Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

To answer Kate's question ...

My good friend, Jennifer, will post a Gummy update on her blog, as I'll have no computer access till I'm home from the hospital on Sunday.

I'm hoping she'll have nothing but good news to pass along to everyone.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Deep breathing has commenced

This past week was rough, no doubt. Having to lose our kitty, Wendy, so close to Gummy's arrival rattled both mine and Mike's cages a bit. We had been going about our business so seamlessly, so last week's bump in the road jolted us more than expected.

But, we're doing okay. There's still that absence of Wendy in our little family, and the other furbabies sense that something is off, too. We're doing our best, though, to focus on the good rather than dwell on the bad by keeping ourselves occupied with last-minute Gummy-related projects.

This morning Mike installed the car seat. I double-checked that my hospital bag is truly ready to go, and it is. Yesterday we cleaned our bedroom and bathroom to the point that I almost didn't recognize either room by the time we were done. Other than actually having this little baby, I don't know what else we can do to prepare ourselves.

But, along with all the joyful preparations, the feelings of fear and anxiety have slowly crept back into both our minds. Again, we're trying not to focus on the bad, but we both feel that we need to be aware of it. I mean, it's not like we can pretend we don't know how our last journey down this path ended. And, as much as we hope and pray that this outcome will be the complete opposite, we just don't know for certain that it will - till we walk out of the hospital with our little bundle in tow.

My last OB appointment was Friday and couldn't have been better. My OB is almost as excited as we are, but he completely understands our trepidation and respects why we feel the way we do. He told me once again how much he admires how Mike and I haven't given up our pursuit to have our little family and how our love for one another is quite apparent. Sure, he might've just been saying that to make me feel better, but it was nice to hear nonetheless, since it's the strength from our bond that has made it possible to pursue our dream.

On Friday night we went out for what will hopefully be our last childless date. We went to a local Mexican restaurant and had a wonderful, relaxing dinner, complete with an indulgent "tres leches" dessert. I was barely able to waddle my round body out of the restaurant afterward, but it was oh-so worth every bite.

I'll receive my final instructions by Tuesday, but for now, we're prepared to arrive at the hospital by 5:30 am for our 7:30 C-section. My OB explained the procedure again, in case I had forgotten any of the steps, and I'm still comfortable with the process. As long as Gummy arrives safely, I'll do what I have to do to achieve that desired ending. So, barring any emergency C-sections that bump us from the OR, we're the first on the schedule for the day.

Now, back to my deep breathing ...

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Impeccable timing

Everything is just fine with Gummy, and we're still scheduled to meet her next Thursday. At least that's all good.

But, once again, we're faced with losing one of our beloved pets just before our baby's arrival. This happened a few months before we had Ryan, when my Samoyed, Sasha, became very ill and now it's happening again to one of our cats - one that Mike has had for 16 years.

I realize that our little tabby, Wendy, is "just" an animal by many people's standards and opinions, but she's a part of our little family nonetheless. Her sweetness and constant purring have endeared her so much to us, and losing her just before such a monumentous time in our life is gut-wrenching and seems so horribly unfair.

All of this stirs up so many difficult and powerful emotions and I cannot believe we're having to face this scenario once again. I know it's part of that whole "cycle of life" crap, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow. Just because you know the rationale behind something doesn't mean it's any easier to handle when you're faced with it.

I won't go into specifics with Wendy's demise, but we know this is a decision that needed to be made and we know what needs to be done at this point. We can't selfishly hang on to her to make ourselves feel any better or hope that she'll magically be well again. She deserves that last little bit of dignity, which is all we can do for her at this point. Well, that a lots of love and treats.

So, please say a little prayer for her tomorrow morning - and send some strength to Mike as he says goodbye to his lovable little kitty.

Love you, Wendy Sue.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

2nd Annual Mother's Day celebration

Hooter's was our restaurant of choice again this Mother's Day and, again, it didn't disappoint. So, instead of feeling like a mom with empty arms, I felt more like a regular person just going out for an indulgent lunch, minus the sugary-sweet Mother's Day greetings from unknowing hostesses.

Even though I'm walking around with a generously swollen belly and all seems well to those on the outside, today is a day that is quite bittersweet for me, as I celebrate what once was and what will hopefully be.

As usual, Mike treated me like royalty and bought me a set of nursing pajamas (something I've put off buying for myself) and we ended the celebration with a Butterfinger sundae.

It was a good day for this wounded soul.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Funny how a year changes things

I realized today that a year ago, actually being pregnant seemed like the furthest thing imaginable or achievable. I was gearing up for my laparoscopy, in what I perceived as a desperate attempt to explain my unexplained infertility. I had begun to look at adoption books, thinking that would be the only way I'd ever have a family.

Funny, how in just one year, my life is completely different.

No, I don't have my family yet, so maybe I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, but this is the closest I've been since August 2005. And, even though Gummy isn't here yet, her finding her way into my life has been more powerful than I ever thought possible. She's saved me from myself.

When I read my blog entries from last year, I can see that I'm a different person now and in a completely different place. There are still those huge potholes in my heart where my grief will always live, but there are now more than just glimmers of hope that co-exist alongside my sadness. There is actual hope deep within me that seems boundless, which is something I haven't felt in a very, very long time.

I had always hoped that being pregnant again and working toward a happy ending would bring me the joy I've longed for.

Maybe this is the start of some wonderful things ...

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

26 Days remaining

We're down to less than a month before our little miracle arrives - a mere 26 days.

We've been busy working on the nursery and taking care of all the little odds 'n' ends that pop into your mind to do before your life forever changes.

The nursery is almost complete. A friend is putting the finishing touches on the curtains she made and we're awaiting the arrival of puffy-lettered artwork which spells out Gummy's name. It was really weird to watch the room's transformation from a clearly boy's room to a girly-girl room. If I hadn't seen the progression with my own eyes, I wouldn't have thought it possible.

At my latest OB appointment on Thursday, once again everything was great. My OB decided that at 36 weeks (this Wednesday), he'd like to start weekly non-stress tests. He's not suggesting them because he's alarmed about anything, but, rather, he wants to keep our level of confidence up till the 29th, as he knows how anxious both Mike and I have been. I love that man and how he doesn't take any of my concerns or worries for granted.

Last Monday I took a breastfeeding class to better prepare myself for the unknown. The instructor was one of the labor and delivery nurses from the maternity center where I delivered Ryan and where we'll be delivering Gummy. She didn't immediately recognize me, but once I reintroduced myself, she remembered me from the morning I was discharged because I was ready to take on the world just 18 hours after my C-section, when many women aren't ready to get out of bed, much less walk around on their own. It was a little disarming at first to once again see someone from "that time," but once it had time to sink in, I felt encouraged by seeing her again and at the end of the night, she gave us both a big hug and wished us the best.

Mike has totally embraced the idea of having a little girl to adore and pamper. He's found (and bought) all sorts of cute outfits and already, this little one has him wrapped around her little finger. I have a strong feeling that she'll quickly become his #1 girl and I'll be ousted to second place. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I did have a moment of panic a few weeks ago, because our digital camera completely crapped out on us. It was the equivalent of a computer's blue screen of death. But, thanks to my husband's resourceful online searching, he found that the camera's manufacturer is aware of this problem and will make the repair at no cost to us. The part about all of this that had me most concerned was the turnaround time in getting the camera back to us. The original estimation for repair was three weeks, putting us at May 17, which, honestly, was a little too close for my comfort. But, the manufacturer, hopefully due to Mike's urgent phone plea, will have the camera back in our hands by Tuesday at the latest. Phew ... crisis averted. Now is not the time for a new camera crash course! So, once the camera is back in my anxious little hands, you can bet there will be plenty of photos to share.

My dad has been on my mind a lot lately. It all started last weekend while watching one of those "top 100 one-hit wonder" music shows and one of my dad's favorite songs - Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum - was among the countdown. It had never been a song I particularly cared for and was before my time, but it was one that my dad grew especially fond of in the last few weeks of his life. So now whenever I hear it, my thoughts immediately go to him and how I wish he were here to share in our joy. He was by far one of our biggest and most supportive cheerleaders and constantly reminded me that we could not and should not let Ryan's death defeat us in our attempts to have a family. "Do not let this defeat you," was a phrase I heard many times over and I would give almost anything to hear him utter it just one more time. No worries, dad. For once I listened to your advice.

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