From here on out, everything we encountered would be new to us.  In just a few short weeks we went to the perinatal to have a complete scan and ultrasound.  We also got to find out that we were having a boy.  Throughout the early stages of our pregnancy I have been very lucky.  I’ve gotten the chance to hear our little one’s heartbeat every couple of weeks.  This has helped calmed my nerves greatly.  I have to be honest though, there were times in between appointments that I would send an extra prayer or two through the day up to God, as well as nightly prayers that included our baby growing bigger and stronger each day, as well as continue to be healthy.  I still had ups and downs of emotions as time went by.  We began receiving items for Timothy, something that I hadn’t experienced with Samantha.  We also got the nursery completed.  Such a cute room for our little guy and I was excited to see it completed.  However, I also felt guilty that we never got the chance to even begin to get a room ready for Samantha.

Our pregnancy this time around has been completely different than the first time.  I am not sure if I have worried more than those who haven’t experienced a loss, but are currently in their first pregnancy or not.  I know I have run through a lot of emotions.  When I’ve been asked how I am feeling, my usual response is good, excited, a little nervous.  For whatever reason, the a little nervous seems to throw people off some.  I am nervous because this is all new to me.  I am nervous because I know what can happen and things don’t always go the way you think they will.  I am nervous because, while I have a child already, in most people’s eyes I am a first time parent.  This will be our first child that we will get to raise and watch grow up.  As we get closer to our due date I am getting more and more anxious.  Everything is set up and ready to go.  Any day now we will welcome Timothy into our world and get to see him in all his cuteness outside of an ultrasound.  Somewhere down the road we will share with him about his sister.  How he is blessed to have an angel watching over him.  For now, our family of three has grown to four and I couldn’t be happier.  Timothy is our rainbow after the storm.  The road has been tough at times, with lots of twists and turns, with moments of happiness and joy.  The road ahead, will be filled with just as many twists and turns, as well as great moments and memories.  Who knows, maybe one day, our family of four will grow again.

 

We found in August of 2012 that we were pregnant again.  We were on vacation and at the end of the week I took the test.  It was a little surreal.  I was very excited and couldn’t wait to share.  In the midst of the excitement of telling people, a few weeks later I began spotting.  Seeing this was sobering.  Before I was so filled with joy and excitement, that seeing the spotting quickly brought me to the ground and I began to feel very scared and nervous.  This couldn’t be happening again.  We had waited so long to get pregnant again I didn’t know if I could handle loosing another child.  We had an early ultrasound, 7 weeks along, and it showed that the spotting that was happening was perfectly normal and should only last a couple of weeks.  I was still filled with some uncertainty and worry, but I was also feeling okay because we got to see the baby and things at that point looked healthy.

One month later we finally had our fist doctor appointment.  I was nervous and anxious going into the appointment.  It was at our fist doctor appointment with Samantha that things began to turn down a different path.  So, I was a bit apprehensive until we got to hear and see our little baby.  Everything looked good and sounded healthy.  With everything that happened the fist time we were pregnant the doctor wanted to do some extra things early on, so we had an early ultrasound at 14 weeks.  We got to see our baby, hear the heartbeat, and got a few measurements done.  Everything was looking good and going smoothly.  I was becoming less and less nervous and worried.  The joy of having another baby was taking over more and I began to feel more excited.  As we got closer to 17 weeks I couldn’t help my nerves and emotions get the better of me.  This was a turning point for us.  We had another doctor appointment right at 17 weeks. Hearing the heartbeat calmed my nerves.  I had had a lot of Halloween candy that day, so our little one was very active.

 

 

Over the past few months it has been hit or miss on whether or not I write.  I haven’t felt a draw in one direction or another to go in for my blog posts.  Plus, I have been focused on our current pregnancy.  We only have a few more weeks before our little guy arrives into this world, so I have been writing a pregnancy journal to add to his baby book.  Over the past few nights I haven’t been sleeping much and when I awake in the middle of the night I have been getting ideas of what to write about.  So, I have decided to write a little bit about the journey we have been through over the past two years after losing Samantha in regards to trying to get pregnant again and being pregnant again.  Over the next weeks I am going to write two mini series about my experiences.  The first one will entail posts about trying to get pregnant after loss and the second one will entail posts about being pregnant after loss.  I encourage you to join me on this journey as I share by sharing your own experiences and thoughts as I go along.

 

With the fact that we have only a month and half left to go before Timothy makes his appearance, it is quite obvious at this point that I am pregnant.  So, now when I am out shopping or out to dinner I have been asked a lot when I am due.  That is an easy question and I have no problems answering it with a giant smile.  However, there is always a question that follows…is this your first?.  That question I hesitate and with a half smile say yes.

I have a daughter already and a son on the way.  That means two kids.  But if someone doesn’t know my situation, I can’t seem to say I have two children.  I am not sure why I don’t say two when talking to someone I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable or maybe I am not truly ready to explain to people that I have one daughter in heaven and one on the way.  I feel guilty about it and it breaks my heart to say it.

I know that this all a part of the healing process after the loss of a child.  I also know that, from experience, that trying to get pregnant and being pregnant after such a loss brings about a lot of mixed emotions.  I honestly thought that I would be able to easily tell people I have two children.  I guess that is a stepping stone that I have come to but I am not quite ready to step out onto yet.

I hope that there comes a time when someone asks me how many children I have that I can answer without hesitation or without holding back the actual number.  As of today, that number is two.  Could be more down the road depending on where my path leads me.  One day, I will be able to step on the stone and continue down the road of healing.

 

Bundle of joy, bundle of nerves pretty much sums it all up right now.  We are at the 20 week mark…halfway there.  We met some milestones, like finding out that baby L is a boy.  In 20 weeks we will get to see what Timothy looks like, other just in ultrasounds.  Up until this point I have been, shall we say cautiously excited.  I didn’t know what it was like to be pregnant past 17 weeks.  Thankfully, we’ve been going to the doctor every two weeks, so it has calmed my nerves some.  Now the nerves I have are just like any other parent.  While we are parents and have a daughter, this will be our first baby coming home…our first round of learning how to parent.  Makes me a little bit nervous, wondering if I will be a good parent and if I will know what to do.  I have been around other kids, working with infants, but it is different when it is your own child.  Sure, some of the basics are there…like feeding, diapering,and  sleeping, but there is so much more and that’s what makes me a little bit nervous.  I guess that’s only normal, so while we wait for our bundle of joy to arrive I will need to work on my bundle of nerves.  At least I know I have a lot of good resources that I can turn to for help.

 

 

 

 

 

We are 17 weeks and have 23 more to go…almost halfway there.  I am so full of joy and happiness, we are pregnant with our little rainbow.  But at the same time, I am a little scared and nervous too.  We made it to 17 weeks with Samantha.  With Samantha, we knew earlier on that things didn’t look quite right.  There was extra fluid around the neck and abdomen, leading the doctors to believe it was Turner’s Syndrome.  Fortunately for us, it is not genetic and there was nothing we did wrong that caused it.  It is a chromosome disorder that is rare to occur and even rarer to happen again.  Even so, with Baby L we are considered high risk.  Our doctor wants to be sure that nothing is missed this time around.  So far that means I am on restricted lifting, no big deal really…except when it comes to work.  Otherwise, life as normal so far.  Up to this point with Baby L there hasn’t been any concerns.  All ultrasounds have looked great, good heart beat, everything forming the way it should, no extra fluid, and baby is even measuring a little farther along…an extra 2 days farther.  So with that I am not as nervous, but a lot more hopeful.  Yet I can’t seem to shake that deep down feeling, which I guess goes with the territory.

We had our 17 week appointment this past Wednesday.  Apparently you can eat too much Halloween candy, because I did that day and Baby L was dancing around in there having lots of fun.  With that said, all still looks good and a great heart beat.  The doctor still has no concerns.  A load has been lifted and I have been sleeping a little bit better the past few nights.  Next milestone to look towards?  19 weeks and a Level 2 ultrasound…we get to find out if Baby L is a boy or a girl.  I can’t wait!  Now I just need to keep my mind busy for the next week and half, so time will pass a little bit quicker.  Still hoping and praying each day that Baby L continues to get bigger and stronger and is a healthy baby.

 

October begins a season of change.  It is now Fall, with oranges, reds, and yellows in full swing.  This time of year is one of my favorite times, because of the cool crisp evenings perfect for sitting by the fire and days that are still warm enough I can wear flip flops.  I love the colors outside, so vibrant, and the chance to watch leaves twist to the ground in the light breezes.  I enjoy the chance to decorate my house with these colors on the inside and the chance to head to the apple orchard.

This year is no different.  Still a favorite time of year for me.  However there is a deeper meaning to this time of year.  Two years ago…right around October 15 we got pregnant for the first time.  Our baby girl only made it 17 weeks, but has left a lasting legacy on our lives and our hearts.  Interestingly enough, October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  On this day hundreds gather in memory of their children across the world.  There is also a wave of light that is passed on…a lighted candle lit in memory started at the same time all around the world creating a continuous light.

The whole month of October is slowly being recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month…a chance to break the silence.  A chance to tell the world that some of your children are here on earth, as well as angels in heaven.  Slowly we are moving away from a taboo subject and taking the chance to share with others.  More and more those who have walked this path are coming together .

I am taking the chance to put into photographs the opportunity to “capture my grief”.  Carly Marie has put together an opportunity to capture 31 photographs in 31 days.  You can find out more at Carly Marie Project Heal.  I am filled with a mix of emotions at the start of this month.  It has been a year & a half since we said our goodbyes to Samantha.  What most people don’t realize is that while time has passed, I still grieve.  The grieving is different, but it is still something that is with me.  And from what I understand, it will still be there…it just changes over time.  This October we are pregnant again, our rainbow so to speak.  So while thinking about Samantha, I am thinking about our little miracle.  Growing day by day and hoping everything is going alright.  In the following days I will share with you my 31 photographs as I walk through this month.  This week we celebrate week 12 of our pregnancy.  Not only will you see the grieving side and what has gone on with that, but also the joyous side of being pregnant throughout this month.  The photo in this post is from day 1 of the 31 photographs in 31 days…Sunrise.  It started out as a cool, cloudy day but ended as a beautiful warm day.

 

This post is long overdue.  It seems that time has gotten away from me as we have been doing pregnancy stuff, family things, and work.

Shortly after my last post my family celebrated the life of a wonderful man…my grandfather.  He passed away after 96 wonderful years, filled with many memories, life lessons, and some pretty amazing moments.  He is an inspiration and I will truly miss him…all his wisdom, stories, and humor.

On the baby side of things we have chosen the nursery colors and installed a door on the room.  It may seem odd, this little task of putting in a door.  There hasn’t been a door on the room since we moved into the house.  It is a room that is only accessible off our bedroom or the bathroom.  Over the years, it has become on giant closet.  Now, we are making room and making it more like a bedroom for our little one.  I will have to admit, I have already had a slight freak out moment.  I began spotting shortly after Labor Day weekend and the doctors sent us in for an ultrasound.  No worries came back and everything is normal.  Baby is healthy, with a strong heartbeat.  Baby is also bigger than we initially thought.  At the time of this post we are 9 weeks 5 days.  First prenatal visit went fine as well.  So, we continue to pray that baby gets bigger and stronger and remains healthy.

And, other than working a bit more, I have been continuing work on my dragonflies.  I am now partnered up with three hospitals and Kerin Lee of I Am the Mother to an Angel.  I look forward to continuing to pass along the blessing.

 

I have been thinking on and off throughout the day about how to begin and write this post.  And once beginning, I ended up walking away for a little while and did a little cooking to refocus my thoughts.  For whatever reason when I am cooking my thoughts seem to come together better and then I am ready to write.  The same thing happens when I go for walks.  This post is on emotions.  Sounds simple right?  But it seems to become more complicated when you loose a child and when you begin to try to get pregnant again.  Something that becomes more intricate because everybody grieves differently.  There are some people out there who just get it, others who try, and yet others who never truly understand.

Emotions are a complicated thing.   I have experienced emotions that I have never really experienced since Samantha died.  I am not the jealous type, but in the early stages when I saw others that were pregnant it made my heart ache.  I so wanted to be pregnant again.  To be able to bring home a healthy baby.  They had something I wanted.  I learned to move past this by telling myself that I didn’t know their story.  Maybe it was easy for them to get pregnant, but maybe it wasn’t.  Or maybe they were facing similar trials like I was.  I didn’t know their story and what led them to where they are now.  This seemed to to help and as time passed the feeling lessened.  Eventually it went away.

I never knew before now that you could be happy and sad at the same time.  Overall, there were times…even multiple days in a row that I would be sad for what seemed to be the whole day through.  However, looking at an individual day or moment in the day I was able to recall being happy and laughing.  This was one of the hardest things for me.  My child died, I am grieving but yet it is okay to smile, laugh, even find happiness and joy.

The decision to try again came with a flood of new emotions.  Sometimes overwhelming, sometimes confusing, sometimes just plain scared.  I have been learning different ways to de-stress and refocus.  I have been placing my energies into walking more, doing more creative projects, organizing, and spending time with people who mean a lot to me.  I have people tell me so much to not think about it.  This only caused me to think and focus, even obsess over it.  This is why the refocusing.  I have to leave it up God.  It will happen when the timing is right.

I can only imagine the emotions that will come when do get pregnant again.  Joy, happiness, excitement. Scared, nervousness, fear, worry.  Sometimes the thought of being pregnant terrifies me a little.  I believe this feeling comes from having experienced the death of our daughter.  There are so many different outcomes and it can seem terrifying, scary, or overwhelming.  It is my belief that when do get pregnant again I have the comfort of knowing that we have a phenomenal support system around us.  Sure there will be times of nervousness, but knowing we are surrounded will bring a sense of peace to help lessen that feeling.

And so continues the flood of emotions.

 

As we move throughout life there are always times we wonder.  It seems that when there is change it cause us to wonder more.  When the change is welcomed, the wondering seems to provide a positive exciting spin on things.  However, when the change is not well received or completely unexpected the wondering seems to take on a different spin.

When I found out that we were pregnant I was very excited.  That excitement lead me to wonder what our family would be like.  We were going from two of us to three.  What would our little one look like?  What would their personality be like?  What would it be like to be parents?  Were we really ready for this?  All of this provided excitement and joy, as well as some nervousness.  We were going to be first time parents.

When I found out that there was no longer a heartbeat the excitement turned into shock and denial.  I began to wonder what happened.  What did I do wrong?  How am I going to get through this?  How are we going to get through this?  What next?  As I began to move through the grief and healing I began to wonder what might have been.  As we approach a year from the due date, I can’t help but to wonder what things would have been like had Samantha made it to full term.  How different the past year and half would have truly been.

Now, as we have made the decision to try again, I find myself and my mind wondering a bit.  Or, more accurately, a lot.  I wonder what I can do to make things turn out differently.  As each month goes by, I wonder why it’s taking so long to get pregnant again and if I was meant to be a mother to children on earth.

There is nothing we did wrong and what happened was completely out of our control.  I’m not going to lie, it does suck.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I wish to have Samantha down here with us instead of up in heaven.  But as time goes by I am trying to learn from it.  I may never truly know why this all happened, but there is a lot I can take away from it.  It all has provided me with a different perspective on life.  I can’t change what happened.  And I will still wonder.

 

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