Monday, December 19, 2011

two years

It has been two years today since our sweetest Andrew died. I don't really have much to say about how I feel about that. I just can't let today go by without posting the words.

I still miss, still love, still want you precious boy. And I always, always will.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby

Sweetest Andrew Edward,

Your birthday is in a few days. I'm writing early since I don't want to waste your birthday in front of my computer, but I don't want to let the day go by without mention. You would be two years old this year. I would have two years of memories, two years of motherhood firmly under my belt. Instead, I have two years of what ifs and what isn'ts under my belt. Your story is so much less than it should be, so much shorter than seems right. Having your sweet little brother, Thomas, here with us for the last six weeks makes me realize just exactly what I wasn't able to have with you. He looks so much like you, by the way. He was just a few days old when I really realized it. I was feeding him in our room and I looked down and I swear it could have been you I was holding. My heart hasn't felt that much pain in so long...I felt like I WAS holding you again and my eyes flooded with tears. I kissed his face like it was yours and I felt so guilty for wishing it was you for just those few seconds. That isn't to say that I don't want Thomas...I just want you too. I'll never stop wishing you were here, never stop wanting to kiss your sweet face, never stop wondering why I can't. You will always be my first sweet baby and I'm so proud to be your momma. I don't really get to talk about you much anymore and, most of the time, I don't need to. This time of year is always hard and I think I feel further away from you this year in particular. I don't want these upcoming 13 days to go by without acknowledging you in some way. I'm already doing a few things to honor you. I gave two dollars to the Salvation Army lady at Kroger the other day since you would have been two years old. I don't know what else to do but the small things seem to help.

I wish you could meet Thomas. He is wonderful in every way and I'm so sorry you can't be his big brother. I'm so sad that everyone will think HE is the big brother. You are sweet baby, but no one will know. To the world, he is my first. You are sweet baby, but no one will know. I feel like the longer you have been gone from me, the more you disappear. I miss you so much still feels so wrong and so godawful sad.

So here I am, two days before your two year old birthday. I don't know what to do with myself on Tuesday. Thank God your daddy is off of work. I don't know if I'll be sad, happy, or indifferent. It seems wrong to just make it just a regular old not do anything. But how do you celebrate a birthday for a boy who isn't here? I love you so completely and fully. Happy Birthday precious angel boy. You made me a momma two years ago and I can never tell you how you've transformed my heart. You prepared me for your little brother...he and I both can't thank you enough. You will always be such a gift to me. I'll never stop remembering you, missing you, loving you, wanting you. Thank you for being my first, precious little baby. Momma loves you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thomas Hayden Mitchell

My sweet boy is here. He is perfect, he is pink, he is squirmy, he is mine. Here is the story of his arrival.

Austin and I went for our 38 week appointment on October 19 at 10:00. Dr. Dulaney was called to the hospital for a birth so we had to wait until 12:30 to be seen. I sent Austin to the store and I waited in the waiting room, eating an apple I found in my purse. Yay for hidden snacks. There was some super obnoxious girl in the waiting room who wanted to tell me all about her pregnancy and all the pains she was feeling. She also wanted to tell me all about her husband, how she was a couponer, how she sold AVON, and on and on and on. So I was considerably excited when Dr. Dulaney came back. They checked my blood pressure and it was a bit higher than normal...probably because I was nervous about talking to Dr. Dulaney about getting baby boy out...and from listening to chatty baby mama in the waiting room for 2 hours. When Dr. D came in the room, she asked me the usual "How are you feeling?" questions and I unloaded on her. I told her that due to the due date confusion, the high blood pressure, and everything that happened last time that I was not comfortable going any past the 24th and I'd go sooner if she was cool with it. She is wonderful and listened to my feelings and responded perfectly. She said she always listened to a momma's gut feelings and that she was glad I told her how I felt. I was not really dilated much more...only like a 2. We went back to the ultrasound room to do the biophysical profile. He was perfect as always with his sweet precious hand all balled up by his face like it always was. She said she had good news and good news. He scored perfectly on his BPP, but his fluid was a little low. That meant that she was sending us across the street to have a baby. She said he was telling us that he was ready and it was time for him to come on. We were shocked and excited...even though we went in there wanting her to say he could be born, we weren't really expecting to go any earlier than Monday. We didn't have any bags, our house was a wreck, and the carseat was still in Thomas's closet at home.

We went across to Methodist Germantown (which is fabulous) and got all checked in to deliver. I remember nervous laughter and giddiness from both of us. This was really happening. Austin commented on how much different this hospital arrival was compared with last time. A nurse (Jamie) took us back to my room and got us all settled in. We had trouble starting my IV since my blood pressure was a little elevated. I still have a fabulous bruise on my arm where one of my veins blew out. Jamie brought me the form to sign for an epidural and c-section should I need one and she handed me a LuLu's pen to sign the form with. Ha...we're famous! I asked her how she had this pen and she looked at me all weird and said "It's a store in Oxford." I said "I know! It's MY store in Oxford." Anyway, I sent Austin out to get himself some lunch and I got all settled in. The plan was to start me on Cervadil around 6:00 to start dilating my cervix. They'd leave that in for 12 hours and then start Pitocin around 7:00 am if I needed it. Austin came back and hour or so later with gifts and Shelley. She was coming in from Arkansas and we were excited to see a happy, familiar face. Austin is so sweet and had been down in the gift shop trying to find Thomas and I a gift. He bought Thomas a really bright striped sock monkey and he bought me a Willow Tree figure of a Momma holding her baby. He was really proud of himself and he made me a very happy girl...we're so lucky to have him.

By now, it's around 5:00 and they told me I could order supper from downstairs before they started the Cervadil. I ordered and then Austin and I decided that he'd go home and get all of our stuff since I'd pretty much just be laying there and resting until the morning. We clearly weren't aware what Cervadil does to my body! They inserted it around 6 and I settled in with a Storage Wars marathon. Momma and Daddy got there around 8:00 right when the fireworks started. The cervadil pretty much threw me into full force labor. I started freaking out that Austin wasn't back, making the contractions that much worse. I was a big weenie and got a dose of Stadol to slow things down and ease the pain a little. Austin got back around 9:00 and Mimi and Pop headed to Oxford to get some rest. I was able to sleep off and on until about 2:00. I woke up to go to the bathroom, feeling pretty good. I got back in the bed and felt a pop...same pop as when my water broke with Andrew except for I didn't feel the gush. I woke Austin up and told him I thought my water had broken...he sleepily freaked out. I paged the nurse and told her I thought my water had broken. She came in to check me and didn't feel anything or see any fluid. We figured I was crazy...I tried to go back to sleep. Two seconds later I felt a huge gush and then one giant massive freaking contraction. Game Time! We called Corinne...her and Mimi hopped in the car and started on their way. I wanted to stay on the monitor the whole time so I wasn't able to move through the contractions making them super super painful. I got an epidural and was able to deal pretty much until the morning. Morning came and the back labor got pretty intense. Thomas was posterior (face-up) so he had to do a lot of corkscrewing to get out making the labor pains super painful in my back. We tried lots of different positioning and lots of pushing to get him to turn. The nurses were amazing...letting me try all different positions that would never have been considered in Oxford. He turned and was born at 11:21 am. He gave us a bit of a scare at first. His cry was really weak and wet sounding so they took him over pretty quickly to the isolette. They deep suctioned him and even had to bag him. They called out for NICU to come and I, quite naturally, freaked the eff out. I kept saying, "Is he okay? Is he okay?" I just knew that we were doing all of this over again and I felt completely terrified. They all reassured me that he was fine and I soon heard a big loud cry and saw him pink up. They brought him over to me and I got to nurse and snuggle right away. My momma heart was super full. I felt all warrior woman and I'm considerably proud that I was able to deliver such a big posterior baby vaginally.

We're a month old today...I know I'm super late posting about all of this. We've settled in really well to baby life. Thomas is wonderful and we couldn't be more in love with the sweet boy. We've definitely had some growing pains. The first few days were marked with some serious sadness. We were both slammed with reminders of what we had really missed with Andrew, guilt for anything we could have done differently, and just the void of knowing our family was still incomplete. Then, the hammer fell and we got the news about sweet Walker's death. I don't think I put Thomas down at all the day we found out. I felt so grateful for what I held in my arms...I know that void that Chris and Christine so freshly felt in their hearts.

I'm not making any promises, but I'm going to try to post fairly regularly so I can look back on these first months and remember all that we did. I've got to run now because my son is growling at me that he's hungry. I'll happily go get my boy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A sad goodbye

I began blogging about my sweet Thomas's birth earlier this morning, but I can't post it yet. I can't blog about his beautiful arrival while my family is in the midst of such deep mourning. My sweet baby cousin, Walker, died Sunday in a terrible car wreck along with two of his friends. They were coming back to Oxford to attend church with their pledge class. He was only 19 years old. He had come home to spend the weekend with his family to celebrate his Momma's birthday. This is unbelievably heartbreaking. The shock of it all is almost too much to comprehend. I can't imagine the pain his parents and siblings must be feeling. I know the pain of losing a child, but I don't know the pain of losing a child that I raised for 19 years...watched grow and thrive and live. I didn't have to tell his 14 year old sister and 17 year old brother that their brother died. I didn't have to do so many unspeakable things that Chris and Christine are going to have to do. My grandparents, both 80, are having to deal with so much unfair that they have to do this so late in life. Walker, Martin, and Megan light up their world. They have spent every Christmas Eve with those kids since Walker was born and now what?? How do you cope with that kind of loss?

Charles Walker were such an amazing kid. Becoming such an amazing man. You never shied away from a hug, giving me one at every arrival and departure. I saw you walking on the Square just a few short weeks ago, looking all cute and grown up with your head full of curly blond hair. You gave our family nothing but happiness and I am so proud to be your cousin. Your soccer coach mentioned that you left his team better than you found it. You did the same thing in the world and in our family. We will always love you, always miss you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Operation Get this Kid OUT

I'm planning my attack for Wednesday. I'm going to try to convince Dr. Dulaney to induce me on Monday the 24th. I'll either be 39 or 40 weeks...39 at the least. She said that once the baby reaches 39 weeks, he won't get any more ready or mature. I don't see any reason to wait...especially since everyday that passes, I seem to get more neurotic and antsy. I want him out NOW while he's still doing okay. I don't want to wait until he starts showing signs that he's not 100% happy. He's ready, I can feel it in my momma bones. I know at the end of pregnancy, most women are just ready to be done. Yeah, I'm tired of being pregnant, tired of the uncomfortable sleep, tired of the weepy, dramatic fits I've been having lately. But more than that, I'm just ready to know he's safe on the outside. I don't want to wait for something to go wrong. I know that's such a negative way to think. I'm not stressed about labor...I'm stressed about NOT being in labor. I think I'll do fine...I'm still hoping for as natural of a labor as I can have, but I'm prepared for whatever I need to do to get this kiddo safely out into the world in one pink, squirmy piece. I need to hold him and smell his head. I need to see his Daddy hold him and to see the joy and relief on his Daddy's face. I think I'm pretty convincing...hopefully Dr. Dulaney will agree. I'm fully prepared for her to say no, and I do trust her and her instincts. Not gonna stop me from trying though!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Momma's big boy

So, I'm technically 37 weeks pregnant today. Dr. Dulaney thinks we might have had my due date wrong from the start. She thinks my EDD might have been more like October 24 rather than October 31 which would put me at 38 weeks today. But, since Halloween is a much cooler due date, we're going with that one. Plus, it's not super cool in Doctor Land to change a due date so late in the game. We went for our first weekly doctor visit two weeks ago and did an ultrasound to see how much he is estimated to weigh. Its not super accurate, but it's pretty darn close. Most babies at 35 weeks weigh around 5 pounds. My sweet babe weighed in at 8 pounds 1 ounce. Holy geez. He has consistently measured around 2 weeks ahead, but we are talking HUGE baby here! I've been on a super restricted no sugar, really low carb diet since then. I have lost a few pounds and hopefully Thomas hasn't gained much. I don't know how he got so big...I have only gained about 25 pounds which is less than I gained with Andrew. I don't have gestational diabetes, I'm not fact, I think I still look pretty great. I apparently have just grown a middle linebacker who will hopefully buy Momma and Daddy a condo on the beach one day with his cushy NFL salary. We go again this Thursday to check his weight again and to make sure he's still happy in there. I'm hoping for no more than 9 pounds this week and for maybe a 9.5 pounder at birth. I can do that...big brother was 8 pounds 10 ounces and my body weathered the storm quite well. Any more than 9.5 scares me to death! We're going to keep on with the biophysical profiles each week just to make sure he stays happy in there. If he shows any signs of stress, she's sending us across the street to the hospital to get him out. We should have a baby by the 24th or 25th at the very latest. She said that she isn't comfortable with me going past that knowing what happened last time. Or NOT knowing exactly what happened last time, I should say.

I'm ready for this babycakes to be here. Our family needs a little pop of happy right now. We're all getting used to Kent, my sister's husband, not being around. He left last Saturday to begin his deployment. He's safe in Texas right now and he'll hopefully get a pass sometime in November to come home for a few days before leaving for overseas. He'll get to meet my Thomas, but more importantly, he'll be able to snuggle his own wonderful family for a few days. The kids and Corinne are doing well...staying strong, making Dad proud. I know there will be some rough moments, weeks, months, but for now, we're just enjoying the calm. I'm proud of my tough, strong family. We seem to be made of some pretty strong stuff.

In other news, my husband has threatened to stop sleeping in the same bed with me if I don't agree to turn the ceiling fan off at night. He's gotten sick because he says "you could hang meat in our room" at night. Yeah, yeah, it's kinda cold. We figured out a way to make us both happy. He'll leave the thermostat alone if I'll turn the fan off. I said I'd agree to turn the fan off if he'd rig me up my own personal fan. So last night we tried this out:

my own personal "pregnant lady" fan propped up on my headboard. Yay...we both win!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting ready for little brother

I had my last baby shower yesterday afternoon. Momma and Corinne outdid themselves and threw me a perfect shower here at my house. Having a shower at my house was so nice...I got to show off the boys' nursery and I felt completely comfortable and loved up. We talked about Thomas and Andrew. I am so thankful to have friends who aren't scared of me, aren't scared of talking about Andrew. He is so much a part of our lives, of this would be so awkward if no one mentioned him. I'm a lucky girl.

I am now completely ready for this boy...he has SEVERAL places to sleep, tons of clothes to wear, and lots of fun baby accessories to play with and use. As you may know, I'm a huge accessory girl so, of course, my kid has to have lots of them too!

I have at most 7-8 weeks left in this pregnancy. I don't want to rush it by because I do love being pregnant, but I want my baby NOW! I can't wait to get all up in his neck and smell his sweet baby smell. Our family is so excited to meet him and love all over him. Austin and I are the only ones who ever got to hold Andrew so I can't wait for them to be able to get their hands on this chunky baby.

I don't know if its too early, but I'm going to start washing his clothes and getting his room completely ready. I am also setting up a mini nursery in our room so he can sleep in there with us. I'm excited to get that all set makes everything seem so much closer.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thomas' Room

So Andrew's room is now officially Thomas' room. I took out all of Andrew's clothes, hospital papers, and bibs. I also packed up the cloth diaper, gown and quilt from the day he died. I cried a little when I packed those up. I kept the mold of his feet and put them where his urn and picture are on a chest in my room. I took down the prayer flag that Corinne, Charles, Elise, and Mimi made for Andrew. I kept that in the closet so I can pull it out sometimes. It's fresh and clean and happy in there. Its always been happy, but now it feels different somehow. Good different, not sad different.

I'm 29 weeks today. Thomas is growing and healthy and apparently very big. He already weighs 3 lbs 4 oz and measured 30 weeks at my 28 week appointment. He's taking after his brother and daddy, a fact that pleases me more than you can imagine. He's very active and moves quite frequently and vigorously...I think it might be to reassure me that he's okay and happy in there. I've been having pretty regular Braxton Hicks contractions and I'm anxiously awaiting the for real ones. I'm not really nervous about labor...I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune once the pain hits, but I'm pretty sure I can handle it. If I can handle all that I have over the past 20 months, labor should be a breeze.

Life is trucking along pretty good right now. One thing is looming over our family's head right now that no one is looking forward to. Kent, my sister's husband, is leaving in 6 weeks to go overseas for a 12 month deployment. Thomas' birth and Kent's departure are too close for comfort and I feel so conflicted to be wishing the weeks by so Thomas will be here, but praying that they go slowly so Kent won't leave. Our family will be so affected by his absence and I hope that we can all give Corinne, Charles, and Elise enough love and support to help them through. I learned through grieving Andrew that nothing takes a pain that great away...nothing lessens it. I know that the Kent/Daddy corner of their hearts will be sad until he is safely at home with them...I just pray that we can make the other corners of their hearts happier in the meanwhile. I'm going to try to keep my blog up especially while he's gone so he can watch his second nephew grow up.

Monday, June 6, 2011

one year, six months, twelve hours

My Drewbie would have been 18 months old today. How different my world should be. I can't say I'm unhappy today...its been a good day in fact. I'm enjoying being pregnant with Andrew's little brother, Thomas. He's a squirmy little guy and I love feeling him move around all day. I'm 19 weeks today...most likely half-way through this one since Dr. Dulaney seems to be leaning toward inducing at 38-39 weeks.

Tomorrow I start therapy. I figured 18 months is long enough to try this on my own. I feel like I'm in a pretty even place dealing with losing Drew. I think I need to go for Thomas. I want to be the best momma I can for him...a happy, free Momma who isn't scared of everything. I don't want to be scared of the birth. I want to enjoy this time, enjoy his birth, enjoy his first few weeks. My sweet friend, Sam, just had her first baby and you can almost taste the joy she feels. I don't want to miss out on that. I don't want this to be overshadowed by the grief and pain that could kill it. We'll see how it goes...I feel happy with my decision to go.

Happy half birthday baby boy. Momma misses you every minute of every day. I wonder who you would you would smell...who you would look like.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It moves

We had our third ultrasound yesterday and everything is moving along great. He (I only use he because it creeps me out to call a baby it) is growing so big and yesterday he did a little dance for us! I was able to see and HEAR the heartbeat...such a sweet sound! We won't go back for another two weeks because things are going really normally and she doesn't see much need for another weekly visit. I'll see this doctor just this one last time before I transfer back over to Dr. Dulaney for the rest of the pregnancy. I think I'm finally believing that this is actually real. I think the little movement yesterday made it all real. I remember watching little Andrew moving around in my belly on the ultrasounds before he was big enough for me to feel him. And then he turned into this real live little precious that I could hold and kiss. This baby is going to grow and be born, and hopefully, live and grow some more. I'm happy really really happy for the first time in so so long. I kind of feel like life is as right as it can be now. I still live every moment with the ache of what should have been, but I think Andrew would want me to let this new baby light up my spirit again. A friend of mine who lost her first little girl told me that when she was struggling to get pregnant again, that she always thought of her baby girl up in heaven picking out the perfect little brother or sister for her momma and daddy. That same sweet friend is at home now...tired and happy, caring for her sweet baby's new little sister who arrived a few short months ago. Life goes on and I'm so grateful for this new little wiggly life inside me. I'm not completely unaware of how quickly blissful happiness can turn into desperate emptiness, but for now, I choose to focus on the happiness I feel today.

Sweetest little Andrew, I miss you baby boy. Seeing your little brother or sister on these ultrasounds brings back so many happy memories of you. I'm so thankful for the comfortable, happy life I was able to give you while I was pregnant. The outside world was most definitely not kind to you and it was the greatest gift of my life to be able to give you a safe, warm place to grow and live. I love you sweet boy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

I think I'm ready to put this out for the world to see. I'm for real this time. We had our first ultrasound yesterday and this kiddo is safely tucked inside my uterus where he belongs. I'm 6 weeks and 4 days along with a due date of October 31. We are past the point of cautiously happy and have moved on to just plain happy. We saw the heart beat and the sweet as pie ultrasound tech said that everything looked "textbook" perfect. Everyone at the office was very excited for us and made a big fuss that we had gotten pregnant so easily. This baby was conceived using ZERO fertility drugs. Austin is considerably proud of himself. I was supposed to start Clomid around the 23rd when I should have started my period after taking the round of progesterone. However, two or three days after the last pill, I hadn't started so I started getting suspicious. I went to Walgreen's and then home to eat lunch with Austin. Peed on a stick...preggers...excitement...hugs...sandwich. Great lunch break.

We've told people in our lives, but we still aren't putting it on facebook just yet. So if you are my friend on FB, keep this news off until I've decided to put it out there. It may be next week, it may be later tonight, or it may be when the kid pops out. I'll let you know. Thanks to you all for letting this be a safe place where I can talk freely.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

would like to take a moment...

to give the last month the finger. A lot has happened since my last post. I sort of hate to put this all out on front street but my blog is my release so here goes. If you don't know all of this and you are close to me, please forgive me for not sharing all of this with you personally.

I found out the Tuesday before Christmas that I was pregnant. Holy crap. Totally unexpected, but two pink lines regardless of my expectations. Knowing better, I went to Oxford Kids Co. and bought a sweet little white lamb. I wrapped it up and gave it to Austin and told him he was going to be a daddy again. We cried, hugged, and went to bed to rest up for our early doctor's appointment the next day. I made a quick appointment with Dr. Dulaney because I had been spotting but I wasn't too concerned because I spotted with Andrew. We were both apprehensive to get excited and agreed to set fire to the little white lamb if the blood test turned out to be negative. Laura, Dr. Dulaney's sweet nurse, was pretty excited to see us and hear the news. I kinda think they are all secretly rooting for us a little extra because we lost Andrew and have had such a hard time making him a little bro or sis. She took my blood and told me we'd know in a few minutes. Few minutes go by...blood test positive. The lamb is saved. Dr. Dulaney seems a bit more skeptical since the timelines don't seem to be adding up and the ultrasound looks sketchy. She can't find anything in my uterus and kinda preps me for this not being as perfect as it seems. She said we'd know more the next day when my blood work comes in and we see what my hormone levels were. We went home and settled into the idea that we might be parents again.

The next day, I was a wreck. I just didn't feel like things were right. In my heart, I couldn't shake the feeling that this baby wasn't where he was supposed to be. I kept thinking tubal pregnancy, tubal pregnancy, tubal pregnancy. (where the baby implants in the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. Tubal pregnancies cannot continue and either miscarry or must be medically/surgically removed.) Corinne tried to ease my mind a bit, but I guess a momma just knows when things aren't right in her body/with her kids. Dr. Dulaney called mid-afternoon and told me that my levels were very concerning. My hormone levels were much too low for this to be a viable pregnancy and I was either miscarrying or had a tubal pregnancy. I hate when I'm right. Merry Effing Christmas.

So began two weeks of blood work and doctor visits. All bloodwork pointed to this most likely being a tubal and not a miscarriage. I spent one night in early January in the emergency room in Memphis with severe cramps. After that, Dr. Dulaney wasn't happy with the way the bleeding was continuing and how my hormone levels were not falling like they should have been. On the 4th, I had a D&C which confirmed the fact that the pregnancy was in fact tubal. I had two shots in my rump of methotrexate to take care of the "products of conception." I wonder who decided on that term. I did my last bloodwork on Tuesday and she's satisfied that this whole ordeal has come to an end.

I feel more hopeless than ever now that we'll ever actually parent a child. We've been struck by lightning twice now and I'm not sure my heart can handle a third. I wonder what I cosmically have done to have this all put in my path. I am not writing this to be pitied or anything of the sort...I'm just wondering aloud. The silver lining in all of this is that I was able to get pregnant...just in the wrong spot. And the awful moldy black lining is that I am much more likely to have another tubal now that I've had one.

And this whole experience has strangely made me feel farther away from my Andrew. I wonder if I'll feel even farther away when I get pregnant for real. It felt awfully like moving on and I'm not sure I liked it.