This was supposed to be the month…

I should be huge, uncomfortable, irritated by the weather, using 5 pillows to sleep at night, but super excited and ready to hold my baby. My little boy who was born in March and never took a breath. It should’ve been this month, his due date was this month.

It’s crazy how often this thought occurs to me. I doubt any one else remembers that we were due in July, just me. And it’s too hard to talk about.

I’m so emotional this month, crying all the time, but trying to hide the tears. A woman who sat behind us at church hugged me after Mass and told me “I raised five boys.” She was trying to encourage me with my boys, but I couldn’t even respond, I started crying and rushed out. I should have had three boys with me that Sunday, and one still in my womb. But God took my two youngest before I could get to know them.

I get such mixed feelings when I see moms with new babies or beautiful pregnant bellies, I’m still excited for them, but I’m a little sad at the same time. I’ve always loved babies and that hasn’t changed, I just miss a couple of them, miss what could have been. I’ve been watching Bones again on Amazon Prime, and last night was the night she and Booth watched the ultrasound of their daughter. I had a flash back to my last ultrasound at 18 weeks, where they couldn’t find a heartbeat, and my heart broke all over again.

It’s crazy how much harder this is the second time around. I don’t remember it being this hard after our first miscarriage but maybe I’ve just blocked it out over time and it’s all coming back this time?

I know God has a reason for what happened and I trust him to hold me through this but I’m still an emotional mess. I’m living life, taking care of my boys, making meals, cleaning house, meeting up with friends, and trying to stay busy this summer but sometimes I cry myself to sleep asking God to help me through this. I’m hopeful that by writing this all out and sharing it, I will feel a little better and maybe someone else who is feeling the same way will feel a little better too, or at least not so alone.


Fort Steilacoom

We went to a living history museum today. It was really interesting to see how people lived in the late 1800’s. I was surprised at how different this fort was from Fort Nisqually. There were no high walls, but unlike the fur trader fort, which had valuable furs to protect, Fort Steilacoom was a military fort full of soldiers, which deterred attacks.

We learned how soldiers loaded and fired a musket and a revolver, and looked at all the things they carried with them in their packs.

The boys got to taste hard tack, the cracker that solders were given as rations. They thought it was good!

The boys were interested in these signs that they labeled law breakers with.

We learned how to play a couple games: close the box and baseball with dice.

The boys played checkers in the barracks while I chatted with a volunteer. I learned that the solders slept 2 to a bunk, head to foot. It sounds uncomfortable to me but was heavenly to these men used to sleeping on the floor in small European homes with large families. Most of the soldiers were recruited right off the boat from England in San Francisco. And it turned out the volunteer was a Dmom too! Her T1 daughter was diagnosed at the age of 10 and is currently in her 30’s.

The man who designed this tent and stove was a soldier who sold them to the army. The army paid him for every tent and stove until he left to join the confederate army, then the union army continued producing and using the tents and stoves, but no longer paid him for them.

Gabriel ground coffee and then we learned how to aim and fire a cannon.

After our visit to the fort and a lunch out, we stopped by the library to check out some books and the boys decided to play a game of battleship before we headed home.

Summer fun

Summer is here! We have been keeping busy, playing with friends doing daily school work, chores, and enjoying the sun (when it decides to shine).

We even went to wild waves with friends and had fun going down water slides and floating in the lazy river under a cloudy sky).

But today was the first day I checked something off of our summer bucket list!

And then I realized that it’s the second thing we’ve done on the list. 😳 oops! I had to check off two things, because we also saw a movie in the movie theater. Today, we visited Point No Point Lighthouse. We got to go inside the lighthouse and see the fresnel lens, and learned about the treaty that was made with the Native Americans to buy the land for the lighthouse.

There was lots of history to see at Point No Point.

And we saw a bald eagle!

Then we had a picnic lunch and the boys played at the beach.

Apparently this is a good place to spot whales from the beach.

This was totally worth the hour and a half drive!

I’m looking forward to more summer family fun!

Who knew

Who would have ever thought Mother’s Day could be so emotional? I can remember before we had TJ feeling a little sad on Mother’s Day because we had been trying for 2 years and hadn’t become parents yet. I’ve been celebrating this holiday for 10 years as a mom, and don’t remember crying on it this much ever before. In 2015 we had our first miscarriage, only 13 weeks along, and we lost the baby in May. Maybe it was just so long ago, that I don’t remember, or maybe I’ve blocked it as a coping mechanism.

This year we lost our second baby in March. He was 18 weeks and I had to deliver him and burry him. I guess it’s the freshness of those feelings (which I thought I was processing just fine) along with the anniversary of our first miscarriage that is just compounding the emotions.

I keep thinking: In addition to my 10 yr old and my 7 yr old, I should have a 3 yr old and be 2 months from delivering our 4th child. But both of those children are in heaven. I’m doing my best to stay positive and to trust God, but some days the tears just flow on their own. Today was one of those days. This is so hard and not many understand. I know it’s ok to be sad, but it makes everyone around me worry. And it’s embarrassing to randomly start crying in public. I wish I had a positive end for this post. That I could say “I did this, and feel better, with no more random tears”. But I can’t say that. I’m going to keep praying, hoping, and moving forward but I know, I will still randomly start crying (sometimes without even knowing why I started).

Museum family day

We went to the WA history museum today for family day.

We went early to check out the exhibits

We stopped and ate lunch just outside, with a view of the glass museum. The weather was so nice!

It was fun and not crowded. We learned how printing presses work and got to use a small one to print stickers.

Since we were the only ones there when they set up, G got to spread the ink on the press.

We got to make a book and bind it.

It was a really nice event, I’m looking forward to going next month, I think she said it was going to be about trains.

Guessing games

Birthday parties are a guessing game with type 1 diabetes. Sometimes we guess right and sometimes not. Today we guessed wrong. We went to a birthday party at a bouncy house place and the boys played super hard! They were red faced and sweaty when it was time to eat. Which is good, it shows they were having fun, but it can mean lots of lows for a kid with T1D, like TJ. He was already running low before we even got there and had 2 tabs in the car on the way. He was in the 90’s most of his play time and had a down angled arrow on Dex when it was time to eat. We decided to only dose him for part of his lunch to keep him from crashing later. He had a juice before he ate a hotdog, some chips, grapes, and cake. While he was eating Dex changed to show 2 straight up arrows. He didn’t eat all his chips but he did gobble down a small slice of cake. We waited as his blood sugars when up, anticipating the crash from playing hard. This is what his Dex shows 2 hours after the party.

So much for that plan. I had him dose for 30 carbs, and now we wait for it to come down. He may still crash in a couple hours, but I’m not going to wait and find out. We will just deal with that when and if it happens.

The saying is kid first diabetes second, and that’s what happened today. Even though we did what we thought best, we don’t always get it right. And that’s ok. Because he was a normal kid at a birthday party. He had fun, and that’s what’s important. We can deal with the blood sugar aftermath-no matter which way it goes.

Trying to stay alive and healthy

Normally when I’m blogging about keeping someone alive it’s about TJ and high or low blood sugars but this time, its about me.

Something that started causing me worry while I was pregnant was suddenly Having high blood pressure. Every time I went to the urgent care for my sinus infection, the Dr mentioned that it was high. I noticed on my Fitbit that my heart rate was high at odd times too. So, I borrowed my moms blood pressure monitor and started tracking it, so I had some info to show my midwife. When I saw her she said that since I was under 20 weeks pregnant it was not caused by the pregnancy (preeclampsia) and that I just had chronic high blood pressure. Then we lost Peter, spent some time in the hospital for that, and they were monitoring my BP while we were there because it was still high. My blood work came back while I was in the hospital and it showed that it was preeclampsia, which was really odd, since I was under 20 weeks. But that since it was preeclampsia, that my BP should go back to normal after delivery. And it was lower on the day they let me leave, but then it wasn’t. Over the next few days it was still high. I went to check in with my midwife, for a BP check, and it was still high. She ordered another blood draw and told me to go to the ER if it went over 160/100-if either number was over. And to schedule an appointment with my primary care physician to figure out what was going on with my BP.

I went to see my PCP and she said I was still post partum, so it was still preeclampsia and she had to consult with the OB and then she put me on BP meds. I questioned if she was going to order any other tests to try to figure out what was causing this issue, but she replied that it was just the hormones (pregnancy). I started taking the meds that day and kept checking my BP. It was lower, but it started creeping back up to the high range.

I visited her again 10 days later and she ordered an ultrasound of my liver. She based this off blood work that was over 10 days old (from before my first visit with her). She didn’t tell me where to go for the ultrasound and when I called the nurse told me “probably here”. But she couldn’t verify and I couldn’t schedule it until it was approved (approved by whom?!?) and that could take a day or two. She also referred me to an OB. I was so frustrated by the time I got home that I was crying. This is scary, and I’m not getting any real help. I called the ob she referred me to (I was told to see him in 2 weeks) the earliest appointment was 3 weeks out and not at the Bonney lake office. More frustration and more tears. So, I messaged my midwife, told her about my frustrating visit/referral to another OB and asked if I could just see the OB in her office (if already met her and her office is in Bonney lake). I was surprised when she called me back within half an hour. (The last time I had messaged her I got no response). She listened to my frustrations and said it would be no problem for me to see the OB there. She also said they had wanted my primary care Dr to look into what caused this strange high blood pressure. She said she would talk to the Dr in the morning and call me back the next afternoon. She called the next morning. Ordered a liver ultrasound and blood work and when I talked to her later, she helped me plan when to get the blood work and when to schedule an appointment with the Dr. I called and scheduled my ultrasound less than 30 minutes after she told me it was ordered (although it’s a week out) and scheduled a Dr appt for a couple days after that. Now I wait. Hoping that I’m ok, and that whatever’s wrong will be easily fixed. I’m tired of the drama and the worry, I need to be here and healthy to take care of my family.

Five Minute Friday: Place

Usually place is a location, a city or a building, but the place that I’m at right now (aside from my home) is a very challenging one. I’m in a sad place, mourning the loss of my baby, taking care of my children who have the flu, trying to figure out my new normal. Here I am not only trying to keep up with life and family, but also trying to get myself into a healthy place. My blood pressure has been high for weeks, now I’m starting meds to bring it down. My kids have been sick with the flu, and I’m taking care of them and praying that Tony and I don’t get it also. My house is a disaster and I don’t have the energy to clean more than just the bare minimum. This is the place I am right now, it’s not a good place, it’s a place that I need to work my way out of. Fighting through the tears and the sadness, forcing myself to clean a little every day, to make healthy meals, and to start exercising again. I can do it, I’ve done it before, but this time it’s a little more than before, a little harder, a little scarier. I will work my way to a better place, slowly and one step at a time, with my faith in God who will help me to get through this tough place. And my loving husband who is constantly urging me to take the next step, while still supporting me where I am right now. Through my boys (once they are healthy again) who won’t let me sit still for very long. I know I will get out of this place and into one much better.

This post is a part of the weekly FMF link-up

Funeral planning and more drama

Yesterday was such a crazy and emotional day. We started out meeting with the funeral home and then the cemetery to arrange for Peters burial and headstone. We planned his funeral for Wednesday afternoon, that was emotional enough for one day. After we were done we stopped by my parents house to pick up G and were visiting with my parents for a bit, relaxing and chatting. Then I got a voicemail from TJs school. He had a fever and the nurse asked if I could pick him up. I called the nurse and told her we would be there shortly, then loaded up G and all his things and headed up the hill to the school. TJ looked pretty miserable, the nurse said his fever was 100 degrees, he needed my help to walk to the car. We got home and watched a movie (I took a nap on the couch). When I woke up TJ still had a fever, after we’d given him some children’s IB. Then I started worrying it might be strep throat. So, I had tony look in his throat for white spots and called the pediatrician to see if we should bring him in. I ended up deciding, to take him to urgent care to find out if it was strep throat, because if it was we could get him on antibiotics and hopefully TJ would be better soon. So I dragged him to the urgent care 2 towns over and checked him in. Tony stayed home with G to make dinner and get G to bed on time.

Poor TJ was miserable the whole time we were at urgent care. He kept asking if we could go home. We waited over an hour and I kept thinking, maybe we should just go home, he would be more comfortable in his bed. But the. The hour and a half would’ve been wasted for nothing, so we kept waiting. At about the 2 hour mark, we were called back and I had to wake TJ up to get him to go back. They took TJs vitals and put him in a room. The nurse asked lots of question and then said she would do a strep test and a flu test. Flu had not even entered my thoughts.

He was swabbed in his nose and in his throat and then we waited, 5 minutes for the strep test and 15 for the flu. TJ fell asleep again, the poor kid. I was texting Tony to keep him updated, it was almost 8 pm at this point. The physicians assistant came in and said TJ was negative for strep but positive for Influenza A. He talked down tamiflu, saying not many doctors are prescribing it because it typically only lessens the flu by 1 day but that it can make it less contagious. I asked for tamiflu. We had to switch pharmacies because Costco closes at 8:30 and we wouldn’t be able to get up the hill by then. So I requested Safeway, because we had used them before. We finally get to Safeway and the pharmacy tech said they didn’t have any in stock, that it would be in by 11am the next day. I said that I needed it tonight (the sooner he started it the better it would work) and asked if she could call rite aid (just across the street) and see if they had any. She did and they did, then she told me it would be a bit because she had to type up the prescription to fax it over. When I asked if she knew about how long that would take, she snapped at me and said when we can get to it.

So, I grabbed some children’s Tylenol and a bunch of Gatorade and headed to a register you buy it and get back to the car where TJ was waiting for me. He didn’t want to get out of the car at either pharmacy. I drove over to rite aide and went back to the pharmacy. They hadn’t received the prescription form Safeway yet, but the tech took all our info so we would be ready when it came. I wandered around rite aide, I ended up in the candy aisle and bought some red vines, which I then ate while I continued to wander and wait. Not the healthiest snack, I know. Eventually the prescription came in and I picked it up and headed back to the car. I convinced TJ to drink some Snapple tea (tony had sent with us) and we headed home.

When we got home I tried to get TJ to get out of the car and he said,”I want to stay in the car” I told him he didn’t because we were home. 😜 he came in, ate a yogurt (all he wanted for dinner-at 9pm) I gave him his first dose of tamiflu and Tony got him to poke his finger for a bg check, tested for ketones, and drink a few sips of Gatorade, giving him insulin for all his carbs and his blood sugar.

Then we went upstairs and made a temporary bed for him in our spare room. I didn’t want him sharing his germs with his brother while they slept.

After TJ was settled in, Tony walked on the treadmill while I embroidered a little blanket for Peter to be buried with. Then I went to bed and feeling overwhelmed by everything we are dealing with right now, I cried myself to sleep. Tony came in and tried to comfort me, and get me to walk on the treadmill, but I was just done for the day.

He woke up in the middle of the night with a tummy ache, and again at 5 am when we gave him another dose of Tylenol. Tony and I managed to sleep in until almost 9 am before we had to get up and feed the boys and get ready for the day. I decided to keep TJ quarantined today in his sick room. Tony set up a tv in there and I got him his kindle, and some books. Hopefully this will minimize the spreading of germs.

Plus he’s in the same room as our Saint Panteleimon icon, so we will just ask him to intercede for TJ to have a quick recovery, and to keep the rest of us from getting sick. Saint Panteleimon pray to God for us!

When empathy doesn’t help

Tony and I just spent two nights in the hospital birth center to a deliver a baby that would never grow up or be held. Every nurse, doctor, midwife, social worker, and chaplain tried so hard to be empathetic, caring, and supportive but it just made it more emotional for us. I don’t mean that they should’ve been harsh or abrasive, but sometimes the quiet understanding felt awkwardly long, and almost every time they talked to us we cried (which I know is normal).

I had so many experiences this week, that I’ve avoided or just never thought I’d have to go through. This is our second miscarriage but because the pregnancy was further along it was a completely different experience. With the first, we stayed home and let things happen naturally, there was no body to hold or decide what to do with after. It was emotional and I had a few days of physical issues to worry about, but once it was done, we just dealt with emotions and memories. This time I was induced. I had always avoided being induced with previous pregnancies. They tried to convince me to induce G when he was one week late, but the doctor let me wait it out, once he passed a non-stress test. This time they called us at 6:30 pm to be at the hospital at 7:30, took us into a room and got an IV in me, drew blood (made me cry a few times) and gave me medicine to induce. We had to spend the night while they Gave me meds every four hours and kept asking me to let them know if I needed any pain meds. I wasn’t in much pain overnight (except from the blood pressure cuff 🙄). They kept up the induction meds every 4 hours through the morning at 9:30 am I asked for pain meds in my IV, but before they could get them, I delivered the baby, little Peter. My pain ended when he was born, so no more need for those meds. They gave me more induction meds, to help deliver the placenta, and gave us time with Peter. They came in and talked to us about what to do with his remains, put him in a blanket and a hat, and gave us more time with him. One of the nurses made him a little bracelet with his name on it. It was so sweet and unexpected (more tears).

We decided to have him buried and asked for a priest. They sent in a chaplain pastor, and we asked her to pray for our little Peter. After a long while (and more tears) she went and got the social worker, who helped us plan for his burial (and caused even more tears).

A little while later I partially delivered the placenta, and they had to “help” me deliver the rest. It was painful and they kept saying that I was doing so good. As if I had a choice, well I guess I could’ve opted for a d&c but who wants surgery unless it’s necessary? Not me. Once they were done-and 90% sure they got it all- I was put on antibiotics. Not long after another doctor came into the room and told me that my bloodwork was abnormal, just the test that indicated that it was pregnancy induced hypertension-which up until then they had said that’s only after 20 weeks in pregnancy and couldn’t be the cause of my high blood pressure. This was when we found out that instead of being sent home that afternoon, like we thought, we’d have to stay another 24 hours to see if that blood test went back to normal (which it should have right after delivery). So a second blood draw then and another one at 5am to see if I was getting better, plus more antibiotics every 8 hours because of the placenta issues. Another night of yucky hospital food, interrupted and uncomfortable sleep. With more pokes and blood pressure checks, and being woke up to take meds. Just making a horrible experience last longer. We had Peter taken to a funeral home that evening and had to say goodbye to his little body.

Tony and I talked about Peter and about our previous miscarriage, which was so early we had no idea what the gender was. We both agreed that since Peter was a boy and our first two were boys, our previous miscarriage was most likely a boy also. So we decided to give him a name too. We both quickly agreed on Luke. Now both our babies in heaven have names.

The next morning we finally got some good news, they were going to discharge us. We had to wait for the midwife to come see us, but the fact that we didn’t have to wait the full 24 hours was awesome. We had to listen to lots of advice from our new nurse, but while she was empathetic it wasn’t the tear inducing, quiet, sometimes awkward empathy everyone else was giving us. It was more practical talk (sometimes unnecessary) advice. Plus she was gonna let us leave!

We thought that was hard and then we had to tell the boys that their little brother was already in heaven and could never be snuggled. More tears. They were so excited to be big brothers and help take care of their new little brother, and now they wouldn’t get that opportunity.

Worst week ever. I know there will be more tears and I appreciate all the empathy and support, even if it does make me cry.

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