Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still Here...

Sorry that I haven't updated my blog in a while. I've been in a strange place lately and quite honestly, I really haven't felt like doing much of anything. I feel like it takes all I've got just to get through the day. Today marks 5 months since I gave birth to Andrew. I still can't believe we had to let our baby boy go.

I have my follow up appointment today with the fertility doctor regarding my premature ovary failure issue. We hope to find out what caused this to happen and what our next steps will be. I'm sure the question of whether we want to use donated eggs will come up but I'm pretty sure we will not be going that route. I think we've came to the conclusion that if God wants us to have another child, he will make it possible. Plus using someone eggs can be expensive and that's just not something we can afford right now. So we're pretty much putting this in God's hands now and hopefully he will lead the way and show us what we should do.

I wanted to make others aware that tomorrow is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. If you can, please light a candle at 7pm for one hour in loving memories of our babies. You can click on the box below for more information.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

This week has been kinda crazy. It started on Sunday night with Matthew having a fever. We were hoping he wasn't getting sick but of course he did. I took him to the doctor yesterday and he was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease. I was really surprised that he had it again because I had heard that once a child gets it, they cannot get it again. I asked the doctor about it and she said that there's always a different strand going around so that's probably why he got it again. The kicker? There's nothing they can give to him to help make him better. It has to run it's course so we've had a couple of rough nights around here. He has sores in his mouth that are really bothering him and every time he swallows, it hurts. He is acting better today so I'm hoping that it's finally clearing up. He hasn't been to daycare yet this week. I'm hoping he'll be able to go back on Friday.

The other event going on in our house is that I've been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure. When I visited my primary OB last month, she had some blood work done which came back with not so good results so she sent me to the fertility specialist. So yesterday he informed me that my ovaries have stopped functioning and I have a very slim chance of getting pregnant again. Talk about a low blow. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. How is this fair? First we lose our son and now I probably can't have anymore babies? It's so hard to comprehend this. It just doesn't make any sense. They don't have a reason for why this has happened. I have to get more blood work done (oh joy!) to find out the cause. This is something that cannot be fixed but they can at least find out the cause of it. Either way it sucks and it's very devastating to say the least. But at the same time I'm trying to keep a positive outlook about it. There is still a slim chance that I can get pregnant so I'm holding out hope but at the same time I don't want to drive myself crazy every month. It's going to a constant battle to remain calm and collected about the whole matter. Why does it have to be this difficult? I envy the people that don't have any problems, they don't know how lucky they really are.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Anniversary and a Camping Trip

Last Friday, Aug 28th, Steve and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it's been 5 years ago since I married my best friend. Never in a million years would I have guessed that we would have went through the horrible tragedy of losing our child. But we've remained strong and determined that we weren't going to let this break us. I read in a book right after we lost Andrew that the divorce rate jumps up to 80% when a couple loses a child. Wow, how is that for odds?? We've had hard days, I won't even begin to act like we haven't but we're getting through and I know in the end, it will make us stronger.

Also on Friday, we drove to Erie, PA for a long weekend of camping along with both sets of grandparents. We had a really good time despite the rain. Steve took some awesome pictures that I can hopefully put on here when he sends them to me (hint, hint). We did a lot of eating and talking, playing cards and making campfires. It was so nice to just get away.

So I started Weight Watchers yesterday. I'm on a mission to lose 30 pounds. I've gained 25 pounds since Steve and I got married so that pretty much breaks down to 5 lbs a year and now it's time to get rid of it. So like I was saying, yesterday was my first day and I already went over my points so wish me lots of luck because I think I'm gonna need it!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Visiting The Place Where Our Nightmare Began

I had an appointment today with my OB/GYN. This wasn't my first visit there since having Andrew. A few weeks after having him, I had to go back for a follow up with my doctor. I think I was more nervous about going there today than I was for my follow up visit. I was picturing a waiting room full of very happy and excited pregnant women. Luckily that wasn't the case. Coincidentally yesterday was 6 weeks since my due date so of course I was thinking that this should have been my 6 week check up. Crazy things like that run through your mind when you suffer the loss of a baby. Anyways, I had a good visit although my body isn't acting the way that it should and it's starting to frustrate me but hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

This weekend we're heading to Erie, PA for a few days of camping. Steve's parents are meeting us there along with my parents. I'm looking forward to a nice, relaxing time. I really hope the weather cooperates and it doesn't rain. We'll be staying in cabins with no bathrooms. I'm not too crazy about that but I'm trying to be a trooper. I had thought about bringing Matthew's little potty so I don't have to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I thought it was a good idea but Steve said that it was a gross idea. It can't be any more gross than peeing behind a tree, right?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Busy August

I can't believe it's almost the middle of August already. Summer is almost over, I can't believe it. The weather hasn't been very summery this season although this week is suppose to be HOT, HOT, HOT! These are the days that I wish we had a pool. We've talked about getting one but we're not planning on being in our current house very much longer so we don't want to spend the money on it just yet. Hopefully in our next house we'll have a nice, big pool!

We've been pretty busy this month. Last week our church had their Vacation Bible School. It was a busy week but a lot of fun. The kids had a blast. We had 97 kids that showed up, that's pretty good if you ask me! This week I'm turning the big 33 on Wednesday. Seriously, I'm turning 33?? I don't feel 33. I guess that's a good thing, right?

In July, we took Matthew to an airshow. It was called Thunder Over Michigan and it included the Blue Angels which were cool to see. It was a long day but we had a great time. I could have done without the 2 hour wait to get out of the parking lot after. Oh well. Here's Matthew with his headphones on, he's not crazy about loud noises.

And here's what happens when you've had a little too much airshow

A couple of weeks ago, we went to The Henry Ford Museum. I've only been there once and Matthew had never been there. We decided to go since it was raining outside. It was a nice afternoon although I think Matthew was a little too young to enjoy it. We're planning on going back when he gets a little older.

Right now we're trying to plan a long weekend getaway. We have no idea where we want to go. We want to take our dogs with us so that limits us to where we can stay. I'd love to go somewhere with a beach since we didn't get to go to North Carolina this year. Boo!

And I wanted to share this, Carly from To Write Their Name in the Sand wrote Andrew's name. It's so beautiful!

I guess that's it for now. I'm in the process of doing a makeover on my blog, hopefully I will finish it soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blood Clot Disorder - Check!

So I just got off the phone with the doctors office. They gave me the results of my recent blood test. They were testing my protein c level. The first set of blood work I had done showed that my level was low but that was 4 weeks after giving birth to Andrew so they weren't sure if my body was back to "normal" at that time so I had another set of blood work done a few weeks later to check my level again and I just found out that it was still low. This means that I have a blood clot disorder and the next time I become pregnant, I will have to give myself a shot 2x a day with a blood thinner which isn't really a big deal, whatever it takes to make myself and my baby healthy, I will do it.

So that brings me to the question, is that what caused his death? Did he have a blood clot that took his life? Did he die so that I didn't die? We'll never know.

I wanted to share this picture, it's similar to the pictures in my previous post but I took this one with my phone. Notice the light above Matthew's head. I'm not one to always believe in "signs" but this is one that I have a hard time not believing in. I feel that it is Andrew watching over his older brother. I hope that he stays with him for the rest of his life and helps him to choose the right paths to take and the right decisions to make.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Andrew's Memorial

Yesterday we went to the cemetery to see Andrew's memorial that was installed on Friday. It turned out really nice. We included the sailboat since that's what we were going to decorate Andrew's room with.

The memorial stone

Matthew checking out his little brothers memorial
This is a statue that was donated to the cemetery,
I'm assuming by a family that lost a baby

It was a cloudy day but as soon as we got to the cemetery, the sun came out. Thanks Andrew!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I've been slacking on my blog lately but it's been a busy few weeks. We celebrated Matthew's birthday at the end of June. Hopefully I'll have pictures to share soon. Steve has been super busy and hasn't had time to process them. We had a great time and I'm pretty sure Matthew enjoyed his day. Last weekend was the 4th of July. We went to a parade in Northville then to my parents house for a bbq and campfire. It was a very nice weekend.

I got a new toy yesterday. I jumped on the iPhone bandwagon and boy, am I glad that I did. That thing is awesome! Now I see why people love it so much. Anything and everything right at your fingertips. I don't know how we ever functioned without this crazy technology. I do admit that it's sad that we rely on it so much these days. What ever happened to the simple life?

Well tomorrow is the day that I've been dreading for the past 2 months. It's my due date. I'm not sure how I will feel tomorrow. Will I be sad? Will I be okay? I've been feeling pretty good lately. I'm at peace with what happened to Andrew. No, I'm not happy about it but I'm at peace with it. There's nothing I can do to change what happened. He's gone. I can't do anything to bring him back. All I can do is look forward to the day that I will see him again. We plan to visit his grave tomorrow. We don't go there very often because we believe that he isn't there, he's in heaven but I feel like we should go for a visit. We're still waiting on his gravestone to come in. We were hoping that it would come in before his due date but no such luck.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2 Years Old

On Sunday, June 28th, Matthew turns 2 years old. Where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital. We're having an Elmo themed party. Matthew LOVES Elmo so I'm sure he's gonna love his party.

Steve's parents will be here tomorrow from NY. I'm glad they'll be here for a happy event this time.

Last weekend, we took Matthew to the Strawberry Festival parade. He loved it except for when the firetrucks blew their horns. He wasn't too crazy about them. (Head on over to Steve's photo blog to see a few pictures from that day). Speaking of pictures, while we were waiting for the parade to start, Steve was taking random pictures of Matthew. At one point, he missed an opportunity to take a really cute picture of Matthew sitting on the curb reading a little bible that he got from one of the booths at the festival. A lady that was standing nearby made a comment about how cute that picture would have been. Steve says to her that he has thousands of cute pictures of Matthew (that number is exaggerated btw). She proceeds to say "well wait until you have another child, you will only have about 300 pictures of them" Whoa, that was a stab to the heart. I almost said to her "lady, you have no idea". I would give anything to have 300 pictures of Andrew, let alone a thousand pictures of him.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Heavy Heart

It's been a month since we said hello and goodbye to our sweet baby boy. There isn't a day, hour or minute that doesn't go by that Andrew isn't on my mind. Often times, I find myself going through every detail of what happened from the time I found out that Andrew's heart stopped beating to the time we said our final goodbye at the cemetery. I miss our son terribly and wish that things could be different. I should be 36 weeks pregnant right now, not mourning the loss of our son. Last Friday I was suppose to go to a party for my cousin's birthday but I decided not to go because there were going to be 5 pregnant girls there. I tried to be that person that wasn't going to let that bother me but obviously it didn't work. As time goes on, I'm sure it will be easier for me to be in a situation like that but right now, it's not so easy. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Weekend Getaway

This past Saturday morning we were heading out to the Toledo Zoo. As we were driving down the road, we made a spontaneous decision to go out of town instead. So we turned the car around, went home and packed for an overnight stay. We kenneled the dogs and headed to the west side of the state. We weren't sure where we were going but we figured it out as we went along. Thank goodness for the navigation system in my car. I don't know how we ever functioned without it. We drove through a couple of small towns and ended up in Ludington for the night. But one of the first towns we drove through was Montague. We came to the center of town and found this....

Most people don't know this but Andrew's room was suppose to be a sailboat theme. We even had a sailboat put on his gravestone. So when I saw this, it reminded me of him. Isn't it beautiful? I wish he could have been with us on this trip although I'm sure he was looking down from heaven and wishing he was with us too.

It was a nice weekend. It was good to get away for a few days. We hope to do it again soon, maybe around the 4th of July. 

Here's a few more pictures from our trip to Lake Michigan...

Tonight will be our first time attending a support group since I delivered Andrew. We hope that it is somewhat helpful to us. We hate that there are so many people out there that have experienced the same or similar thing we have. It's truly heartbreaking to know how many babies do not make it in this world. Although I've been told that Andrew lived a perfect life and I could not agree more. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Poem

A good family friend of ours was inspired by God to write this poem for us. 

One day you will hold my tiny little hands, 
and whisper you've missed me and together we'll stand.

The air is so pure and the flowers so bright,
and mommy guess what? there is no night.

There's nothing to fear and there's joy all around,
and the praises of angels is the most beautiful sound.

There's plenty of children up here that I see,
although I'm quite different, you both wanted me.

Many are sad all the pain they went through,
the world says there's tissue but we know that's not true.

I know I was treasured the day you conceived,
although you couldn't see me, you chose to believe.

I know there's questions about my short life,
but soon we'll be together where there is no strife.

And though I have so very much to learn,
there is something missing and that I discern.

It's the absence I feel from you and dad,
but one day I'll see you so I am not sad.

I came to know your voice and such, 
Matthew's laughter and daddy's touch.

Your prayers of excitement I felt each day,
but things just happened another way.

Please don't cry and don't be sad,
I'll greet you soon, still a little lad.

They say a day is as a thousand years,
so please don't shed another tear.

So mommy and daddy you'll just have to wait, 
but I promise to meet you at the Eastern gate.

Please be there
Love Andrew

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Plague

When our nightmare began, my good friend, Amy gave me some advice on how to deal with Andrew's death. One thing that she told me is don't be surprised if people treat you like you have the plague. Now I know how true that is. I know what it's like for people to avoid the subject. It's easier for them to just look the other way or not to acknowledge us or Andrew at all. Well I have news for those people, nothing hurts more than someone not acknowledging us or our baby. If you know of someone that has lost a baby, don't be afraid to say something to them. More than likely, they'll want to talk about their baby. Even if you just say "I'm sorry" that's better than saying nothing at all. As much as it hurts, I want to talk about Andrew. No, Steve and I do not sit around talking about him all the time but I know we're thinking about him constantly. He is our son. Our second son and we will never deny him. So if you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Moving on, I cannot believe it's June 1st. Matthew will be turning 2 at the end of this month. Where has the time gone? We're having an Elmo themed birthday party for him. He LOVES Elmo. I can't wait for him to see Elmo (well the Elmo decor) at his birthday party, I think he'll be very excited!

We've been going back and forth about going on vacation this summer. We had talked about going away on Andrew's due date but that might not work out for us. I would love to go to the beach and just relax. That sounds good right about now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two weeks ago

Two weeks ago, we received the devastating news about our unborn son. I can't believe it's already been two weeks. In one sense, it feels like it's been longer but in another sense, it feels like time is flying by.

Last Friday, Steve picked me up from work and we headed out to the cemetery to pick out a gravestone for our son. Coincidentally I was suppose to have my 33 week check-up that afternoon. So instead of going to the doctor to listen to our baby's heartbeat, we were going to the cemetery to pick out his gravestone. Let me tell you, that feeling sucks more than you know.

Steve and I are doing pretty well. We're taking it day by day. Some days are easier than others. We had a nice Memorial Day weekend. We stayed pretty busy and got a lot of things done around the house. Here's a few pictures from the weekend.

A beautiful lilly from a bouquet we received

Matthew trying to shave like daddy

Is this a glimpse into our future?

Hopefully this is not a glimpse into our future, Matthew behind bars.

Matthew and mommy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Week Ago

I cannot believe it's already been a week since we met and said goodbye to Andrew. The past week has been a complete blur. I feel like I'm living in a fog. I'm starting to have a hard time leaving the house. This may not make any sense but the more I'm out of the house, the more emotional I become. Maybe it's because the world didn't stop because our son passed away not that I expected it to but it's hard to see everyone go on with their lives and I feel like my world is completely shattered. 

Tomorrow Steve and I are going back to the cemetery to pick out a headstone for Andrew's grave. Definitely not something I'm looking forward to or imagine I would ever be doing. We're hoping to have a sailboat put on his stone since we had planned on decorating his room with sailboats. 

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Without God, I don't know how we would make it through this difficult time in our lives.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where Do I Begin?

Gosh, where I do begin? 

I haven't made a post since December. Boy, how things have changed since then. I would give anything to go back to December. Back to a time of Christmas shopping and spending time with family. Back to a time when we were excited about expecting our second child. 

On October 30, 2008, we found out that we were expecting our second child. We were beyond thrilled. We didn't share the news with many people in the beginning. With the holidays coming up, we thought it would be the perfect time to tell our families. I went out and bought a Big Brother shirt for Matthew so we could tell our families by having him wear it. I actually bought it to tell Steve but it kinda backfired on me. Oh well. We had planned on telling my family on Thanksgiving but some unexpected doctor appointments came up so I finally had to tell my mom so she could help watch Matthew while I went to my doctors appointments. They were so happy that we were having another baby. We had planned on telling Steve's parents at Christmas time since they live in NY and this was our year to be out there for Christmas but the weather changed all of that. Steve ended up telling them over the phone. They were also very excited. 

So the months started to pass and we quickly came upon the big ultrasound. There was no question in our minds that we were finding out the sex of our baby. If you know us, we are planners so the more we know, the better we can be prepared.  On February 23, 2009, we found out that we were having another boy! We were so excited. I think some people, including Steve, thought I would be disappointed because it wasn't a girl but there's no way I could be disappointed. The thought of having two sons thrilled me. 

A few more months passed by. We started to plan the nursery. The furniture had been bought and the theme had been picked. We decided to go with sailboats. I was originally going to do a jungle theme but Steve really wanted sailboats. We found a bedding that we really liked so the decision was made, sailboats would be the theme. We started to clean out the spare bedroom and prepare the room for our new son. We had planned on painting the room over Memorial Day weekend. 

On May 9th, my mom threw a small shower for me. My family and close friends attended. I received so many wonderful gifts for our baby boy. This was also the weekend of Mother's Day. I had been by myself the whole weekend because Steve and Matthew flew out to visit his family. We hadn't been to NY since Easter of last year so he wanted to go out for a visit. I opted not to go because of the shower plus we didn't want to kennel our dogs and I doubt my doctor would have let me fly anyways since I was 31 weeks. 

On May 10th, I went to church that morning. As I was sitting in church, the baby was moving like crazy. The pastor preached about Mother's. It was a great service and all of the mother's received a beautiful rose. Later that day, Steve and Matthew flew back from NY. I was so happy to see them, I had missed them so much. That was the longest time I was away from Matthew and it wasn't easy. After I picked them up, we headed to my parents house for dinner. It was a great Mother's Day!

The Tuesday after Mother's Day, I was home with Matthew. We played outside for most of the day. It was a beautiful day. Later I started to realize that I hadn't felt the baby move. While Matthew was napping, I decided to lay down for a little while to see if I could feel the baby. I felt nothing but I didn't panic. He usually didn't move much during the day, he moved more in the evenings so I figured I would try to lay down again later to feel him moving. Later came and I still felt nothing. I was hoping that maybe he just moved positions and that was the reason I couldn't feel him. So the next morning, when Steve was leaving for work, I mentioned that I was going to call the doctor to ask them if I should come in since I hadn't felt him. So we said our goodbyes and Matthew and I proceeded to get ready for our day. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect that day to go the way that it did.

I dropped Matthew off at daycare. As I was driving to work, I called my doctors office. I told them that I hadn't felt the baby move the previous day so they wanted me to come in for a non stress test. I called Steve to tell him that I was going in. He wanted to know if he should come too but I told him no, that I'm sure everything was fine plus by the time he got to the doctors office, I would probably be done and on my way to work. 

When I arrived at the doctors office, they took me back to the room. I sat down in the chair and the nurse proceeded to hook me up to the machine that monitored the baby's heartbeat and to see if I was having an contractions. When the nurse tried to hook up the monitor for the baby's heartbeat, she couldn't find it. I asked her if that was normal and she said no. I started to tear up. She said that they were going to have the doctor do an ultrasound. They took me to a room and I sat there for what felt like forever. Finally the doctor came in but there was no ultrasound machine in the room so we had to move to a different room. Great, all I was thinking is "can we get this over with. Just show me that my baby's heart is still beating and everything will be fine." 

The doctor started the ultrasound. He showed me the baby's head then he moved down to the heart. This is when my nightmare began. There was no heartbeat. I can't even begin to describe to you how I felt at that moment. I guess shocked would be the correct word. He looked again just to double check and sure enough, there was no heartbeat. I immediately started to cry. He had to leave the room to get another doctor for a second opinion. She came in and confirmed it, said she was so sorry and left. The doctor started to tell me what needed to be done. I was given the option to go in that day or the next morning to deliver our son. Originally I had decided to go that afternoon but I changed my mind when I found out that my primary doctor was on call at the hospital the next morning. He asked if I wanted to stay there and call my husband or if I wanted to leave. I wanted to leave. I wanted out of that office.

When I got in the car, I called Steve. I was crying so hard that I could hardly make out the words that our baby died. But somehow he understood exactly what I said and immediately left work. I couldn't believe that this was happening to us. How could this happen? Our baby was perfectly healthy, why did he have to die?

We arrived at the hospital at 7am on Thursday, May 14th. We were immediately taken back to our room. The doctor came in and explained what was going to happen. Unfortunately I already had an idea of what the procedure was going to be. (I have a very close friend that went through this horrible experience almost 2 years ago. She came to visit me the day I found out our baby was gone. We sat and cried for a few hours. She has been more help to me than she'll ever know. I'm so thankful God has put her in my life.) It was a long day. It was filled with some laughs and a lot of crying. 

At 8:11pm, Andrew John was born. He weighed 4lbs, 11.5oz and he was 18.5" long. He was perfect. He looked just like his older brother, just like him. His skin was so soft. His tiny hands and feet were beautiful. He had a head full of hair like his brother did when he was born. Our family was there with us so they were able to see him and hold him. Matthew was also there. He met his baby brother and we took some pictures together. 

I stayed overnight at the hospital. My mom stayed with me while Steve went home to stay with Matthew. Andrew stayed in the room with us. I just couldn't bare to send him away yet. The next morning I was discharged. Steve came to pick me up and we said our final goodbyes to Andrew. I didn't want to let him go. I wanted to take him home with us and keep him forever. This was our child. We weren't suppose to be mourning over him, we were suppose to be celebrating his life and taking him home to start our life as a family of four. But God had a plan. I don't know what it is or was but he had a plan. I firmly believe that. Sure, I'm upset that God would allow us to go through this painful journey but I also believe there are reasons far more than I can comprehend. 

After leaving the hospital, we went to the funeral home to pick out a casket, something we never in our lives would imagine we would have to do. We picked out a beautiful white casket that was perfect for our son. We had a small, private funeral at the cemetery on Monday, May 18th. It was a beautiful, sunny day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. 

I miss Andrew so much. I miss feeling him move around in my belly. I miss that I'm not going to be able to decorate a room for him. I miss that I'm not going to feel that joy of holding my newborn baby boy. I'm devastated that we didn't get the chance to know him, know his little quirks, his little expressions. But I do believe that Andrew had  a sense of humor even if we didn't get to experience it. Something happened at the cemetery that I will share at another time that made Steve and I laugh. Now you might think that that's a bad time to find humor in something but we had no other choice but to laugh about it. 

Our angel is in heaven now, looking down on us. I believe one day we'll see him again. I also believe and hope that he will be looking out for Matthew and will be with him during his journey in life. People have asked us if we will try again and without a doubt we will but another baby will not replace Andrew. He will be forever in our hearts and we will never, ever forget him.