Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Always an Empty Minivan

I wrote a post awhile back lamenting how we never got to fill our minivan:

Well it turns out that minivan will never ever be filled, because we sold the good old swagger wagon.

We sold it because it has almost 150,000 miles and need more repair than we were willing to pay, but we also sold it because our perspective has changed on life.

Instead of sitting around lamenting our empty mini we decided to get a more practical car for our needs. I know, I know it's just a car. But for us it was symbolic of all we have lost and it was time to start a new chapter.

A big step of our new chapter started last week when, I had a doc appointment. It had to be at the office where I last saw Claudie alive and first heard she wasn't alive. I must be walking around in some kind of grief bubble still, because it didn't even dawn on me it would as hard as it was. But it hit, HARD. As soon as I pulled up in the parking lot I started getting flashbacks. Like crazy real flashbacks on a Lifetime movie and had to blink and shake my head in hopes they would vanish. But by the time they called me in to the ultrasound room, I sat on the table I was shaking uncontrollably.

"Is something wrong," the ultrasound tech asked?

I uttered something about 38 1/2 weeks and baby and then trailed off into uncontrollable tears. All the while I was texting Dustin something fierce.

"Where are you?"
"I am in the ultrasound room."
"Are you coming?"

The ultrasound tech took it as she needed to give me reassurance of this baby right away and quickly tried to find a heartbeat. Yes, I wanted to hear a heartbeat, but really that is not what I cared about at the moment. At that moment all I could think of my sweet little curly-haired, red lipped beauty, Claudie. It was so hard to focus on the machine. Tears and shaking overtook me.
In hopes of making me feel better she turned up the heartbeat volume.

Louder. And Louder. I cried.

I couldn't stop. What became clear to me at that moment is something I have always known, this is not a replacement child.

A heartbeat on the child growing within me will never be a substitute for the one whose heart will beat no more.

I realized a part of me so wanted that to be the case, but instead a new permanency of her death was felt. Claudie will forever be gone. She cannot be replaced.

Now are plans are different, because we have discovered they aren't our plans at all, but rather Gods, so we must mold our minds and hearts around whatever new reality is given to us. To embrace it with the only certain thing we know about the future, it's uncertainty.

For now that comes in the form of selling a van, but I  have a feeling that is just the beginning of many things we will have to evolve and change in the coming months...I don't even want to think about her nursery.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wait...are you still adopting? {and other pressing questions}

So by now you may have heard the BIG news, WE ARE EXPECTING!

After the shock and disbelief has settled a bit you probably have a few questions and hopefully we have a few answers for you all. Afterall, I think you all deserve to know as much as possible since all you have gone through with us and the support and love you have shown us.

When are you due?
My due date is May 1st. That puts me around 7 weeks pregnant. We debated back and forth waiting to tell everyone but it became clear we would need your prayers since hospitalization has been threatened already. And the really it came down to we are having child whether we have one for 9 weeks or 90 years on this side of eternity and we want everyone to celebrate with us every second of that incredible gift.

Are you guys still adopting?
First things first: a little background info.
Dustin and I have ALWAYS wanted to adopt. We discussed it on our first date for goodness' sake. Adoption was not a result of our losses in fact we have always been very fertile and we were making conscious efforts to prevent a future pregnancy. Heck, Dustin was to have a vascetomy soon...but I will stop talking about our reproductive systems because my husband will be mortified (again) and well it isn't really anyone's business.

We decided to adopt after Claudie because we were told by my diabetes doctor it was unsafe for both me and any future babies to get pregnant again...as you will remember the autopsy showed the cause of death as maternal diabetes. Our OB and perinatalogist felt it would be okay but I would have to have much better control of my diabetes. I had the best control of my life during the pregnancy with Claudie so for whatever that advice is worth.

...oh and a side note don't you love how people say control of diabetes. For anyone who has had Type 1 as long as me they wish they had control over it.  But I digress.

We are VERY cautiously proceeding with some changes we feel will make a difference this time around. It is also important to note Claudie's heart had enlarged several weeks before she died. Had an OB or perinatalogist been looking at my ultrasounds that I was having rather than an ultrasound tech they would have caught it very early. She would have been delivered and would have survived. So this time around we are in the care of perinatalogist primarily rather than as a consulting physician. This will provide a much safer level of care. With all that said, it is obvious I am very high risk and we know this pregnancy could end like the last three babies did.

So are we STILL adopting? The short answer is YES. We have always wanted to adopt and will still continue to do so. It goes without saying that journey will most likely take a detour while we try to focus on maintaining as little as stress as possible for me and baby during this pregnancy.

Another big question is:
Are you still having the Rummage and Bake Sale Adoption Fundraiser in a couple of weeks? Well, that brings me to my other piece of AHHmazing news! My dear friend and her caring husband are embarking on an incredible journey to baby #4. When I say these people are wonderful, I ain't blowin any smoke. This sweet couple has 3 beautiful girls already. One of which, Reese, was born with Down's Syndrome. The adorable 4th daughter they are adopting will be coming from China and also has Down's. This means this mommy will be caring for four kiddos under four, two with special needs and all the while working nights on one of the busiest ICUs in the city. They have already been pre-qualified and are trying to raise funds to bring this Miss Cutie Patootie to the USA to be united with her family:

Isn't she the CUTEST!!!??!!?!

So since our church no longer has a place for people to sit during service because so much has been donated and because we have a wonderful source for which to filter funds we have decided to do the Rummage and Bake Sale for the much deserving Wallace Family.
Here is their blog for the full story: The Reese Report

So on to the last question that I keep getting and feel so blessed to have friends and family who care:
How can we help??

1. First and foremost PRAY if you are so inclined. We could use it desperately and feel the effects of each and every prayer prayed.

2.  Be POSITIVE! We need all the good vibes headed our way. And don't worry we have thought of all the negative thoughts enough for the rest of you. So if you want to vent about your worries or fears and how you don't understand why I don't understand contraception when I studied the human body for four years, tell it your dog or cat, because we don't need to hear it and you will frankly only be hurting the baby.

3. Help with the Rummage and Bake Sale coming up. I committed to do a lot for this sale on my own before I realized heavy lifting and such may not be in the cards for me. So I would LOVE any help tagging, baking, organizing or whatever you can do to make sure this sale is GREAT. I MEAN DID YOU SEE THAT PICTURE ABOVE??! I need her cheeks to make their way to American soil ASAP so I can squeeze them! Also, donations for baked good and sale items would still be greatly appreciated but only if you can bring them directly to the church at this point. We still need large items for our raffle if you have goods to donate.

4. Tangible help is always appreciated. My mommy gave me a bad trait. She didn't like to take help from others. She always said it was embarrassing because it meant she wasn't doing her job (like raising eight kids with a debilitating disease wasn't enough). So I learned to say, "no thanks" a lot. A dear friend has taught me not only is okay to ask for help it is wrong to refuse it. So with said, if I do get hospitalized I may be asking some help with child care. Meal help is tricky because everything has to be extremely low carb. I would love any recipes you all might have however! Salads and veggies are getting boring fast.

How do you feel about this all?
The last few weeks have been nothing short of breathe-taking to watch God's sovereign hand at work.  For instance, immediately after announcing the news to my shocked husband in walked a mommy holding a little baby, with a GREY ELEPHANT IN IT'S HANDS!!! Now, tell me that isn't a God thing. But truth to told EVERYTHING is a God thing. And we are approaching this pregnancy very differently because we know this baby does not belong to us, but simply God is entrusting it's life with our care on this side of eternity.

For that and EVERYTHING that has come before, during, and after we are grateful...yes, even the fact I can barely form a sentence I am so sick after dinner every night. But I have never been so happy to feel miserable in my life.