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Getting Closer, But Not Any Easier (PAL Journal: 15 Weeks)


It’s strange being pregnant after loss in your second trimester of pregnancy. You no longer have that feeling of relief you did before when you felt you were in the “safe zone” because you made it past the first trimester when everyone tells you there’s a risk of miscarriage. Your concerns over suddenly finding out your baby died are no longer at bay. You know, there is no safe zone. There are many second trimester losses, including those that find out there’s a life-threatening diagnosis at the 20 week anatomy scan so they have to make the heart wrenching decision of ending a wanted pregnancy. Not to mention other natural losses that may be explained or not. Including my own at 31 weeks, the final trimester. So needless to say at this point I was a ball of nerves. But as you can see, I still made myself document every moment and tried my best to make memories because no matter how long I would get to carry this baby I wanted him to know how loved he is.

If you’re pregnant after loss, know that I get your complicated experience of pregnancy and I’m sorry. I wish it could be easier. I wish I could tell you that the baby at the end of the rainbow is guaranteed, so just enjoy this time. It’s hard to say that when we know that it’s not true. But I hope and pray it will be. Take this pregnancy one day, or one hour at a time. You can borrow my mantra, “today my baby is safe and healthy”.

Just finished your security blankie baby! Started last night and finished the rest on the car ride to the doctor apt. & before bed. I think you’ll love it & hang on it all the time. It’s so soft & cozy & made with all my love.
You were moving & kicking quite a bit today. 153 heart beat. We were so happy to see you’re doing well. Doctor printed this pic to show us that you’re a boy, which we’ve know for a couple weeks. Excited to see you again in two weeks!

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Keep Growing Baby Boy! Another Week Closer To Meeting Our Rainbow (PAL Journal: 14 Weeks)

Jackson moved a lot in the womb, just like his big brother Owen. This didn’t ease my fears given that we lost Owen even after a normal, healthy pregnancy, but I tried to document every time we got to see Jax on the ultrasounds (though I was terrified and full of fear of getting bad news every single time we went in for one; such is the torture of PAL).


Feeling you move as I wait for our apt. Such a reassuring and miraculous feeling. I love you baby. I hope everything is okay. We’ll see you shortly. (Truly always trying to be positive and hopeful, though I was literally in tears by the time I got to hear his heartbeat every visit.)


I felt you move around tonight. Just a few slight rolls in the lower left side of my stomach as I watched a movie with your daddy before bedtime. It makes me so happy to feel your movements. I love you so much already baby boy!

Completed your rainbow baby set! I learned to crochet from my Abue (grandma) who always crocheted & knit items for all of the babies in the family. I haven’t tried knitting yet, but crocheting is definitely a good way for me to focus my mind on something other than what’s going on with our baby. Thankfully Pinterest & YouTube have lots of good tutorials to keep me occupied!
Daddy picked out this Jellycat calf for your first stuffy when we went out for breakfast. I thought it was perfect for you too, our little cowboy buckaroo! ? Your big sister also got a Jelly Cat stuffed animal for her first toy (a cute, scruffy dog that daddy found for her at the Grove while working at Extra).
Another pic of my growing belly taken by our sweet first daughter. Fresh out of the shower! Just wanted to make sure I don’t miss a single week with our baby boy! You never know how many you’re going to get when you’re pregnant after loss, so I didn’t know if these would be sad or happy memories in the future, but I wanted to have them either way.

Oh How I Wish

I wish I knew you were in danger.

I wish I had screamed at the ER for help instead of cried.

I wish I was warned about the signs.

I wish we could have saved you.

I wish I could’ve held you alive.

I wish you were still in my arms today.

Missing you, my forever baby Owen.

Finding Out We Were Having Another Boy & Why His Name Is So Meaningful (PAL Journal: 12-13 Weeks)


We were finally given a call in the evening by the nurse to tell us the results of our genetic testing. I was so relieved, I was telling Josh that afternoon that I really wanted to call to find out, but didn’t want to bother them (after all we’ve been through, I was still trying not to “bother” my doctors!). Thankfully the nurse said she saw our results come in and knew we’d like to know before the weekend so she called us (what a sweet, empathetic woman). Amazing news, everything tested normal! And… It’s a boy! We were all so happy. Naomi wanted a sister, but we know she’ll love you either way. We both had a feeling you might be a boy; I even had bought several boy accessories (shoes and hats). So thankful you are healthy and doing well.

There’s a very meaningful story behind Jackson’s name. I actually made this arrow for Owen’s nursery, but it was never hung for some reason. When I awoke from being put under for the crash emergency c-section delivery, I heard Josh answering the nurses that our son was named Jackson. But as I was going under I prayed to God for my son’s protection and just as I was going to say his name, I heard a voice say “Owen”. So, in that moment, I knew it was God and as the prayer goes, He has called us each by name, and therefore our son, His son, would be named Owen (not Jackson as we had thought to name him before that moment).

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

— Isaiah 43:1 & 2 (NKJV)

This prayer applies to what I was to experience with birthing Owen into heaven and walking through the grief with God as often my only comfort. I feel like I survived a near death experience because I was in an emergency situation being cut open hastily to try to save my baby. I was panicked not knowing what was being done to me as they placed a mask over my face to put me under without any explanation. I prayed for my life asking God to please let me survive because my daughter still needed me and my husband could not handle losing me. As I went dark praying for Him to take care of Owen, awaking to the tragic and earth shattering news that he was gone, I was so thankful to be living, but then so full of a sadness I cannot put words to. My guttural screams were like a wounded animal and tears streamed down my face with the overwhelming feeling that God had forsaken us; I didn’t understand how this could be His plan. I later read a woman’s blog that resonated with me because she had a long infertility and loss journey, but she maintained her hope because she felt the Lord had promised her a child. In the same way, I had always thought I would have a son, and though God decided to take Owen, I thought surely that meant that He was telling me this was not the son He was promising me; Jackson would one day be born and we would get to raise him. After that, I felt though Owen would never be replaced by another boy, I would one day get to have a son named Jackson and that God would fulfill that promise so we held on to that hope until Jackson was indeed born. We decided to give our second son the same middle name, Nathaniel, to pay tribute to his older brother and also make sure that somehow Owen’s memory would always live on in his little brother. And yes, I am in tears right now, but I just wanted to share a little bit of the immense importance our son’s names carry.

Being my fifth pregnancy I think I started showing earlier. I was off and on pregnant for about 5 years trying to conceive our second living child, so my body was definitely used to being pregnant and stretching. Throughout those years I had to be religious about taking prenatals, exercising, and avoiding certain foods and drinks, so it was a long period of changing my lifestyle for the good of my babies.
On a road trip to visit my family back in the Bay Area we stopped at the Casa de Frutas, one of my favorite fruit stands to go to as a child. It was important for us to keep trying to be joyful, not letting our ongoing grief and the anxiety of the pregnancy after loss take over our lives completely; Especially since our daughter was going through this journey with us.
Sweet baby, I am so in love with you already. Hope you continue to grow and we get to hold you one day alive and well.

In Your Garden Our Love Blooms

A tiny butterfly flutters down from above

As I tend to your garden expressing my love

Near in spirit or alive in momma’s heart

No distance nor passage of time can keep us apart

Little darling, I see every sign

Sweet baby, you will always be mine

A white butterfly often visits Owen’s garden, which is how I know that he is near.

Hearing the Heartbeat & Hanging On With Prayer (PAL Journal: 11 Weeks)

After our apt. on 3/3/17 we were excited to send a photo of us with our sweet pea to our family back home even though we knew this was just the beginning of a long road ahead filled with uncertainty.


Feeling little flutters of movement since week 8 or 9 when I’m laying down, meditating or resting. Could it be our little sweet pea?? It’s a bit earlier than most people feel the movements, but it’s my 5th pregnancy and I feel very connected to this little one. So in love with our baby and hopeful that all will be well.

Hearing the heartbeat is a momentous experience. If you’ve been blessed with this experience you won’t ever forget it. We of course have a mixture of joy and fear every time, but that doesn’t take away from how special this was to know our baby was alive.


Had what felt like round ligament pain (in groin area; tmi but I keep specific notes for my doctors) while standing waiting for the elevator after having dinner and watching a movie. Not too severe and was ok in car. Went away after we got out of the shower and laid down for bed. (Of course I was taking notes of every random occurrence because you never know what it may mean.)

Another week over. I can tell you, my excitement was still meek because this is still early enough for miscarriage (which I did experience twice) and I know anything can go wrong even later in pregnancy (as we lost Owen at almost 32 weeks). Prayer was my main method of survival through each passing week.

Finding Out We Were Pregnant Again & Trying to Muster Up Some Hope (PAL Journal: First 10 Weeks)


Josh and I found out we are pregnant for the 5th time and we are in a state of disbelief, concern and hesitant joy. We had waited to try again until we got back all our genetic testing to make sure there wasn’t a reason that our pregnancies were not going well (unfortunately insurance doesn’t cover genetic testing until your third loss! Thanks America). We got the call while walking around Universal Studios with our daughter and it was as if the clouds around us parted for the first time and we could see the sun shining through. They told us they found no issues with either of us genetically that would cause our recurrent losses. Though that was great news, we also were still feeling lost because now we had no cause for what was going on and didn’t know how to stop a loss from occurring again. Still we decided we would try one more time and thankfully had no trouble getting pregnant (staying pregnant has always been our issue). To our utter amazement, when I looked up the baby’s potential due date it was 10/3! Owen’s birthday! Well, if that wasn’t a sign, we don’t know what is. At first that made me a little uneasy because I didn’t want our new baby’s birth to overshadow Owen’s special day and for anyone to see our rainbow even more as a replacement for our son. I wanted the new baby to have his own birthday and identity, separate from Owen, but also most importantly for Owen’s birthday to be his and not shared with his new sibling (though he does share birthdays with his grandpa Rickie already). Still, it did give me so much joy to think that this baby was hand-picked by his brother in heaven and I took the coincidence of the matching date to be a clear sign that our rainbow baby would be looked after by Owen.

The second line was so faint (we used cheap Dollar Store tests bc I didn’t want to waste any money after so many attempts), so Josh didn’t believe me when I said it was positive, but I knew it!

2/15/17 Our Rainbow Baby’s Ultrasound!

The moment we saw our baby for the first time. You can hear the measured excitement in our voices. Trying hard to let ourselves gain hope without being too in love right away (as if it’s possible not to be), just in case this baby didn’t make it like the others. Still, it’s such a special memory to look back on now and I’m so thankful our daughter finally got to have a living sibling.
Our sweet rainbow growing strong. Terror kicked in every time we had an ultrasound. We prayed so much for this baby, but of course still worried we could have another loss because of our experience.

3/9/17 (10 Weeks)

We decided to keep the news of our pregnancy private until we get much further along. Even though we’re excited and hopeful, we are starting to feel like we may be jinxing ourselves by sharing our pregnancies too soon (which of course isn’t a thing). Today I slipped and told my good friend Leila about our pregnancy on the phone. I wanted to wait till I saw her, but I know it’ll be a while so it would have to be over the phone anyway. She was happy and positive, as I’m sure everyone else will be. Can’t wait to be able to feel safe enough to share our news with more people, though I’m not sure when that safe period will be since to us no point of pregnancy is anymore. Wish we could naively share the news like others do who don’t have a history of loss. Even finding out you’re pregnant feels so different when you’ve had multiple losses. The hope is so meek and hidden under layers of fear, but it’s still there wishing for this baby to be ours to take home.

Working on my rainbow baby’s first crocheted blanket. This would be the first of many projects that I make to pass the time & get my mind off my worries. As I make each stitch, I try to visualize our healthy, living baby wrapped in it.

Pregnancy after loss can be long and torturous as every day brings you closer to hopefully meeting your baby, but also is one more day that could be closer to losing them. I had to come up with ways to keep my mind from falling down the rabbit hole of despair which I attempted to do with a mixture of hobbies/crafts, reading (to the baby, Naomi and myself), meditating, praying, shopping, playing with my daughter, watching Netflix and spending time with my husband and our loved ones. Whatever you can do to keep your mind off the time helps, so if you are PAL or going through another trial in life I hope you find what works for you and keep pushing forward each day.

My mantra always remains through PAL and beyond, “We can do hard things”. -Glennon Doyle

Facing Another Curveball In An Unpredictable High Risk Pregnancy Being Kept At the Hospital For Low Fluid Level (PAL Diary Entry: 36 Weeks + 3 Days)


One of my most & least favorite times. Thankfully, all of them had gone pretty well, but I felt like I was on pins & needles until the nurse would tell me everything looked good.

My fluid level was 6.5 today at my apt. (low but not critical), so I have been admitted for monitoring and to have fluids by IV. Feeling relieved to be staying to be monitored though getting that news was extremely unnerving. If fluids increase Dr. Tabsh will send me home, but if not they have doctors here that can deliver Jax at anytime, so I was glad to be able to stay under their watchful care.

I was crying a lot in my appointment. I was so scared because Doctor T. was quiet for a while and then called the nurse in, which usually means he’s going to deliver bad news. So I almost had a heart-attack and asked him if there’s something wrong. He said “oh no, no, I wouldn’t call them in if there was something wrong”. (And he chuckled, not knowing I was petrified.) I think he thought I was saying he needed help to do a simple ultrasound, but I was remembering how he called a second person in the room when something was wrong in the past (and we were having a missed miscarriage), so that’s why I freaked out thinking once again we were going to be told there was a problem with our baby.

My sunshine girl, always brightened my mood and gave me so much hope. Knowing I was able to safely deliver her was the only reassurance I had that my body could do it again. I loved having her with me, though I wish she didn’t have to see this scary side of pregnancy so young (but we usually didn’t have someone to watch her for us).

After I calmed down, Josh took Naomi and Aunt Donna home. I’m in a shared room (with a newborn baby crying) until I finish eating and then they’ll hopefully have a private room available for me. Those newborn whimpers are sweet, but making me a little anxious. I pray Jax is born healthy and strong so I can hear his cries too!

There was a limited selection for me with my vegetarian diet on the hospital menu so this is what I was having. I was trying to be super health conscious (after watching “What the Health” during my many hours spent with my BFF Netflix while on bedrest). I was so thankful not have to bother someone to make me food at home anymore & just be able to focus on hearing our baby’s reassuring heartbeat on the monitor waiting for his delivery date.

Fighting Anxiety Ridden Intense Nightmares As We Get Closer to Our Due Date (PAL Diary Entry: 36 Weeks + 2 Days)


A quick trip to find a dress to wear taking home our baby (thank God that came true this time). I also had my nails painted blue (I couldn’t reach them anymore so I got them done).

This week I dreamt about being pregnant for the first time. I was at the hospital and a doctor came in to see me, but couldn’t find my chart. I told her I wasn’t in my room. It seemed I had been there for a while and was just wandering around passing the time. Suddenly I felt like my water had broken and I told her to look at my stomach because you could see Jax’s little fist pushing out in my stomach and I said he must be ready to come out. He apparently had kicked so hard her broke my water. Next thing you know I was with my family lighting candles for the baby and they looked like day of the dead sugar skulls. The big one was for Owen and it was burning like a sparkler. I wanted to take a picture, but everyone kept blowing theirs out before I could. I kept relighting them and asked Karen to pray for the baby. She was complaining that she doesn’t usually pray aloud. I then tried to get us all together for a picture (it seemed like we were all sitting in a long van). Aunt Donna was in the back with Naomi and I asked her to sit on the side because she was holding a big bouquet of balloons that were blocking Naomi. Finally Josh came in but was in front of everyone and I was getting flustered and said ok sit down lower let’s get this picture so I can go have this baby now. Then I woke up!

I’ve been having anxiety over my water breaking and having to rush to the hospital to deliver before my c section so I imagine that’s what this dream was about. My night sleep has been very disrupted and difficult as I worry most at nights and wake up freaking out to check that Jax is still ok. I wake him up often to make sure. It’s so hard but I’m trying to trust and have faith that everything’s going to be ok. I’m keeping myself busy with any last minute errands I can do. Just praying the next 16 days fly by and we can hold our healthy little baby soon!

Does this delicious homemade vegan chocolate pie make my belly look big?? One of the few things that helped take my mind off my worries was good food. Thankfully Aunt Donna was game for learning new vegetarian recipes!

When Even Sleep Doesn’t Grant Me Rest From My Worst Fears (PAL Diary Entry: 36 Weeks)


Trying to get my mind off my worries for a bit, following someone’s tutorial for taking a silhouette photo of my bump with my phone.

Just woke up feeling like I was about to lose my plug or water was breaking. I was so freaked out. I hurried to the bathroom, but there was nothing coming out at all. I peed then laid down only to feel my stress level rising wondering if Jax was okay and trying to wake him up by gently squeezing my belly until he moved. Poor baby, he was surely asleep, but like a good boy woke up and gave me a few reassuring movements. I’m up like this every night, almost every hour or two. It’s horrible because I can’t handle the fear at night. During the day I can keep track of his movements and thus do not worry as much, but at night the minute I realize I’m asleep and I wake back up the dread strikes me again until I feel him move. I wish my doctor would deliver Jax now. I know he’s healthy and strong and I feel he’ll do just fine if he is delivered early, but I can’t say I feel confident he’ll be okay if we keep waiting for the c section date they gave us (9/23). Either I want him delivered ASAP or to be kept at the hospital to be monitored until they do. I just can’t keep carrying all this responsibility on my shoulders myself. It’s so scary because Owen was fine one moment and then he wasn’t, so I get so worried I may miss the moment when Jax may need to come out like his brother. I would hate to be kept in the hospital for a long time because then Naomi will miss me, but her dad and Aunt Donna are able to take care of her and I think we need this for my sanity and to keep Jax safe. I’m going to call tomorrow to try to see what the doctor will do for us. It’s just too much for me now and I’m sure it’s not healthy for Jax either to be constantly feeling my stress and be woken up all night. Praying he will be okay until we can deliver him. All I want is my healthy baby boy in my arms, alive and well.

The mobile you can see above me to left was the one I lovingly crafted to hang above Owen’s crib. So bittersweet to be able to use these items now with our second son.
A much needed, rare outing with the girls to get a bite to eat. One of the only times I left the house during bedrest.
A few more items from my online shopping for our boy. Something about buying something to visualize him here really helped me through this scary period of not knowing what the next day would bring. Thankfully he arrived safely!
This one was tiny, so he would only get to wear it once or twice as a newborn, but I loved it…
The design on the back was a sweet reminder for me that his brother Owen was watching over Jax.
My friend Jennifer was so sweet to come to our house to take maternity photos since I couldn’t leave due to my strict bedrest. These photos are so special to me, especially since this dress was the one I planned to wear for our pregnancy right after Owen for monthly bump photos (which sadly ended in my 2nd miscarriage). I’m also wearing my Owen and Naomi rings, so all my babies were represented.
Photo Credit: Juniper J Photography
These weekly bump photos were taken full of hope, but also with a tender heart, knowing how painful it is to lose a baby and feeling like there was never a “safe” period. I just wanted to have as many photos with Jax alive inside of me to treasure no matter what would happen.
Since I didn’t get to go back home after my appointment, I almost didn’t get to take the last weekly photo, but I had Josh bring my dress to the hospital. I was determined to document every single week of this pregnancy. I knew this would likely be our last pregnancy, which also made it incredibly important to me to have photos of these precious moments with my baby bump. I loved being pregnant and feeling all my babies move, despite how scary pregnancy became after our first loss.