Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Boys? Girls? Boy and Girl?

Yesterday we went for another appointment with the maternal and fetal medicine specialist. I spent about two hours in the ultra sound room while the tech measured and took pictures of every single part of my babies. It's strange to watch them grow via ultra sound. It's something that not every mother gets to do. Every other week, I get to see these little guys and be amazed at how much they have grown since our last ultrasound. I mean, we all started out the size of a poppy seed, right? Right now, my babies are the size of bell peppers. And all that happened in 18 weeks. Crazy! And it's crazy that my babies are compared to food!
Everything looked great. The doctor showed me everything that she was looking for....we looked at the brain and the different parts of the brain. Everything looked great and was the right size. I saw all four chambers of their hearts, their bladders, kidneys, and stomachs.
And last but not least, we were able to look at their boy or girl parts. That was what we were all waiting for....I mean, it was great to know that everything looks normal with my babies, but finding out their genders, was why I was really there. I'm just kidding, sort of. Anyway, Baby A was being all stubborn. Legs crossed and feet blocking the money shot. The ultra sound tech, was not only trying to let us know Baby A's gender, but she need to take some leg measurements....what an uncooperative child I have in there. GREAT!
Then after some pushing and wiggling around Baby A's legs moved briefly and we saw there was nothing in between the legs. Yes, we would be having at least one more girl! Yea!
Now for Baby B. At our last ultrasound, 2 weeks before this one, the tech said that she didn't see any boy parts, but she wasn't ready to say that she was sure it was a girl. After we found out Baby A was a girl, I told Nolan that he better hope that Baby B grew some boy parts in the past two weeks. We laughed and focused on the bigger picture....the ultrasound screen! Well, Baby B had no problem showing off her body parts. Yes, I said HER body parts. Two more girls for our family!
The ultrasound tech joked with us that Nolan just doesn't make girls. I mean really, Georgia, Violet, Baby A and Baby B? Not one boy in the mix? It's a good thing that he is a great dad for a little girl. He doesn't mind playing with My Little Ponies or baby dolls. We all enjoy a good princess movie every once in a while. And we aren't the type of parents who will only buy our daughters pink, frilly things. We like to have well rounded kids. I love that Georgia has opposite gender friends that she plays super hero's with at preschool. I love that she still wants to go to Sunday School at church, even though she is the only girl most of the time. I love that she didn't even notice that she was in the minority during her basketball camp (she was one of two girls). I love that she knows the teams the Colts, the Bears, the Cubs and she can chant ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK with the best of 'em and give a hearty IU cheer during March Madness. I also love that she enjoys dress up and playing mommy and dancing and watching princess movies. It's kind of the best of both worlds.
Now that doesn't mean that I don't feel like we will be missing out on something by not having a boy. No wrestling matches in the living room. No teasing his sisters with frogs or snakes. No fights about removing his sweaty baseball cap at dinner. No eating us out of house and home. Ok, so these things might happen anyway with more girls, but it will still be different.
And when I say that we might be missing out on something, I also mean that we will be gaining something so special. How many parents get the chance at watching three daughters grow up together? The two younger ones looking up to their big sister, sharing clothes, fixing each others hair, giggling about who knows what, and sharing secrets together.
My hope for my three daughters is that they will grow up to love each other, to be close to each other and to be each others best friend. I hope that they have a bond that only sisters can have. I want them to be able to depend on each other, to lean on each other and to hold each other up. I want them to be each others biggest fans (besides mom and dad of course).
At the end of our appointment, the doctor said that she didn't need to follow up with me anymore and she just recommended that I continue to see Dr Voelkel, my OB, monthly and then weekly once I get to 28 weeks. There are very few people that I never want to see again, and this specialist is one of them. I am glad that I don't have to go back to that office. They were all very nice and made me very comfortable, that wasn't the issue at all. Not needing to go back means that my babies look normal and that my pregnancy looks normal. I like uncomplicated pregnancies :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oops! Missed Something!

I was playing catching and remembering all the events over the past few months, but I forgot to add one particular event.

January 11, 2012

This was Violet's EDD. Like everything that happened with Violet the anticipation of the day was actually worse than the actual day. When we found out Violet died, the anticipation of her delivery was worse than it actually was. The anticipation of seeing Violet for the first time was worse than it actually was. The anticipation of leaving her at the hospital was worse than it actually was. The anticipation of her memorial service was worse than it actually was. And the anticipation of her due date was worse than it actually was.

We decided to have a family day. Nolan took off work and we went to the movies. Then we went to lunch and just enjoyed each other.
Nolan and I took some time to think about Violet. To miss her. To look at her photos. To hold her things. It was special and sad and we miss her.

One day we were mourning Violet's death again and the next day we were celebrating the news that we were having twins. It's just strange the way things work out, isn't it?

Ultrasounds and Appointments

After my 8 week ultrasound I got a phone call that I would be having an ultrasound with every OB appointment. I get to see my babies every month! Yea! They also told me that I would go to a maternal and fetal medicine specialist. 

12 weeks-Back at the OB's office, waiting for the ultrasound. Since I'm a little foolish, I read all sorts of things about twins online. Some of them good and some of them not so good. I had to stop myself and remember that my pregnancy will be unique and it doesn't have to be like all of those horror stories that I read about. 
I was most concerned about something called a disappearing twin. It's when a twin is detected early in the pregnancy and then it is miscarried. It is either absorbed back into the mother or into the other twin. But, once again the ultrasound screen came on and there they both were....hearts beating like crazy and wiggling around. Everything looked normal. 
13 weeks-This was our appointment at Maternal and Fetal Medicine. We met with a nutritionist who weighed me and figured my BMI. She then explained that I need to be eating a high calorie diet (around 3500 calories per day). The theory is that the more weight that I gain by 28 weeks the larger my twins will be at birth. Usually by 28 weeks, your stomach is so squished by your large uterus that you need to have extra fat stored in your body to fuel yourself and to make sure your twins are getting all they need. She suggested to go ahead and have a milkshake and a cheeseburger every now and then :) Yea for me! Bring on the chow! I've gained 2lbs less than what she wants me to have gained at this point so I have a little bit to make up!!! 
We then met with a genetic counselor. She went over some of the things that they would be looking for in the ultrasound. They wanted to test a fluid level at the back of each twin's neck. This indicates if they are growing at the proper speed or if their growth slowed down by something such as a chromosome abnormality. 
Also, this genetic counselor worked on Violet's case too. She showed us exactly what was wrong with her chromosomes. Usually you have 2 of each chromosome-one from mom and one from dad. Sometimes people have what is called a trisomy.
trisomy is a type of polysomy in which there are three copies, instead of the normal two, of a particular           chromosome.[1] A trisomy is a type of aneuploidy(an abnormal number of chromosomes). 
That is straight from Wikipedia because they can explain it much better than I ever could. Violet had a partial trisomy. On her 4th pair of chromosomes she had part of her 9th pair. I know it's all confusing and it's hard to explain, so I'm sorry if you don't get it. I didn't really get it until I saw it on paper. And someone with that partial trisomy, could not have survived outside the womb. It is also something that is just a fluke thing. It was just a bad sperm or a bad egg. I'm not sure why Violet held on as long as she did, it seems like something like this would have been miscarried in the first 12 weeks. I suppose we will never know the answer to that question. 
After all of that it was time to see our babies again. We had another ultrasound, again, we saw those little beating hearts and those little dancing bodies. The tech took those measurements and then we met with the specialist. We were told that all of the measurements looked normal. She did make sure to tell us, "I know that you've been told before that everything looks normal, but there is only so much that an ultrasound can tell us." We just have to trust that everything looks good and that everything will stay normal. 
I had some blood work done that day as well. The genetic counselor gave us some odds of having a baby with Down Syndrome. This was based on my age. Since I wasn't in the dangerous zone, I wasn't too concerned about that. This blood work would give us more accurate results of our chances of having a child with Down Syndrome. (we got those results and our chances are 1/3000, so it's highly unlikely that either of the twins will have Downs)
14 weeks-Well, not only do I get to have an ultra sound every month, but I get to have 2 ultrasounds every month (until June when I start going every week). The specialist suggested this so that my cervix could be checked. I was told that this is standard with a multiple pregnancy because the chances of preterm labor are so great. So, while it's kind of a pain to go into my OB's office every other week, its great to see my babies and hear their heartbeats. Also, it gives us piece of mind that our babies are doing well. So, I will happily drive 20 minutes to see my babies, it's no big deal. 
We got to take a look at everything and babies look great and no signs of preterm labor. 
16 weeks-Time for another ultrasound and appointment. We were hoping to find out the gender at this ultrasound, but Baby A had the cord in between his/her legs and Baby B showed no signs of boy parts, but the ultrasound tech was not ready to say that Baby B is a girl. She said that there have been times when at 16 weeks it looks like a girl and then at the next ultrasound, you see boy parts. Maybe next time. 

On Monday March 26 we go for another appointment at Maternal and Fetal Medicine. We will have another ultrasound done and hopefully we will continue to have good news about the growth of our twins. And we are really hoping to find out the genders!! Fingers crossed! Nolan refuses to talk about names with me until we know the genders. He says that it's pointless right now. 

Make It A Double

Back in November Nolan and I went to a support group that was sponsored through the hospital where Violet was delivered. It was there that we learned the term "Rainbow Baby." A Rainbow Baby is the baby you have after you have lost a baby. We thought that Violet was our Rainbow Baby since Rainbow was her nickname, but I guess our Rainbow Baby was coming.

January 2012
Back again....to that same doctor's office. It seemed like all I could think about where the bad memories that we had at this place. I remember telling Nolan, "We had good memories here too right? We confirmed our pregnancy here, we got to hear Violet's beating heart, we learned that we were having another girl." Isn't it funny how its always the bad memory that sticks in your mind. 
While we waited, I just knew that we were going to have to go back into that same ultrasound room. It was going to be the same tech. I was going to lay on the same table. But hopefully I was going to have a different outcome than before. 
I was very nervous. I wanted to pace around the room, but I didn't want to look like a freak. So I kept bouncing my leg and held Nolan's hand.....trying to keep my sanity. 
And then our name was called. It was by a different ultrasound tech. And we went to a different room. I kept praying that we would see our little baby and hear a beating heart. 
When the ultrasound photo came up on the screen I could tell that something was different. There were two spots. WHAT? Then the tech says, "well how about two?" Nolan and I looked at each other and asked, "are you serious?" She was. Two babies, two heartbeats, both look just fine. The tech asked if Nolan was ok. He was, just freaking out a little bit.....just like me. I couldn't stop shaking. We got some ultrasound photos and I went back into the waiting room, while Nolan went back to work. We both were stunned and shocked and unsure. Two babies! 
I saw Dr Voelkel and she told me about some test that they would run. Since I was having twins I was going to be considered a high risk pregnancy. She said that if it was just a single baby, she wouldn't be doing all these tests and ultrasounds. It really had nothing to do with what happened with Violet since we already had all of our genetic testing and everything came back just fine. There was no reason to think that these two little miracles wouldn't be fine. 
So now, I had to wait for a phone call to set up all of these appointments oh and we get to tell all our friends and family that we are expecting TWINS! AH!


December 2011
Nolan and I decided that the best thing for our family was to go on vacation in January. Since Violet's due date was 1/11/12 we wanted to be gone close to that date. We wanted to have a good time and while we wanted to remember her on that day, we didn't want to dwell on what might have been either.
We decided to take the ultimate family vacation....DISNEY WORLD! What better place to go when you're sad than the happiest place on earth? We were both pumped because we knew that Georgia was going to have the time of her life. It just became really important to do this with her at this time in our lives.
So Nolan and I planned the vacation with an awesome travel agent (let me know if you decide to go to Disney sometime, she's great and it's free). We decided to wait to tell Georgia about our trip on Christmas day.

December 16, 2011
I had been feeling a little off for a couple of days. I decided to take a pregnancy test. I wasn't sure what I was hoped the results would be. I just had a child in October and I wasn't sure if I was ready to be pregnant again. I wasn't sure if I could handle all of the unknowns. What if I had a miscarriage? What if this baby died at 26 1/2 weeks and I had to go through this all over again? But on the other hand, this is what we wanted.....we wanted another living child in our family. Violet's death wasn't going to be the end of that chapter in our lives. So anyway, I took the test and waited. I knew that it wasn't going to show a positive sign anyway, it was just way too soon after Violet's death, it had only been 2 months.
POSITIVE. That's what the test said. I stood there in the bathroom completely shocked. I also had a big smile on my face. I couldn't wait to tell Nolan. I wanted to tell someone. But I did wait until Nolan got home and I whispered, "I'm pregnant" in his ear (we didn't want Georgia to hear, not yet anyway). He just looked at me in shock. So while we were excited and happy we were also nervous and freaked out a little bit.
A week or so later, we told our parents and a few close friends. I also called Dr Voelkel's office to set up an appointment. I had to explain to the gal doing the scheduling that I just had a stillbirth in October so I wasn't sure if I needed an appointment sooner than 8 weeks into this pregnancy. I had to wait for a nurse to call me back. When she did, she wanted to make sure that I wasn't freaking out, and if I wanted to come in for an ultrasound, I could come in as early as 6 weeks. Well, we decided to schedule an appointment for the normal 8 weeks. I was going to have an ultrasound and then talk with Dr Voelkel.
Now we just had to wait....wait a few more weeks until we see our little baby.


Several weeks after Violet's death, I heard back from all the blood work that Violet and I had done while in the hospital. My OB called with the results and informed me that it looked like Violet had a problem with her chromosomes. She also said that it was probably a fluke thing, but she wanted Nolan and I to have some genetic testing done.
We each had blood work and waiting for the results. Nolan's came back first showing no genetic problems. Before my results came back, I had my 6 weeks check up with my OB.
I was terrified. I had to go back to the same office where weeks before they told me my baby died. Again, it felt like another slap in the face. I had to go back to this office where I would sit and wait with a bunch of pregnant women. Couldn't I come at another time, when there would be no pregnant women there? Did I have to be in the same room with a bunch of bulging bellies? Well, I did and Nolan was there with me, holding my hand as we waited. So different from the last time we were there. There was no joking to make each other feel better, there was just hand holding and comforting glances.
When we were finally called back we sat there and waited. Again, just like the last time I was there, I could hear a beating heart in the room next door. They really should pay more attention to who's exam room they put you next to. Sitting there, waiting for my doctor and listening to woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh coming from the room next door the tears started to flow. I didn't want to cry that day. I wanted to be strong. I was doing so well until woosh, woosh, woosh started.
I was able to compose myself before Dr Voelkel came into the room. She gave me a big hug and we talked. We talked about what happened, the test results (mine were still not back yet) and what the next step would be. She was confident that my results would also come back fine, an as soon as we got word from the lab, we could start trying again for another baby.
Trying for another baby was something that I wanted to do right away. We tried for Violet for a year, then we were 26 1/2 weeks into our pregnancy with her when she died....we wanted a baby a year ago and things just hadn't gone according to plan. We talked about some options and Dr Voelkel  asked if we would like a prescription for Clomid. Clomid helps regulate ovulation and makes it a little bit easier to get pregnant. But there is a small chance that this could result in a multiple pregnancy. We decided that we would try on our own and Dr Voelkel said that if we ever decided that we wanted to try the medication, we could just call and she would send in a prescription for me.
We left feeling pretty good. A few days later I got a phone call from the doctor's office letting me know that everything came back just fine with my blood work. What a relief. All of this right before Thanksgiving. At least now we had a little bit more to be thankful for this year!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving On

Moving on. How do you pick up your life and move on? How do you get back to normal? Well, I don't think that any of us will be "normal" ever again. We kind of had to start over and figure out a new normal. After the service and after Nolan's parents left to go back to Kansas, it was time to start over.
Nolan and I decided that we needed a fun day with Georgia. A day at the zoo was in order for our family. We needed to get out of our house and just enjoy each other. While the zoo was fun, it was also hard to be there. It was hard to be around families with small babies, knowing that we were supposed to be that family with the teeny tiny newborn. It was hard to see pregnant women and know that I was supposed to be apart of that club still. But all in all, it was good. It was good to see our kiddo having fun with mom and dad. It was good for all of us not to cooped up in our house, feeling sad and missing Violet.
Getting to a new normal also included making Georgia realize that Violet was not going to be born. Since she died, Georgia had made it clear that she was not sad. I'm not sure if she was just trying to protect us in some way or if she really wasn't all that sad. It was hard for her to understand that we were having a baby in the first place. She saw my tummy grow, she saw the ultrasounds, and heard heartbeats, but to realize that all of that was going to result in a baby added to our family was still a little much for her. So it was easy to understand why she wouldn't be sad about Violet's death if she never understood that she was alive.
Also, Georgia didn't really understand death. We explained it to her, but she would say "when the baby is born" and we would have to remind her that we didn't have a baby anymore, that Violet died.
I also think that Georgia went through a phase when she thought that mommy and daddy were crying all the time. And if I had been seeing the world through her eyes, that might have been how I saw things too. One time we got a drawing from her that showed mommy and daddy crying. It was just a clue that is how she saw us then. And I was OK with her seeing me be sad and seeing me cry, but I didn't want her to think that it was always going to be like this. She really helped me pick up the pieces of my life. I wanted to be there for her. She made it easier to get out of bed the morning. She made it easier to keep going with life. I don't know if she will ever know the impact that she had on my recovery. And she didn't even have to try to help, she was just there and all I wanted to do was be her mommy.
Getting back to normal also meant that Nolan would go back to work and leave our safe little house where we could take time to cry and be needy and miss our baby girl. I decided to take some time off. I wasn't sure that I could go back. I worked at a doctor's office. I saw a lot of people every day. People who felt that they knew me because I was the girl at the front window. I knew them by name, I knew their insurance information and would make small talk about kids or travels or current events. All of those people knew that I was pregnant and due in January. I could not imagine going to work and talking to all of those people and telling my story over and over again. Every time someone new would walk in the door I knew that it was be the same thing, they would ask about the baby since I obviously no longer pregnant and then I would have to relive my story all over again, I would start crying and they would probably feel uncomfortable. I just couldn't face that. If I had a job where I went to my cubical and did my work everyday, I probably would have gone back to work after a few weeks. But since I didn't have that job, I didn't feel like I could return. My boss completely understood. And Nolan was very supportive. I'm thankful that he has a job that can support our family. And, I had been toying with the idea of starting my own photography business. My plan after having Violet was to continue to work part time at the doctor's office and start my photography business on the side. After Violet's death, all I cared about was staying home with Georgia.

We Had Plans, But You Had Different Plans

Who thinks about planning a memorial service for their baby? Um no one does. Nolan and I both felt that we wanted to do this. From the moment we knew that Violet was no longer alive, we wanted the world to know how much we love her.
Our pastor, Rene, was so helpful with all the details that went into planning this service. She already had a selection of Bible verses that could be read, a list of hymns that we could sing. She was ready to take care of asking others to help out during the service. She was such a huge help. But really as we were talking about all of this I was pretty numb. How was I supposed to prepare?
We knew that we wanted the service to be full of hope. While we were in so much pain at that moment, we knew that it would not always be this way. We knew that better days were in the future. While everyone knew the pain that we were experiencing, we wanted everyone to know the joy and happiness that Violet brought to our lives in such a short time. We wanted to honor her and our memories of her.
Rene asked Nolan and I to write a letter to Violet that would be read during the service. We sat down together and between the tears we wrote the words that were feeling and words that were held in our hearts. Here is a link to our letter to Violet. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j3R7X74JZkGdzs2g1qAGvm4iF0LUW38CkFsujFXW3SM/edit?pli=1

Empty Hands and Empty Hearts

October 12, 2011
We decided that 5pm was the time we would leave. I needed a set time, otherwise I would have stayed there forever. At least that was the way it seemed that morning. Family came to visit us again and to see Violet. Georgia came with Grandma and enjoyed each other as much as we could.
After showering and packing up, the 5 o'clock hour rolled by faster than I expected. But at the same time, I was ready to go home. I wanted to be in my own house, to hang out with Georgia and to be "normal" or whatever. Also, it was evident that Violet's body was not holding up well and that it was time to let her go.
As the hour approached, we asked our visitors to say their goodbyes to Violet so that we could have some alone time with her again, for the last time. Nolan and I took turns telling her everything that we held in our hearts. We rocked her, I sang to her and we kept telling her that we loved her and asking her and God why she had to die.
We paged the nurse to come and we waited. And waited some more. We were ready but obviously the nursing staff wasn't at a point where they could come into our room yet. After about 15 minutes we paged again because as much as it hurt to leave her, we had to get out of there. Soon someone came in and rolled Violet out of the room. That was the last time that we saw her. We stood there and hugged and cried and prepared ourselves for walking out of the hospital with empty hands and empty hearts.
When we were in the waiting area outside the maternity ward, a group of people had gathered to celebrate the birth of a baby. There were balloons and laughter and happy people. I will never forget the looks on their faces as Nolan and I walked out with no baby and tears streaming down our faces. All we had were the few things the hospital had given us (I'll talk about how great the hospital was in another post), but no baby. I can remember one gentleman looking at me with sorrow in his eyes. He knew that something tragic happened to our baby.
We made our way out and headed home to plan Violet's memorial service. When we arrived at home flowers were waiting for us on the front porch. That would be something very common for the next several days...flowers, cards, emails, phone calls, and text messages all from loving and caring friends and family. It was nice to know that so many people were thinking about us and praying for us as we were walking through these dark days.

No Screaming and Crying Baby

October 11 2011
After sobbing the entire way to the hospital, Nolan and I found the courage to go inside an go up to the maternity ward. Seems to me that there should be a different place to go if your baby has died. It's kind of like a slap in the face to walk into the maternity ward where babies are being born and families are happy. Nolan wasn't happy, I certainly wasn't happy. This was not the way things were supposed to be happening. I had made it past 12 weeks (the first 12 weeks is when you have the biggest risk of miscarriage), I saw my baby girl on the ultrasound moving all around at 20 weeks, at 24 weeks I had an OB appointment and heard her strong heartbeat. Everything was supposed to be fine, she was fine a few days ago. Why isn't she ok now at 26 1/2 weeks?
I started taking medication around 9pm to induce labor. Let me tell you that having a nurse put a pill behind your cervix is the worst pain that I have ever felt. Because your cervix isn't ready to go into labor, it's closed. So putting a pill behind it is awful. And then to have this repeated every few hours. Ugh. At least that night I had a sleeping pill and I hardly noticed the nurses administering the medication. The next morning, every time they had to do this I felt like they were hurting my baby. This wasn't supposed to be what happened. I knew in my head that my baby was gone and that this was the right thing to do, but it's just not what my heart felt. I wasn't ready to give up my pregnancy. I wished that there was something I could do to make it better. I wanted my baby girl to be healed. But I also knew that my wishes and wants could never be and that I had to continue through this process.
I don't really remember when contractions started. But like most labors, it went on for several hours. Sometime later I got an epidural. That helped. Then my OB broke my water. She told me that if I felt anything that the baby could just be delivered with a large contraction, that I might not even have to push. Just a few minutes after my water broke, I let the nurse know that I could feel that the baby had dropped. It was time to start delivering my dead child.
After a few pushes and much wailing and sobbing, she was here. This delivery was worse than my experience with Georgia. Although I had physical pain with Georgia, the emotional pain I had this time around was so much worse. My heart hurt.
Violet Fletcher Lichti was brought into the world stillborn. Her name came from the nickname her sister gave her, Rainbow. Since Violet is a color in the rainbow, it just seemed to fit.  I was frightened to look at her but at the same time all I wanted to do was hold her an cradle her. I wanted her to know that I will always love her, even if she can't be with us on earth.
It's suggested that you do all the things that you would normally do after a delivery of your child. Dad cuts the cord, baby has it's first bath, you dress your baby. I understand that all of those things help and I'm so glad that we did all of those things. It puts a value on her life for us, that it wasn't just something that happened. She  is our daughter no matter what and we are missing out on so much by not having her here with us that it is great to have those memories. But at the same time, it's weird. Nolan said that there was no satisfaction in cutting the cord because there was no screaming, crying baby in the room. Taking photos (which I'm glad that we have them) seemed weird because what are you supposed to do, smile. There is nothing to smile about. All you want to do is sob, but that doesn't make for a good photo either. So I just kept staring a Violet.
Nolan and I were surround by our families (my parents, Nolan's mom, my brother and his wife and daughters), our pastor, very close friends who are like family and Georgia.
We wanted everyone who wanted to see and hold Violet to be given the chance to do so. We didn't want to be private and alone. That's not how her birth would have been if she had been alive, so why should it be any different now. We needed to lean on these people now more than ever.
We had a blessing for Violet, done by our pastor, with our friends and family in the room. We wanted to have these few memories to hold onto. We knew that there would be days when we were missing our baby girl and we wanted to have some good things to remember, not just the pain of not having her here with us.
We took turns holding her, touching her and checking out her tiny fingers and toes. The things you would normally do.
 That night after everyone left, Nolan and I took turns holding her. When one of us would break down the other one would be strong. It was nice to have that balance. I slept holding Violet most of the night. I just could not put her down. There is nothing worse than holding your dead baby that is packed in ice. But that's all I wanted to do. I wanted to hold her as much as I could because I knew that tomorrow I would have to leave her and how do you leave your baby?  How do you let the nurses take her and know that you will never see her face on this earth again? How do you walk out those hospital doors empty handed?

My World Upside Down

In October 2011, my world turned upside down. I will never be the same. Before I tell you about October, let me go back and tell you more of my story.

May 2011-After a year of trying to get pregnant, Nolan and I learned that we would be welcoming another child into our lives. And to our surprise I had been pregnant for a couple of months, but did not know it. We were so excited that this was happening again for us and for Georgia our then 3 year old daughter.

August 2011-It's a GIRL! We found out via ultrasound that we would be expecting another daughter into our family in January. Everything looks good. The baby is measuring a little bit small, but nothing that the ultrasound tech and the doctor are worried about right now. The doctor has suggested another ultrasound in a few weeks, just to check on our baby girl. Georgia has begun to call our baby girl Rainbow. Such a cute nickname for her little sister.

October 2011-My birthday! Yea! On Friday October 7 we went out with friends for dinner to celebrate. As we finished dinner and ordered our dessert, I felt some good hard kicks from little Rainbow. Little did I know that this would be the last time that I would know for sure that my daughter was alive in my womb. The following day I did not feel her move, but I fell asleep early and she was usually most active at night, around 9pm. I wasn't too concerned.
Sunday, still no movement, but I know from my previous pregnancy and from books that I've read that it's normal for you not to feel your baby moving everyday at this point in pregnancy. Knowing that comforted me, but I still was very concerned. My mother in law came into town for a short visit that night. She agreed that sometimes at this point you just don't feel them moving everyday. That night I was tossing and turning all night and just really didn't get a restful nights sleep. I kept praying and wishing that my baby would move and sometimes I thought that she did move, but it wasn't anything clear to let me know that she as OK.
Monday, I went into work as normal. I worked at a family practice doctor's office. I talked with the MDs about my situation and it was suggested that I go to my OBs office and get checked out, just to be safe. I called my OBs office and was told once again that it's normal not to feel movement everyday at this point in my pregnancy but that I could come in and meet with a nurse and check my baby's heartbeat. That nurse that I talked with on the phone reassured me that everything that everything was probably fine. As I left my office, I remember telling little Rainbow that she better be OK and I hope that I feel really silly for going all the way to my OBs office to hear her heartbeat. My husband was meeting me at the doctor's office. Thank goodness he was not working that day.
My husband and I arrived at the doctor's office around the same time. We sat in the waiting room, joking with each other and trying to keep each other from worrying. We're good at that....lifting each other's spirits. Finally my name was called and we went and waited for the nurse and to her our baby girl's beating heart! We could hear the heartbeat of another baby in the room next to me and I remember telling Nolan "Oh I think that I just felt her move." We joked that she was just testing us and that she waited to give me a kick until we got to the doctor's office.
Soon the nurse came into our room and placed the doppler on my large pregnant belly. First I hear a heartbeat and I relax. Then I realize, nope that is my heartbeat. The nurse asks if we've ever had any trouble getting the heartbeat before. I say, "No, it's always been strong and clear and they've always gotten it right away." After a few minutes of trying to get the heartbeat she tells me that maybe the baby is just in a position where they can't get a heartbeat with a doppler so we will try an ultrasound to see what is going on. Right then, I knew that my baby had died. I remember trying to keep myself together and to remain strong until I knew for sure what was happening. I looked into Nolan's eyes and I could tell that he was doing the same thing, but I could see the fear on his face and I'm sure that mine looked the same.
Another OB came into the room and she reassured me that sometimes babies just get into funny positions and we were going to be able to tell exactly what was going on in just a moment. She was cheerful, but not over the top. She was professional and comforting and exactly what we needed at that point. She wasn't my OB, but I'm glad that she was there. No ultrasound room was available at that time, but they had a portable device they could use. I could not see the ultrasound, but from the looks on their faces my fears were confirmed. An ultrasound room was made available for us and there we saw our little Rainbow on the screen. She was not dancing around as she had in the past for her ultrasounds and there was no beating heart. I'm pretty sure that my heart stop beating at that point too. The OB told us that she was sorry, but they could not find a heartbeat and our baby had passed away. They took some measurements and said that she was measuring about 23 weeks, which means that she had not been growing properly since I was almost 27 weeks along in pregnancy. My little Rainbow was gone.
The OB and ultrasound tech gave Nolan and I a few minutes. We cried. I don't think that I've ever cried so hard. I felt like I was going to get sick. I wanted to wake up from this nightmare. After a few minutes, the OB came back in and gave us some choices. She told me that it would be best for me to labor and deliver my baby. I could either go up to labor and delivery now or I could go home and she would call me later. I wanted to go home. I wanted us to tell Georgia what was going on. I didn't want her to be frightened because mommy just never came home that day. I wanted to cuddle her. I wanted her to make me feel better, which I knew that she would.
Nolan called my mom. He said that he never wants to have to tell my mom something like that ever again. His mom was waiting at our house with Georgia. When we arrived at home, there was lots of crying and hugging and a lot of sitting around feeling numb. Georgia was confused. Of course she did not understand. Why would she? She's 4.
The OB called back and said that I could either go in to the hospital that night and start the process or stay at home tonight and start tomorrow. "The process" starts by placing a pill (I believe it I took Prepidil) behind my cervix and this will be repeated every 6 hours until labor starts. One benefit about going to the hospital that night is that they would give me something to help me sleep. That was the deciding factor for me. I wanted to go to sleep and forget about this for a little while. I knew that I wasn't going to sleep at home so I might as well go to the hospital and sleep.
So we packed and arrived at the hospital at 7pm. We were shown to our room. I will never forget the looks of pity and sadness that the nurses gave us as we walked. That was the look we would be getting from friends and family for many weeks to come. We were the family who's baby died. Everyone feels bad for us and really, they should.


I decided to start this blog as a way for me to remember the events in my life over the past several months and to continue to remember everything new that is happening to me and my family. 
If you are reading this, hopefully you enjoy the posts. I also hope that I can articulate my feelings into the words on this page. 
Thanks for stopping by, keep checking out what I've got to say.