.

After everyone went home, Foster and I headed to bed with the puppies in tow. It had been an emotionally taxing day, but it was a beautiful one. I had gotten the chance to spend time with some of the people that mean the most to me, and who love Rosalynn as much as I do. They all decided that we had to make this a tradition. We have to continue to get together and celebrate this amazing little girl who has touched so many people!

I know there are probably things I left out, but I think I cover the most important aspects of the day. Thank you to all of you who left messages on FB and this blog. Thank you to those who "attended" my FB virtual birthday event. These small things mean SOOOOOOO much to me, you will never know! Just knowing that some of you thought about her and us on April 20th meant the world to me!!!!  So to those of you who requested your baby's names on a balloon, here they are. Feel free to copy the picture and post it on your name pages/FB/etc.


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