Feeling like this bump is bigger than my other pregnancies at this point. A lot fuller higher up and pretty round. I feel lots of kicks mostly in the morning, after lunch and when I lay down at night. Jax is an active little boy. I love feeling him and seeing how he reacts to our voices.
The 24th week started off great as I was excited to be at the first viability milestone. We went to our OB apt. and then had an excruciatingly long ultrasound during which my OB was quiet, as usual, so I was praying so hard for God to please make Jax be perfect still as I gripped Josh’s hand. All these scary thoughts circling in my head made me feel like I was going to have a panic attack! I could feel my heart beating outside my chest. Thankfully at the end we asked if everything was still fine and our OB said Jax was ok. There was an area he was measuring over and over in the brain but he said that space was still within normal limits. I started to cry after, mostly from relief but also worry.
I asked if we could start the NST’s early to begin monitoring our baby’s heart. He said that we could if it would make me feel better and suggested 30 weeks, but I asked for 28, since we lost our son, Owen, at 32 and I wanted to have a little more reassurance that everything was okay with Jax.
The rest of the week was nice, getting dropped off at Naomi’s school to watch her graduate and having a relaxing Father’s Day weekend at home. I gave daddy a shirt that said Big Man and a Little Man onesie. I pray Jax and Josh get to wear them together some day. It’s been a bumpy ride and though we are still worried we have faith Jax will make it.
Josh and I were both saying how we just didn’t picture Owen coming home (such a strange premonition), but we do see Jax here. So hopefully this is God’s plan for us now and we can experience the joy of having our second son home with us. He is not a replacement for Owen, but we have been dreaming of the day we could give Naomi a living sibling to grow up with and both of us have been so eager to raise a son, it would be wonderful for all of us if this wish comes true this time.
First thing about this week is that I finally left the house (for something other than a doctor apt.) to go see Naomi’s classwork at her kindergarten Open House. I knew it was as important to her as it was to me that I go too even though Josh thought I shouldn’t, or should ask the doctor. But I knew it would be quick, though when we got home I ate on the couch to rest and felt exhausted so I went to bed right after.
This week was also my birthday, which turned out to be a special one. I didn’t want Josh to invite guests over because I would have to lay there and it just seemed stressful to have him plan something for me. I’m going to see all my friends soon for Jax’s Sprinkle so I didn’t want anything crazy. But I still had several sweet friends pop by to visit who brought dinner, flowers, cakes and gifts. I asked the neighbors to come join us for cake last minute too since we had so much (plus the Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes Josh brought home the day before). He got me a pretty blue orchid, Owen’s color, and I asked my mom to take Naomi to the dollar store to let her pick out a gift for me (crossword puzzle books, good for bedrest, and a cute little blinged out hand mirror). She’s always so proud to give us gifts and I love everything she’s ever picked out for me. I wear the Your Are My Sunshine heart necklace she got me for Mother’s Day every day now. She is definitely my Sunshine through all we’ve been through lately.
I also left the house briefly (with OB’s approval) to help comfort her when she had to get a dermatology procedure done to her leg. We applied a numbing cream before but it was still painful so she held me tightly the whole time. I’m so glad I could be there for her and was so proud of her for letting the doctor do the dry ice therapy to all her molloscum spots this time. Now hopefully they’ll go away in a month so she can go swim with her friends next month (even though I’m sad I won’t get to go watch her)! She got a bouncy ball as a prize that she wanted and she’s been hopping around the house on it, which is good for using up her energy! She’s been better about playing on her own, with her grandma, the neighbor or daddy but I still wish I could do more with her. I know it’s going to be different when Jax is here too, but I will do whatever I can to still give her quality time and attention. She’s always going to be my first baby and I adore her as much as she tells us she loves us. “You know who I love most? You and daddy” she says sweetly all the time. To which I respond, “I love you and daddy more than anyone too baby”. So thankful for the bond we have with her and I hope that we’ll get a chance to experience that with her baby brother Jax too! Of course we love Owen just as much though we don’t get the joy of raising him.
This week was good other than the bit of a worry I had over the discharge I was still having post surgery (it was not thick like a yeast infection or a lot but yellowish and had a chemical type smell so I thought it was unusual). I finally decided to just go to my general practitioner mid-week because she was closer and my OB’s office said she can conduct the same tests and provide medicine if needed. Thankfully I went in because it turned out I did not have a UTI but there were white blood cells detected in my urine which meant that I had Group B Strep in my urine (I had already been tested and told I had it in my vaginal area which can be left untreated until delivery when I would get antibiotics to make sure it wasn’t passed on to Jax). They gave me antibiotics to get rid of it since it’s potentially dangerous if found in my urine (could trigger preterm labor). I’m very thankful that I followed my instincts and kept bringing up this issue so I would be tested. God is always looking out for us and I feel that this little baby is here to stay.
I’ve been reading about life in the womb and just marveling at the fact that there is life inside of me. It’s so hard to wrap my head around that and yet such a wonderful miracle, I just want to really let that sink in.
I got to take a short break from bedrest to watch Naomi perform twice at her recital (as well as with with Josh in the dad and daughter dance. It was so cute!). She made me so proud how well she remembered her steps especially being the youngest of her group. I’m so glad I got to go and support her.
My MIL is here now helping out since my mom had to leave to go to Mexico and she’s been taking Naomi to school and back and enjoying time with her granddaughter.
I caught a cold two days ago which has been making my sleep even worse lately. I’m anxious for our appointment tomorrow, I just pray for good news and that Jax continues to be growing healthy and perfectly.
End of the 19th week! Officially half way there. Minus a few panic attacks here and there worrying over movement (or lack of), I did pretty well this week. Remember, Owen was always an active baby until the day he stopped, so I have no choice but to obsess over every movement his brother makes and hope I don’t miss a change at some point. So this period before babies have a set pattern is so hard for me!
We celebrated our first Mother’s Day with Jax in my belly going to church, having lunch at Portos (bringing home lots of yummy pastries for later too) and visiting Owen’s graveside.
It was a very emotional day, obviously I was happy to be expecting Jax, but I was well aware that his big brother was missing. I’m just so heartbroken still and maybe even more so knowing that Jax will be growing up without his brother, as Naomi is. But knowing Jax is on the way is very exciting and I’m feeling hopeful even though I’m still worried not knowing what happened with Owen. I know God can do all things, so I can’t wait to see the miracle He has in store for us.
We took a trip up North to visit my side of the family in San Jose. This was good because the business of all the kids together is a distraction from my worries. Though, as anyone who’s been pregnant after loss can probably relate, it still was in the forefront of my mind no matter how hard I tried to be in the moment. Taking it one day at a time, is my best advice.
End of the 18th week! Felt like a long one, mainly because I’m having to wait an extra week to see Jax since my doctor is on vacation. I’ve had several waves of anxiety the last couple days that have been hard to shake and lots of tearful moments too, still coping with my grief. A high has been feeling Jax move more and more. I even have been counting some of his kicks, though I know it’s too early to note a consistent pattern. We are still listening to his song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” just about every day and though I haven’t had much time for naps this week I am trying to keep taking it easy.
Josh has been so sweet doing grocery shopping for me and doing more in general so I can get a little extra rest. He talks to Jax more often now too and kisses my belly. (This is a big deal for a dad after loss. His anxiety and worry over something happening again has made it harder for him to open up his heart and bond with our babies in pregnancy.) Naomi is getting excited as well, mentioning baby brother all the time.
Our dentist office ladies found out from Josh and they’re all so happy for us knowing what we’ve been through to have another baby. Will be an amazing day to finally see our baby, and fun to bring him by to meet everyone! (Fingers & toes crossed! I know there’s no guarantee, but trying to be positive.)
Little Jax finally decided to give me a few good kicks this morning! I felt the little thumps while laying in bed before getting up. Daddy gave me his extra egg and toast with strawberry jelly, maybe Jax likes daddy’s cooking? Makes me feel so much better to feel him move finally.
Our apt is today and I feel a little less anxious now, though I always worry on apt days. First day taking the new van, so I’m excited Naomi won’t be miserable on the long ride to Santa Monica anymore watching her movie in her big comfy van. We bought if for the kids but I’m loving all the convenient features too.
Can’t wait to see you Jax! Praying you’re growing perfectly in there. Been singing you your song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, every morning and during the day. Hope you hear it and love it, although I’m not the best singer but Judy Garland is singing along with me so I think it probably sounds good to you! Love you to the moon and back.
Dreamt I was feeling Jax move like crazy. Woke up happy but realized it was a dream. Felt like I had some movement the night before but I couldn’t tell if it was my food digesting or the baby. (Oh the joy of the traumatized loss mom brain! I was so anxious to start feeling movements so I could begin tracking them!)
Today I had to come in to an OB appointment I scheduled to look into some issues I’ve have with my period (truthfully since my first miscarriage, but none of my OB’s offered to help me find a cause until now). Whoever thinks your PTSD lets up after you’re done TTC is wrong!
Waiting in the same room as several women, pregnant with hope and most likely unaware of the risk of stillbirth, is my literal hell. I’m squirming and screaming inside, but holding it in. Let them enjoy their naive state, I tell myself. No, I would’ve wanted to know! My heart screams to me again. The horrible tug a war ends promptly as my name is called.
As I waited for the OB to go over my ultrasound results, I prayed fervently. “Please let me be ok. My kids and husband still need me. I know you and Owen want me to keep saving babies and I have more to do before I’m back with him”. A little melodramatic for what I went in for, but anything medical related becomes a worse case scenario fear in my mind now. Thankfully all went well. No bad news today. 🙏🏼
I scurry out, keeping my gaze straight ahead to avoid locking eyes with a pregnant couple that I pass. I say a little prayer, “Lord please keep their baby safe”, and I hop into my car. The wheels couldn’t take me away faster from that office.
I look to the clouds, as I often did after losing Owen. I noticed the sun shining, much like the day I left the hospital after delivering him holding only a small box of mementos. I take this as a reminder that my boy is with me telling mommy everything is ok, we can keep going together.
Anytime I get out of an OB appointment without an awful diagnosis is a good day for me and now I’m back to attending the ISA Conference to learn how I can help others keep their babies safe!
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”.
If you need any resources for support or medical research on complications, please feel free to visit our non-profit’s website: http://www.pushpregnancy.org
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.
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.)
As we get closer to passing 32 weeks and hopefully meeting our son Jax I think my grief for Owen has gotten stronger, mainly because I feel sad that he’s not here too but also because I am worried that people will act like this baby fixes everything and that’s not right. Jax is going to add joy and make us happy in his own way but it’s impossible for anyone to erase the grief we have over Owen and I worry if they know we had another boy they’ll just think everything is fine now. Strange thoughts maybe but I just don’t want Owen to be forgotten and I don’t want that burden on Jax of making everyone happy. I’m just sure I’ll get defensive when anyone makes any comments about me having one daughter and one son or anything that suggests he’s better or stronger, etc. People say things trying to be nice and cheerful but those type of comments hurt me greatly. So on top of worrying about having him be born healthy I have that added layer of worry over what’s going to be said to us after he’s here. I’ll def make sure to announce and post about him while mentioning that he’s not going to replace our other son and that we are still grieving Owen so that hopefully people will realize that they have to be careful with saying anything hurtful but I can imagine someone will not know how I feel and say the wrong thing without meaning to upset me.
Like a family member on the phone yesterday said something about how this boy is going to be big (her usual choice of word that bothers me) and healthy, so I decided to tell her that while I hope that’s true and we will be happy to have him that I hope she realizes we are still going to be sad about Owen and I don’t want anyone thinking that Jax is going to replace him. She said oh no, we still miss Owen and think of him. I’m glad I said that to her because she has the habit of focusing on this baby and to me it has felt like she thinks this is going to make us a perfect little family with a boy and girl. But hopefully now she’ll be more sensitive.
Anyway, that’s my thing for this week as I get to the point where we were when we lost Owen. Just feeling melancholy and missing him, plus a little scared, but also thankful we are getting further along.
Here she is again; That viscous, heartless bitch, grief. She has no care for what day it is. She storms in, flinging the door wide open whenever she damn well pleases and ruins everything; Holidays, anniversaries, special occasions are all fair game. Four years after loss, her arrival has gotten a bit more predictable. We don’t feel the weight of her constant, daily presence like we did the first couple years. She’s more like the annoying uncle everyone puts up with at Thanksgiving and tries not to engage in conversation to avoid his off-color jokes. But that doesn’t mean she can’t show up without a moment’s notice and turn your whole world upside down again. People say grief comes in waves. In my experience she’s more of a tsunami attack. You can’t just wade in the shallow side of grief, she’ll drag you into the deep end and dunk you under as you gasp for air, crying out in vein for someone to save you. All it takes is a small trigger or a bad day for her to see her way in. Kick you while you’re down, that’s her style. A real bitch I tell you. But you know the weirdest part of this toxic relationship? Sometimes I see her coming and I invite her in. I welcome her like a long lost friend. Ah (sigh of relief), there she is, just when I was afraid I had “moved on”. That the pain of loss had decided to let go of my heart and somehow that means I miss him less. After a long spell of her silence, of being able to go through my daily routine without a tear, I feel somehow thankful when she returns and she reminds me of how much I lost, how badly I still long for my baby boy. She’s the only one who knows how truly broken I still am. She heard my guttural screams when I was told the news, “I’m sorry, we couldn’t save him. Your son died”, or some similar matter of fact statement that I couldn’t believe I was hearing as I was coming out of the black fog of anesthesia. My husband held my hand, tears flowing. Cries followed that sounded so foreign, but somehow were coming from deep within me; uncontrollable and piercing wails like a wounded animal. Only she knows how we sat together in the darkness every hour of every day after for months on end. I couldn’t imagine life without our son. The only moments I could see the light were when my sunshine came to my bedside to sit with me. My four year old girl, sitting sweetly in my rocking chair smiling at me and instinctively coming to my bedside to hold my face within her tiny hands making mommy smile back at her when I was at my worst. She kept me from being swallowed whole by grief in those early days. My husband too, with his rock solid strength, pushing forward, going back to work to keep us afloat and putting on a brave face though he was also fighting off grief and severe PTSD. God was there too, silent but steady, understanding all to well the pain of losing a child. He never left my side and kept promising me beauty for ashes, asking me to trust Him. Then inexplicably, somehow life continues moving on. We learn to cope, figure out ways to honor our lost loved one and by some miracle we can experience joy and hope again too. Grief takes a break, maybe she finds some other poor unsuspecting soul to ambush. Yet she won’t let you forget her, she comes back unannounced and as much as I dread that day, I can’t help but smile because I know she’s going to bring me right back to that place. That moment I held him in my arms for the first time, smelled his fresh baby skin, took in his perfection, every inch from his soft blonde hair, handsome cleft chin, long, thin body, down to his slightly crooked toes (just like daddy’s). He’s gone now, but he was here. He died in delivery, but he lived in me, and that’s where he continues to live today. Always in my heart, my son, Owen Nathaniel Vick. Grief lasts forever just like our love, they coexist hand-in-hand, and I’ve learned to accept the crashing waves that allow me to feel the depth of that endless love.