Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I feel so conflicted. I'm a member of a couple of message boards, most of which are mommy-oriented. There have been quite a few posts from women who've been diagnosed with SUA and they are looking for advice and stories of moms who've been there. I really believe these women are posting looking for reassurance that their babies will be okay, so I have never replied with what happened to me. I know it's not what they want to hear, and I don't want to scare the hell out of a mom for no reason. Most healthy SUA babies are born alive and healthy. But there is this part of me that wishes someone would have told me. What if someone had said, "hey, i saw you've been diagnosed with a two-vessel cord. your baby is probably going to be just fine, but I didn't have a good outcome. You should be aware of what happened to me and talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the risk of it happening to you"? Would I have done anything differently? Maybe I would have been a little more paranoid about the reduced movement around 36 weeks, and asked my doctor for an ultrasound. Maybe they'd have seen Gregory was in distress and he would have been born alive. What if months from now one of those moms who posted looking for advice and stories posts her own tragic tale, and I have to carry it with me forever that I didn't speak up? I always get so close to replying, and then I back down because I don't want to scare the hell out of her. No mom wants to hear that her baby could die. What do I do with this awful knowledge and experience?

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Some fun kitty photos because I'm bored this afternoon.

The very fat San Francisco kitties:

Our mommy cat's first baby:

Two more babies, these two from the second litter. (Mommy cat had 1 kitten in the first litter, 3 in the second. Mommy, Daddy, and babies all still live here. Yes, we have 6 cats.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007



'Costas said he wasn't offended by Bonds' snipe.
"As anyone can plainly see, I'm 5-6 1/2 and a strapping 150, and unlike some people, I came by all of it naturally," Costas said Thursday.'

I love you Bob Costas!

Friday, July 27, 2007


**Highly Sensitive**

Lurking a little while ago on a July EDD group on one of my message boards (I love to read the birth stories - I do the same thing on the waiting to test group, I love seeing the girls so happy when they find out they are pregnant!) and read devastating news. One of the mommies ended up being induced on Wednesday night and it all ended badly. She had to have an emergency c-section this afternoon (her son was born and they have him in the NICU as a precaution) but there were complications and she died this evening. I just don't know what to do with this. She has a daughter who isn't even two years old yet. Her poor husband, those poor children. I can't stop crying. How the fuck does something like this happen in 2007?? I've dealt with a lot of my own mortality issues in the last year (I suppose it's normal enough when you bury a child) but it still never really occurred to me that my husband could take my child home and have to bury me. How on earth does this still happen? It's not fair. It's just not fair. I know all too well that excitement of expecting a normal, happy childbirth and having it go all wrong, but this is different.

I can not imagine losing Marc, I can not imagine the grief. Right after Gregory died, I had a very serious, intense fear of losing Marc as well. He would leave the hospital to go find food, or to pick up family to bring them to visit, or to run home and feed the cats, and I was petrified the entire time he was gone that he wouldn't be safe. I would have to sit on the phone with my mother or a friend to just distract me for the hour he was gone. Maybe it's because I've had a child die, because I know the pain and recovery that follows that tragedy, that I'm not as afraid of it anymore. I'm definitely more afraid of Marc dying. Two years ago, I think I would have said it would be easier to grieve my husband than my child. I realize how much I've leaned on him in my grief over Gregory, and I have grown to love Marc in ways I didn't know my heart was capable of. I dread the day we ever part.

Please keep this family in your prayers; the husband who tries to find joy in the birth of his son while dealing with the grief for his wife, the daughter who won't understand why mommy isn't coming home and probably won't remember her well as she grows older, and the newborn son who will never know his mommy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Nothing much new to report here. Working during the day, passing out at night. We went shopping this weekend, and I got some cute new maternity shirts and a bunch of long sleeved onesies. Gregory was due in July, this baby is February, so we are going to need warmer clothes. Marc had a lot of fun shopping. He told me that he thinks little girl clothes are more fun that little boy clothes. Then we went into another store with baby polos and button down shirts for boys! We were swimming in cute! I'm so happy that Marc is so hopeful and excited, I was worried that losing Gregory ruined that part of us.

Went to a barbecue on Sunday with my in-laws. Marc's first cousin was there with his fiance and her two kids. They are expecting a baby later this year. I was a little jealous. We did everything 'the right way': got married, have well paying jobs, got an apartment in a great neighborhood while we save up for a house. We started trying for a baby in May 2005. The earliest we will bring home a baby is February 2008. It's a bit tough to see other people attain your dream without even trying. It sound so judgemental, and I hate that it does. Life just isn't always fair. I hate that too. I think it would have been much harder to be around them if we weren't expecting Beulah.

I am so surprised that I'm already this far along without a moment of spotting. It still feels way too good to be true. I'm afraid to tell anyone, even now that we've seen a heartbeat. We've talked about not telling anyone for a long time. With me working from home, it will be rather easy. My sisters' (twins) have a birthday at the end of August. One sister knows, the other is suspicious, but I've managed to put her off. We are thinking of telling her on her birthday. She is going to be so excited! I do not want to tell my grandmother or Marc's until we can't hide it anymore. I want to spare everyone the fear of losing another baby for as long as I can. Marc is talking about staying out of sight from the grandmas and extended family until Thanksgiving or Christmas, and inviting everyone over and letting them see for themselves. It will take patience, but I'm onboard. I do think we should tell Marc's parents (and tell them to keep quiet) because my mother knows and I don't want them to be hurt. If we held out to Thanksgiving, our family would only be worried for 2.5 months. Christmas will be too difficult, because I will see them at Thanksgiving either way.

Of course, the above scenario might be a pipe dream. I might be able to avoid my family, even though we live in the same neighborhood as a lot of them, but other people I run into could congratulate them on the impending birth, and then our secret is blown. I went to buy orange juice yesterday, and I was putting it on the counter, the guy says "Oh, orange juice is good for the baby" and pointed to my stomach. Holy crap, dude, I'm not even 9 weeks! And the thing is, I'm tall and very thin. I'm a bag of bones for the most part. My stomach is loose from the last pregnancy and I am pretty bloated, but I didn't think I looked pregnant! With Gregory, no one mentioned it until much further along. I was 22 weeks or so, in the market below my office grabbing lunch with a friend on a Saturday morning, and the lady asked when the baby was due. I looked at her like she had 3 heads and said "what baby?" before I realized she meant the one I was pregnant with! This is way too early for random strangers to be pointing it out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Went for the ultrasound this morning, but didn't see the doctor. Awesome new tech there, she really put me at ease. Little Beulah is so cute! She's measuring 7w3d and has a heartrate of 160 bpm. I had an ultrasound at this point with Gregory, but he consistently measured at least a week behind, so he was still a teeny blob without much shape. Beulah has tiny little wiggly arm and leg buds! I am so in love. I started crying at one point, but I'm not sure if it was over the joy of seeing the baby or if it's because I had a really full bladder.

7w5d (technically since it's after midnight)

Less than 12 hours to go until we see Beulah! I am scared. I keep running through bad scenarios in my head, trying to prepare myself for the worst. I'm going to see the doctor sometime in the morning, and my ultrasound appointment is at 11:30 am ET. (Then I have to fly home by the seat of my pants because I have a meeting at 12:30 pm ET.) Please God, give me a healthy, happy, living baby to take home this time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Just got back from the wedding reception, and we had a fabulous time. The bride was gorgeous and the groom was glowing. The love they have for each other is amazing. It just so powerful, it felt like they'd both explode with joy. It is so much more than being in love, they truly love each other, and sadly, I don't think there is enough of that these days. The groom sang a few songs to his beautiful bride, and so many tears were shed! Early in the evening when we were speaking with the groom, he was telling us that he'd never seen anything more beautiful than her on their wedding day. You can just see it in the way they look at each other, and the way they treat each other...what they have between the two of them is so wonderful. She deserves someone who will love her for all eternity, and I think she's found him.

Had a freakout (yesterday at this point) in the afternoon. I walked a few blocks for pizza, and on my way back, my left shoulder started screaming out of nowhere. Alarm bells started going off in my head. All I could think was 'ectopic'. I was three blocks from home and panicking. M freaked out when I came in. I scared the hell out of him. The shoulder pain was definitely odd - it was radiating down my arm and up my neck within moments. I read something that said to take some safe pain medication and ice it for 10 minutes, and after 30 minutes, if it had eased, it was unlikely to be caused by an ectopic pregnancy. Those were the longest 30 minutes, but thankfully, it eased considerably, and once I took a warm shower, pretty much went away. I spoke to my mother and a friend, both who agreed that I should only worry if I was also having abdominal pain, which I wasn't. My mother said at that point I'd be doubled over in pain, and bending wouldn't even be an option. Thank God for people who aren't hormonal, panicky, and long-since-crazy. Only 4 more sleeps (I am so not counting naps) until Beulah's first home movie...and I can not wait. Next milestone: baby with healthy heartbeat, in uterus, not on my scar. Only 4 more sleeps.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I'm home! Hurray! I got home last night after a rather uneventful flight that I almost enjoyed! Flying isn't so bad as long as you are pretty sure you won't crash. I prayed the Hail Mary repeatedly during take-off, but after that, I was okay. My sisters went home two days before me, but they didn't tell me until after I'd landed safely that their flight was really bad. After being delayed almost two hours, the plane caught fire approximately ten minutes after take-off. Except no one could find the fire. Everyone started smelling smoke, the pilot had fire alarms going off in the cockpit, but no one could actually locate the fire. Unsettling to say the least. Then they circled the airport for a while before sitting on the tarmac for forty minutes before getting to the gate. Their flight was the exact same flight as mine (same flight number, same schedule) and I landed, drove home, went out for dinner, and was in my pajamas before they even got in the car. M surprised me at baggage claim with flowers and took me out for IHOP, which I'd been craving since I got to San Fran. I found one there, but it was not as good and gave me a stomachache. I think he was a little deflated that I wasn't jumping up and down, but it was weird to see his face after two weeks, and my head was already spinning with the excitement of being home.

But I'm home! My cats are being nice to me again. The mommy cat has never really liked me (the only time she really loved me was when she was birthing the baby kitties) and mostly growled at me and gave me THE LOOK (thanks Steph for the phrase) which is the equivalent of 'the death stare' all night. This morning she's warmed up to me again and is tolerating my presence.

Beulah seems to be doing well enough. This is such a rough time. All I have to go on is that my pants don't fit well and I'm nauseated if I don't eat every few hours. I'm excited for my ultrasound on Wednesday. I just want to see a heartbeat and wiggly baby.

From the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Blog Directory, a few thought provoking questions:

1. What do you want people to know about the child (or children) you have lost?
That they existed and were real. That I love them so much I'd have died in their places. I want people to know that Gregory looked just like his father, with a tiny bit of my family mixed in. I want them to know that he was the greatest gift God has ever given me.

2. What names did you give (or plan to give) your children and why?
My first baby was an early miscarriage, we named that baby Nicky, after a little girl I knew who passed away when she was ten years old. She was such a lovely girl - pretty, spunky, and loving. She was a great big sister, and her birthday was around the time I miscarried, and I knew Nicky would watch over my little baby in heaven. We named our son Gregory Ian. Gregory was a boy's name we both thought was wonderful, and Ian was after M's friend's brother, who died as a result of an accident in his teen years. We'd planned on naming him that long before he died, and we felt it important to give him the same name we'd planned on giving him had he lived.

3. What rituals or ways of memorializing your children seem to best help you cope with their loss?
We visit G's grave on his birthday, the day he was buried, holidays, and whenever we miss him. We have one of the teddy bears that we bought for him (we buried him with the identical mini-bear rattle we bought the same day) and I hug it whenever I really miss him. His due date (which was Thursday) is a tough day for me (not so much for M) so I think of him often. We went to the cemetery last year on his due date, but this year I was away, so I couldn't. I will probably go tomorrow.

4. What are the kindest and/or most helpful things people have said to you? What are the worst?
People have been very kind. Some friends took us out for dinner and brought me my favorite brownies. Friends have listened to me vent, held my hand while I sobbed, and just let me be in a shitty mood when I needed to be. A few of my friends have seen the pictures of G and don't act horrified, even though it's a natural reaction for some of them. My sisters have taken amazing care of me. I cut my maternity leave in half last summer but worked from home about a month after he died - but my sisters came and babysat me almost everyday, allowing me to grieve when I needed to and offering a welcome distraction when I needed one. It was two months of daily day time slumber parties in my house last summer! Some of the worst things came from people who were trying to help. "It's better that he died, we wouldn't want a disabled baby in the family." Wow. I'll gladly take whatever kind of baby God wants to give me, thankyouverymuch. I don't care if he has two heads and five arms. There was also comments about returning baby gifts for cash. Wow. I know people were trying to help, which is why I don't hate these people today. I learned quickly to greet people by saying "Thank you so much for being here for me. It means so much to me. It's okay that you don't know what to say, most of the time, I don't know what to say. Just being here to listen to me and give me a shoulder to cry on is so wonderful."

5. Who is your hero? Who helps you make it through the dark days better than anyone else on the planet?
I have a few heroes. Most of them are women I've met online through message boards and blogs, who offer me hope of getting through the really rough days. My mom, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother are also big role models for me. My mom has lived through a lot of stuff, and the fact that she came out only a little bit crazier (lol) because of it all reminds me that I come from a long line of strong women. My grandmother has been through hell - my mother's sister is mentally retarded. The choices my grandmother has had to make require a very strong mind and a lot of faith in God. The fact that she hasn't gone off the deep end reminds me that I can keep going. And while I didn't know GiGi for long (my great grandmother passed away while I was young), I know that she lost her oldest child Elizabeth when she was 13 months old. She went on to have five other children. She reminds me that there can be so much joy after so much agony.

6. Is there anything you need to say or want to say but haven't been able to? Can you say it now?
I don't know. I think I've been pretty open with my feelings in general. My mother and my sisters will listen until I'm blue in the face. M lets me talk about it whenever I want to talk, even though I think it's harder for him to share his own feelings.

7. How are you doing? How are you really doing?
I'm doing ok. I've had some trouble in the last few days being excited over this pregnancy. I feel like I'm betraying Gregory a little bit, even though I know he would want me to have other children. I almost feel like I should dedicate the rest of my life to mourning him because otherwise he'll think I've forgotten him. I feel a lot of my raw grief is gone, and I'm afraid it's because I'm 'moving on'. I don't want to move on. I want to keep him fresh in my mind and heart.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


My sisters arrived safe and sound in San Fran. We've done some sightseeing and taken lots of pictures. One of my sisters figured out that I'm pregnant, and we've had a sort of unspoken agreement to keep it quiet. My other sister is figuring it out fast. I haven't told her because I know she wouldn't want to know until I'm out of the first trimester. I'm going to have to admit it before we head home at the end of the week.

Less than a week until we head back home! This being away is really tough. Not as hard as I thought it would be, but still really, really tough. I'm really homesick, even though the girls are here. I miss my kitties and miss M. I miss my bed, my tv, my computer (this laptop isn't mine). Only a few more days. And then only a few more days after that until Beulah's first baby picture!

And even though I'm not showing this blog to anyone anytime soon...congrats to my pals who got hitched Saturday (07-07-07) and to my friend C. and her husband on the birth of their daughter, who is just gorgeous.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Hello from the west coast! I flew in Sunday night and I made it ok! I cried and prayed and hugged my stuffed penguin (Opus) while we took off. The flight itself was uneventful, and we landed on time despite being delayed on the tarmac for over an hour. The hotel isn't as fab as I was led to believe, but it could be much worse. There was some craziness when I was checking in, but hopefully that is already fixed (and the large amount of cash that was withdrawn from my bank account is on its way back in!).

The new job is awesome, I really like it. The people are all really nice and I'm learning a lot. I think I'm going to enjoy the work I'll be doing!

Fun things in San Fran so far:
  • The giant naked mermaid hanging in the hallway in my hotel
  • The (homeless?) guy who had 2 of the fattest, roundest orange cats harnessed to the top of his cart outside of Starbucks this morning
  • The office being less than 2 blocks away from my hotel

Sucky things in San Fran so far:

  • Missing M and my kitties
  • Being 3 hours behind most of the people I love
  • Missing my friend getting married on Saturday

Things to look forward to:

  • Seeing my sisters in less than 48 hours!
  • Seeing Beulah on ultrasound in 15 days!
  • Seeing my friend and her new husband at their wedding reception a week from Saturday

So far we've got no spotting, although the lighting in the hotel room was so sucky and I was so tired I thought I was at first. I want nothing more than for Beulah to be ok and to stick around for a hundred years or so, but I don't think I believe deep down that she will. I am so afraid of miscarrying. There has been so much sadness in the last week or so on one of the message boards I belong to. It's just so scary to know that you can be feeling just fine and your baby has gone and you have no idea.