Friday, March 28, 2014

Life Lately

Thank you all so much for the well wishes for this next pregnancy, it is such a comfort to receive kind words and thoughts while wading through fear and anxiety.

We were still in Arizona when I last wrote and between now and then we have been on the road a lot. First we stopped at the Grand Canyon.

More on this later .

Then we drove up to Washington for almost two weeks to visit family and friends who we totally missed. Plus I got another prenatal appointment with the Dr. who I saw throughout Max's pregnancy. The visit with him went very well and I got to see baby once again. He offered a lot of reassurance which feels desperately necessary this time around. I was informed that I am technically high risk this time around (though on the low end of high risk) simply because of a previous stillbirth. This means that once we reach the end stage of pregnancy I will have weekly non-stress tests to ease anxiety and make sure they aren't missing anything. Surprisingly, I was glad to hear this.

Our days in Yakima were spend contracting norovirus (me) and applying/interviewing for jobs (Kyle) and running around with cousins (Max). Oh Kyle also saved the neighborhood by coming home after an interview to find that the men who had been working on the gas line earlier that day right by our house had failed to tighten a nut which was sending 55 lbs per square inch of gas into the air surrounding my mother's home. Major crisis adverted.

We finally drove the destination of Kyle's final clinical rotation here in Twin Falls, Idaho. This is the last leg of his schooling and in June he graduates. So far I am having trouble imagining the reality of a real income. 

Currently I am focusing on managing fear and anxiety by focusing on finding joy in spending time with my family and in a recent project I stumbled upon. While still in Yakima, I was listening to the radio and during a commercial break it was announced that the March of Dime was holding a March for Babies walk in Yakima during the next weekend I would be back for my next prenatal appointment. It seemed fate and once I got home I looked up the information, queried on facebook to see if anyone would donate/walk with me and decided to go for it. So late at night I created a team and made a personal page to walk in memory of James. 

So here is the deal. I haven't done any fundraising since high school when I joined a relay for life team with friends and in general I don't like asking people for money. This was largely my hesitancy in creating a team and setting a goal. But my desire to contribute to the research, education, and prevention that March of Dimes has established for babies and their families in honor of James urged me to take a risk and ask people to donate. 

So I will end my soapbox there and I hope that you decide to donate. Truly. It doesn't have to be $100, it can be $5, $10, $25! I have seen other fundraisers and seen how those small donations add up, and I know that this money makes a difference, their website alone was a great resource to me in the wake of James' death. When James died,and I started writing about the effects of his death on my life, I found many of you reaching out to me and saying that he impacted your life too. I am doing this to lengthen the reach of the effect of James' life, I want to help other families, other babies have access to a different outcome. So I hope you will join me in this effort, I am anxious about my goal and failing miserably and I pray that instead of that morning Starbucks or buying that new top you will consider donating in memory of James. 

I thank you in advance. 

You can find my team and personal page in the links above but if you aren't super computer savvy, here it is again:

p.s. Let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Time for Hope

I am pregnant again, today marks 13 weeks.

For us the decision to have another child after losing James came easily. A new baby does not replace him but we know that we want our family to grow and I do believe that this baby will provide healing to our hearts. Being pregnant I must learn to believe and trust in my body again, to trust the process of pregnancy, to trust in my Heavenly Father. Ultimately I believe this will bring healing and healing will bring joy.

If you are curious, I am extremely joyful but enter into this with complete trepidation. I am scared out of my mind all the time and the only relief is to just trust in power that is beyond me.

Prenatal care is also tricky because of our current living situation. If you are unaware, we are currently hopping around for Kyle's physical therapy internships that were decided long before we lost James. So we are in AZ for ten weeks (wrapping up week #9) and soon we head to Twin Falls, ID. In June, Kyle will graduate and we will move to wherever work takes us (ideally Washington state).

My dream prenatal care this time around would be to return to the midwife who helped in my delivery of James. I feel bonded to her in indescribable ways but alas, it is not possible to fly to Spokane that often to see her. So instead I am bouncing around to different doctors in different states but luckily in June I will be able to settle and develop a relationship with a consistent care provider. I imagine this will help to reduce my anxiety considerably.

To help you understand my mindset let me share with you some insight that pinpointed exactly what this journey is like fr me. In October I was reading an article of a fellow stillbirth mother who is pregnant and she wrote something profound that her husband had said. She wrote,
We will continue to take these baby steps forward in learning how to embrace the possibility of excitement in a new pregnancy after the loss of a previous one.  As Nick likes to say, “While all other pregnant couples are expecting, we are hoping.” 
That last thought finalized the reality that I live with an entirely different perspective of pregnancy now. I do not expect a baby in my arms in the end. I only hope for it, I pray for this life inside me to continue growing healthy and strong and ultimately I pray that this life will arrive safely and living into my arms.

We do not take the miracle of new life for granted and are so incredibly grateful to add on to our family.