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.

 

 

Nearly one year after experiencing our loss, I hit a point of near desperation.  I wanted so much to be pregnant again.  I wanted to grow our family.  I would beg and plead with God to let it happen.  When month after month went by, I broke down.  I was beside myself.  I wondered if we would ever be pregnant again.  I wondered if I was only meant to be a mom of an angel baby.  In the midst of this we make the decision to really try.  Meaning, I tracked and I temped all in hopes of finding the right day.  I thought by putting focus on it this way would make things come together.  As more time went by, I think I got more frustrated.  Then came Memorial weekend and we decided to go camping.  I love to camp, but as this was like a mini vacation I didn’t want to put forth the effort of temping every morning.  So, in a way I gave up or should I say gave in.  I was putting more stress on myself than was necessary.  It took me going camping and not willing to bring a thermometer with and wanting to wake up to the sun verses an alarm clock.  After that weekend, I stopped temping and tracking.  I realized that if I kept it all up our relationship would loose some spontaneity and I didn’t want things to be monotonous.  Looking back now, I fully believe that by giving in to this and letting go rigidness of tracking allowed me to have less stress and eventually getting pregnant again.  I began to realize that if I took the focus off of it, things would happen easily on their own.  Just two months after giving up tracking and temping we got pregnant.

The time between loosing Samantha and finding out we were pregnant again was about a year and half.  Sometimes that time seemed like so long and it wore on my emotions.  There were moments when I was hopeful and knew things would work out, knowing that I would have a child in heaven and child on earth.  I would one day have the chance to raise children of my own.  There were moments when I thought my dream of raising children of my own would never come true.  It’s hard to not put so much attention and focus on something when it is something your heart yearns for so much.  I learned that sometimes, now matter much you want something, you need to turn your focus onto something else and then all the pieces will begin to fall into place.  If you would have told me that in the midst of that year and a half, I would have laughed it off not fully believing it.  Now that we are on the other side of it all, I can see how sometimes putting too much attention onto something causes more stress.  Sometimes we have to given in, let go and the pieces will come together.  Easier said then done.  But when you lighten your load, your emotions and your physical being will be appreciative.  Things will happen naturally.

 

 

 

To be honest after Samantha died the thought of being pregnant again, let alone trying again was one of the furthest things from my mind.  Not to long after our loss, I dove back into my work.  It was familiar and it took up a majority of my day, week, and time.  Meaning that it took up a lot of my brain, so I could push things down emotionally and physically.  Finally after months of ten hour days at work working with children it finally hit…I needed to truly let myself grieve.  I hadn’t really done it, thereby I hadn’t taken care of myself.  I figured if I don’t take care of me, I can’t take care of my husband and our relationship, and I can’t take care of the other things going on in my life.  I needed to make a change, something that would allow me to take care of myself and let myself grieve so I could begin to heal.  Then I would be able to give attention to the important things in my life.  I thought I had been taking care of myself by blogging about my experience and getting back to a normal routine.  But things were different now, I was different.  By the end of the Summer I decided to make a big change, I gave up my classroom as a full time teacher to become a part time sub in the same building.  By doing that, I was able to allow myself the time to let the healing process begin.  I began to meet with others who have walked a similar path weekly.  I could share my story, experiences, and what I have learned.  I was able to help myself, help others, and build a few deep connections.  Once I began to make these changes and spend some time on myself to work through things, I was able to begin to think about trying again to get pregnant.  Up to that point, I was if it happens it happens.  But now, I felt ready enough to be pregnant again.

 

 

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.

 

My doctor’s office is also connected to the hospital.  On our way in to the clinic I saw a couple walking out into the hospital area with one of the nurses from my doctors office.  If I had to guess, they were about to walk a similar path that Raun and I have been walking.  I don’t know what I looked like on the day I walked out of the clinic after hearing the news that Samantha’s heart had stopped and we had to return to labor and delivery, but I would bet I had a similar look on my face as well.

As we passed them, I glanced at them and my heart ached.  I so much wanted to say something, but wasn’t sure if it was my place to say anything.  Up to this point, when others have experienced a loss or know someone who has recently experienced a loss they have come to me.  I have never walked up to someone that has recently lost and said something, without them saying something first.  Is it my place to say something, to walk up to complete strangers and try to console?  What do I say?  How do I begin?  Especially when it’s obvious that I am pregnant.  I remember being very jealous of those around me who were pregnant after we lost Samantha and the last thing I wanted to do is be around someone who was.  I don’t want to intrude, but I want to help.  I am sure as time goes by, there will be more instances like this.  My hope is that one day, I can find a way to reach out to these people and let them know they are not alone on this path.

 

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.

 

This weekend we celebrate Samantha’s second birthday.  It’s hard to believe, some days, that it has been two years since she came into our world and we had to quickly say goodbye.  I have to admit, the second year has been a lot easier to process through than the first.  I am not saying it hasn’t been without it’s difficulties and moments of undeniable grief, but those moments have been just a little bit easier to take in and deal with.

I am not sure what we will in honor of Samantha’s birthday this year.  I know every body does it a little different.  Some throw a birthday party, some just let the day go by and they remember in silence, and others do something something small in memory.  Whatever you decide to do to celebrate your little one’s birthday is your choice.  Listen to your heart to tell you what to do.  It can be a big party or it can be something small and it simple.  Last year for her one year birthday we visited her and placed some beautiful, bright orange flowers by her.  We took a moment to reflect and remember.  I would guess that this year, we will do something simple again.  But for us, that works.  Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Girl!

 

Gary Allen has a new song out called “Every Storm (Runs out of Rain)” that strikes a cord with me, especially deep down in my heart.  It is not only touching emotionally, but it also has a way of sticking with me mentally as well.  There are times when I find myself repeating the chorus of the song over and over in my mind.

“every storm runs, runs out of rain
just like every dark night turns into day
every heartache will fade away
just like every storm runs, runs out of rain”

Grief is kind of the same way, it runs out of strength so what ever storm you are going through slowly fades.  With the loss of a child, that grief does and will fade, however it never fully goes away.  It looses it’s strength and it’s hold.  I will forever miss Samantha, that will never change.  There will still be some what might of been moments, uneasiness with pregnancies, and some sadness around special days but as time passes by I will continue to heal and the storm won’t be so strong.  With healing I will be able to find joy instead of sadness on those days and a with a renewed perspective I will continue to grow.  This storm may never completely run out of rain, but it won’t stay a storm forever.  One day it will become a light rain, refreshing the surroundings around me and washing the memories over me.  Remember that with every storm things are different.  Each takes it’s own path and it’s own time to run out.  But, by surrounding yourself by those who understand and letting your voice be heard, you will begin to heal and you can find strength again.

Take a listen to this beautiful song.  I hope you can find the strength you need to work through your storm.

 

 

It’s a chilly day outside today, so I am taking some time to reflect on 2012 and think ahead to the new year, while enjoying one of my favorite beverages.  It’s been a busy year of travel, growth, spending time with family, and as the year comes to a close lots of organizing.  I look forward to 2013, knowing it will be filled with many blessings, moments of trials, and many changes…especially with Timothy on his way.

At this time last year I was given a the task to create a one word motto that would lead me through the year.  It ended up being two…believe and trust.  I like the idea of having a word or mantra to help remember throughout the year.  This year my word is Create.  The past few months I have done more creative projects and when done it made me remember how much my soul yearns for doing that kind of stuff.  But I also know that creating can be used in many areas of my life.

Looking forward, there are a few things I want to do better at and incorporate more into my life.

  • I am going to read more and watch less TV
  • I am going to do more crafty projects, as well as continue to make dragonflies
  • I am going to take better care of my health, like being more active and eating better
  • I am going to continue to write and do photography
  • I am going to experiment more in the kitchen with cooking new things and seeing what items I can make at home instead of buying

Happy New Year to all!  I wish you all many blessings and opportunities to grow.

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