Friday, December 29, 2017

It all started today....

     Today was the day I had had enough. I knew there was something different. Something with my body was off, abnormal. I made Matthew go to the store and buy a pregnancy test. A lady at Walmart caught him staring at the tests, she leaned in and said "Let me give you a hint, it doesn't matter which one you get, they all work the same." So, two years ago today, he came home with a couple of tests, and after dinner, when he had all but forgotten what he had brought home, I went into the bathroom and took the test. 
     We were young, I was 20, he was 21 and even though we lived together, both had decent jobs, I felt like I was doing something wrong. Like taking a pregnancy test was a taboo thing, I didn't mention to Matthew that that was the moment I was going to take the test. I opened the packaging as quietly as I could, as I foolishly didn't want him to hear, and know what I was doing. I read the directions, and did as they said... It said it could take up to three minutes, less than 10 seconds after taking the test there were two very clear lines. I was pregnant. No need to take another test, this one had just confirmed what I already knew. I walked out of the door, and turned to Matthew who was watching tv in the living room, still horrified, I said "Well, I'm pregnant".

     His reaction changed a little piece of who I was, although I didn't know it yet. He jumped up out of his chair, ran to me standing in the hallway, picked me up and spun me around. It was a little movie scene. Acting like we had just won the lottery ( which I still hadn't processed yet) When he put me down we walked into the bathroom, and he looked at the test. Sitting on the toilet lid, it hit me, and I started Bawling. Worrying about everything, how we would afford this, how we would figure out how to be parents, the fact that we weren't technically engaged yet, ( although I could see my engagement ring box from where I was sitting).


 The best thing about Matthew has always been how laid back he is. From day one, he was a perfect counter weight to me being so uptight. He walked me through it. He told me it would be okay, and that we could do this, and that I would be a great mom. He knelt beside my feet and let me put my head on his shoulder. I don't know how long i cried on him, but he never ever let up his light mood. He was so happy, and although this was not anywhere near our plan, or what we had pictured, he knew that this was the best thing that could have happened to us.
I can't believe all the things we have faced, and over come since then. I cannot beleive the test that our relationship has faced, and I can not believe the amount of love we have both grown for each other, and for both of our children.

Thanks for being the perfect thing to counter act my worries. I love you so much. Forever and always. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Painting the roses... Blue...


My husband spent his week away for work. Any time he is gone is always my "get stuff done" time.  Honestly, clutter and messes make him crazy, and when you have wayyy to much stuff and not enough house; reorganizing brings clutter and mess first. My task was to clean out my craft "room" (more accurately described as a closet) and free the space for baby boy warren.

     My first task was painting the pink rails on sweet LeeLees crib, blue. Mom and I went to town and we picked out the prettiest blue I could find, and for later, a can of gray paint. we dug out the crib and cleaned it off, and I got to work. There is something bittersweet about painting a crib, that belonged to a baby who never got to sleep in it. I am so excited to bring a tiny Matthew into the world, yet I long for the child who should be already here, and I wonder who she would be. 
    So I cleaned out the craft space, and My mother in law and I painted it grey. Our Tineeey tinyyyy nursery will now be home to our sweet little boy. I painted our changing table which had belonged to Leeona, and my cousin's three girls ( including Baby Morgan, if you've read my other posts). A fresh coat (or ten) of white paint, with a blue accent. Leeona's God mother (Des) and I went shopping for the first boy things that we have bought for the new baby. --- Side note; We scored some greeattttt velvet blue baby hangers, which believe it or not are essential to the cuteness of my nursery. ( I know, I sound crazy, my family thinks I need a hangers anonymous meeting.--- and I began decorating our Adventure and Mountain Theme nursery. 
All in all, we are out with the pink, and in with the blue. We are jumping full force into this world of boy, which I am heavily ill prepared for. I don't know how to be a 'boy mom' I don't know how to dress a boy, and how to make them into men. I don't know how to teach them to be somewhere in between strong, and sensitive. I don't know how to raise him to be the man that I hope he will be. But we are going to do the best we can, we are going to love him, for all that he is, and for all that we are worth. If our loss of Leeona has taught me nothing else, it has taught me to love and to cherish what we have, to live for today, and for right now. And that is my plan, if nothing else, I will be the very best Mom to him that I know how to be. 

 When I was a kid, Everyone used to call me "LittleLaura" Usually when I put my sassy pants on. My cousin Laura had a huge hand in moulding me when I was young. Although people would tell me that, as a way to remind me to rein in my 'tude', I always took it as a complement. As I got older my mom would say "Okay, Laura Marie." and I would often think to myself and say "If I can be half the Mom she is, I would be okay with being 'Little Laura' I never considered all it took for her to be the mother she is. Although she would have been an amazing Mom anyway, I'm sure the loss of her first Born, sweet Morgan, shaped the way she would parent her following girls. So maybe Leeona's loss will make me the best version of myself I can be, the best Mom I can be, and if that is another positive, that comes from her life, then I will do everything I can to fill that. 

Welcome to our Lives sweet Little boy. You are so loved already, and I promise you, eventually you'll have a name, I swear! Your Dad can be super stubborn, but I'm working on him (; 

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's a.....

     It's hard to explain the emotions of child loss. Sometimes it is huge and over whelming pain and sometimes it's looking out into a pit of deep dark emptiness, feeling nothing at all.  Sometimes it's being grateful for the time you were given, and sometimes it is being beyond angry at the cards you've been dealt.
     Today should be a happy day, but unfortunately today is shadowed by anger for me. Today we got our test results back,  our baby is happy, and healthy! There are no medical concerns, and a perfect heart rate... there is also a tiny penis growing. This is where my anger sneaks in.
     BEFORE you tell me, yes, I KNOW, I WILL love this baby. I DO love this baby, I don't need your confirmation on that, however I am still disappointed. I am sad that another thing I looked forward to in my life is not going to happen.
     I'm sad that we weren't able to raise Leeona. I'm sad that she will never wear tutus, or go to prom, and Matthew will never walk her down the isle. These are all things I looked forward to in my pregnancy with her, but were never able to happen. I never once thought this pregnancy would "replace" Leeona, however it has reminded me, that we may be able one day to do these things with a daughter. And now I mourn that loss again.
     There will be a million things to look forward to when raising a boy. A million things I will dream of with him, but I haven't done that yet. When dreams you haven't dreamt yet are taken from you, it doesn't hurt as much. So when you find out your having a girl with your first pregnancy you don't mourn all the boy things, but when all the girl things are ripped from you twice, it's difficult.
     This is another step in this crazy long process of grief. Another moment that makes you stop, and admit that your child is dead, and she will never come back. She was removed from this earth, and her life will never be lived. Regardless of the length of time, or the number of these moments you have, they always hurt. Regardless how many children I have, I should always have had one more, and I will never forget that. As a Mother, your heart doesn't get squished for space, rather with each child, you grow another heart for them. I have a heart that is Dedicated to my husband, I have a heart that is dedicated to My Leeona, and I am currently growing my heart belonging to my baby boy. Today my heart for Leeona is aching, again, and often. So please excuse my grumpy mood, and please refrain from telling me annoying things.
Please don't tell me to get over it; because I know, I WILL get over it, when I am good and damned ready. Please don't tell me "I KNEW IT WAS A BOY."  Because news flash, we all did, I just held on to hope that it was a girl. Just please please please, let me grumpy, for a day, for two, for 10 if I want. I'm grieving a different part of my story, and thats just the way it is.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Count Your Blessings. 316 Days PP.

     When everything you have ever wanted, is taken from you, anger is the easiest emotion to feel. Jealousy of others who have what you want, pain, grief, all unavoidable. I have had to train myself to see the best, to see the silver lining.
Let me begin by saying, I would give up every good thing in my world, to let her live, however this is not an option. People also ponder if i would rather have never been pregnant, and never knew this side of pain. The answer is No. No. No.  I would rather, any day, know the love, and pain, I have for her, than to have never known her.
Every day, I have to remember to think of all the good things that her life brought to me. First of all, she has shown me my ability to love. I love my Husband, to the ends of the earth. I am a 100% Momma's girl, who couldn't go a day with out her if i tried. I thought I knew that deep down, in your bones kind of love, but I learned so much more about that, when I became a mother. 
I think of all the relationships she has strengthened. My bond with my husband has been absolutely tested to the max, and we have never once wavered. He has stuck by me, when I have been the most disgusting version of myself. When I have been at rock bottom, he has stood strong and braved the storm. My relationship with my Mom is much the same, I have counted on her heavily, to drag me thru the dark days, to crawl up in my bed beside me, when I felt like I had finally reached the end of my rope. 

I have found a world of support since I lost her.

I have gained a best friend, the friendship I have found in the woman who photographed Leeona, is irreplaceable. Zelli wasn't a large part of my life before, and since then, she has become someone I hold close to my heart. My MIL says it's because I don't have to pretend around Zell, I don't have to try to be who I was before, as Zelli never knew that person. 

I wouldn't have the most amazing job imaginable if I had never been pregnant. I wouldn't have met Zell, I wouldn't know her the way I do, and she wouldn't have asked me to be a part of her company. Labor and Delivery Photography is something I have always wanted to do, and the only way that came into doing that for a living, was through my daughter. 
There are five lives out there, that my daughter was able to help continue living. There are tons of lives, that those organ recipients will touch. My daughter will keep spreading good, in the world, that way. 
I met women at the Mothers Milk Bank, who I cherish. 
The point is. This list is no where near as long as all the things I've missed out on. It doesn't even begin to compare. 
But it is pretty long. It's a list that matters. 
My Daughter has made so many points in my life better. 
Her Death is what has been difficult to handle, but that's not her problem. That's not enough, to wish she had never lived at all, even if it was only 40 weeks in my belly. I loved those months, I enjoyed 99% of those moments. 
Today, I remember to count my blessings. I remember that I gave birth to a Beautiful baby girl, and regardless of my pain. I am happy I did.. I got to see the Love in her fathers eyes, when he held her, even if there was pain too. And I got to see the Miracle that we could create together, and I will never, not for a moment, regret that. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

[275 days Postpartum] Why I'm not pregnant.

     Since Leeona passed away, my days were always a struggle to make it to today. This month, this week. At Nine months postpartum, we would be medically cleared to try to conceive another child. This would make for 18 months between deliveries, and leave us with the higher chance of giving birth to a happy healthy baby.
     I have counted down the days. Literally. All I wanted was for this day to be here, I know I can never ( nor would I ever want to ) replace my sweet LeeLee, but I could at least bring back a happiness that we are missing, right? Yes. I could. That was my driving force, if you make it thru this many more days, then we can have another baby. I spent all that time excited for this day, and now that it's here. I realized it hasn't changed anything. It wasn't this magic number, that made everything better. It wasn't this magical day, that I decided it was time for baby #2. I kept Leeona's nursery just the way it was, mostly out of laziness, really. If we were just going to turn around and have another baby in a couple months, then was it really worth the hassel? Do I really wanna pack it all up, and then unpack it? Especially if its a girl? So I decided to just leave it until Baby Warren 2 showed up.
     I finally got here. I got to today, and do you know how I spent my day? I went to home depot, bought some vacuum seal bags, and totes, and packed up my little girls entire life, down to a few boxes.

     I'm not ready to have another baby.
     There. I said it.
     I want nothing more in the world to have another baby.
     But we are not ready. Yet.

     I've always been a bit of a grouchy human. Snippy and irritable. More irritable, because I have a difficult time allowing other emotions to show thru. If I'm sad; I'm grumpy. If I'm hurt; instead I project grumpiness, and since the loss of our daughter, there are more of those moments, than there ever were before. I'm working on them, I'm working on not being a total pain in my husbands ass, just because I'm having a moment.
     Matthew is very in-tune with my emotions, he see's them, and knows them, sometimes before I even know I'm feeling them. He know's things that are going to upset me even before I see them. He has been able to do that since we were kids. I sincerely appreciate that quality in him, however, that doesn't make it okay for me to be grumpy with him, due to things out of his control. I don't want to bring another human, into an emotional mess, until I am able to control those emotions. I've dealt with Leeonas loss, with being grouchy, I don't want my next child to be a failed attempt to "fix" that.
     Matthew has run into his own sets of problems, when it comes to the way he grieves, we are both two completely different beings, with different coping skills, and different needs and wants, and YES we are STILL grieving, and figuring out where we go from here.

     I had a doctors appointment a couple of weeks before I delivered Leeona. Baby looked perfect and completely healthy, the only thing that my midwives were concerned about was my weight. More pointedly my BMI. Once you get to a certain BMI you are considered high risk. I was already over weight before my pregnancy, and the additional 12 lbs I gained while I was pregnant almost  put me in that special category. When I asked what the high risk was, she told me a list of things, that I cannot remember now, but I do recall her saying "Stillbirth, and a whole bunch of other scary words like that, that you don't want me to list. Let focus on keeping you out of that category" So I did, i stayed my two lbs shy of that BMI.
     I know that the likelihood of another pregnancy ending this way, is slim, however it's still a possibility. If for any reason, this happened again, I need to know I did every single thing in my power to  avoid it. I need to know that I looked at this pregnancy with newly opened eyes about the possibility of stillbirth, and that there is nothing i could have done to stop it, just as I know I couldn't have changed this outcome. That includes keeping myself out of that category, and far from it. So until I'm going to work on making myself healthier, before I am in that situation again.

     I have made most of my journey public knowledge so I may as well throw this in there too.
I am surprised that we ever became pregnant with Leeona with out actively trying, and timing. My cycles have been horrendous and unpredictable my whole life. I had to start taking birth control almost immediatly after getting my first period, because they were so unmanageable. After Leeona's birth, I taking a little more interest in tracking all things relating to fertility, knowing I'd be able to try again soon.
     What I learned from that is; that my body is irregular. My body rarely ovulates, which means I will likely have to try very hard to conceive my next child. Which is another thing I'm not ready for. I'm not ready for the tracking, and the planning, and trying. And worse; I'm not ready to pee on a stick, and then look my husband in the face month after month, and say "I'm sorry". If we do end up having struggles in that department, I'm not ready for it to be my fault, or to take on the emotional toll that I've seen people struggle with.

Friday, February 24, 2017

184 days...

     Tonight, is much like my night was exactly six months ago. I just got out of the shower, and I am headed to bed. My husbands job called him in, so I will head to bed alone. . Six months ago, I went to bed with out him, when I woke up, he was curling up beside me, silently slipping into bed after working for 20+ hours. As he laid down, I realized I was extremely uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than I had ever been. When his head hit the pillow, I rolled over, kissed his cheek, and said "Get some sleep, you're going to need it. I think this baby is coming tonight."
     There was no sleep to be had. I went back and forth between the bed and the toilet, the toilet being the only seated position that really felt comfortable. Matt was on high alert, he ran around the house, he collected all the stuff we needed. The magical list of everything we needed to bring was no where to be found and I counted my contractions on an app on my phone, as they got closer and closer, I called the hospital. They told me I was fine to stay home for a little bit, or come in if I wanted, I spent a little more time counting the minutes between the pain, and then I cracked my back, or so I thought. turns out that little popping noise was my water breaking. So I called the hospital again, Nurse Connie asked me what color my water was, and after checking, [and gagging] when I answered green sludge, she told me to come in.
     I guess that discoloration had ment that the baby had passed a bowel movement in the womb, this is the very same stuff that would pack her lungs, and be another possible contributor to the worst moments of my life.
     So we went in.
      There is not a single time that Matthew has catered more to me than in those minutes. He apologized at every bump we took, threatened to get out and kill the construction flagger with a stop sign,  for me, he was there for what ever I needed. We stopped at the store because I wanted him to get some caffeine. If I was gonna push out an estimated 8-9 lbs baby, he was gonna have to be awake enough to push me through it.
     It was august, I thankfully had thought to grab my sisters "Epping Well and Pump" sweatshirt on my way out the door, beneath the sweatshirt, i was wearing Matthews "Clean Harbors" tee shirt, and black yoga pants.
      The air outside the store was crisp, it was barely chilly and the cool air helped me stay calm. I paced back and forth perpendicular to my car while he was inside the store. With each contraction i  was becoming far to uncomfortable to sit, so I sucked in the night air, in and out...step.... step... step... in and out... step... step... step... Ellsworth is pretty quiet at 3 am, this town is just too small to be awake quite yet. I was so excited for my little world to wake up, and find out our baby was coming.
We pulled into the ER entrance, and headed straight to Labor and Delivery. Deb checked me in and told me I had dilated 3 Centimeters. I called my Mom to let her know I was in labor.
After that it all happened so fast.

     Weird pregnancy dreams, are a thing right? I always chalked my dreams up to hormones. I have never believed in that dreams have the ability to teach you things that may happen in the future, I have never given them much thought. I had SO many weird dreams, I look back on them now though and I wonder if my body, mind, god, the universe, (what ever) was trying to tell me something... Trying to prepare me for the devastation that was coming.
     I dreamed a million times, that people would ask me how my breast feeding journey was going, and in this particular dream I would start to panic because I had just then realized that I had never nursed my baby.
     I had dreams of going out to town, and leaving her home.
     I had dreams of going to my Photographers studio for my newborn session, only to realize that I had forgotten to bring her with me.
     The night that I went into labor I told my mother in law about dream that I had had. In the dream I had fallen asleep and when I woke up, my baby was out, no baby belly. No one around me was going to mention to me that I was not longer pregnant, i was so confused,  I yelled at them all and demanded to know what happened.  In my dream someone eventually handed me my baby, and everything was all right.
     I wish I could make that happen. I wish I could scream until someone hands her to me. I wish she was screaming so loud right now that I wouldn't be able to concentrate. I wish more than anything to hear her laugh, to see who she had grown to become.

Leeona Christine, Where ever you are. You are loved.