Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A sigh of relief and remembering Exodus

Today I had an OB appointment. And just like last time, my doctor could not find the heartbeat on the doppler and had to do an ultrasound to make sure everything was ok. I always do my own doppler at home before every appointment so that I don't stress for nothing when something like this happens. So I knew everything was ok, plus I felt her kicking earlier this morning.

I got these lovely photos and confirmed everything was fine. N is measuring right on track. The doctor did mention that she is currently laying traverse aka on her side. If she is laying like this upon delivery it will mean a c section. However we still have many months to go and its unlikely that she will not move over the course of the next few months. So here is hoping she does move by November. 

In other news, I got the results of the AFP or second trimester screening back today. It came back negative which means there is a very low risk that any NTD (neural tube defect) has occurred. So we can breathe a big sigh of relief knowing she didn't get Anencephaly like Genesis. It sucks that I have to go half way through a pregnancy before I know if this baby will live or die from this condition. Of course even with this great news I still worry that something else may happen, but I do feel a little bit more comfortable at this point assuming that she is more likely to come home with us.

In random pregnancy related stuff: There have been quite a few times where I have felt this baby kick and move and my first thought is that its Genesis. I have no idea why this is happening. And I quickly correct myself and say no, this is N. This never happened with any of the other rainbows even G my only other girl rainbow. I have always felt that N and Genesis were connected somehow. Im not sure how. Maybe because Genesis is the first and N will be our last. There is a feeling of coming full circle. Im just speculating but I honestly have no idea. 

I also wanted to share that Ive been thinking more and more about Exodus. Again, I'm not sure why. But it brought tears to my eyes more than once in the last few days. Im sure the pregnancy hormones do not help.

I recently ordered my first photo from Carly that included Exodus. Its one of my favorites.

I also have been ordering sculptures from Dana at The Midnight Orange for a few years now. She has been able to make important family sculptures for me through the years. And as my family has changed and grown, so have the sculptures. I am thrilled to be able to share with you the final installment of my family sculpture.
We have of course Marlon and I on each end. Then in the middle we have our 4 rainbows, D, G, D2 and N. (of course I thought it might be a little premature to get this since N isn't here yet and what if something happens.... but I went ahead and ordered it anyway)Then on my lap is Genesis and on Marlon's lap is Exodus. 

The rainbows saw this sculpture and thought it was beautiful. They started naming each person in the sculpture and then they came to the extra baby. They wanted to know who that was. And for the first time I explained it to them. I had to explain it to them in a way that children would understand. I mean one day they will know what a miscarriage is but for now I will need to make it simple for them. So I simply told them that before D2 was in my belly there was another baby. This baby was only here for a very very short time. When a baby starts growing in a mommy's tummy it starts out as a little seed that grows into a baby with arms and legs and then gets bigger and bigger until its born. But with this baby it only stayed as a seen and died before it could grow. She was different than Genesis because Genesis was bigger and I got to hold her and we have a photo of her. But with baby we don't have any of that because she died so little. I told them this was a baby girl, and her name was Exodus. The first thing they asked was if they will see Exodus in the new system with Genesis. I said they probably will. And they were fine with that and then continued playing. The other day D came up to me and told me we have a family of 8 and included Exodus. That made me smile. But I won't be upset if they don't mention Exodus. Im still struggling with my feelings on this. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Here we go again

It's time to take this terrible test again. 

Don't get me wrong, I think the testing is great. I'm just scared every single time it's time to take this test. This was the beginning of the end for Genesis. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A new look

The blog has had a little change thanks to Fran at Small Bird Studios. This is why my header looked like before:
And here is after the update:
It's about time I signified the rainbows I have had after the storm.

I'm not sure if I have gone into detail about the header.  The clouds and the crystal raindrops obviously signify the storm of losing Genesis. The flowers are dandelions and Chinese magnolia. Dandelions have always been a figurative representation of child loss to me. So delecate... Here one minute, and gone the next. And Chinese magnolias have ways been a favorite of mine. Dragonflies because that was what her nursery was decorated with and so I always associated them with her... Although over time Genesis has shown me that hummingbirds are her thing. Maybe one day I'll add one to the blog, we will see. Also among the clouds you will see two clouds that have text placed behind the fluffy clouds. I made those myself. They are photo copies of my bible. One is Genesis 3:16 (her birthday) which coincidentally speaks of childbirth and the other is a scripture which speaks of the paradise hope I have for seeing Genesis again. The "i" in her name, as well as the background for the blog is her birthstone, aquamarine. The weeping willow has always been one of my favorite trees and just seemed appropriate for her blog. And of course a photo of her sweet little feet. And her name as it appears on the blog header is exactly the tattoo I have on my left thigh. 

So there you have the story behind my header.

Dreams really do come true

At 11 weeks our OB had a great shot of the baby's goods and took a gender guess. Being that it was early we didn't really believe it 100%. At Dr. Devore's appointment he also had a guess. The same guess. So now two different doctors with two different types of ultrasounds have had the same guess. We were getting more confident in the gender but it was still a tad early.

Well today I got confirmation that this baby is 100% a baby GIRL! We have a name already but as always I keep all my rainbows names private on this blog. From here on moving forward rainbow #4 will now be referred to as N. 
I cannot tell you how thrilled I am. I don't know what I did to be so lucky in life. To have everything I've ever wanted and dreamed of and more. I am truly blessed. After Genesis died I wanted a baby to raise. I got that. I then longed for the ability to not only have children, but also a living daughter. I got that as well. Then my only dream that had yet to be fulfilled was the opportunity to be able to raise daughters. And now, well now I have yet another little girl. I am beside myself with gratitude. 

Of course I am just over the moon excited. I am still cautious though and have yet to fully accept that nothing will happen this pregnancy. I still have about 6 months to go and a lot can happen until then. I continue to pray that everything goes well and that N is born healthy. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My view on bringing home a rainbow

I came across this article today on Facebook. I think its especially true for a BLM who has just had her first rainbow. But I do still relate to many of the points on there even after 3 rainbows, going on a 4th. 

I have sort of a ritual, if you will, after I have a rainbow baby. Of course I have my previous rainbows meet the newest addition, but really aside from that I really do not like visitors. I know its sort of expected so I tolerate a short visit at the hospital, but once I am home I do not like anyone coming over. Bringing home a new baby, even if its not the first, is a sacred experience. This is a new human to the world, to our family and we are all figuring out our new place in this family. All feeling out this adjustment. And as a mother and baby we are both getting to know each other and find our natural rhythm to breastfeeding. 

This is a very emotional time. Not only is there joy and excitement and a feeling of accomplishment, but this also triggers (at least for me) grief and sadness. I take a look at our new family and it becomes even more apparent that we are still missing Genesis. I wonder how she would be as a big sister. How she will react and adjust to life with a brother/sister. How she would be helping out as an older child. It's quite the mixture of emotions.

Just because I have living children, or children that are older, or just because I have done this many times doesn't mean I don't still feel anxious or have moments where fear creeps in. I still check and recheck if baby is breathing when he/she is sleeping. I check on baby all the time. This is one of many reasons co sleeping has worked out amazing for our family. Im especially vigilant from birth till about 6 months because I know too many moms that have had a child die of SIDS. And it doesn't go away for me as the baby gets bigger... just other worries come up. I worry about choking as they start solids. I worry about them falling and getting very hurt when they start walking. Its not till my rainbow is about 18 months to 2 years old that I actually believe they are here to stay. 

I still miss Genesis. Ive said it a million times before and it still holds true: Children do not replace children. I could have 100 kids and I will always miss Genesis. 

I have a hard time trusting or letting anyone else hold my baby. I didn't know that this was a BLM thing until I read the above article. I thought it was just me. But I definitely do have a problem with allowing others to hold my baby, especially as a newborn. I can't exactly even describe why but its how I feel. I even feel like this when someone else has had a baby (even not a rainbow). I don't like to hold them. I feel like its too sacred and I don't want to take that away from the mother. Even if she insists it just makes me feel uncomfortable. 

So know that the way I react,the way I feel and the views I have after having a baby have nothing to do with you or anyone else... and has everything to do with my life's experiences. Allow me to honor my feelings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The fears of a BLM

The fear and anxiety a BLM has with a rainbow pregnancy doesn't go away after you have your first rainbow. Or second. Or third. Or in my case, forth.

I think I may be more nervous now than ever before. I am feeling some very light flutters here and there. Nothing consistent. Thank goodness for my Doppler. I use it every few days to calm my nerves that baby is ok.

But I'm still worried something is wrong. And I know the classic line "every pregnancy is different"... Trust me, having been pregnant this many times I know. But I'm still worried. 

I tend to show pretty early with my pregnancies. By 19 weeks most people are saying things like "oh you must be due any day now." I'm nervous because I'm 14 weeks now and I'm hardly showing. I've gained more weight that is like to admit, so I know things are progressing. But Im in that weird stage where you look chubby not pregnant. I think maybe with this one I am carrying differ my. With the last 3 rainbows I carried them like basketballs. Just really round balls right in front. It was oy with Genesis that I seemed to carry more side to side. I'm thinking perhaps that's what's happening this time too. It's still a bit early to know for sure. I also think I'm carrying more internally. Like instead of crowing outward and giving me that ball shape, I feel maybe baby might be more inside, if that makes sense. But of course being the worrier I am, I worry it's some sort of growth restriction or low amniotic fluid or something. At my past ultrasounds I was told everything looks good. I'm not so sure. And even using my Doppler is different this time. The heartbeat is found way down low near my pubic bone. I have no idea if this is all normal for a 5th pregnancy. But it's definitely making me worry. 

The above photo is a picture of my belly how. The photo below is from my wedding and I was 13 weeks pregnant. 
As you can see I was much bigger at my wedding than I am now, even though I'm further along now. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The child I never counted

I have said this before.... I never really counted my chemical pregnancy as a baby. I think it was because it went away as fast as it came. I got two very faint positives by testing early (before a missed period). Those tests were so light you had to squint, have the right lighting... And even then I had to adjust the photos a bit to be able to actually see something there (click here to see the post with photos from those positive tests). I know for a fact they were not evaporated lines as they did come up right away. At any rate, I got positive tests... And of all days it was Mother's Day 2013. The day my period was due I woke up to no period. My period usually arrives in the early morning hours so no period only confirmed I was with child. But a few hours later while I was at work my period arrived. Disappointment. I questioned weather or not I was actually ever pregnant. I have struggled with feelings of guilt because I know quite a few other women who have had chemical pregnancies and they very much identified them as babies. And I just didn't see it like that. 

I had previously blogged that I talked to a medium and I was curious if I had really had a chemical pregnancy and asked if she could tell the gender. She very quickly told me "girl", and that was that. Nothing more to elaborate on. And of course we all know that readings should be taken as "entertainment" so I sort of just shrugged it off and kept my same viewpoint. 

A few months ago prior to ttc this time around, I had a dream that I gave birth to a little girl who was stillborn (you can read that post here). She appeared to be full term. I was holding her and she was already gone. In my dream I named her Exodus. I was worried that this dream might actually mean something. That I was going to have another stillborn child. I thought the name was interesting because it wasn't a name that I had ever considered before. But again, it was just a dream and I brushed it off. 

Two days ago I crossed paths with a lady who turned out to be very intuitive and had the abilities of a medium, though she didn't really consider herself one as she wasn't doing it as a business or anything. But she recognized she has abilities. I had asked her something relating to Rainbow#4 and was ready to say thank you and goodbye when she said she was getting more information. She told me that she sees I have/had 6 children. I was like well I have 5 if you count this pregnancy... Oh and a chemical pregnancy. She said yes, I see the baby from your chemical pregnancy. A girl. She is with you. She is not alone, she is with her sister. She said the two of them were sitting on an older lady's lap. I'm guessing Abilla. But then she told me that the baby told her what her name was. And she asked me if I had named that chemical pregnancy. I said no. She said it sounds like she's saying her name is Alexis. Immediately I knew she meant Exodus. If someone were whispering that name it could totally sound like Alexis. I told the media about my dream from mhm ago  and she said yes, that's it. Exodus. That's her name. I was and still am in shock. I feel like my view has changed a bit. I'm still confused and not sure how to process all this. But I do know that I want to acknowledge that baby moving forward as Exodus. I don't know that I would identify as 6 kids publicly though. It's still certainly different for me than recognizing Genesis. In not even sure I can explain how. But I wanted to come here to not only document everything but also to formally introduce Exodus De Leon. To think, she would be a month older than D2. Wow.
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