Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Can't Wait for Tomorrow

Ahhhhh I am so ready for my appointment tomorrow to know and see that EVERYTHING IS FINE (meaning my cervix). I know baby H is fine because he/she gives me constant reminders :) Love love love this little one so so so much already!!!

I had an awesome counseling session today. Which means I am a bit less anxious about tomorrow's appointment. My counselor reminded me that Dr. J was NOT at all concerned and that if he was he would have done something about it (immediately). I also went over everything with her and she said that if Dr. J said I was tight and closed then I could not have been dilated. She said it sounds like I maybe had a "dimpling" in my cervix which is very common in pregnancy.

As I was telling Brian about my counseling session he said...don't you remember Jelsema saying...if I flex/contract my arm muscle you see an indentation. Then he went on to say and your cervix is a muscle too and if it contracts it causes the same indentation or "dimpling." I like that description MUCH better but still praying that the "dimpling" is gone and that tomorrow my cervix is still nice and long and thick AND closed.

Brian also asked me why I said I had a small amount of dilation on yesterday's post. He said that Jelsema NEVER said the word dilation. So go figure I would jump to worst case scenario...but can you blame me?!? I kind of zone out a little when I feel like bad news is slapping me in the face. Today I am in much better spirits but praying for a more restful night of sleep since last nights sleep was HORRIBLE!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Journey: Week 22 and Important Appointment Update

August 30
How Far Along: 22 weeks and 2 days.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average 11 inches long (head to heel) and almost 1 pound! Or for comparison's sake...the length of a spaghetti squash.

Picture of Baby:

looking more and more like a real baby's face


22 weeks: My baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn!!! And guess what...his/her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he/she is even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his/her gums. His/her eyes have formed, but his/her irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If I could see inside my womb, I'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his/her body and the deep wrinkles on his/her skin, which he/she will sport until he/she adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his/her belly, his/her pancreas--essential for the production of some important hormones--is developing steadily. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: My friend Laura gave me a HUGE tub full of maternity clothes this week so between what she gave me...
what my sis already gave me...the few things I bought this summer for this coming fall...the few things I already had (from my pregnancy with the girls)...and a few things from my regular wardrobe I won't need to buy too much!!! The hubby is very happy about this :)

I can still get away with my regular summer shirts but I have been wearing a few short-sleeved maternity shirts for the fun of it. And as I've already stated...bottoms MUST be maternity.

Weight Gain:
 Stayed the same this week. Which makes my grand total (weight gain) holding steady at 15lbs.


Belly:

grow belly baby GROW!!!

Stretch Marks: Nope. But like I said last week...always on the lookout!

Sleep: I slept just terrible on Friday night...nightmares like you wouldn't believe. But I think it had a lot to do with the fact that Ella was born at 21 weeks and 6 days which happened to be how far along I was this past Saturday. But my whole pregnancy has been bombarded with dreams...normally just crazy dreams (and not nightmares...thank goodness). Besides the dreams interrupting my sleep..frequent potty breaks (on average 2-3/night) have been a doozy too. Otherwise I have been sleeping pretty good.

Best Moment of the Week: Making it past all my "anniversary dates."

Movement: Baby LOVES church or should I say LOVES the music at church. I seriously feel so much movement after we're done singing and just sitting listening to the sermon.

 
Symptoms: The same.

Food Cravings: FRUIT!!!

Gender: It's still gonna be a SURPRISE!!!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Registering (me and the sis have set a date!!!). But registering really makes me nervous because I feel like I am going to jinx something. I know I cannot really jinx anything because everything is in God's control BUT Brian and I had just ordered cribs the Saturday before I was hospitalized and we had just bought a double stroller, a carseat, and a base the day before I was hospitalized which is why I am hesitant this time around about buying much of anything.

Milestones: 2 more weeks until I reach viability (YEA)!!! And I am SO happy to be passed all my "anniversary dates!!!"

Emotions: Anxious, happy, and hopeful.



APPOINTMENT UPDATE
Today's appointment included both good and bad news. This marks the first appointment where I didn't walk out on cloud nine. Hopefully I can explain everything fairly clearly...


So the good news is baby H looks awesome with a heartbeat of 165. And boy oh boy is he/she a mover!!! My cervix measured in at 44mm (yea!!!) but the bad news is that there was some slight dilation. Since there was some slight dilation...my final measurement came in at 40mm (which is still AWESOME and my highest measurement to date). *Remember that a normal cervix typically measures between 30-40mm.* 


During the ultrasound I saw a small black hole and I also noticed that the US tech was measuring it. So I of course asked her what that "hole" was. She said that it was some slight dilation but nothing to be concerned about. (So sweet of her to try and NOT stress me out). After each and every ultrasound we always wait for the nurse to call us back and then she gets my weight, blood pressure, and I have to pee on a stick. So as we were waiting I told Brian I was really nervous. He was very nonchalant and not concerned. Basically he said I worry too much. The nurse got us settled into our room and said that Dr. J had just gotten called into another room so it might be just a minute before he meets with us. Aghhhh not the day I want to wait. Again I tell Brian that I am nervous. Again he tells me that everything will be okay. Thankfully Dr. J came in like 2 minutes later. He sat down and said all the way up to 40mm...up from 33mm at last week's measurement. And I said but what about the dilation? And this is how he explained it. 


First he said HE IS NOT AT ALL CONCERNED about the small amount of dilation that was measured today because my cervix was so long today. He said he would not be concerned until my measurement was below 15mm. He believes that I had a little contraction during the ultrasound and that that is why I had the small amount of dilation. He said he might be more concerned if my measurement was down to say 28 or 29mm plus dilation but the fact that I am at my longest measurement is a positive sign. He said that from the time we get our menses until the time we hit menopause our uterus' constantly contract...a normal physiological occurrence. And he said slight contractions at this stage in pregnancy can be very normal. What scares me is that I never felt anything which he reassured me I most likely wouldn't have at this stage. But what scares me even more is that with the girl's pregnancy I NEVER felt contractions and I still dilated to a 4. We went over the fact that with the girl's pregnancy I funneled because of the infection that was in my uterus. He kept saying that he was not concerned and that this is NOT a sign of preterm labor or a sign that I will go in to preterm labor. But try telling that to someone who lost twins...it doesn't quite get through my brain...as you can all imagine. 

Again and again he said he truly feels that I just had a contraction and that he is not worried. He said if I had come in even 10 mins later that my measurement could be different and that the ultrasound would show NO dilation. He asked if I wanted to come back on Thursday for peace of mind. Brian immediately said YES SHE DOES. I think he knew I wouldn't be able to make it until next week Tuesday :) Plus we're suppose to go away for the holiday and that would make for a miserable weekend away. I then said that I didn't want to go into work today. And he said that he would write me a note to be off from work for the next 2 days (until my follow-up ultrasound). But he reminded me again that he was comfortable waiting to see me until next Tuesday and that he would be fine with me going into work today and tomorrow...but that he will do anything to give me peace of mind. I said sitting on the couch the next couple of days taking it easy would make me feel tons better. 


So as we were leaving I said to Brian...see I knew something was going on. I do not make everything up. His response...I hate pregnancy. So now were both stressed and worried...lovely. But after the appointment I dropped a note off at work and to my HR department and have since been chill-laxing on the couch. I also increased my fluid intake because I've been seriously lacking as of lately. I am not a big drinker pregnant or not-pregnant. But I know how important it is to stay hydrated during pregnancy and this little (what we hop is a) contraction reminded me just how important it really is. I already downed 32oz in the last 2 hours. Praying that it was just a little dehydration or a normal physiological happening and that all will be back to normal on Thursday. Praying too that these next few days fly by... 


Oh and on another note I totally forgot to mention (from my 19 week US) that I NO longer have placenta previa!!! Yea for answered prayers. Now my prayer is for NO MORE dilation until December...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today is a BIG day...

Because I am officially the furthest along that I HAVE EVER BEEN!!! 22 weeks is a milestone that I have never before reached. I will be very honest when I say that yesterday was a bad day for me but thankfully today I am (once again) as happy as can be. Yesterday I kept having minor panic attacks thinking that my cervix was dilating. And it didn't help that the baby was using my bladder as a punching bag (he/she does this sometimes)...so then I worry that the baby is maybe kicking my cervix too. Basically I am consumed with wondering WHAT'S GOING ON WITH MY CERVIX? I try to (frequently) take deep breathes and remind myself that my cervix looked great last week but sometimes it just doesn't work. And that is when I remind myself that this little life is in God's Hands...and His Hands ALONE.

It's been another busy week between appointments, work, and squeezing in a little lot of fun...

I went to my sister's pool a couple of times. We hung out with some friends on Friday night. Saturday we did a little baby shopping. I wanted to check out some gliders and mattresses. And I also wanted to browse/look at some strollers. I was bummed that they no longer sell the Sachi Graco stroller in stores. It was just out last summer and since we already have the Sachi car seat (because just before I was hospitalized we bought the Sachi double stroller and car seat)...I really wanted to get the single Sachi stroller so that the car seat wouldn't be wasted. However, when we got home we checked online and found it for $90 less than the asking price...bonus! So we ordered it!!! So we now have the single and the double Sachi Graco strollers plus the matching car seat...guess we'll be all set if we're blessed with another little babe.

Here's my beauty...


Today after church and brunch we spent the day with friends at my in-law's (they live on a lake). Such a beautiful day to relax outside.

This week we also stopped by the cemetery to visit the girl's grave.
mommy and baby 

And I went to the Hudsonville fair with my parents, my sister, my sis-in-law, and the six little ones.
Cole, Addi, Cambrey, and Kylynn 

Poor Easton had to sit and watch. 
(And I'm not looking too hot since I came directly from work...)

And sweet Brinley Mae

And now it's once again time to gear up for another lovely week...

The LORD will work out His plans for my life--for Your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever... Psalm 138:8a

Saturday, August 27, 2011

21 Weeks and 6 Days

Hard to believe that at 21 weeks and 6 days our baby girl Ella came into this world. She was beautiful and oh so perfect. Although we did (and still do) get a little chuckle out of her little toesies...
(if you can't tell...on each foot...one lil toe sits under the rest)

My 21 week and 6 day beauty...

I've been really anxious today and my only explanation is the obvious...that Ella was born when I was exactly this far along. I hate that I am so anxious. Believe me...it's a constant battle and most of the time seems unending. I am praying that with the last of the "anniversary dates" passing that I will be able to relax a little bit. But seriously who am I trying to kid. When you've been through what I've been through...it's hard NOT to worry. All I know is that God IS in control.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Journey: Week 21 and Appointment Update

August 22
How Far Along: 21 weeks and 1 day.

Size of Baby: 
Our little bug-a-boo is on average 10.5 inches (head to heel) and weighs three quarters of a pound. Or for comparisons sake...the length of a carrot. 

Picture of Baby:

Profile...what a sweet lil face!!!
Face shot with two lil hands...getting a lil less scary!

21 weeks: I may soon feel like the little bugger is practicing martial arts as he/she's initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. I may also discover a pattern to his/her activity as I get to know buggy better every day. In other developments my bug's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if I'm having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well(Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: Still the same...ALL bottoms plus a few tanks. As I was getting ready this morning (Monday morning to clarify since I am updating a few things...) I tried on a short-sleeved shirt and let's just say it was a wee bit too big. So then I tried on my "I Love My Bump" t-shirt and even though that too was a bit big...I made it work and ROCKED the belly bump! And because I had it clearly stated across my belly I even parked in an expecting mother parking place today :)

Weight Gain: Up a grand total of 15lbs. After my 3lb loss from last week I made sure that I gained this week...maybe I tried too hard since I gained 4 lbs :) Oh well...I am just gonna say it's all baby!!! Or maybe my scale is a bit off...who knows! On another updating note...I was only up 3lbs according to my nurse today...bonus.



Belly:
(After a full and satisfying meal at my parents)!!!

Stretch Marks: On the look out but none in sight.

Sleep: I wouldn't mind a solid 4-5 hour stretch. I don't think that's asking too much...

Movement: This past Monday buggy wasn't moving too much which to me seemed odd since it was my day OFF.  So of course I fretted. Then buggy was on the move both Tuesday and Wednesday which made me feel tons better. But on Thursday buggy barely moved again. So by evening bad thoughts consumed me. All I did was lay on my side and pray that I would feel buggy move...he/she finally moved a lil bit. But as my counselor reminded me...I am only 20-21 weeks so I will not be feeling buggy move all the time. She gave me a relaxation cd so here's to hoping it will actually help me relax a little. On Friday I asked God to make buggy a constant mover because movement makes me HAPPY...and lets just say this weekend buggy has constantly been on the move!!!

 
Symptoms: Acne is still in full force...ugh. And my antibiotics are still making me either nauseous...giving me varying degrees of diarrhea or making me throw up. 


What I'm Looking Forward to: Making it to 22 weeks (the farthest pregnant I will have ever been) and 24 weeks (viability).

Emotions: Just trying to make it past 21 weeks and 6 days (the day Ella was born) with my anxiety somewhat under control.



MY DAY and MY APPOINTMENT
Today was a beyond wonderful day. It started out at 9:30am with seeing our sweet lil Bug. O how I love seeing that sweet lil face! He/she was moving around like crazy. And his/her lil arms and legs are getting so big. At one point we saw buggy throw a lil punch and at that exact moment my belly moved. I just LOVE watching him/her grow week by week...the only perk of being high risk. I asked Dr. J how big Buggy was today and he said that the tech only checked my cervix but that we could do another growth scan at 23 weeks. Something to look forward too!!! For some reason I never asked how big Buggy was at 19 weeks and since I am 2 weeks past that...he said to go by the averages which I of course listed above...those averages are about three quarters of a pound and about 10.5 inches long. 


My cervix was down to 33mm today which of course alarmed me BUT Dr. J said my cervix looks EXCELLENT so I must trust what he says. He did say that back on July 7 I was also at 33mm and obviously just a few weeks ago I was at 38mm...so the cervix can do lots of bouncing around. He told me he is NOT CONCERNED and is very happy with where I am at. Baby's heartbeat was 162 again today. And I will be honest when I tell you all that I ask Dr. J if my heartbeat could at all affect the baby's...he said no. Didn't know if my anxiety could increase Bugs :) Oh and everyone loved my "I Love My Bump" shirt at the office...Dr. J included!!!


Next on the agenda (after my perfect doctor appointment) I headed off to meet one of my besties for a pedicure and lunch. It was great catching up with her...something we need to do more often (and yes Ame...you were missed)! Then I headed out to my sister's to lounge by the pool for a bit before my prenatal massage. Oh to have more days JUST LIKE THIS ONE!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21 Weeks

Today I am 21 weeks pregnant!!! And many of you may wonder why I am blogging about being 21 weeks. You're all thinking what's the big deal? Well folks making it to 21 weeks is HUGE for me because at 21 weeks (exactly) Miss Alayna Joy was born into this world. At only 21 weeks I became a mommy (much too early might I add). The last few days (starting at 19 weeks 5 days...the day we found out I was dilated) have filled me with lots of anxiety. I guess you could say I will be happy when Ella's special day is behind us as well. My anxiety is mostly about constant thoughts that my cervix is dilating. It's like I am just waiting to hear bad news...because pregnancy = bad news to me. Praying that tomorrow I will once again hear that my cervix is behaving!!!

Today we had a baptism in church. And I thought about how at this exact same point in my pregnancy with the girls my pastor baptized Alayna before she left this earth. It brought tears to my eyes. I cannot say how thankful I am that my sweet little buggy is still snuggled safely in my belly (where he/she belongs for another 17-19 weeks). And I am loving the constant jabs reminding me that he/she is right where he/she belongs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19th: Day of Hope

August 19th is about honouring and remembering the lives of babies and children that could not stay with us. By doing this we are speaking out about the death of babies whether it is through pregnancy, infant or even child loss. (Taken from the August 19th Day of Hope Blog).

In loving memory of our angels Alayna Joy, Ella Adrianna, and Luke Helmholdt

Little did we know that morning,
God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you,
You are always by our side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

Author unknown

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Beloved Boy Luke

Luke,

Today...Aug 18, 2011...was my due date for you my sweet boy. I still remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you. I was sitting in the living room (nervous as all get out) with Grandma V when the call finally came. It was December 8, 2010. I was so so so relieved that my blood test was positive and I immediately thanked God for the gift of YOU. Little did I know how short your time would be with me.

Oh sweet boy I enjoyed every minute of the 8.5 weeks you grew in my belly. But yes my world was (once again) rocked when on January 14, 2011 we found out you had gone on ahead of us into heaven...to be with your big sissy's. (I am sure they showered you with love from the moment you arrived. Mommy of course would expect nothing less of them)!!!

Luke it doesn't matter that I never saw your sweet little face. It doesn't matter that our time together was so short. Nothing matters because I was already so in love with YOU...a piece of me and a piece of daddy...wrapped into one special little package...our Rainbow Baby after so much sadness and heartbreak. I know now that you were never suppose to be placed in my arms here on earth but it doesn't make it any easier. Because it's another due date passing with no baby in my arms. Yes your little bro/sis IS growing healthy and strong in my belly...but that doesn't take away the pain of losing YOU.

I was on the phone with Grandma crying the other day because I was having a hard night. Many things were bothering me but bottom line is...I was missing you and Layna and Ella. I pray every day that time will heal the pain of losing the three of you. But healing after losing children is a slow and extremely hard process. And as my counselor constantly reminds me...I am still new to this not so little thing called grief. But Grandma told me to just pray for the strength to rise above my struggles and so I will. I will pray every day to fight the questions of WHY ME (the feelings of poor me)...to fight the jealousy of others getting pregnant so easily...to fight the feelings of sadness. I am choosing to believe that His plan for my life is beyond anything I can imagine and that in the end when my family is complete that I will be happy. God's Will and God's WAY...not mine.

Know that you will never be forgotten little one. Mommy cannot wait for the day when I see your sweet face and hold you in my arms for the very first time!!!

Love Mommy (and Daddy too)


They Say There is a Reason


They say there is a reason...
They say that time will heal,
But neither time nor reason,
Will change the way we feel,

For no-one knows the heartache,
That lies behind our smiles,
No-one knows how many times,
We have broken down and cried,

We want to tell you something,
So there won't be any doubt,
You're so wonderful to think of,
But so hard to be without.

~Author Unknown 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Journey: Week 20 and Appointment Update

August 15
How Far Along: 20 weeks and 1 day.

Size of Baby: Our little bug-a-boo is on average 10 inches long (head to HEEL) and weighs about 10.5 ounces. Or for comparisons sake...the length of a banana.


***(For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his/her torso (they are hard to measure), so measurements are taken from the top of his/her head to his/her bottom--the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he/she is measured from head to toe.)***

Picture of Baby:
Our lil acrobat (toes touching head)!!!

20 weeks: Baby H. is swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his/her digestive system. He/she is also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his/her bowels, and I'll see it in his/her first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery). (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: All maternity bottoms and a few maternity tanks.

Weight Gain: Down 3 pounds. So of course this freaked me out...that is until I looked at my weight chart from the girls and saw that I went up and down 2-3 pounds weekly. I will admit that I have been a little anxious/stressed this week and we all know what that does to me so I am not surprised I am down a bit. But it also makes me think that the 4 pound weight gain a few weeks ago might have been a lot of fluid weight...who knows. Anyways I am up a total of 11lbs...not too bad for 20 weeks!

Belly:


 Sleep: I don't always sleep the greatest but what pregger does?

Best Moment of the Week: Hearing that buggy is healthy and growing right on!!!

Movement: All the time :)

Symptoms: Same ole same.

Gender: All I know is that the parts look good!!!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Reaching 24 weeks

Milestones: Buggy is half-baked. And I have had NO complications. What an answer to prayer!

Emotions: Friday into Saturday were some hard days. Actually at one point I was on the phone with my mom for over 2 hours (most of it spent with me in tears). It really hit me (on Friday) that at the exact same point (19 weeks 5 days) in my pregnancy (with the girls) things fell completely apart. So it really just makes me want to go to my appointment tomorrow and hear that everything is still looking perfect. And then I can once again breath a sigh of relief. I am also really anticipating these next few weeks (as I have mentioned before) so needless to say I just wanna make it to 24 weeks with things still looking perfect. So here's to praying that time continues to move by quickly!!!

**********************************************************
And a little more on Emotion...

I follow a blog called Katie's Keepers and she wrote something the other day that I thought was absolutely beautiful and so well written. So well written that I wanted to share it with any of you who do not follow her blog. *A little back story is that she lost her precious daughter Reese 2 years ago and this little blurb is just a little of what she shared on Reese's 2 year anniversary post.*


"Many of you have been so encouraging to say we have handled this path with strength and faith. I love and trust Jesus with everything in me, but oh my goodness, if you could only see the mess of my heart. How can anyone truly handle the death of a child with grace? Grief is a complicated ugly thing, and it has bled into every part of me, leaving nothing untouched. Someone emailed me recently saying that losing a child takes away the innocence of pregnancy. It's true. It takes away the innocence of many things. Reese makes me a better woman and mom, but the effects of losing her are endless and great. Jason and I have been attacked like never before, but by GOD's grace we have always stood side by side. He is my best friend and the love of my life....Losing a child can become a silent grief. But it's a silence only the LORD can fill and He does if I let Him".


I couldn't agree more with each and every word she wrote. Grief is ugly. Grief is hard. And grieving for my daughters will be a lifetime struggle. A burden that I know God will help me carry. Losing the girl's (and Luke) has taken almost all the joy out of my current pregnancy. This pregnancy has been ridden with anxiety and stress from the very start. I hardly dare set up a crib for fear I will jinx something. I hardly dare register in case I don't get to use any of the stuff anyways. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I have been consumed with losing this baby too. But I too agree that it takes away more than just the innocence of pregnancy. It takes away so much more. It has changed who I am. It has changed my outlook on life. It has changed my marriage. It has changed EVERYTHING
********************************************************
APPOINTMENT UPDATE
Here's the short and sweet version...everything looked good (once again)!!! Baby was busy showing off (hence the acrobatic pic above). My cervix came in at 36mm (yea)!!! The tech even got one measurement of 40mm but the rest were closer to 36mm...so 36mm it is. And baby's heartbeat was 162. And that basically wraps up this week's appointment beside the funny little story that I am about to share. 


So I was telling Dr. J that I dislike the vaginal probe...(yes once again "wandy" and I had a little get together down yonder). I told him that the main reason I don't like them is because I do NOT like sticking the probe in myself. *On a side note during fertility treatments my doctor and nurses insert the probe...NOT ME* And this is what Dr. J said...I seriously almost wet myself! He said to him it makes more sense for the patient to insert the probe so that we can insert it at our own pace. And so that a tech doesn't yank on any pubic hair. But then he said...however...we don't see much pubic hair these days. Que laughter!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Half-baked!!!

I am 20 weeks TODAY!!! Which means that the little bun in my oven is officially half-baked :) And yes this is a HUGE milestone for me because I have NEVER been this far with things still looking oh so very GOOD!!! Today I am praising the Lord for carrying me through these last 4.5 months. And today I am also praying that He will continue to carry me through at least another 4 months.

20 weeks!!!
the happy mommy and daddy!!!

Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. Lamentations 3:32

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Have You Ever...

I stole this from Random Thoughts from Angie!!! But she gave me permission to. So here goes...

HAVE YOU EVER...

Fallen asleep at the computer? No

Shot a gun? YES

Owned an instrument? Yes...a flute. Oh and a  recorder too :)

Thought about what people would say at your funeral? Nope


Owned more than 5 sharpies? Yep


Cried over someone? Most definitely

Thrown strange objects? Not that I can remember...

Choked on something you're not supposed to eat? Negative

Played a prank on someone? Yep and I've gotten plenty played on me too. But I will admit I am not always a good sport about being played...my besties in college can vouch for this :) 

Forgotten someone's name? Yes...it's embarrassing. But it's worse when you say the wrong name out loud to the person's face. What your name isn't Lisa?!?! (This was a recent happening with me and her name was actually Heather)!

Been easily amused? Oh, yes!!! Another nurse and I were settling a patient in (just the other day) and as we were adjusting her in the bed...the left side of her gown (the side I was on) completely unsnapped and for some odd reason I started laughing. So yes I am easily amused at times.

Broken a bone?  My collarbone...and it happened over the 4th of July so as you can imagine that summer stunk the BIG one (no swimming ALL summer long). 

Been told you're hot by a complete stranger? Maybe not straight out hot but I was once told I look like a hot movie star...not that I can remember the movie stars name however...

Played chicken? Heavens NO...I am a scaredy cat so I would never dare do something like that.

Ever been too scared to watch scary movies alone?  "Are you kidding?  I don't watch scary movies with people in a well-lit room!" (Keeping Angie's exact answer here)!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

19 weeks and 5 days...

Hard to believe that 1 year...2 months...and 3 days have passed since I was at this exact same mark in my pregnancy. Hard to believe that it was at 19 weeks and 5 days that I was hospitalized and dilated to a 4. NOT hard to believe that I am singing God's praises that this time around I am sitting at home with my feet up and feeling my sweet lil love's kicks and punches!!!

You will have pain but your pain will turn to joy. (Jn 16:20)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Journey: Week 19 and Appointment Update

Dear Sweet Baby Bug,

You are 19 weeks and 2 days old in the oven today and mommy and daddy are praying for at least another 18-20 more weeks until we get to see your sweet face. Mommy was so anxious for today's ultrasound. Do you know why? Because it was at 19 weeks and 5 days when we found out that mommy's cervix was dilated and that things did not look promising for your big sissy's. But I am beyond happy to say that mommy's body is fully cooperating this time around. Mommy's cervix measured in at 38mm today...oh sweet baby that number is just music to my ears. But I am also over the moon happy because YOU ARE HEALTHY and WHOLE!!! You have a beautiful heart...4 chambers...with correct flow...a perfect aorta...and it's on the correct side of your body. Your brain and spinal cord are perfect. You have two kidneys. And Dr. Jelsema said your parts look good too :) Oh sweet baby mommy feel 10 pounds lighter today just knowing that you are healthy and whole (with a strong heartbeat of 153).

At mommy's ultrasound today I was asked if this was my first pregnancy. I stopped a minute and said no this is my third pregnancy but the first baby we pray to take home. Oh sweet baby you may be our fourth little love but you will be raised as our firstborn. It's a bittersweet thought for mommy. But believe me little one you will always hear all about your big sissy's (and your big bruder too). They will always be a part of your life. You will also know that even after so much heartbreak mommy and daddy never gave up. We never stopped fighting for YOU and now in 4.5 months we will have YOU. Our miracle baby. You are so so so loved already. Grandpas and grandmas...aunties and uncles...and all your cousins are so excited for your arrival. Showers are being planned. Bedding is being ordered. Soon we will start assembling your crib and changing table. And a registry will be started as well. We are believing with every breath we take that we will hold you in our arms come December (or January).

Love you to the moon and back,
Mommy (and Daddy)


August 9
How Far Along: 19 weeks and 2 days

Size of Baby: Our little bug-a-boo is on average 6 inches long (head to rump) and weighs about 8.5 ounces. Or for comparisons sake...the size of a large tomato.

Picture of Baby:
Sweet lil face
Strong and meaty lil arm
Darling lil feetsies


19 weeks: Baby H.'s sensory development is exploding! His/her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that he/she may be able to hear my voice now, so I won’t be shy about reading aloud, talking to him/her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes me. His/her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his/her body now. His/her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on his/her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on his/her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: I wore a maternity tank for the first time this week...(that is one that I got when I was pregnant with the girls). Unfortunately it was a wee bit too big so yes that made it necessary to go out and buy  a couple of tanks (the size smaller) because I really like the longer length they provide. AND for my birthday I got a spend $50 get $10 off from Old Navy and it gets even better...this past weekend they had a 20% off special going so I combined the two and got me some great deals!!! AND my mom (and dad) got me a pair of maternity jeans for my birthday. AND my sister gave me a boatload of her maternity clothes this week as well. Slowly but surely I am gaining in the maternity department!

Weight Gain: Up another 2lbs...which leaves me with a gainage of 14 total pounds.

Belly:

Stretch Marks: Still none.

Sleep: Yes please!!! With at least 6 pillows!!!

Best Moment of the Week: I am going to order Bug's bedding this coming week!!! And I bought/ordered some maternity fall clothes. I have decided I cannot NOT do things because I am scared about what may happen. I am instead choosing to believe that this baby WILL be healthy and whole come December (or January).

Movement: Last night (that is Saturday night) I just sat and stared at my belly because the baby was kicking like crazy. You could see my belly move every time he/she kicked. I am probably quite biased but they were mighty powerful kicks for a 19 week old fetus.

Symptoms: Feeling really good. Still tired (but not like the first few weeks). I think the sedentary lifestyle I lead helps to keep me more tired than the average pregger. But I don't want to increase my anxiety for anything so sedentary it is. However, I would be lying if I didn't say that I get a little jealous when I see pregnant people power walking, jogging, and signing up for prenatal yoga. But it is what it is.  

Food Cravings: Apples. Milky Way ice cream. And caffeine free Mountain Dew (yes it's such a thing)!!! When we went to Wisconsin last weekend we picked ourselves up a couple of packs :) Could this possibly be why I am gaining so much weight...

Gender: People keep telling me that I'm not going to be able to NOT find out. So YES I WILL prove them all wrong. I am 10 ultrasounds in and I can be very honest in saying we do NOT know what we are having.

What I'm Looking Forward to: My ultrasound on Tuesday...it's the BIGGIE!!! I just want to hear the words that my baby looks healthy. And then my 20 week mark is already this coming Sunday!!!

Milestones: Finalizing our names!!! From the very beginning we had our boy name picked out. Same name as what we were going to name one of the girls had they been boys. But this week we finally agreed on a girl's name. We were fighting between two and we couldn't decide on the middle name either but now we have come to an agreement. 

Emotions: Big week. On Friday I will be 19 weeks and 5 days. And this was how far along I was on the day of our fateful appointment with the girls. Then 9 days after that is the day that Alayna was born (21 weeks) and another 6 days after that is the day that Ella was born (21 weeks 6 days). And then I just want to reach viability (24 weeks). 5 weeks and counting (until viability). Praying like crazy for it to be September 11 already and with little to no anxiety in the mean time...

Monday, August 8, 2011

WAY wanted!!!

I saw this on Buford Betty's Blog and I just had to copy and paste it to mine...


Like WAY wanted times a million trillion!!!  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Reminder and This Past Week

Reminders of all I've lost are everywhere. Sometimes I notice them and sometimes I don't. Yesterday was one of those times that I noticed. I was in line checking out at Old Navy when I noticed twin girls that were maybe 2 or 3 years old. I just stared at them and then I felt the tears start rolling down my face. I looked away. Dried my face. And waited for my turn. I don't think that I will ever look at twin girls the same because every time I see twin girls I cry. I cry because every time I see twin girls I think about the daughters that I lost too soon. But then I remind myself about God's promise. The promise that I will be with my twins for forever in heaven. So to that promise I cling.

And on a totally different note...I must say that I am totally lacking in the postings as of late. But lots is always happening around here to keep me busy. Last weekend we headed to Wisconsin for a fun-filled and sun-filled weekend! We went to visit Brian's cousin, his wife and their 3 daughters. Back in June when they came to visit us their girls had such a great time with our best friend's little girls that they (the Zeinstra's) joined us on the journey. It was a quick weekend that flew by too fast.

On Friday morning (my birthday!!!) Brian and I woke up at the crack of dawn (in my opinion 4:15am IS the crack of dawn) so we could be on the road by 5am...(we wanted to miss Chicago traffic). We drove an extra hour so we could visit Brian's 90 year old grandma before heading to Fort Atkinson (where we stayed for the weekend). We got to Fort around lunch time. And ate a little lunch before heading out to relax by the pool for the rest of the afternoon. Steve and Laura and their 3 girls arrived around dinner time. So soon after they arrived we had a yummy dinner of Spaghetti, beans, and bread. We then swam some more before heading out for ice cream in celebration of my birthday. All in all it was a great day!!! The rest of the weekend was basically spent in the pool, playing yard games, and consuming food. And before we knew we were home again...ready to start another week. Enjoy the two pictures I took of the weekend...
The girls...Taylor, Kaylee, Brooke, Avery, Jenna, and Lily
Brian enjoying the sprinkler!

Then last week Monday evening I got together with 4 of my 5 best friends from high school. One of my friends lives in Rehoboth, New Mexico so every July when she comes home we try and get as many of us as possible together. I didn't make it last year since it was just a few weeks after losing the girls so it was great catching up with all of them this year...it had been way too long.

Then on Wednesday all the Vugteveen girls plus the kiddos did a pool day at my sister's pool (except my sis-in-law Jana). One of the greatest joys of summer (in my opinion) are lazy summer pool days.
Cambrey, Addi, Kylynn, Easton, and Cole
(Thanks for looking E-man)!
Me with most of my little loves. Sweet Brinley was sleeping.

And then yesterday Brian and I went to the Corner Bar in Rockford to celebrate my birthday...better late then never and of course we had to end the night with a stop for some ice cream!! And now (since I'm 19 weeks today) it's onward to week 20 baby!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Journey: Week 18 and Appointment Update

August 2
How Far Along: 18 weeks and 2 days

Size of Baby: Our little bug-a-boo is on average 5.5 inches long (head to rump) and weighs about 7 ounces. Or for comparisons sake...the size of a bell pepper.

Picture of Baby: I was given two pictures at my ultrasound today. The one I posted below and a straight on face shot. The face shot is to say the least...a lil scary looking. So I opted for the arm shot instead :). But no worries next week there will be plenty to pick from since it's my BIG ultrasound!!!
The bambino's arm!

18 weeks: Baby H. is busy flexing his/her arms and legs--movements that I'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His/her blood vessels are visible through his/her thin skin, and his/her ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his/her head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his/her nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he/she's born. If I’m having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If I’m having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he/she may hide them from me during an ultrasound. (Information taken from babycenter.com)

Maternity Clothes: Pants = necessary and shirts = (still) UNnecessary 

Weight Gain: As of Tuesday morning I am up a grand total of 12lbs. HOW is it possible to gain 4lbs in 9 days? Wowzers!!! I'm thinking it has to do with the fact that I ate a lotta food this weekend (my excuse is that I was on vacation) and I ate a lot of food at my high school girlfriend's get together last night.

Belly:
The hubby said my belly looks like a large blimp. 
I'm thinking he was trying to compliment me...

Best Moment(S) of the Week: Feeling the babe move EVERY single day!!!

Movement: Loving my constant little finger-like pokes. For example...the hubster said a naughty word the other day and the moment after it was said I felt a huge jab. So as you can imagine...I told him that word is off limits because the baby doesn't like it! 

Symptoms: Nauseous here and there. It seems to occur more often when I am on my 5 day stretch of antibiotics. Still tired but really no complaints.

Food Cravings: Apples...at least its a healthy snack. Ooooh and tonight for dinner we went to TGI Fridays and I had the Jack Daniels Chicken Strips...can you say GOOD!!! I've been telling Brian we need to go there because I was craving them. I wouldn't even split them with Brian :).

Gender: It's gonna be the BESTEST surprise EVER!!!

What I'm Looking Forward to: 20 weeks. Only 2 more weeks to go!!!

APPOINTMENT UPDATE
Today's appointment was a quick one with nothing but good news to report!!! Baby's heartbeat was 163bpm and my cervix measurement was 38mm (highest yet)!!! And she told me that was the lowest measurement that she could get...BONUS!!! I wasn't too nervous for today's appointment...hoping this trend continues. I know it definitely helps that I have felt a lot of movement this past week and the fact that my cervix has been measuring so good. Next appointment is the typical 20 week ultrasound so I am praying for an excellent report and believing that I WILL GET IT. I did see the four heart chambers during today's ultrasound which brought a big smile to my face.