Dear angel

It’s been 6 days since I found out about our baby not having a heart beat and 5 since my surgery. We spent the weekend at the beach with my family who made an effort to not talk about it and try to keep me happy and occupied.

It’s hard. Every second of the day I feel the emptiness. Nighttime is the hardest though. When I lay down with Zack and just cry and let him hold me until I stop weeping. When he looks at me and tells me he loves me I cry harder. I miss knowing that I’m growing a baby to share our love with. I miss last week, before I found out. When I could plan for the future, wonder what day I would be welcoming my second child into the world. I miss it.

I wanted to write my baby a letter to get what’s in my heart, in writing.

Dear angel,

I hope you’ve found Neene and Sherry and that they’re taking the best care of you and only telling you good stories of your mommy. I hope you know how much your mommy and daddy loved you already. I hope you know that your brother would’ve helped you have the best life and I know that the two of you giggling together would’ve been the absolute best sound.

I want you to know that no matter how much time goes by, we will never forget you. You are and will always be loved beyond measure. You grew in my womb for 10 weeks and I loved every second, no matter how sick I may have been. Learning that your sweet little heart was no longer beating was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to let sink in. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, I’d barely said hello.
I wanted to see all your firsts. I wanted to watch as you smiled for the first time and said your first word. I wanted to hold you, to kiss you, to cuddle and cry with you. I wanted to be your mommy. I wanted to love you in person, but since I’m unable to do so, loving your spirit will have to do.

This world is a cruel, mean place and it can surely be scary at times. But I’ve learned that if you surround yourself with people who love you and constantly lift you higher, you can get through anything. I will never get “over” being without you, but I know that I will get through the pain. I will love you ’til the day I die and get to meet you and I hope you will look over us down here.

Dear angel, we love you so much and we miss you more than anything. Everyone keeps saying time will make it easier but I know I’ll never go a day without thinking of you and what we could’ve had. I hope you opened your eyes to God and are resting peacefully. I hope it’s beautiful where you are and I want you to know that daddy and I will love you forever.

Love, mommy.

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Gone

I am just so sad. Today I had my D&E and Dr. Delcharco removed my baby from me. I am in so much pain, I woke up from the anesthesia crying and asking for chapstick. I threw up at the surgery center when I got out of bed. Zack got me a sandwich, fruit and a cookie from McAlister’s on the way home. I felt ok when I got out of the car but once I started walking down the hall I passed out and woke up on the floor. I only remember having my hand on the wall to steady myself and then waking up to zack asking if I’m ok. He caught me when I fell. I got to bed and threw up again.

I was able to keep down my food and am watching Pitch Perfect and planning my tattoo for my unborn baby. I am just so sad. I can’t even begin to believe I’m not pregnant anymore and that all the things I’ve been planning… names, finding a double stroller, getting a maternity bathing suit for the keys… it’s all just gone now.

I know time will ease the pain and I know my next pregnancy should go perfectly fine. But I just can’t believe this has happened. I went to my appt so confident and excited and I left feeling like someone ripped my heart out of my chest. I’m so sad for my baby and I’m so sad for my husband. I’m so sad for me. I wanted that baby and loved it so much and I never got to even tell it. I just don’t understand why this had to happen to my sweet baby.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy… Such a wonderful word. It truly is a miracle for two people to be able to create one tiny human. We all know that the pregnant woman’s belly gets big,  then bigger, and then otherworldly enormous. We know that the baby starts as a dot on a screen and then grows into a Jackfruit (whatever that is). Babies in utero are compared to food, animals and household objects. You can literally change what you want yours to be compared to on different pregnancy apps. There are many things people know about pregnancy, but there are also many, many things people don’t know.

What people don’t tell you about could be written in a 500 page book. But I’ll just write the top 9  things that I can remember (which may not be much because of pregnancy brain). But I’ll get to that later on. 

  1. Gas. Hole e crap. Did I eat a horse that had been rotting on the side of the road for a month or what? During the 9.5 months of my pregnancy I think I had more flatulance than the entire 24 years of my life. The stench, frequency and power of those pregnancy farts, for lack of a better term, were one for the books. One time, I was walking down the stairs at work, during my first trimester, and let one go. Not long after my boss walked up the stairs. I thought for sure he would faint or die… But nah. Sorry Matt!
  2. Frequent urination. Okay, we’ve all heard that pregnant women pee a lot. What they don’t tell you is that a lot means possibly up to 10 times in 30 minutes. I am not exaggerating. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I would go pee, go sit on the couch and stand right back up to pee again. No lie. I needed a freakin’ catheter. I peed when I puked. I peed when I sneezed. I peed when I coughed and I peed when I laughed. Oh wait, I still do!
  3. Appetite. Better ask for a pay raise or sell a kidney to afford the food you want and/or need to eat. I gained an insane 60lbs during my pregnancy. Most likely due to my multiple times a week trips to Zaxby’s. Or the fact that McDonald’s was the one thing I could eat and not puke. Naturally, I ate the 10 piece nugget meal AND a hamburger (no pickle) with sweet n sour sauce on everything. I would eat my meal at a restaurant and then finish my husbands. How did my baby NOT come out a full grown 150lb man? He was 6lb10oz. Guess who gets to lose the remaining weight? Ha. 
  4. The boobs. The first thing I noticed was off in the beginning of my pregnancy was my boobs. They HURT. The boob soreness was ridiculous. It felt like someone had used them as punching bags instead of fun bags over and over and over again. I couldn’t even gently touch them without wincing. Then, after the sore period, they got heavy. Pretty sure they each totaled 20lbs. I’d lift one up then let it fall and almost topple over with it. No, not really, because they still hurt. My boobs have always been big, but good lord those things were huge towards the end. “Hey Pamela, I mean Olivia, it’s me your old bras. Sorry you’ll never wear me again.”
  5. Physical inabilities. Right around month 6 (?) I became incapable of seeing anything past my belly button. People always laugh about not being able to see their feet, but in reality you can’t see anything down there. Your legs, vajayjay… Feet. Goodbye clean-shaven legs! It was nice knowing you! My razors felt neglected, besides my arms and arm pits (and of course my “happy trail” bc lord know you get lots of hair in unusual places!) My poor husband mistook me for Chewbaca on more than one occasion. And I’m pretty sure Thatcher, my weenie dog, got caught in the leg hair a few times. Anyways, when you really start to get rotund, the pretty stuff goes out the window. It’s a task to do your hair and makeup, and eventually find cute clothes that fit. You start to feel like a walking Boulder with arms and legs. 
  6. Morning sickness. Now, with all things pregnancy related, morning sickness is different for everyone. For me, it was Hell. I started puking anything and everything around 6 weeks. People’s advice came as regularly as your feelings of nausea. “Eat this, try that”. Well, sorry but if I see another cracker I’m going to blow a gasket. After 2 ER visits, I was diagnosed with HG, hyperimisis gravardium or something to that nature. I was prescribed the morning sickness medication that Kim Kardashian instagrammed and made cool, Diclegis. It. Was. A. Lifesaver. 
  7. Swelling. Before I got preggo, I was pretty tiny. Though, I am a female and thought I was fat, looking back I realize I was the opposite. During my pregnancy, my husband and I went to the mall. I wore a pair of Gap sandals that I loved and had worn before. While walking around, I began to get super uncomfortable. Looking at my feet I realized that they were about twice their normal size and the straps were digging into my skin and making my pinky toes bleed. Uhh ok? The worse part of the swelling hit me at 37 weeks. My face was the size of a bale of hay (it mirrored my huge belly!) and my ankles were cankles! Pretty sure my thigh just ran straight down to my enormous feet. I looked like an extremely pale version of Veronica blown up like a blueberry in Willy Wonka. 
  8. Clumsiness. I have about a 2.5 inch scar on my left ankle from shaving back when I could actually see my calves. It looks like a surgery scar. I tripped over my dog on numerous occasions. One time, I was walking across the driveway to get into Zack’s car and I stepped off and cut open the side of my foot on the edge of the driveway. Pregnancy clumsiness is real. And it’s a real pain in the ass. 
  9. Pregnancy brain. Probably towards the end of my second trimester I began forgetting things. Everything. I was once at breakfast (imagine that) and asked what kind of toast I wanted. I could not remember the name of it so I said “it’s white toast but it isn’t called white toast.” Oh… sourdough. Like, really? I have never been scatterbrained, have always been on top of things, but this was a whole new world. I started a note in my phone of things I needed to remember because I would literally forget 5 minutes after the initial thought. Did I put deodorant on this morning? How many weeks am I? What is my wedding anniversary? The questions were never ending and I was a pregnant idiot! Oh, and I hate to spoil it for you, but it DOESN’T GO AWAY!

I know 9 is kind of a random number of things to write but I just kept thinking of more. I could go on, but I’ll leave you with these. Pregnancy really is an absolutely beautiful thing. Going through all the bad stuff only leads you to the best part, your baby! All the farts, memory loss, hairy legs/vajay and money spent on food is worth it. Now, I will leave you with a beginning of pregnancy photo and an end photo. Enjoy. 

   
 

      My little apple seed

      A baby is growing inside of me. When I look down at my belly, I cry. I have never felt more blessed, excited or happy for anything in my life.

      I’ve really been struggling with my fears these past few days since I found out that I was pregnant. What if something I did before I knew I was pregnant hurt the baby? What if I have a miscarriage? I know it’s common for a lot of first pregnancies. But then I remember that God is in control. He gave me this baby for a reason. He answered my prayers and blessed me with this little angel because he knew I was ready for it. Gods plan is so much bigger than I can even comprehend. If he believes that I am strong enough to grow a tiny human inside of me, then I know that I am. I cannot live my life in fear and I know the importance of being happy and excited for what is to come.

      I have had nothing but pregnancy on the mind since I found out. I’ve focused on the baby inside of me every time I go to eat something, every time I feel like I’m about to throw up, and every time I smile. In 9 months, I will be holding my baby in my arms smiling at their little face and wondering how I got to be so lucky. As far as symptoms go, I haven’t really felt too much. Nausea, gas, bloating a fatigue mainly. I slept for ten hours last night, then came to work and have slept another five hours or so, on and off.

      Thinking back on these last five weeks or so, I laugh at how God planned this pregnancy. I had been to Florida 3 times total. Once for a wedding, and twice because of my Neene passing away. Little did I know that I was pregnant every time I went. I felt bloated, ugly and gross each time I was there, but just blamed it on the heat of Florida and my love for food. I’d been peeing SO OFTEN but just figured I’d grown a weaker bladder. I have had NO energy, one day I slept until 4:30 pm just because I had nothing to do and I was so tired. Just this past Monday I had run some errands with my mother in law and told her how bloated I was feeling.

      My period was ten days late but I figured it was the stress of work and of my Neene dying, little did I know, there was a little babe inside of me. My sister in law urged me to take a test, so I went to the store on Wednesday and purchased two boxes of two different tests and two different brands. I took the first one when I got back to work, expecting it to be negative because it was the middle of the day and I had already consumed a ton of water and sweet tea. I walked out of the bathroom and left the test on the counter, did some chores around the house and then went back. I did about thirty takes of the test.

      “Is that really a positive sign?” “Am I blind or what?” No, my eyes were not deceiving me. I WAS PREGNANT!!! I called my MIL immediately, shaking uncontrollably and bawling my eyes out with happiness. I then called my mom, grandma and husband and shared the news. Everyone was thrilled! Zack was in shock at first but is now excited too. I then called my doctor and made an appointment, and to my surprise they scheduled me for an ultrasound on April 9th!

      I have all four tests saved at home, and I look at them every day to relive how excited I was when I first found out. Only knowing for a few days and being this happy and excited only has me wondering what the rest of the pregnancy will be like. No amount of sickness could keep me away from being happy and excited to welcome this baby into such a beautiful family. I am already so in love with my little *five week* apple seed, and I cannot wait to see it on the monitor in a little less than two weeks! No fear.

      Family First

      We have all heard that God places people in your life for a reason. One of my favorite quotes is actually, “people come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime”. I’ve really been reflecting on the people in my life lately. From birth, I have been insanely blessed with the people I’ve been surrounded by. Grandparents and great-grandparents, mom, dad, step-parents, sisters, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles ETC. I have a huge, AMAZING family. 

      I had never really put too much thought into the family I would marry into. I seemed to be the permanently single friend, third wheel extraordinaire and the “she’s super weird but cool but do I really want to date her?” I lucked out when I moved to Charlotte and met a handsome 24 year old who was sweeter than Hummingbird Cake on May 24 (my birthday). 

      On our first date we talked a lot about our families. We both come from a large family whom treasure time together, which immediately thrilled me. After a few dates I got to meet his parents briefly and then started going over there more and more. In October of 2012 he came to Florida with me to meet mine. The first thing my Grandmomny said after she met him was “Olivia, he is perfect.” Duh. Neene called him “Jack” but was thrilled that I was so happy. 

      It didn’t take long for his family and I to connect. As Vickie (his mom) said once in a card to me, I just fit right in to their crazy, fun family. And I do! I love them like they’re my own. I have never felt more comfortable around such a large group of people whom I’ve only known for a few years. 

      Vickie is truly a gift. She takes mother in law to a whole new height. She is sweet, selfless and funny. I can tell her anything, honestly, and she will not only cast no judgement, but will provide a solution. She is quick to love and give, whether it’s a pair of socks because my feet are cold or a personalized notepad because she knows I constantly write notes to myself. Wedding planning was SO fun with her as my sidekick. She knew what I wanted and stopped at absolutely nothing to make my dreams a reality. 

      Billy (FIL) is one weird man. And I love it. He and I are sarcastic, funny and stupid together. We make fun of each other and don’t get upset because we have such a bond that I am so thankful for. His country accent and big bear hugs are the best. For being in a state where I have no immediate family, I’m thankful to have the best second family imaginable. 

      As far as siblings go, besides having my own badass sibs, the Cecil/Baldwin/Whitleys are too awesome. Micah and I share a common interest in tattoos and music and I consider her one of my best friends. Melanie and I bonded from the start when she offered to kick someone’s ass because they were harassing me. Melissa is beyond fun to go out with and have serious conversations with. I enjoy time with each of them in different ways and I’m so glad they’re my new sisters! William, the only other boy besides Z is a mini Billy who can sometimes be a pain but I love nonetheless. Our banter and laughs are one of a kind and I’m thankful for our relationship. 

      When it comes to family, I believe I have been thoroughly blessed with mine. From my real parents to my in-laws, I have had and will continue to have an amazing support system. Yay, family!