Category Archives: parenting

MIA

As y’all have probably noticed, I have been MIA for a bit on here. There were two reasons that I kinda disappeared. Firstly, I had a major depressive funk.

I just couldn’t bring myself out of it. The weather change didn’t help, but it was almost like my antidepressants took a vacation. I was dragging myself to work barely on time, dragging myself home to then put on pjs and curl up under a blanket. I just felt emotionally blah. I was at the point where I just didn’t feel anything. It was like I was sitting back and watching a movie of my daily life. To be honest, I’m still not fully out of it, but I do hope the worst has passed.

Secondly, as soon as I started to feel better, I found out that I was pregnant! I know we were trying, but boy, did it throw me for a loop. I couldn’t focus for a week! Needless to say, I’m scared with a dash of excitement. Every day feels like a year and I wish I could just get to the end of it.

Morning sickness has already made its appearance (I was really hoping to skip that this time!), along with bloating, headaches, back aches , hot flashes and very disconcerting intermittent pink discharge (I know it’s fine, but it scares me every time).

Morning sickness is the worst right now. I’m living on zofran and quickly finding out this kiddo’s food aversions. So far pulled pork was warned against with nausea, and Swiss cheese cubes plus ranch veggie straws were decidedly unappreciated and promptly removed from my stomach.

I’ll do weekly updates as I progress, please wish me luck!

I can’t wait to–

As you have seen from some of my previous posts, I have the joy of managing depression, anxiety, and OCD. This on top of being a loss mom can kinda put a damper on getting pregnant again. Someone suggested to me to make a list of things I am excited to do once I have another child, no matter how “trivial” I feel that they are. Take a look!

  1. Go to the Zoo and look at the elephants (my fav) and the lions (dad’s fav).
  2. Taking maternity leave.
  3. Picking out new outfits for the babe.
  4. Family pictures.
  5. Spamming my friends and family with endless baby pictures.
  6. Play-dates.
  7. Napping together.
  8. Watching my dog love my baby.
  9. Have the feeling of going back to work.
  10. Baby snuggles.
  11. Hearing my baby laugh.
  12. Bringing out my inner child–pumpkin carving, easter egg hunts, hide and seek.
  13. Feeling like I have a purpose in life.
  14. Experience their first “everything.”
  15. Teaching my child to do something.
  16. Seeing Nick happy.
  17. Being needed.
  18. Hearing them say “Mommy.”
  19. A reason to decorate an entire room with elephants 🙂
  20. Knowing if I have a baby I can do ANYTHING.

This was fun to do, and really made me focus on the positives, not the potential negatives. I think this would be super fun to do with your child’s father!

Pink or Blue?

Ah, the age old question, “What are you hoping for? Boy or Girl?”

Let me just say it–I JUST WANT A HEALTHY BABY!!!

But, of course deep down I have a gender preference. Nick has always wanted boys–he went as far as to tell me once that he only made boys! Sorry babe, that not how it works…

This time around I would love to have a boy. Since Nyla was a girl, I think it would be nice to have the opposite gender. But truthfully I wouldn’t be even a little sad if I had another girl–who doesn’t want a mini-me?

As loss moms, I feel like we are obligated to say–“I don’t care, I just want a healthy baby” and leave it at that. Ummmm…….no.

PSA people!! We are allowed to have a gender preference–it is SO completely normal! Come on, it’s a given that we overall just want a healthy baby.  It doesn’t make us a bad person to also want that healthy baby to be a boy or a girl.

So screw people! Tell them! “I really just want a healthy baby, but I am kinda hoping for a girl.” Or skip the specification of “healthy” (since DUH!) and just say “We are hoping it’s a boy!”

Stand up for yourselves PAL’s–no one else has gone through what we have and therefore has no right to comment or judge us!! ❤

Family

Snapchat-995325095_2

So, quite obviously this is my family tree. I want to write about the characteristics that I hope will be passed on to BTB (baby to be) by the family. I have to say, this topic really made me think, and was pretty fun. I recommend doing it!

So, a quick rundown of the tree–Nick’s side can get pretty confusing! Nick’s parents are Len and Tracy (now divorced) and they had three boys together–Nick, Andrew, and Jake. Tracy remarried to Bill who had two daughters from a previous marriage–Jess and Casey, so they are Nick’s step-sisters. Nick’s dad also remarried and had two more kids–Jon and Katie,Nick’s half-siblings. I won’t even factor in all Nick’s cousins, there are too many to count and after 6 years I still can’t keep them straight! As for Nick’s grandparents, they have all passed on (before I met Nick) except Gloria.

On my side, it is pretty straightforward. My parents were only children, and my grandparents have all passed on (I only knew my grandmothers). My two younger brothers Thomas and Samuel also passed on before/at birth. My other brother John is the eldest sibling of the family.

So, now that any possible confusion has been straightened out, lets get down to what I hope is passed on! Lets start with Nick’s side.

As you can probably guess, our daughter Nyla was named after Nick’s grandmother on his dad’s side. I never got the privileged of meeting her as she had long since passed on when I entered the picture. From all that I hear she was an utterly amazing woman, and meant a lot to everyone right up until the day she died. That is why we named our daughter Nyla, it would be such gift for her to have grown up into half the woman Grandma Nyla was.

As I do know my husband’s grandmother Gloria well, I hope that our BTB is as caring and kind as she still is, well into her eighties. I wish that he or she will grow to have the love for their children as my father-in-law Len does. That they will be as smart and responsible as Nick’s mom Tracy, and have the sense of humor and fairness of his step-dad Bill.

I want our child to have the sensitivity and generosity of Nick’s younger brother Jake, and the confident and enthusiastic personality of his other brother Drew. I pray that he or she has the sincere love for animals just as much as my sister-in-law Jess. I don’t know much about Jess’s sister Casey, but as I get to know her I am sure she will have a trait I hope my BTB has! I dream that our baby has the bubbliness and creativity of the hub’s little sister Katie, and the knack for saving money like his youngest brother Jon.

As for my side of the family, my input is limited as I am estranged from my parents; all my grandparents have passed, and my brother is kinda off in his own world. But I’ll give it a try! I wish for our babe to have the hard-work ethic of my dad, and the cooking skills of my mother. I hope that he/she inherits the ambition and self-dicipline of my brother John.

So now–what do I hope they inherit from Nick and I?? My longing is that our BTB gets Nick’s loyalty, honesty, compassion, forgiveness and authenticity. I hope that he/she gets my desire to help people, courage to stand up for what is right, and my perseverance to succeed in life.

I want my child to be their own person, but these are some of the important traits I wish that they will have ❤

OBGYN Love <3

I think one of the most important things any pregnant or TTC woman can do is find an OB that they are comfortable with and trust. I will NEVER leave my OB–she has been with me through it all and even gave me her personal cell phone number when I was losing Nyla. She is an amazing listener, and I completely trust her advice.

We’ve all probably had some OBGYN’s that were okay, got the job done, but we didn’t love ’em. Before you are TTC or pregnant, all you really go for is your annual exam, so not loving your doctor isn’t that big of a deal. But once you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it is one of the most important relationships you can have. That office will be like a second home to you.

I had been through my fair share of doc’s, but my primary doctor referred me to my current OBGYN when I was first pregnant with Riley. I hadn’t even had my first appointment with her before I miscarried. I cancelled the appointment because I thought I wasn’t gonna need it. Surprise, 6 weeks later I needed that appointment!

I remember when I met her for the first time. My first thought was that she didn’t look anything like her picture online. But, any doubts I had were quickly dispelled by her real care and open personality.  After the first visit, I mostly saw her NP–who was also amazing. She was down to earth, and pegged my anxiety and need to be in control the second she walked into the room.

Unfortunately, neither of them were in the office when when I had the devastating ultrasound at 21 weeks. But once Nick and I had made the decision to let Nyla go to heaven early, I met with my doc to talk it all out.

She cried for me. My OB who had no doubt seen many of these tragedies before cried for me. She sobbed with me, hugged me, and she told me it wasn’t fair. She listened, comforted me, and promised me I would get through the next few days.

When I met with her for my follow up visit after the hospital; she made me feel not judged, cared for, and understood. Her office is warm and comforting, not sterile and cold. She sat with me and we talked for a long while, cried some more and hugged some more. She told me she could feel Nyla’s presence in the room–something most people would probably think was weird or unprofessional. I felt so comforted, I knew she could sense her. I felt more at peace and knew that Nyla would never leave me.

I will stay with this office for all my pregnancies–I receive amazing care from all the medical staff.

Ladies, do yourself a HUGE favor and find a doctor that you can relate to and trust as completely as I do. It will make a world of difference if God forbid, anything ever goes wrong. ❤

 

 

Pregnancy Preparations after Loss

There is a whole laundry list of things to do when you are trying to get pregnant–and your OB will hand you another folder of them when you visit. But what about PAL? How do you prepare for that??

I think the first thing to do is accept your emotions. No matter what time you start trying (right after loss, or father down the road), it is going to be emotional. I went thru a whole range of emotions and I waited a year and a half before I was willing to try again. Some emotions that PAL moms might experience are sadness, anxiety, anger, detachment, guilt, and fear.

Some moms find it helpful to have a “pre-conception” appointment with their OB. That way the couple can bring all their fears and/or concerns to the table and have them addressed by a medical professional. Any bloodwork or scans can be done at that time to reassure the couple. At that visit, couples can also ask for recommendations for therapists, Doulas, and any local pre-conception classes. This visit is a great time to talk about your risks for more miscarriages or stillbirths. Ask if this pregnancy will be considered “high-risk”, and if you need more bloodwork or more frequent check-ups. Don’t be afraid to write down all your questions and the answers. That way if you forget, you have something to look back at for a reference.

If you are TTC, it is also important to eat right, sleep, take vitamins and exercise.  Not only will this make you feel better, but your body will be in the best shape possible for a baby. It can be a good idea to take up yoga or meditation to help with your stress level. Make sure you start taking a prenatal vitamin to build up all the levels in your body. Exercise is great for weight management, cardiovascular health, and can help with any depression you may be feeling. As for eating right, stock your diet with protein, fruits/veggies, and whole grains. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well! Sleep is also very important, so if you are having trouble, talk to your doctor to find a pregnancy safe sleep supplement.

Start cutting out unhealthy/not-allowed-during-pregnancy habits as well. Get a head start on smoking cessation, stop drinking alcohol, and start to limit your caffeine. Talk to your doctor about what medications are safe for pregnancy, and which ones you cannot take. This is always best to do in advance in case you have to try alternatives. Always easier to find out now that you don’t tolerate a certain substitution then when you are out of time because you are pregnant. This is especially important with mental health medications–not something you want to be changing overnight.

Let’s be honest though ladies. No matter how much we try to prepare we will never have it as easy as those first time moms. The ones who never have been touched by sadness or fear, or even think of the possibility that after 9 months of this hard work, there will be no baby to hold. PAL’s, do what you need to do to get through and enjoy this pregnancy. Remember your mantra! “Today my mind will focus on hope over fear”

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TTC day 7. I have been kinda of irritable and frustrated over the past few days, I’m wondering if it has anything to do with my hormones now that I am off birth control and past shark week #1. I also had a anxiety attack last night that got bad enough I took a Xanax. Whatever the reason, I am hoping it goes away soon.

Excitement meter: 5

Scared Shit-less meter:2

 

 

 

Small Comforts

When Riley died, I had nothing to remember my baby by besides a date as I was only 5 weeks along. With Nyla, I had so much more–baby blanket, hospital bands, a tiny pink crocheted hat. But nothing that I was able to have with my on a daily basis once I returned to work.

Since Nyla was so tiny, we had her cremated and her ashes are in a small urn. While at the funeral parlor, I saw a necklace that was able to hold a small amount of cremains (cremated remains) so that a person could have their loved one near at all times. My mother-in-law was kind enough to buy it for me, and I wear it everyday.

I am so attached to this necklace. It means so much to me to have Nyla with me everyday. ❤