9

It was a beautiful service

First, thank you all for reading my novel in my last post. I’m feeling a lot more positive about things now. It just took a couple days to sink in. And it’s been a tough week. I think this time of rest will be very good for myself and little Graham. Emotionally AND physically, I could use a break. Plus, you never know – sometimes these things happen for a reason. And anyway, I have SO much to look forward to. Life is good, no matter what speed bumps come along. It always has a way of working out.

My Grandma was laid to rest, right next to Grandpa yesterday. So many people came to pay their respects. The service was beautiful. Grandma’s Pastor (and good friend of 14 years) performed the service. He knew exactly what to say to highlight Grandma’s life and what a good person she was. My Dad read a beautiful poem, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the church. The family created picture boards to display all the wonderful memories of Grandma’s life. There were so many lovely photos of herself, her husband (my Grandpa, who passed 14 years ago), children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

They even mentioned our baby boy in the obituary, as “one great-grandchild on the way in August.” I was incredibly touched that they included him. I know Grandma would have loved that. All of the family members were rejoicing about our little miracle. Our baby boy seemed like a source of happiness and hope for the family. It kind of surprised me. People that I hadn’t seen for years were coming up to me to talk about the baby. Even my stoic uncles were crying when they spoke to us – about how happy they are for us, and how sad they were that Grandma won’t be able to meet our son. They said Grandma spoke of us and the baby often, how we tried for so long, and how excited she was for us. My cousin told me that Grandma’s eyes would light up whenever she spoke of my pregnancy. My heart felt so full of love and gratitude. I can’t even explain really how I felt.

It was difficult to hold it together. I cried…a lot. So many emotions, memories, good thoughts, and sad thoughts. And my heart broke for my family, seeing them all break down. Although it was tough, it was a good experience for us all to be together and let those emotions out. The best part was – everyone was civil!! No drama!! Now, 2 people did try to bring up the drama to me. However, I stood my ground and simply said, “Let’s not talk about that right now.” And all was well. I don’t know if they will ever resolve their conflicts, but at least we had a beautiful day honoring Grandma’s memory. Thank you God, for giving us Grandma…and for giving us a good day together as a family.

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21

Life changes and so much going on

Don’t be alarmed, my baby boy is doing just fine. I, however, am feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. If you’ve been following along, it’s been a rough few weeks for me – between my back/bum pain and my Grandma’s illness. Many unexpected changes are occurring. Everything has come to a resolution of sorts this week, but it’s not the kind of resolution you feel good about. It’s a lot to take in.

Part 1 – Hello crazy family and Goodbye Grandma:

My dear Grandma was reunited with Grandpa in heaven on Tuesday evening. She passed on peacefully. I am so thankful for the special time we shared last Saturday. It was a picture perfect goodbye. However, I still sit here in tears, missing her. I remember how her eyes lit up when I spoke of her grandson. I think about the fact that she and my son will never meet. It makes my heart ache. But Grandma is in a far better place, watching over us, and no longer suffering. That is a comforting thought, but there’s still a lump in my throat and cloud of grief hanging over me.

The calling hours are tomorrow from 12pm-2pm, followed by the funeral. This is strange to say, but unfortunately, I have a feeling of dread about attending. I’m worried something awful will happen. I’m definitely going though. It’s a long story, but there is so much turmoil and drama occurring within my family right now (including threats and actual physical assaults). Why people would want to focus on DRAMA and hatefulness, instead of cherishing Grandma’s memory??!! It disgusts me. If anyone ruins the funeral, it will be so so sad.

I’m doing my best to ignore it, but of course I have to hear about it constantly from all sides. I know that my Dad, my sister, my niece, my Aunt, and a few others were closer to Grandma. I know they are all hurting immensely, and emotions are running wild. I’m trying to be there for them. That’s what I do. I help people. And they know that – that’s why they turn to me to talk. But I would like one second to feel sad for my own loss, too PLEASE!!! I need a break. I’m almost 20 weeks pregnant, and I’m hormonal.

Please pray for peace for my family. I can’t imagine our family being torn apart. 😦 Let’s hope they can put their differences aside for ONE day, so we can honor Grandma tomorrow.

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Part 2 – Hello modified bed-rest and Goodbye career??:

I had an MRI on Monday. It was weird and noisy, but it went fine. I wasn’t thrilled about doing it while pregnant, but we needed to know what was going on with my back/bum pain prior to my Orthopedic consult today. I found out today, they did the MRI on the WRONG part of my back. They examined the lumbar portion, when it was supposed to be lower down in the sacrum/pelvic area. I’m kind of pissed that they put my baby at risk for the wrong test. However, the whole area was so inflamed that my Orthopedic specialist could see a tiny portion of what is going on.

He could see that there are “abnormalities” around my sacrum/iliac joint and all of the surrounding areas. The bone and tissue are severely inflamed, and there is edema (swelling). It looks like there is an ulcer or something there, but he couldn’t visualize the area well enough to say for sure. If you read my previous posts, every time I moved, I was rubbing bone against bone – so there definitely is damage. After a call to the Radiologist, they agreed that there isn’t a tumor or something scary like that which would threaten my health or the baby’s. It is still a big concern though.

I thought I might get not-so-good news, but I wasn’t expecting all that!! I figured I would see the doctor, get some adjustments done on my back – or do physical therapy, and be on my way. I imagined that it was something I just had to “get over”.

Due to the current damage, risk of further injury, pain issues, stress on the body, and the fact that I have a high risk pregnancy, the Orthopedic specialist has written me off work for A MONTH. I return to see him on April 19th to assess how I’m feeling, and see if I should return to work on a part-time basis — IF AT ALL. Holy crap! What is happening! I protested at first, but he explained that the stress of this injury could be detrimental to my pregnancy, and I am not allowed to work. Period.

Ohhh…when he said that, it made me realize how serious the situation is. Let me just explain – in the past, I have always had a hard time admitting that I’m not doing well, and I need time off. I like knowing that people depend on me. I’m a hard worker, and I like to work. I feel guilty, like I’m letting people down when I can’t be there. But this is an entirely different situation. I’ve never had a doctor to say, “NO, you absolutely cannot work.” That’s what I needed to hear though. So…the plan is for me to REST. Rest, rest, and more rest for a month. It’s modified bed-rest. I’m allowed to get up and move around, but I can’t really do anything. This is to protect my son and to keep me healthy, so I am more than happy to do it. It’s just….a big change.

My new trainee is doing well. I’ve worked hard on preparing her for my duties. She was hired to assist us, as well as take over my job when I went on maternity leave. Now she’s getting thrown in about 4-5 months early. Shit. I don’t think she’s ready yet. Well, you can’t prepare for these types of things. I spoke with my boss already today. She’s disappointed. I know she’s worried about me and what will happen at work, but she told me not to worry. She said it’s not my fault, and we will get through it somehow. I didn’t feel very reassured by her tone, but I understand this is a big shock and adjustment for everyone.

Time to fill out the FMLA paperwork and figure out what to do with my Short-Term Disability hours. I was hoping to use those hours for my maternity leave, but this is going to eat up most of it. If I’m not allowed to return to work, I guess I won’t need those hours anyway in the end. I know this is for the best, but I do feel somewhat stressed and confused. It’s still sinking in. I may not be able to work – indefinitely?!! But let’s stay positive and hope for the best. Sometimes things have a way of working out just the way they are supposed to – even if it doesn’t make sense at first. It’s all about my son now. He is my TOP priority. I must stay relaxed and healthy for him, and I will most definitely do my best.

8

Possibly my last visit with Grandma…

I had just received the dire news from my Dad on Friday, that my Grandma was placed in Hospice. The DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order was in place. And the doctor said my Grandma only had days to live.

It didn’t sink in right away. I was shocked more than anything. How could this be? Just last weekend, she was sent home, feeling stronger and well again. We all felt hopeful for a full recovery. I knew she had been re-admitted to the hospital earlier this week with pneumonia, but it didn’t seem possible that the end of her life was near. She was sick and very weak, but surely she would get well again, given some time.

I decided I needed to make the trip to see her on Saturday. I felt an urgency to get there and be with her and my family. Despite my back pain, I drove out of town – by myself. Andy had to work. He wanted to be there, but he couldn’t get away. I started out feeling like the news couldn’t be true. That Grandma really wasn’t as bad off as they said.

It felt like the longest drive ever. I was alone with my thoughts.

My thoughts soon turned to memories of Grandma. Happy times with family, every Thanksgiving and Christmas at her house. Grandma is loved by many. She is everyone’s Grandma and Mother. She has 5 children and countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Grandma lives in a small town, so everyone knows her and loves her.

I fondly recall the time that I spent with her as a child, while she babysat for me. Grandma is an animal lover, like me – or maybe it’s because of her that I adore animals. She always had 3 or so cats, which she treated like her babies. I can remember all their names. One of them even lived to be 20 or so years old, because she cared for her cats so well. I’m just like her now, with 3 kitties of my own, and they are spoiled rotten, too. Grandma’s gentle, caring spirit has touched many lives, both feline and human.

Next, my feelings of guilt came out. I began getting choked up. Over the years, I hadn’t spent as much time with Grandma as I used to. Sure, I moved away, but I still could have made more time for her. I’m not even close with that side of the family anymore. It’s a shame. There has been some issues/drama, but that stuff is so silly and pointless. Life is so precious. You never know how much time you have left with your loved ones – usually until it’s too late.

Finally, the seriousness of the situation began to sink in. My Grandma is dying. That’s when the tears came. She’s probably too weak from her previous injury and illness that put her in the hospital originally. The pneumonia is taking over. Antibiotics, oxygen, breathing treatments – none of it is working. Her heart and lungs are failing her. Combined with her age and other health issues, it’s all too much. Poor Grandma is too weak to fight. I cried off and on, and tried to choke back my tears the whole drive there.

I finally arrived at the hospital, feeling nervous to see Grandma in that condition. However, I was very anxious to get in there. The moment I saw her, tears began rolling down my face. She looked like a ghost. I tried to stop, because I didn’t want her to see me losing it. I wanted to be strong for her, as well as for the rest of my family. It didn’t matter much though, because Grandma was unresponsive (and everyone else there was crying anyway). My Dad and my sister were sobbing. Even my cousin, the big strong Marine, was in tears. And that all made me cry even harder, as I tried to console them.

I quickly composed myself, and began speaking to Grandma, while holding her fragile hand. For awhile, she seemed to be hearing me, but she couldn’t open her eyes or speak. I was just glad she was responding to my voice, since she hadn’t been previously. Suddenly, it was like a miracle – she woke up and began speaking to us! She patted my belly, as I told her the latest good news about Graham. She looked very emotional, and said she’s so happy and proud. I told her I’m praying for her, and she said she’s praying for me, too. β™₯ How sweet and selfless of her, especially when she’s going through so much. I’m so incredibly thankful for that experience.

Talking about Graham really perked Grandma up. I joked with her about the surprise she must have felt when she found out we were having a boy. That made her laugh. Grandma thought is was a girl all along. She and my sister fought about it (playfully), since my sister thought boy the whole time. πŸ™‚ Grandma even joined my Facebook page months ago, so she could follow my updates. She’s been so supportive. She’s known about our infertility struggles for a long time, and she sees what a miracle & blessing our baby is.

Grandma actually sat up, had more color in her cheeks, talked to our family that was visiting, drank a little water, and took a breathing treatment. Dad said it was the best they’ve seen her in the past couple days. I’m so glad I could make her feel happy for a little bit. The whole family seemed in better spirits, smiling and laughing. It was a much different atmosphere from when I first arrived. After that, Grandma went back into a deep sleep. She seemed to be very comfortable though, which gave me peace.

My heart is with her and my family right now. All I want is peace and comfort for Grandma & everyone, no matter what happens. I hope that wasn’t my last visit with Grandma, but if it was, I feel so blessed to have had that time special time with her.

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5

18w2d – Anatomy scan

It’s amazing to think our baby was once just a dream……then somehow he became our dream come true. A dream we were told would never come true. After years of trying, something went RIGHT for the first time ever. The impossible became possible. The good news kept rolling in, after years of bad news and disappointment.

December 21st, 2012 – We saw that perfect “spot” in my belly. That tiny spot renewed our hope and faith. There were many worries, of course. This was uncharted territory. But “spot” soon grew into a tiny human. As he grew and thrived, despite all the reasons not to, my hope grew stronger. My heart grew larger and swelled with love as each day, week, and month passed. Now he is our son. Our perfectly healthy baby boy.

I finally believe we are having a baby in August!! (It’s about time). πŸ™‚

From left to right:5 weeks, 2 days -- 10 weeks, 5 days -- 18 weeks, 2 days (yesterday)

From left to right:
5 weeks, 2 days — 10 weeks, 5 days — 18 weeks, 2 days (yesterday)

As you can tell, we got nothing but good news about our baby boy at the anatomy scan yesterday!!! He was very cooperative. The ultrasound tech was able to examine and measure every vital organ and body part. There were absolutely no abnormalities!!! The scan was done with my MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) specialist, and he was so pleased with everything! I knew our boy would be our perfect miracle, but to hear it from a specialist is amazing and such a relief! Also, he is 8 oz now – above average!

I do have another new issue now. I have Partial Placenta Previa. This means my placenta is covering my cervix partially. It can cause bleeding or possible rupture of the placenta. However, it’s pretty common, and there’s a good possibility that the placenta will move up and out of the way. I have to take it easy, no sex (poor hubby), and come back in 1 month to re-check everything. If it doesn’t move up, we may have to think about some kind of modified bed rest, depending on the degree on danger. I also wouldn’t be able to have a vaginal delivery. I feel hopeful that it will resolve though!

At this point, I’m already high risk. Another issue doesn’t really bother me. They are taking good care of me and monitoring everything. I feel like we are in good hands. My baby is doing so well, and that’s all that matters. I’m healthy and doing great, despite my issues, so we’re going to be okay. We can do this. We just have to stay on top of it all. I will tell you that hearing the good news yesterday made me forget about my back/bum pain for a little awhile!!! I am so happy and grateful for this miracle. I feel so lucky.

18 weeks, 2 days

18 weeks, 2 days

Baby feet!!!!

Baby feet!!!!

Still a boy, lol

Still a boy, lol

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