Wednesday, February 15, 2012

19 Weeks and a Baby . . .

(15, 17 and 19 weeks.  It's funny to think I thought I looked pregnant at 15 weeks, ha!)

This week was full of some definite highs and lows.  I relearned some lessons and realized just how much everyone cares, and how much everyone loves and supports us.  It was a trying week but a happy one, and oh yeah . . . we also got ONE big surprise yesterday!

This week was an emotional one for both Ian and I.  It was tough, but every time you have some lows, you learn some things and grow stronger, and that's what we did, together.  Ian was sick this past weekend and he wasn't sure if he had the flu or if it was stress.  This past year has been really hard for him, the death of our first baby, blueberry, really affected him and I don't think he's ever let go of or mourned the experience.  It has been a little over a year, and right after we lost the baby he and his dad replaced 1700 square feet of our attic insulation and Ian got hurt in the process.  He went to the emergency room (last March) because he felt like he couldn't breathe and they said his chest/lungs were clear but that he had costochondritis (inflammation of his chest cartilage).  And, he is still struggling with it.  He has tried everything - acupuncture, yoga, cupping, physical therapy, seeing a therapist, seeing multiple doctors, getting a heart ultrasound (to make sure that's ok) and trying a bunch of different medicines but nothing really seemed to take care of it completely and all he wants is to feel normal again.  He has even stopped smoking and drinking (his former two favorite activities) so feels like just a version of his former self, having to let everything he used to like to do go.  A combination of an anti-inflammatory medication, a muscle relaxer, bi-weekly physical therapy and monthly therapy sessions has kind of helped; but he is still plagued by panic attacks every once in a while, feeling like he can't breathe, and constant pain in his chest and back daily.  It has been a long road for him, for us and for everyone around him watching him suffer.  It has taken a toll on him, on our relationship and on his relationship with others.  I had to relearn how he was feeling this week, and be reminded that he is still so hurt and upset, sometimes I forget because I am so excited and wrapped up in the lemon, looking towards our future together.

Lately he has come to the realization that he is still not over the death of the blueberry and has decided to commemorate the whole experience in his own way.  (We have tried some other things in the past, things that have helped me, but this one is just for him this time.)  It is not necessarily a memorial for the baby, he has come to terms with that (and of course is excited about his new lemon on the way), but he needs to leave the experience behind because he is hanging on to the grief of all of it and it is hurting him physically and emotionally.  (I told him that he needs to post a blog on here, for husbands who have experienced loss right along with their wives because guys grieve too and sometimes it's harder for them to let go because they don't share their emotions as easily with everyone around them.  Maybe he will someday soon, I truly think it would be healing for him and healing for others as well.)  So, next weekend, we will be heading out the desert to put his experience to rest, hoping this will help him heal and move on.  I pray for him every night and the only thing I want is for him to feel better, nothing would make me happier.

Now, don't get me wrong, Ian is super excited for the lemon to get here and to be a daddy.  He does not necessarily dwell on the past, but it affects him internally, even if it doesn't show on the outside.  What we went through, what everyone goes through when something like that happens, is a very private thing.  People don't know how to talk to you about it, unless they've been through it, and you don't know how to talk to others about it.  You tend to wall yourself off from everyone and it becomes harder and harder to connect with people, at least that's what I did (maybe not everyone is the same).  Even now I am having to learn how to interact with everyone again, slowly but surely, and it's hard.  And this is how it was/is for us, we grew closer together but also became this tight knit entity that was/is hard to crack through, hard to break our outer shell.  Talking to his parents this week, Ian realized that he needs to start letting go, breaking down his wall and peeling back the layers of his experience to heal a little at a time, and hopefully feeling better for good.  He is expecting everything that he tries to work and I am proud of him for always having hope and never giving up; it's hard when you have a chronic illness (I know because that's how my stomach was for me, for 32 years) because you feel just so down and out, like a shadow of your former self, and it's hard to stay positive.  But, he's done a pretty good job and I just hope he continues to feel better and better. 

Another lesson I relearned this week was about my mom.  She spent the past couple of days working with Christine to come up with another surprise for me regarding the baby's gender reveal (in addition to the jewelry), and I am just always amazed at how much she loves and supports me - she is seriously my very best friend.  She had a cute idea to put the baby's heartbeat, which I sent her on my iPhone a couple of weeks ago (recorded from our doppler), into a bear from Build a Bear and then have Christine (who was the only one who knew the gender) make the bear, either a boy or girl, for the baby and give it to us on Valentine's Day too.  I ended up guessing the surprise (when they needed a copy of the heartbeat because I don't think you can save it on your phone when someone sends you a recording), when out to lunch with my mom, and hurt her feelings because she was so excited and then I felt really bad about it.  Here I was, being such a brat about something so lovely, when I just should have kept my mouth shut and let her have her surprise because it meant so much to her (and to me, even now).  Sometimes I spout off (a trait I think I inherited from my dad) in a joking manner and it sometimes hurts people's feelings.  I don't meant to be mean or hurtful, it just comes out (like word vomit) and then I instantly regret it.  I felt so bad for guessing the surprise and telling my mom my guess that I broke down and of course, apologized (and cried).  I realized that it wasn't the surprise that I didn't want, it was all the stuff that I didn't really want.  Now, this sounds terrible but I am about to explain . . .

The only things we had, from the blueberry, were my hospital bracelet (when we lost the baby), my two pregnancy tests, a picture in a frame and Ian's kachina that he made.  I also had some books that a friend gave me and of course all of our hopes and dreams of finally getting pregnant after trying for awhile.  After we lost the baby, I didn't want to look at any baby stuff.  We put all of the books and everything else away, and it was hard for me to even hear about people being pregnant, to see babies or see pregnant people.  You close yourself off from all of it, like I said before, and for a few months you are just a miserable anti-pregnant person (although secretly hoping inside that you have another chance to become a mother some day).  It's totally normal; and I have a friend now who recently lost a baby and another trying to get pregnant that I'm sure feel a bit of the same thing.  I totally can relate.

So, I had this feeling of not wanting to acquire anything for the lemon either.  It was like the more stuff we had, the more stuff we would have to clear out if something happened.  I know this is a horrible way to think, but it's also realistic when you've experienced a loss.  I don't think something will happen, I am positive that the lemon is healthy and will come home in our arms in July - but I still had this hidden fear (does it really ever go away?).  So, when I learned that not only were Ian and I getting a piece of jewelry from Christine but also a bear from my mom - it instantly threw me into the "oh no, one more thing to put away in case something happens mode" and I freaked.  (Keep in mind, we haven't bought anything for the lemon until yesterday, aside from what has been given to us.  I am almost 5 months and our "nursery" is just a spare room full of junk still!)  But, after my mom and I talked and I apologized and explained it to her, she understood, and that is what makes her so amazing.  And, after the big gender reveal, Ian and I both went out to Target and picked out an outfit for the baby, we are now ready to start decorating and buying stuff - I can't wait! 

  (All of the lemon's things, so far, except for one book we forgot to include plus the box that would tell us his/her gender!)

My mom has the ability to share feelings with people like no other, she is an empathizer (and I think I got this trait from her too).  She feels what you feel and feels it so deeply for you, it is incredible.  This is what allows her to be one of the sweetest and most caring people; no one would disagree, everyone loves her.  I realized, at that moment, just how much my mom cares about both of us and how she just wanted to make everything perfect for us all the time.  As my belly has grown she has taken me shopping, and she even bought us the very first present for the lemon.  She is just as excited as we are, calls to check on us all the time and puts her heart into everything she does; and I knew this all before but had to relearn it again this weekend.  She loves surprising me, knows I love surprises and was just trying to do something special and I ruined it.  I had to relearn a lot this week when it comes to those I love.  I have to try to be a better listener, and I hope that they will always continue to talk to me, no matter what.

I know, I know, enough with all of this - let's get to the BIG NEWS!  But, before I do, I have to mention my best friend, Christine, again.  She made us the most beautiful bracelets, representing the gender of our lemon, and worked so hard to make it all so special for us (and with only 6 days to do it!).  In an unexpected day off (for us) yesterday, she dropped off the box that held all of the goods in it (our gifts, the flash drive with the ultrasound pics and video) and a couple of other items she snuck inside.  She also went to Build a Bear, with my favorite little man, Espen (her son), and built us our surprise bear, working with my mom to make it mean so much.  She did all of this as a present to us, and we can't thank her enough.  She also never ceases to amaze me and I just hope I can be as good a mom to the lemon as she is to Espen.  (For details of our gender reveal, with pictures and videos, check out my next post - I thought it deserved a whole post of its own!)

So, here it is . . . our BIG news . . . finally!  53% of you voted correctly!  We are having a baby GIRL!!!


  1. yay! girls are the offense to you boys out there ;) i'm SO excited for the two of you and your exciting adventure!

  2. You may know this, but there's a great word for the word vomit you described: logorrhea! Anyway, all the best to you and your husband. It seems like you've been through a lot. We've never met, but I'm rooting for you guys!