Having Jamin: The Details (Part 1)

It has been two weeks since we found out that our baby wasn’t going to join us earthside after all. I feel like I’ve had enough time to absorb what all went down, and while I’m not in any way done processing it, I really want to share more details on our hospital stay, everyone I encountered, and how that long day actually played out. I know this post won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and thats fine. I’m not offended if you read, or don’t read, or never ever read and have no idea what’s going on in our lives. This is still important to us. I want to remember the details.


My day began at my doctors office for my routine 16 week prenatal appointment. It was a good appointment, all things considered. I hadn’t brought the family, and we had taken a good chunk of time to discuss some important things. We had made a plan to better my sleep, and we had talked about some nervous feelings I was having. My doctor expected me to be somewhat anxious, thanks to my previous loss this year. When I was pregnant with Theo, I had no indication there was any problem, but the one hang up I had was that I couldn’t feel my bump. You’ve all been through this with me. When we found out he was gone, it was hard to shake off that I had been right, and that there was a problem. This time around, I was trying to ignore the tiny little issues, but one thing I was having trouble shaking off was that my hair never really stopped shedding. When you’re pregnant, certain hormones make it so your hair grows in super thick and lush and you don’t lose even close to as much as you would otherwise. And my hair just kept on shedding, making me worry about hormones and deficiencies. I was right the last time, so it was hard to see past it this time. You get it. We were able to talk through it though, and decided more likely I was incredibly stressed out (true) and was maybe to the point of losing my hair :/ Not an unbelievable explanation, unfortunately. When it came time to listen for the baby’s heartbeat, as you know, she wasn’t able to find it. After a long effort, she asked if she could do an internal check and see if she could judge the baby’s position in my body from that. I consented, and she quickly discovered that my uterus was tilted waaay far back, which would be an easy explanation for why we couldn’t find the baby, if it was tucked way far back behind my pubic bone. We agreed, though, for reassurance, we would call for an ultrasound in the next day or two. I left with almost no concern, fairly confident all was well.

I called my ultrasound place as soon as I was in my van and they got me an appointment for early that afternoon.

You may remember that Brady was sick that day. I went to Walmart right after my appointment to grab some meds and Gatorade before going home. Brady took a break once I was home and I got the kids lunch. I called my mom and told her what had happened, and she offered to join me at my ultrasound. I weighed my options and thought about asking her to go be at my house with the big kids while the little ones napped, so Brady could have a nap. But I selfishly agreed to have her along with me. I couldn’t imagine being alone if my scan suddenly did go wrong.

This turned out to be the best decision I could have made. My tech came out to the desk before she even knew I was there, and greeted me by name. We all went back together and she tilted the screen more towards her than to me, which isn’t common. It was very quiet in there. All too familiar. Now that I’ve been through enough of the sad, scary ultrasounds, I know a little bit more. When the color on the screen changed a certain way, I knew it was basically the last resort search for life. Life that wasn’t there. A very quick sweep over to each ovary and she put the wand back in its little cup holder. I could feel my heartbeat in my stomach, and I tried to ask as casually as possible, “Doesn’t look good, hey?” My poor tech could barely lift her head and meet my eyes. She apologized, but said that no, it wasn’t good. My mom and I started crying, and our tech passed over a box of Kleenex. I asked her how far along the baby was, and she told me 14-3. A full two weeks ago. And then she asked if she could hug me! I sat up and hugged her. She cried with us. She told me she felt like I was family, and she was so hoping for our family. She knew how badly we wanted this to work, having seen us through our loss in January. She gave us some pictures and told us to take our time. She stayed with us. I started to spout and speculate after a while. She stopped me and aaaaall on her own, she offered up that she believes that these little souls are with the Lord in heaven. Now that is a ballsy move for a health care provider, I’d say. Especially since she wasn’t even supposed to really tell us our baby had died. But I appreciated it SO MUCH, because somehow, I think she knew that we felt the same way. She was so warm and safe and loving, which is what we really needed in the moment. I love her.

She sent my mom and I directly back to the doctor, where I was supposed to get the official “news” and report and everything else. It was a bit frustrating because the radiologist called my doctor but the front desk didn’t get the memo, so I kind of had to push my way in and no one seemed to know why I was there or what I wanted. Thank goodness, after a while, Dr. Guselle came into our room and we had the big talk. She was pretty surprised, as neither of us were really concerned at all that morning at our appointment. We talked options, but she told me it wasn’t as safe to just go home and try to do it on my own based on how far along I was. She asked if I’d consent to a D&C, and honestly, guys, I didn’t even miss a beat before saying I would. At that point, I just wanted it done. I was SO hurt, and SO upset, and with my miscarriage in January, it had taken so long doing it at home, even with medication that was supposed to make it happen. I said yes, sure, do a D&C, I want to go home. I wanted to see my husband and my kids. There was a lot of back and forth around whether to do things that day or the next. I wanted to see Brady so badly, but he was sick. But he was also supposed to work the next day. But would he even be better enough to work tomorrow? Or to come to the hospital? There was so much unknown. Dr. Guselle called and came back with the news that today was preferable, and we agreed to go. She sent the radiologists report along with me, and the name of which doctor I was to see, with instructions to go through RUH emerg. So we went.

Just arriving in the ER was one of the worst parts of the whole thing for me. I walked up to the front desk and someone asked me what I was there for. I told her I was there for a D&C, and was supposed to see this particular doctor. She seemed puzzled, and asked me to repeat what I needed. “A D&C,” I said. She got a bit louder and repeated “Here? A D&C? You’re sure, a D&C??” It seems so small, but for me, in that moment, she may as well have shouted it through a bullhorn. I kept myself composed, but very firmly said yes, and that my doctor had sent me. Someone was suddenly beside her who clearly knew I was coming, and they had us sit and wait for a minute before someone much more sensitive and in the know registered me. I was put in a sketchy little alcove with a bed and told to put on a gown and wait. It was there that we met the woman who will now be my OB. She was so sweet and understanding, and didn’t rush me at all. She took a bunch of info from me, and read the report I had brought along. She then informed me that, unfortunately, the baby was too big for a D&C. She said there are hospitals that have all the right equipment to do a D&C at this point, or even later, but that Saskatoon does not. She said my only real option was to do what I did last time, but instead of taking pills and having the baby at home, alone, I would do it monitored in the hospital. I told her that it had taken so long last time, but she assured me that I’d get more doses of medication than I was given at home, and while it could take a couple of days, it shouldn’t take as long as it took last time. And really, it was my only safe option. So I agreed. Shortly after our meeting, I was sent to an area to basically wait for a bed to open up for me. It was a bit of a sketchy place that I lovingly referred to as a holding cell, but it worked. My mom and I were left alone for the most part, except for someone bringing me some warm blankets. They also let me eat, which I greatly appreciated. It had been a while and I was needing some strength. We lurked there for a while, and I admit, I was feeling pretty impatient. It felt like it was the middle of the night, even thought it definitely wasn’t, but it was dark in there, and had been such a long day already. I was SO sad and discouraged, and I so badly wanted things to just start. After what felt like hours and hours, someone came with a wheelchair, and she, my mom, and I made our way up to the antepartum ward. It was the most fitting place, but I admit, I was very nervous to be on a ward with so many labouring women. VERY nervous.

Turns out, my nerves about little things were unnecessary. I was greeted by the charge nurse, and she was, once again, so sensitive and understanding and warm. I was given my own room, and my own bathroom, which isn’t actually all too common in that ward. The nurse gave me a rundown of where everything was, and basically the nitty gritty of what our next steps would be. She told me that, if there was time, they’d try to get me up to delivery to have my baby, but if not, they would be more than capable to care for me right there. I was so shot at that point, and I just stood in front of her and cried through her information. She wasn’t far behind, though. I’m sure we were quite a sight, myself pouring with tears, her trying to keep her own tears from running down her cheeks, me encouraging her to keep going, that we were going to be ok, etc. She finally got out all that she was trying to say, and said she hoped we could get my meds in and started soon. I agreed. But about a half hour later, she was off her shift and we met our nurse who we’d go through the night with. She was also wonderful. Everyone was, really.

My mom eventually ran home to gather some things for the night, for herself and for me. Brady packed me up a backpack full of all kinds of comfy clothes, entertainment, treats, etc., since we had no idea how long I’d be staying. While she was gone, Jerilee came to hang out with me. I wasn’t in the best state to be alone, and Jerilee brought some love and laughs and normalcy, which was wonderful and so so needed. She also brought me some stuff to do, which was so thoughtful and necessary. I had company all evening. But eventually, it was time to go to bed.

My mom and I lay in the dark, her on her little mattress on the floor and me in my bed, chatting. It felt like a sleepover, or camp, or something else much more fun than what we were actually doing. But it passed some time, and we did eventually sleep, which I’m not sure either of us expected. Its always a toss up in hard situations, I find, because I was SO tired but SO anxious and upset. Sleep is unpredictable. But it happened. And right around midnight, a doctor finally came in. She checked my cervix, which was hard and closed and not at all ready to have a baby, and gave me my first dose of medication. Somehow, we went back to sleep.


Thats where I’m going to leave it for today. I know that seems mean. I promise, its not supposed to be an cliffhanger of sorts, to entice you to read the rest tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow’s post will likely be far sadder. But I’m so very long winded, I think I’ve spouted enough for one day. Please still like me, even if you don’t agree with all of our decisions <3

Operation Brady and Hailey Hang Out

Jerilee offered Brady and I a date night this week, and we took her up on it yesterday. It was SO generous, and felt like a good chance to refresh together a little bit. I halfway planned it, but Brady reminded me that we always used to come up with the right thing to do on the fly. So we made a dinner reservation but nothing else concrete.

I got the buzzed side of my hair touched up around noon, which turned out to be perfectly timed, because my hair looked all nice and fresh for our date. Not like fresh fresh, but done, haha! I went home after my appointment and did my makeup. I was nervous to do my face up, honestly. The last time I put on makeup was 12 days ago, I spent the day crying it off, and I haven’t reapplied it, because I’ve spent a lot of time crying these days. But I risked it, and it was so fun to be reminded how much I enjoy doing makeup! It felt like a treat.

Jerilee arrived around 3:00 and Brady and I took off just a few minutes later. We ran some errands first, which sounds lame, but was actually good. We picked up the few things Dekker still needed for school, some vitamins for myself, some jeans for Laela, etc. We did the few things that weren’t pressing but weren’t ideal to do with the kids. We took our time, held hands, changed plans when we wanted, and relaxed.

For supper, we went to the Keg, which we almost never ever do. Its SUCH a treat to go there! We went one week before we were married, and we went there for a date when I was pregnant with Rowan. Our server was nice, and efficient, and we both ordered a bacon wrapped blue cheese filet with a twice baked potato and asparagus. The only difference was that he drank a Stella and I drank sangria. Yes, one small pro of not being pregnant anymore is that I can drink alcohol. I love a good red sangria, but I’d give that up forever if it made any difference.

Our food was amazing, and we opted for a walk by the river afterwards. An old standby of our younger dating years. We didn’t make it too far before we ran into an outdoor dance class. We didn’t join, but we sat and watched and rested. My body is embarrassingly tired these days, and I hated feeling that way on our date. But the rest was nice, and entertaining.

We had thought we’d stop by the ice cream bus by the river and get dessert, but we decided to go big instead, and go for yet another old standby from our younger dating years. We drove back across the city to Moxie’s for a white chocolate brownie. We sat on the patio and enjoyed our dessert and coffee, all the while making fun of the music playing. It was good laugh, and reminisce, and heckle a little. It felt good to feel just a little bit more normal than we have in a while.

Operation Brady and Hailey Hang Out has commenced. We need to date more. Not because our marriage is falling apart, or because we can’t stand our kids, or anything like that. We just need to refresh sometimes, just us, together. Especially during these times of sorrow and frustration and just SO much emotion, we are limping through the days and crashing in the evenings, and we need those times to refresh, however long or short they end up being. I think it needs to jump up on the priority list. We have another errand that we need to run one day soon, and we need to run it together, without the kids. Maybe next week I’ll fish around for a babysitter to come sit in my house for an hour after the kids go down. I just need to start looking around and asking and accepting people’s offers. Time to accept some change, I think. Good changes.

Our Last Lake Day of 2017: In Photos

As promised, here are pictures from yesterday’s day at the lake! We took close to 200 but I narrowed them down to 40-ish. If you don’t have the “Layout” app, its worth looking at. Just a very simple app that combines your pictures and makes it a touch easier to share more pictures in less space 😉 Its all a lie, basically. But it works in my favor, so I use it. Aaaaanyway…

First! A shoutout to my husband, who took it upon himself to pull out his phone and take pictures. He doesn’t often think of it, which is fine because I’m usually pretty on top of it. But I was not yesterday, and he jumped on it. Thank you, Brady <3

There’s so rarely a picture of the photographer, so there you have it!

Now, forgive me in advance. I’m going to try to post these pictures in order, but airdropping them onto my laptop mixed them up viciously, and then loading them onto my wordpress account stirred them up further, so I make no promises. I’m doing my best!

First, this is everyone getting ready to leave. It was a bit overcast and windy, hence the hoodies, but they were super happy to get on the road! Seriously, I recommend everyone road trip with my kids. They’re super cute travel buddies.

Our first stop was the playground. We brought beach toys and swimwear but it was SO windy down by the water, that hoodies went on and came off with the sun. There was no loss there, though. Our kids LOVE the big playground at the lake!

At one point, Laela went down this slide no problem, her feet hit the ground, and she completely barrelled forward. She landed directly on her face, literally juuust scraping the top of her nose and her top lip. Her knees were both white and scratched, and the front of her hoodie was grey. She was SO upset, and had a big long cry. I could not convince her to go down again, but minutes later, she did it all by herself. I understand not wanting an audience when doing something that makes you nervous. I was so proud of her for being so brave.

This is Rowan and his new friend, Emma. On one hand, I wish I had a closer picture of them, but on another hand, she’s not my kid so this is probably best. She was SO sweet to him. He insists she was the best part of Waskesiu yesterday, without hesitation. He told her his name was Toby, though, haha! Weirdo.

While the big kids played, Brady and I hung with Solly at a bench, so he could play in the sand and shuffle around us. He was in his element in the sun and the wind.

He really couldn’t have been happier. 💙

When the kids started to wander towards the water, Brady went with them and got some amazing modelicious pictures of them. I tried to narrow the pictures down to a reasonable amount, but its a shame because there were SO many beautiful ones from his phone. But alas, I chose the favorites and that’ll just have to work.

My new favorite picture of Dekker!! <3

Laela was being all sneaky and bailed on the group, but she has a good daddy.

I went to the water once everyone else had tired of it, but I wasn’t alone for long.

Once we finally cold-heartedly broke of Rowan’s date with Emma, we headed to the restaurant for lunch. It was a yummy win. Everyone was happy to sit and rest and eat. Some of them were suuuper sweaty…

And sunscreeny!

Found this gem in my onion rings 🙂 Can’t leave it out!

Ice cream happened directly after lunch. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea, because our kids have pretty good self control, and they won’t usually wolf down dessert if they don’t have room for it. But they had eaten well, and almost everyone finished their ice cream! Not Rowan, but he doesn’t usually go for sweets, so it wasn’t too surprising. Plus, his ice cream was apparently supposed to taste like Superman, so I can see that might’ve been off-putting. It was lovely to watch every single kid in our family offer every single family member a taste of their ice cream! 🍨

Ro preferred to rub the ice cream on his face or through his hair. But hey, to each their own.

We took another short walk after lunch, and made a special spot in the sand for Jamin. I wish we had taken a bit more time and made it a bit more clear, but the reality of life with children is that sometimes the timeline is just a bit short, and thats ok. Still felt nice.

Solly was getting super hyper and teasing his daddy, trying to wiggle down and wanting to go. So we went.

We attempted to take a couple of family pictures on our way out. None of them were quite perfect, though a couple “turned out” in their own way. 😉

The day at the lake was good for my heart, and seemingly for the hearts of my family as well. We’re all trying. We sure love each other a heck of a lot.

I hope you all enjoy a day today that brings some refreshment to you and those you love.

A Change of Scenery

We decided officially yesterday to pack up our kids and take a special family trip back to Waskesiu, just for the day. I know I couldn’t have survived a much longer day away than that, but I knew that the fresh lake air would be good for my soul. Plus, the big playground and the ice cream would make my kids so so happy. We didn’t tell the kids about our plan, but they picked up on the upcoming surprise, and sure enough, when we got them up this morning, they had figured out that we were going to the lake. Buncha smarties.

We picked up breakfast on the way out of town, and had the nicest drive up to the lake. No one complained or asked about timelines. We expect some of that, but were pleasantly surprised that the kids seemed completely content to just sit this morning and watch the world go by. When we finally turned off the highway and towards the park, Dekker recognized the corner and got everyone excited that we were almost there. They were so happy!

Being that its literally the last week before school starts up again, I expected a fairly packed place, with everyone getting in their last taste of the lake. Once again, we were pleasantly surprised when it was so nice and quiet. Brady and I could easily sit down while Solly shuffled around the bench, and watch the other three run around the playground. Eventually Brady walked with the kids to the water’s edge and they tossed rocks into the waves. They did that for SO long. I could’ve joined, but I sat with Solly and just took that break. After a while, the kids made it back to the playground and I wandered my way to the water. I sat for a bit, just listening to the waves that the strong winds were producing. I doodled the names of my little angel boys in the sand, and then had a good cry as they washed away. I knew it was bound to happen, but I wasn’t ready, which kind of makes sense. I wasn’t ready ten days ago either.

We finally left the playground and headed for lunch around 1:00 ish. A sweet little girl had befriended Rowan and was giving him an AMAZING amount of attention, hauling him in and out of the little kid swings, taking him from play structure to play structure, back to the swings, all the while with her hand on his back or pointing him in the right direction. She was so good to him, and he was not convinced when it was time to go. When he did give in, he came over and told me all about Emma, who “swinged” him. He loved her. It was a definite high point.

We went to one of the restaurants for lunch, and because it was clear we wouldn’t be in town into the evening, we went straight from lunch to ice cream, which the kids were more than thrilled about. They all picked the brightest, most obnoxious ice cream they could find. Solly, who would not buy into my chocolate peanut butter ice cream during our vacation earlier this month, he loved my NY cherry cheesecake ice cream. Brady rolled with a double scoop of dutch chocolate. A win for everyone, for sure.

We ventured out for a short walk after our treat, and found a place to take a family selfie. I’m not sure why that was so important to me, but I felt like we needed a fresh picture of us, just as we are, where we are. The funny face ones turned out the best, but you probably guessed that already. The photos are taking simply forever to load up here, so I’ll save those for tomorrow. Might even put one as a new blog header. I keep waiting to change it when we can add another baby to it, but that just keeps not happening, and we need a new picture so badly.

Instead of waiting for the kids to melt into a puddle of overtired tears, we decided to leave mid-afternoon. We knew they would all sleep on the way home, and if we could make that happen earlier in the day than riiight before bedtime, it would work out better in the long run. So we did. They slept a chunk of the way home, but not too much, and they’re now having some light snacks for supper before they’ll go to bed, not too much later than their usual bedtime.

I’m calling today a great success. I got to sit and breathe, sometimes alone and sometimes with a loving family member or two. The kids got to run and be around lots of happy, playful people. We got to drive and listen to music and just rest. Brady and I got to hold hands. It was refreshing.

We have so many beautiful pictures, but I’ll try to upload a post of pictures in the next day or two. The kids just love it there so much. I swear, if it wasn’t so close to school starting up, we’d probably try to book another short vacation there all together. But home is good too. <3 I’m so thankful for the home and community we have.

My Body Still Thinks I’m Pregnant

In a lot of ways, my pregnancy disappeared so quickly, but in others, my body can’t seem to figure out that I am no longer pregnant. You’d think if anyone knew that information, my body should really be at the top of the list. It was the one who was housing my son, and delivered my son, and is now completely without a baby in its womb.

What it is not empty of, however, is pregnancy hormones. I haven’t done any blood work or anything yet, but I know for a fact that I still have hcg in my body. It goes down fairly slowly, in my experience. As in, I would definitely still get a positive response if I took a pregnancy test. So because of these things, my body is still quite determined that its pregnant. And that is terribly frustrating.

Yesterday evening, a delicious supper once again walked through our door right at 5:00, and we enjoyed pulled pork on a bun, probably the best coleslaw I’ve ever had, and even a side dish of macaroni for the kids who might not be completely sold on the pulled pork. A very thoughtful meal. We ate together as a family, and everyone ate lots of everything. I realized halfway through the meal, though, that I had been sitting cross legged. This is not uncommon for me at all. Its just how I prefer to sit. But MY GOODNESS, my legs were in SO much pain! It took less than a second to realize that it was hurting where it always hurts in the way of pregnancy pelvic pain. Basically right between my legs and my pubic bone. So so sore. As soon as I made the connection, I put my legs down straight and changed my posture, but it was too late. I just couldn’t shake that awful sore feeling, that my legs weren’t quite attached where they should be. Because my emotions are wrecked these days, I couldn’t just blow past it and be a little sore. I mentioned to Brady how I was feeling, and while we were talking about it, Dekker got up from his seat at the table. He’s been getting up from the table mid-meal a lot recently, and we’re having to remind him to sit tight until the meal is done, but he came over to my chair and held out his hand. I asked what he needed, and he just put his sneaky face on and wouldn’t tell me. I pressed a little, because at this point, I had no idea if he was wanting something, like another bun or a high five or something else. There was just no way to know. He finally pointed up to our room.

Brady told me to take him up on his offer, so I took Dekker’s hand and he led me up to my room. Once we were inside, he snuck ahead of me and pulled back my blankets. I climbed in and he tucked me in, no word of a lie. He stood beside me and rubbed my hand for a millisecond before giving me a kiss and bolting back downstairs. In that millisecond, I asked him how he got so good at taking care of people. Mid-run from our room, he said “I’m just copying what you do for me!”

So I bawled. Because he’s amazing. I make sure to tell him often enough that he doesn’t have to take care of me. That I’m his mommy and its my job to take care of him, and I’m happy to do it! That he doesn’t have to grow up too fast. But its just in his nature, and I think that’s amazing.

Dekker’s softness was the high point of the evening, as my body went into spasm in the last hour or so that I was awake, and I could barely move my legs. It was so so painful. When will my body realize that I sadly have no more need to carry hcg, and my tendons can start to tighten back up? There are so many reminders floating around our house, and I do want to remember, but feeling physical pain is really the worst way to remember what we’ve so recently been through. I want to remember Jamin because Rowan is SO in love with the teddy that they gave us at the hospital. I want to remember Jamin because all three big kids pray for their little papoose every day. I want to remember Jamin because of our ultrasound pictures on the fridge and our baby pictures on my phone. I want to remember Jamin because my heart loves our little children so so much. But seriously, excruciating pain of the pelvis can take a hike anytime. Also, if my boobs would stop leaking, that would be great, too. Thats been one of the hardest things to ignore. My body should know by now.

It wasn’t my best night, but I slept. I was folding laundry in my room while the kids were eating breakfast, and I overheard Laela and Dekker talking about God. “I love God!” Laela said with conviction. From there, they started singing. Now, I don’t know the song they were singing, whether its a real song or they were just making something up, but Laela finished it off with “Jesus is with meeee…I think.” I’m going to have to try and boost her confidence in that statement, but I love that they are clearly thinking a lot about Jesus these days. Maybe thats the beautiful thing that is going to come from our losses. Our kids will draw closer to God, and dig deeper into what salvation means. I’m definitely praying for that. Feel free to join me.

Bravery That Doesn’t Last

I was feeling a bit stronger this morning, and I talked to Brady about making a short trip into the city. I figured the shaved side of my head could use a retouch, plus we could buy the couple of things we don’t yet have for Dekker’s upcoming year of school. Just a small, pressure-free trip. I psyched myself up to call the salon about a short hair appointment, and it turned out, my girl isn’t in today. No problem, I’ll just get in touch with her another day. But I hung up the call and cried. I am so easily drained and disappointed these days. So as you can probably guess, we didn’t end up going in.

Instead of going out, I tried to take a rest in my room, but that changed for the better, actually. Brady recently got an idea in his head of how we could move our room around. Right now, some change feels good, so I supported the idea. While I lay on the bed, Brady moved around the brackets on our curtain rod and replaced our curtains with prettier ones I bought off of Facebook. He then dragged our headboard and bed around (while I lay on it) and moved it to a different wall, vacuuming underneath everything as he went. The whole time this was going on, the kids played around our feet, hid in the closet, teased Solly with blankets, and scattered the floor with toys. Rowan brought me the stuffed toys that usually sit on my dresser in honour of the little boys we lost, and I could lay contentedly on the bed, snuggling the soft little stuffies while watching my beautiful children run and play and giggle. It was pretty lovely, honestly. A nice moment in a weirdly unreasonably exhausting morning.

Since then, Brady has vacuumed the whole house, and done a bunch of dishes. We have received hot suppers every night this week, and we have our last official planned supper arriving tonight. What an amazing gift, right? We are SO fortunate in SO many ways.

Brady is taking the big kids outside for a little bit, and the little boys are napping. I’m tucked into my bed now, doing a bit of research, and trying to organize my life. Its all so up in the air, and I feel so foggy and uncertain. These breaks are part of what’s keeping me alive right now. And currently, my break is in my nicely rearranged room 🙂 A small victory of sorts.

Meeting Milestones and Adding Light to Dark Places

Yesterday was such a heavy day. It was a strange realization, actually. I felt so so sad about so many things yesterday, and as a result, I was dozing off by 9:30pm. Its amazing how much your emotions affect your physical health! Big day.

I slept like a rock. Brady and I watched a bit of tv before we surfaced and got the kids up. We’re trying for a “normal” day today, so we’re at my parents. Brady is working on the deck and I’m hanging out with my mom and the kids. Let’s be real. My mom is pretty much entertaining the kids while I’m resting and being lazy. But its not an ordinary day. For a lot of obvious reasons, the days aren’t ordinary right now, but we had a really exciting positive today!

Solly tried walking for the first time ever this morning! He’s great at standing and flapping and celebrating and being suuuper cute, but today, he stood next to me, and took three super confident steps before sitting back down. And then he just looked up at me and smiled with that little scrunchy nose, so proud of himself. I celebrated like crazy, and tried to recreate his new trick for a video, but I’m sure you can guess how that went.

Even so, it was SUCH a bright spot in my morning. Way to go, Solly! Thanks for doing something awesome and making it easy to find a positive thing to write about and focus on this morning. You are easily one of the best babies. Top six, easy. <3

Dekker at the Dentist

So, confession time. We did not take Dekker to the dentist before kindergarten like we were supposed to. Everyone is supposed to take their kid in before they start school, and we did not. Dekker was in such a state of fear still at that age, and after thinking a lot about it, we thought rather than do a “gentle” first appointment and coming back a few months later for the real thing, we would just give him time to age and gain confidence. We know him pretty well, and this was just better, even though its not the popular recommended choice.

With the new school year creeping up, I kept thinking “Yikes! We have to take this kid to the dentist!” I was in a great groove of planning and organizing the last few weeks of summer when everything fell apart last week. Its been one week. At this exact time last week, we were with our doctor for the second time that day, talking about the steps we needed to take next after finding out our baby had died. Again. Its been a completely devastating week, obviously, and anything beyond getting out of bed to pee takes serious effort. Even that does sometimes. I was starting to feel pretty hopeless about Dekker heading to school, and all the things we need to do before that happens. And then Brady offered to make the call and book him a dentist appointment. The thought of going into a new situation with him where he might be scared makes me feel so nervous, because I’m just not strong right now, and I don’t know what I’d do if he panicked. Lucky for us, Brady is home for the next few days at least, and he was happy to take Dekker. So the appointment was booked for Thursday afternoon – today.

I had a VERY difficult morning, if we’re being honest. I never know how much to talk about on here, on this subject, but I’ll say that more reminders keep popping up of our beautiful Jamin, and I’m struggling with feeling angry with my body. But I’m trying to roll with the punches and be as graceful with this whole thing as possible. Its not especially graceful at all, but I’m keeping my expectations pretty low.

When I did finally drag myself downstairs, I asked Dekker how he was feeling about the dentist. I suggested, “Are you excited?” He said “No, because actually I’m frightened.” Frightened!! We had a good chat about it and I tried to encourage him to ask lots of questions if he’s nervous, and to ask for breaks if he needs them. I told him that things might feel funny or taste funny, but that the people who he met would likely tell him everything they were going to do before they did anything. He seemed ok, even though he insisted that he was scared.

The three other kids napped today, so I did the same and hung out in bed, resting my body and mind. I was SO happy to hear about Dekker’s appointment when they got out!


Dekker loves the dentist.

He was nervous at first, of the cleaning, but they suggested he just lay on Brady. So they stacked the boys up on the chair and got started. He didn’t cry or fuss or fight. He giggled his way through the little buzzing brush, the water hose, and the suction hose. When his cleaning was done, Brady slipped off the chair and Dekker was more than comfortable in the chair on his own. From there, he had x-rays, that he cooperated with perfectly, and then he met the dentist to have his teeth checked and counted and whatever else. Apparently, he has the exact right number of teeth as expected, plus three of his 6 year old molars are surfacing. They mentioned that his teeth are pretty tight together, so he should be flossing (seriously, has anyone NOT been told they should floss??) and BEST of all, he has NO cavities!! That felt like a huge win, and a relief. Not that kids who get cavities aren’t cared for, I’m definitely not putting ANYONE down, but neither Brady or I had ever had a cavity before adulthood, and I’m hoping our kids have a similar experience. I wondered if I’d kick myself for not taking him last year if he needed a lot of extra dental work. But nope! Dekker’s teeth are straight, they fit his mouth, they’re coming in at the right time, and so far, they’re healthy. I’m so so thankful!

Thats his fake posed smile, lol! His actual bite is pretty ideal. Just a bit of an overbite.

The boys are on their way home now, and the nappers are starting to wake up. Its been a nice quiet afternoon alone, but I’m so happy my littles all slept well, and that my oldest actually enjoyed the dentist and had a good experience.

Its been a successful day on these home fronts. As for me, its been a struggle. We are one week out from having our baby son, and I’m in a strange place of looking for urns online and crying until my nose is peeling, and being too tired to cry anymore and trying to be productive around the house. We are being so well cared for, though, for which I couldn’t be more grateful. I have yet to have to prepare food, and I know for a fact that supper is coming for the next few days at least. We’ve been gifted with many treats, coffees, flowers, meals, etc.

We KNOW that people are thinking of us, praying for us, and sorrowing with us, and while I’m sad to bring people to sorrow, it is an interesting level of wonderful to know that people care about us and were anticipating our new son as much as we were. Thank you, once again, for all your love <3

Paranoia and Baby Therapy

I slept through the night last night, and woke up around 7:00. The kids were still asleep, so Brady and I turned to some Netflix. The big kids slept in longer than usual, and Solly kept sleeping even when we got them up for breakfast. I’ve been reading that people are finding the recent eclipse of have affected their family’s sleep similar to a full moon, so thats what I assumed was keeping the kids so sleepy.

While the big kids were eating and Solly was sleeping, I was momentarily hit with the gumption to make one of the phone calls I’ve been avoiding, where I have to relay the story of our recent loss to someone. In my brief moment of courage, I went upstairs and made the call. I left a weepy, horrendous message on my physiotherapists phone, asking if we need to keep our upcoming appointment now that I’m not pregnant anymore. Just saying it all out loud again to someone who doesn’t know broke me down, and I sat upstairs and cried on my bed for longer than I care to admit. I finally resurfaced, and cuddled into our recliner in the living room, to at least make the effort to be with my family.

I’m sad to say that I’m experiencing the tiniest bit of paranoia these days. I think its justified, but I don’t care for it. This morning, my nerves for Solly grew and grew as he slept and slept. I checked the monitor and he was still completely quiet. I tried to leave him, and let him sleep. But I couldn’t shake the swirling fears in my head and heart. What if he died too, and I didn’t know? After a little while, Brady went to listen at Solly’s door, and heard him half crying/fussing, and went in to check on him. He was laying on his face, still mostly asleep, but fussing. I couldn’t stay in my chair to wait for them, and I made my way to Solly’s room to make sure all was well.

Turns out, Solly was fevering, and was feeling suuuper crappy. You know those low grade, unexciting fevers that leave you feeling like you can barely lift your head? Well, he and I both feel that way, just in different capacities. Brady tried to feed him a bit of breakfast but he wasn’t having it. I offered to snuggle him on the recliner, and that is where we stayed for a good two hours.

He lay unmoving on me the entire time. The last time he did that was when he was so much littler and fresher. It felt good to hold my baby like a baby and embrace the quiet, needed snuggle. I’m probably not making very much sense, but it was familiar and safe and comforting, even though he was sick and hot and twitchy with every single sound. He skipped lunch and went right to bed, no problem.

My phone call earlier took a lot out of me, and then those cuddles with my son put a little bit back into me. Only a little, though. If we’re being honest, I’m tucked away in bed right now, completely wiped, and sad, and griefy, and finished.

Hopefully I’ll gain a bit of motivation back soon and be able to be together with my family again. I just don’t know how hard to push myself right now.

Expecting the Best: Wrapping it Up

I always figured I’d follow this series at least one post into postpartum. I never expected it to be this soon, but here we are, four days postpartum, and I’m feeling the need to get it over with. Time to wrap up the series I truly loved putting together every week. It helped me remember to celebrate every moment of my pregnancy, and to be thankful each and every day I was able to carry my baby. Again, I never thought it would end so soon. But I figure most of the questions are still relevant, and some of them are things that I imagine some people do want to know but are maybe afraid to ask. So I hope this is ok for all of you. I don’t want people to tip toe around me. You can ask anything. I want to talk about it. Its just time to close the series up.

Deep breaths. And go.

Size/Comparison: Well I can tell you definitively that my baby was the size of the palm of my hand. He fit in there just perfectly. I will only compare him to a tiny little baby, because that is exactly what he looked like. He had a full face and a full torso, with skinny little legs and arms. Not too skinny to get footprints off of his little feet, though.

How am I feeling mentally: This is really the big question. Though I should’ve went with “emotionally” over “mentally” when I started this whole thing. Anyway, how am I feeling. I’m grieving, very very hard. The waters are deep. I don’t know how to convey my level of mourning so you’re just going to have to trust me on that. I feel fear, also. I’m scared to think maybe we can never do this again. I’m scared to think of trying to do this again. I’m scared of pain. I’m scared of being numb. That is the last thing I want. On a few levels, I feel pretty level headed. But mostly I feel foggy, and like opening my eyes is a chore. I’m not being dramatic. I’ve never felt this way before. I hope to never feel this way again.

How am I feeling physically: Do you guys want to know this stuff? Feel free to skip around if you don’t. Physically, I feel almost normal. Its a relief, and also awful. I have had almost no physical pain. Maybe a couple brief cramps each day. Doesn’t even touch a basic menstrual cramp. Literally no pain. I’m hardly bleeding anymore. I have no baby bump left. Its all over. Its all gone. Part of me is truly upset that so quickly, my pregnancy just disappeared. But the other part of me is going through so much emotional pain that I will not intentionally wish more pain on myself. If that makes any sense. Beyond that, I’m sleeping decently, maybe 5-7 hours per night. And my temperature is super unstable. I go back and forth between sweating and freezing all day long. I wonder if I’m still in some level of shock.

Appointments: Well, I’ve had a lot of doctor/hospital/ultrasound time that I want to share here, and I’d like to do it soon, but its a lot of stories and needs it own post. But it will be shared eventually, because I want to remember how beautifully and sensitively we were taken care of. Its important. Instead of that, I’ll tell you about a phone call I had with my doctor yesterday. I didn’t know when I’d hear from her or see her next, since my follow up will all be done through an OB, but I happened to glance down at my phone during Dekker’s birthday party last night and saw my Dr. Guselle was calling. It was a 20 minute phone call, and it was actually really wonderful. You all know how much I love my doctor. A chunk of her phone call was to tell me that everything they had gotten back from my blood work so far looked normal, which is good and bad. I so badly want an answer but I also don’t want there to be a problem. You get it. But the bulk of the phone call was just seeing how I am. She inquired about everything. My physical and mental health were at the top of her list. My sleep. Brady’s health. How the kids were handling it. She let me gush about how beautiful my baby was, and seemed fascinated by the fact that we were given the chance to hold him, name him, care for him, and get some closure that way. When I told her we got footprints, she was SO surprised, and I told her I’d show her the picture next time I saw her 🙂 It was nice. She let me talk through a lot of things, and was patient when I broke and cried and had to take a breather. We talked about what the next few weeks will look like, where we’ll go from here, etc. I have an appointment booked in a few weeks with my new OB, and will have yet another whole blood workup a few weeks after that. Dr. Guselle was happy that I’ve already booked that appointment and made sure I’m comfortable and in the know about what the next steps are. She even made sure to tell me that, if I came out of an OB appointment feeling a little fuzzy on the details, that I should feel free to call her and she’ll go through all of the reports with me, so I don’t have to ever feel in the dark. I love her.

Baby Buys/Wish List: Ha. No. Nothing. I’m still waiting on one baby purchase that is on its way in the mail. I’m so sad I won’t get to use it. Maybe next time. As for a wish list, I wish for a lot of things. None of which I can have, but I sure want a lot of things.

How are the kids feeling: The kids. They are SO in tune with everything thats going on. And they are so peaceful and accepting. Sure, part of it might be because they are young and don’t understand the gravity of losing a sibling, or the timeline in which he was lost. More so, I like to believe that they know more about Heaven than I do, and that in that, they have found some peace and understanding. My kids definitely have a stronger faith than I do, which is amazing, and I’m so happy to see that. With this, the kids still actively pray for their little papoose, and I have no plans to stop them.

The BEST thing about being pregnant this week: Oh boy. I almost want to skip this one, but I do actually have an answer. The best thing about being pregnant in the last week was getting to deliver my baby myself, and to hold him and meet him. He wasn’t a figment of my imagination. He wasn’t hidden away in a blood clot. I don’t mean to be gross or rude, but seriously, he was born like a baby is born. My water broke, and his body rushed out. He was a whole little dude, and I am SO fortunate and grateful to have met him. While his birth was also a big low, it was also miraculous, and I’m happy I was given the opportunity to meet him. There was a touch more closure this way.

Anything else: I’m pretty much tapped out. I guess if I can be so bold, I’d like to say not to worry about us. We are coping. We are not letting ourselves slip into anything too deep or dark. We are grieving deeply, but we will be honest. If we are approaching a dangerously low place, we will reach out. So do not worry. Pray, or drop us a text. Check in. Ask about our baby! We are SO in love with him. Don’t be afraid of us if we cry, or when we cry. Its ok.

Pictures: Here are his little footprints 👣

Yes, thats white out. I’m sad to say his name was spelled wrong on his little memory card, but I wasn’t about to nitpick and lose those precious footprints. A simple typo. No issue with me.

I feel like this is such a sad, crappy way to wrap up my series 🙁 I really really loved doing a blog series. On one hand, I loved being so open so early in my pregnancy. It made me feel like I could just be honest and raw and I could have more information on record, as well. I loved being able to talk about it so early in the game. It brought healing. Now, however, the wound is bashed open once again, even worse than before, and I have no idea what comes next. Another pregnancy? Or is this it for us? Do I share early, or wait until we have movement and reassurance? But when are you ever in the safe zone? Something can always happen, and I can’t live like that, waiting for the worst. I named this series “Expecting the Best” for a reason. Thank goodness I don’t have to decide any of this anytime soon.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who followed my series, and who have followed our family and our life so closely and so lovingly. I cannot imagine going through something like this in private, with no one reaching out and sorrowing with us. If you said to me that you cried, I believe you. If you said to me that you’ll pray, I’m trusting that you did, at least once. This has been an unbelievable time, and really, we’re only just a few days into it. Please don’t forget about us. And don’t forget about our baby. Heaven is brighter with him in it, but the world is sure missing out.