Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

What a year it has been! I can't believe 2010 is coming to a close. 2011 holds many possibilities. I may be returning to school. Will is going back to school... Terrell is graduating from high school and Olivia will begin school for the first time. Gabriel will just start daycare in 2011 and Will and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. I have many things to be thankful for, including Gabriel... our little messenger. I want to thank all that have stopped by to read my blog and share my ups and downs, the good and the bad, the struggles and the triumphs. Here's to a wonderful and joyous 2011 for each and everyone of us!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

2 Month Update; Milk Allergy, Eczema, Relux and Asthma

G had his 2 month check up today with Dr. T. He's weighing in at 11 lbs, 6 oz and is 23 inches. This puts him in the 50th percentile (Olivia is in the 90th percentile for height). He's just a little peanut. He barely fits his 3 month clothes. In fact he is still wearing some newborn outfits!

Lately G has been very cranky due to his Acid Reflux. It's hard to watch helplessly while my child is in pain. All I can do is hold him. Although he is often crying at the top of his lungs Olivia never becomes impatient. She doesn't get upset when his crying drowns out her favorite Nick Jr. show. Or if his screams interrupt a very important conversation about something that happened in daycare, her favorite songs or what Santa will bring her. Lately, she has been telling me G is crying because his tummy still hurts. I can't help but wonder there may be a special connection between them.

Hopefully, G's dosage increase will help ease his pain. The Dr. says a weight increase as little as 1 pound can affect his medication. So as he grows, his medication dosage will have to be increased. Dr. T also thinks his eczema is a sign of asthma. We're thinking G will take after his Daddy. Allergies, sensitive skin and asthma. We will have to wait and see.

Due to G's reflux the Dr. wants him to start oatmeal cereal mixed with fruits and veggies that begin with "P". Peaches, pears, plums, peas, etc. The "P" foods will help with the chronic constipation that soybeans cause. The heaviness of the solid foods are supposed to help keep things contained in his stomach and keep the reflux at bay. I don't want to ask what could be next, but I'm hoping to have a healthy and happy baby in the New Year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snip! Snip!

I thought I would continue the subject of penises. But today I'm thinking about Will's. It's been 6 weeks since I gave birth to Gabriel and now it's time to decide on our method of birth control. It seems so crazy that we went from worrying about trying to get pregnant to worrying about preventing pregnancy. We tried many years to get pregnant with Olivia. We used fertility treatment to get pregnant with Willow and who would have thought that 7 1/2 weeks after we lost our baby girl, that we would have a surprise pregnancy... Gabriel! PCOS can be unpredictable, so it's important that we cover our basis. With our luck we would conceive natural triplets or something crazy.

I'm a horrible pill taker. I always forget. I never finish prescription antibiotics. I was even terrible about taking my prenatal vitamins. So a birth control pill would be a very bad option for me. So Will decided he will get a vasectomy. That's right! His idea. I know there are other options out there, but we can't afford another baby. But, something inside me feels a little sad knowing this will be my last baby. My last pregnancy. My last chance to nurture a newborn! A vasectomy is so final. I asked Will if he was even a little bit concerned with pursuing this. Without hesitation he exclaimed, "No!". Well, besides, the (minor) surgery itself.

I know this is it for us. Our family is as complete as it will ever be (sans Willow). I just have to try and savor every day with Gabriel, Olivia and Terrell. They grow up so fast and before I know it they will be adults having children of their own!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

With or Without?

I've been a mother for 17 years, so I am no stranger to unsolicited parenting advice. But, this takes the cake! Recently, while changing my son's diaper I was approached by a curious elderly lady. She then gave me a strange look and commented on his uncircumcised penis. I ignored her rude comment not because I wasn't ready for a debate, but I was only trying to not get poop on my fingers at that very moment. Then it happened last week at a friend's house. I peeled the tape back on my son's disposable diaper and my friend announces, "Look at his Puerto Rican Penis!" And again yesterday I was asked why I did not circumcise Gabriel's penis. Which prompts me to ask, "Why should I?"

When my first son was born I did not have him circumcised. The thought of him being in pain was reason enough. There is nothing anyone can say to me that would prove babies don't feel the skin being ripped from their genitals. I may be exaggerating because I know medical advancements have reduced the amount of pain felt during this procedure, but any pain is too much pain. So there was nothing to think about. I knew I would not do it to him. But when I found out we were having a boy this time, I knew there would be a debate. Will wanted Gabriel circumcised, like him. I debated, I showed him videos online, I huffed and puffed but he would not agree. He thought Gabriel should look like his daddy. Finally I gave in, only saying I would not change a single diaper for the first 2 weeks of his life while his poor little pee pee healed! But I continued to research circumcision.

I searched online... debated over lunch with coworkers... spoke with my Dr... interrogated my pediatrician and ObGyn. I inquired about their own children. There was no medical evidence proving it should be done, but nothing saying that it can't. Which led me to believe that this was not a medical issue, but rather a one based on presentation. I decided to ask T how he felt about my decision to not have him circumcised. First of all, this was going to be a sensitive subject. So I had to tread lightly. Seems like teenage boys don't care to talk about their penises with their mothers. (If only he knew I was blogging about it too). I was surprised to learn he didn't mind his penis. He was not teased in school or embarrassed at the gym. I asked him what he thought about having Gabriel circumcised and he thought I shouldn't do it.

That conversation gave me more ammunition. I was ready to argue my points with my husband and prove him wrong. Then something happened. My husband gave in. Suddenly he no longer "cared". So it was settled. Gabriel would remain intact. (you can thank me later Gabriel!)

I personally have never slept with a man who was intact. And I've only seen an uncircumcised penis on a baby. I hear many women talk about how "gross" or "weird" it is. I recently saw an episode of Mario Lopez where he and his wife debated about circumcising their unborn baby. She even admitted she was weirded out by her own husband's penis. This made me curious about other celebrities who may not have been circumcised and I was (somewhat) surprised there is an entire website dedicated to this very subject. After finding a few of my celebrity crushes on the list like Will Smith, Paul Walker and Jay Hernandez, I thought to myself, "Knowing their circumcision status doesn't change the fantasy for me". So if some woman fell in love with my son, I'm sure she would care less if his penis still had a "turtleneck"!

Friday, November 19, 2010

1 Month

I can't believe Gabriel has been with us 1 month already. I know all parents say this, but even in my sleepy stupor these past 4 weeks have flew by! Gabriel has almost reached 10 pounds, 22 inches, which is unbelievable since nothing fits him. He is sill a little peanut wearing newborn sizes. Being a mom to a newborn is a thankless job. All he seems to do is eat, poop, sleep (not necessarily in that order) but then something magical happens... he smiles. And I'm not talking a "I'm letting one loose grin". I real genuine smile with eye contact and all. And then maybe a coo. It just melts my heart every time... yes, even at 3am in the morning!

To be honest, it's been hard, especially with a toddler in the mix. Terrell is old enough where he can fend for himself. But what's been the hardest are all the Dr visits and the unknown illnesses that scare even a seasoned Mom like myself. Our latest issue is "Seborrheic Dermatitis". It's thick, crusty scales on his hairline, eyebrows, and behind his ears. Also known as "Cradle Cap". We are treating it with Baby Aquaphor and Hydrocortisone cream. If it doesn't improve in a week, he will be referred to a pediatric dermatologist. What concerns us most is the Dr says there is also a link between seborrheic dermatitis and allergies that appear later. Will has sensitive skin, severe asthma and is allergic to many things from cats to shellfish.

In addition to the skin issues, Gabriel has had bowel issues. I had to stop breastfeeding on short notice due to "Breast Milk Jaundice". I didn't think twice when I used a free full-size sample of Similac that I received in the mail. I was grateful to have this sample on hand since I didn't have formula available. I never intended to bottle-feed. But when Gabriel became so irritable, gassy and had explosive diarrhea I didn't know what was wrong. I thought it was colic or the transition to formula from breast milk, but it wasn't until weeks later that I realized that very formula I was using was recalled. He is finally doing better on a different, gentler brand of formula. Although, I complained about breastfeeding, I was going to continue once the Dr gave the okay. But after weeks of bottle-feeding Gabriel refused to nurse. I tried bottle-feeding expressed milk, but he didn't care for that either. I am disappointed and even feel a little guilty, but I gave it my best shot. There is no reason for us both to get frustrated. We will just continue to bond in other ways. Here's to a healthy, happy baby!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and even though it's been 1 year since I lost Willow Rose, I still have a lot to be thankful for. Of course I am thankful for my beautiful children, my health and my job. I'm also thankful that after losing Willow, we had the courage to try again. It was frightening at times, but now we have a handsome little boy, Gabriel.

I am also thankful for my husband, Will. Yesterday morning I woke up to a screaming newborn, a whiny toddler, a yapping dog and an overflowing toilet with no hubby in sight. I called his cell, but there was no answer (if you know Will, you know this is no surprise). Frustrated would have been an understatement. But life can come at you hard sometimes. Later that day we attended a Wake for our good friend, "Pepe" who recently lost his battle with cancer. He was 30 years old. He left behind his wife Gina, and three young children. My heart breaks for Gina, who is also a close friend and sorority sister.

Life is too short to fret about the small stuff. Before you know it, your loved one could be gone. I love my husband for many reasons. He is honest, giving and smart. He kisses me every morning before he leaves. He's never moody. He tells me I look beautiful, even when I think I don't. He knows the words to James Brown, Jon Bon Jovi, Snoop Dogg and The Backyardigans. He always puts his family first, no matter what. But most of all, he's always been my biggest supporter. He's seen me at my worst and he still loves me. When we lost Willow he was scared and he never wanted to see me go through that kind of pain again, but he never gave up hope.

By the way, my missing in action husband went grocery shopping at 7am that Sunday morning. He came home beaming with his booty. He was so proud that he had remembered my favorite cereal, bagels and hot cocoa mix. He's not perfect, but I would be lost without him.


This is my post 3 days after I delivered Willow Rose. It is difficult to read because I can recall the amount of grief I felt as I tried to write this entry on that day... at that moment. I thought I would never be able to get past that pain, which I still feel but with a lot less sting. This was the beginning of my blogging experience, which proved to be an important outlet for the pain I felt.

Willow Rose Wardlow was stillborn on November 12th, 2009 @ 7:03pm. She was 7.87 inches and only a mere 4 ounces. She is in God's arms, but she will always be in our hearts.

The days since Tuesday, November 10th have been a blur. What was supposed to be a happy day turned tragic. Will met me at the Dr's office, CD-R in hand. We were ready to get pictures and video of our baby girl, but instead we heard the words... "Your baby's heart is no longer beating". I couldn't stop crying as Will tried to keep his strength and ask every question he could think of. We were told the baby had stopped growing around 17 weeks. We don't know for sure how long she had been dead. How could this happen?

We delivered her 3 days later at St. Joseph Hospital. I held her tiny fingers in my hand and cradled her miniature body as I tried to memorize every feature. All the dreams I had for my baby vanished. Everything seemed surreal, like a bad dream. Dear God, please let me wake up.

Days later, my milk came in. Another horrible reminder of our baby who was lost. We avoid saying the word "baby" so Olivia doesn't talk about being a big sister or the baby in mommy's tummy. We are just hoping she forgets. But we know we will never forget our baby girl, Willow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

365 Days

Wow! What a journey. I can't believe it's been 1 year since we said goodbye to Willow Rose. The events leading up to that day are still fresh in my mind. Even certain smells can trigger a memory of Willow.

Losing a child is a terrible thing to happen to anyone. It becomes even more complicated if that child never lived outside the womb. I will always consider Willow my third child. I miss Willow so much, but I am thankful for Gabriel. I am also thankful Will and I had enough courage to try to conceive again after such a devastating loss.

It hasn't been easy this week, but I have to admit Gabriel was a good distraction. A good friend from church stopped by on Willow's "Angelversary" and was so sweet to bring pink roses in memory of Willow. I displayed them next to the angel statute and her urn in our living room. It was a day filled with a plethora of emotions. I laughed, I reminisced and of course I cried.

365 days after I lost Willow, I still wonder "Why?" What was the reason for this loss. I still don't know why she died, or how exactly I am supposed to do to honor her, but I will continue to try my best. For now, it's important to me that her memory lives on and I continue to tell Willow's story.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Goodbye Pepe

Today we were forced to say goodbye to a dear friend. You may recall a post regarding Jose "Pepe" Covarrubias. He was diagnosed with cancer in January of this year. Sadly he died today, leaving behind his wife Gina and 3 beautiful children. Please keep Pepe's family and friends in your prayers as they begin their journey without Pepe by their side.

Rest in Peace Pepe. You will always be missed, but never forgotten.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

3 Weeks

Breast vs Bottle

As many of you know, Gabriel has been jaundiced since his birth. I'm happy to announce he is safely at a level 9 and his color is beautiful again. Dr's determined Gabriel had "Breast Milk Jaundice" or BMJ. Gabriel will still have to be tested (his poor heels!) but that may be his last blood draw.

In order to stop his levels from rising I had to stop breast feeding for 2 weeks. Although I knew I would breastfeed prior to Gabriel's arrival I hate it. I complain all the time. Of course "Breast is Best" but it doesn't mean it's easiest. For something that is available whenever you need it, it does require a lot of accessories:

Boppy Pillow $35
Nursing Wrap $30
Breast Pump $300
Nursing Bras $20-50 (depending on brand/ quality)
Nursing Pads $10/60... which don't last very long)
Milk Storage Bags $10-15

However, formula does cost $20-30 can which last about 1 week. But there are other drawbacks to breastfeeding. I'm not so comfortable whipping out my breast in public and feeding my baby. I know I have rights, I choose not to exercise those rights. And after 4 pregnancies, the public should probably thank me. In all honesty, I'm more concerned about showing my belly fat than my nipple! Therefore, trips to the mall require a lot of pre-planning.

Nursing also requires special clothing and bras. Think easy access. You won't see me in a dress for awhile.

Another drawback is my husband doesn't have milk filled utters! Which means I am responsible for all the feedings, unless I have expressed milk saved for him.

There is also a lot of pain involved. Most women give up on breastfeeding within the first few weeks because of sore, cracked or bleeding nipples. Once you get passed the initial, torturous weeks it does get better.

And don't even get me started about yellow, mustard-seedy, explosive poops, less sleep (breast milk is less filling) and leaky nipples... wet t-shirt contest here I come!

But then again, "Breast is best"... right?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ups and Downs

We've been on an emotional roller coaster since Gabriel has come home from the hospital. Gabriel has jaundice, which happens when the baby's liver isn't mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream. His skin and eyes have a yellow tint. Initially his bilirubin levels were normal, but in the first few days home from the hospital his levels began to increase. Within a week his levels reached 20 (25 is considered "Danger Zone" and can cause deafness and brain damage). The Drs were perplexed as to why his levels kept going up. Initially I had to cease breastfeeding and introduce him to formula only. I had planned to exclusively breastfeed Gabriel so this was difficult, but I would do whatever it takes to help him. But then he had to be put on a bili-blanket around the clock. This coupled with not being able to breastfeed became difficult. I couldn't hold Gabriel as much as I wanted and I was worried our bond will be affected.

Today, I am happy to report Gabriel's levels are back down to a 14, which means bye-bye bili-blanket! No more humming and glowing! My baby boy still has to go back to the Dr on Wednesday and Friday for, at least, 2 more heel pokes. But I may be able to reintroduce breast milk by Wednesday. I know we still have a struggle ahead of us, since I haven't breastfed in a week. I have been pumping, but not as often as I would have liked.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I have been struggling lately with the description of my blog. Since I am officially no longer trying to conceive another child should I omit the part about infertility? Does Willow's loss no longer seem relevant because I was able to conceive another baby? Of course, I would disagree! However, I have a lot of visitors from the website, who are struggling with PCOS and infertility. I also have visitors from the site that have lost a child and are searching for support, a story similar to theirs. So how should I describe my website to let everyone know they are welcome to read about my struggles? They may not be current roadblocks in my quest to conceive, but they are struggles that will be with me always and have defined me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He is Here!

Sorry I'm a little late with the announcement, but you can imagine how chaotic our lives have been since the arrival of our beautiful baby boy. I wanted to quickly give you an update on his stats and post a couple of pictures. I will post his birth story later.

Gabriel Maximilian Wardlow
Born 10/15/10 at 12:51 pm
7lbs 8oz, 19 inches
10 perfect fingers and toes, a head full of shiny black hair and a cute button nose!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10 Days (or at least 3)

On October 15th, 2010 (which is also Baby Loss Awareness Day) I will officially be 39 weeks. This means that my Dr can induce labor. So we are hereby requested to report to the hospital by 8am this Friday. I'm feeling a mixed bag of emotions. I'm obviously nervous about the labor and delivery, regardless if this is my 4th delivery. I also HATE needles, especially IVs so I've never had an epidural. But I am anxious to hear, see, smell and touch my baby boy.

I'm also worried that I will be flooded with emotions and memories from my last hospital stay with Willow. I'm trying to stay positive and be strong. Although I will be bringing a new life into this world, I will be saying a prayer for Willow and all the other parents who have lost a child. I hope you will do the same thing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

11 Days

Went to work today and surprised my coworkers. But if I hear "You're still heeeere!" one more time, I swear I might lose it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

12 Days... Eviction Notice Served

Dear Baby, You are hereby notified, that your tenancy is hereby terminated as of October 10, 2010. You are hereby requested to quit, vacate, and deliver therefore to the undersigned on or before October 10, 2010.

This notice to vacate is due to your following breach of tenancy:

...Damage beyond normal wear and tear to property.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

13 Days

Tomorrow is 10/10/10. Will have to try some things to induce labor naturally, although I really don't believe in that. I strongly feel the baby will come when he is ready. Despite my desire to be on the local news for delivering a baby on 10/10/10!

Friday, October 8, 2010

14 Days

I can't believe I'm at the 2 week mark. I never expected that I would deliver Baby Boy more than 1 week before my due date, but knowing that I am 4cm dilated has changed my mind (and tested my patience). So as I wait for some strong, steady contractions or spring a leak I have to keep busy. But I'm sick of cleaning my house, folding baby clothes and watching boring t.v. I need some ideas on how to keep my mind off of delivering a baby.

... And we have to finalize Baby Boy's legal name!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

15 Days

I'm pretty proud of myself for blogging daily, but I have no news to report. Still no contractions. Tonight I went for a walk with Olivia and we'll see if that starts anything. It's probably best if I don't start labor for a couple of days since my entire family is sick. Both kids went to the Dr today for what I thought was a bad cough. However, both were diagnosed with an ear infection. What do I know? Hubby is ill too and can't have his flu shot for another couple of weeks. I have this sneaking suspicion that now that I don't want to go into labor, it's inevitable.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

16 Days

Another uneventful day. No contractions. Had dinner out with the family and just tried to relax. I hope something happens soon, I'm tired of trying to keep up with shaving my legs. I want to be presentable when I actually go into labor.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

17 Days

I went back to work today. It was a little disappointing to have to return to work and not be in the hospital with my brand new baby boy. I have to remind myself, I'm only 37 weeks. I didn't even think I would go before 39. I had a lot of surprised looks and answered a lot of questions about why I was there. But I did receive a nice surprise. The other Merchandise Specialists in my Division planned a lunch in my honor. There were yummy tacos and delicious mint brownies (a little too delicious) all for me... Well, I shared of course. They also presented me with a gift card to my favorite spa, Neroli. So I guess I'm glad I made it at least one more day.

I feel exhausted, even though I had a full 8 hours sleep. I have a tension headache, most likely from stress. I can feel a ton of pressure in my pelvis, especially when I walk. I know he must be coming soon!

4cm dilate
50% effaced
-2 Station
Cervix is soft

Monday, October 4, 2010

18 Days... and so much more

Today started like any other. I had a scheduled appointment with my Dr. Since Will had to be in court (for work), I had to take Olivia with me. Some contractions were picked up on the Non-Stress Test and my Dr confirmed I was dilated 4cm! So she wanted me to report to L&D within an hour. So I went, thinking she knew something I didn't. I had felt uncomfortable all morning and had increased pressure in my pelvis, so I went home to pack my bag. The very bag I've been nagging Will to help me pack for at least 2 weeks.

I called my mom to pick up Olivia since I only live 5 minutes from the hospital. I called Will and explained that I needed to go to the hospital. I packed my bag and Olivia's and waited... and waited... and waited. I wondered what was taking Will so long. Then I received a call from him asking where was I. He went straight to the hospital... without me! Ugh!

After monitoring contractions and Baby Boy's heartbeat, walking the halls, more monitoring, it was determined that my contractions were not strong enough. They were also inconsistent. So I was sent home. It's a little disappointing, but I also wanted to yell at the nurse, "I didn't ask to be here!" It's just a reminder why I want to wait until my contractions are 5 minutes apart before I head to the hospital. So there is no misunderstanding that I AM in labor!

While walking the halls Will and I passed by a door with a picture taped to it. There was no denying what that picture stood for. It has been less than a year since we were behind a door with the same picture of a fallen leaf with a single teardrop, taped to our door. The image is used to communicate to staff that the woman behind the door has lost her baby. Maybe she came to the hospital knowing she would be induced so she can deliver her dead baby. Maybe she was full term, in labor and had expected to deliver a live baby that she would hold and cuddle. The mere sight of that image brought back so many memories for Will and I. We felt fearful, but hopeful about our baby's pending birth, but much sadness for that woman behind the door. We wished we could comfort her, but obviously we were helpless except for a prayer that the baby -loss mom behind the door would feel hope once again, also.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

19 Days

My plan is to blog daily as Baby Boy's pending arrival draws closer. Since this is definitely my last pregnancy, I want to remember these last days (weeks?) until I hold my bundle of joy in my arms. I don't expect these posts to be very long or eventful, for that matter. But here I go!

19 Days until my due date. I feel fine. I've been sleeping pretty well at night, except for 1-2 trips to the bathroom. Overall, I cannot complain! I'm anxious about when or where I may go into labor. I know the chances of my water breaking at work (or in public) are slim, but just the thought of it scares me. Except for my Dr confirming dilation of 3cm, I haven't had any signs of labor yet.

Friday, October 1, 2010

37 Week Quiz

I'm pretty sure this will be my last pregnancy quiz! Dr thinks I will deliver VERY soon.

How far along: 37 weeks.

Who knows: Everyone! Complete strangers are constantly asking me when I'm due.

Symptoms: My back/leg/hip pain has dissipated as I approached my final weeks of pregnancy. Thank God!

Total weight gain: Still not much... Maybe less than 15 lbs.

Maternity clothes: As I got bigger and closer to my due date I got more creative with my clothing options because I was not willing to spend any more money on clothes I will only wear a few more weeks. I found that some of my regular shirts, sweater coats and dresses actually fit.

Stretch marks: I can't tell whats new and whats old.

Sleep: The exhaustion hit hard. Even more so than my first trimester. Sleep during the night is not that bad (except for a couple of bathroom breaks during the night).

Best moment last week: Dr confirmed I am dilated to 3cm on Tuesday! Woo Hoo! I had 2 surprise baby showers thanks to family, friends and co-workers.

Movement: I am very aware of every move Baby Boy makes or doesn't make! I almost called the Dr earlier this week because he was barely moving, but I drank cold water and that got him squirming around. I know he doesn't have much room in there.

Food cravings: Cereal, is the main one. I actually have an aversion to ice cream right now, which is very strange.

Belly Button in or out: In, but it has gotten wider.

What I miss: Honestly, sex! Husband cut me off a couple of weeks ago because he was fearful it would make the baby come faster. This week the Dr shut me down due to dilation.

What I am looking forward to: Monday's Dr appointment to find out if I dilated more. Plus I love the swish swish of his heartbeat, even though I hate sitting there for 30 minutes for the non-stress test.

Milestones: Today I am officially full-term.

How is daddy? Daddy has been very nervous about Baby Boy's pending arrival, but he admitted he may never be ready, so he has relaxed a bit!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boy Oh Boy!

I am thrilled to be so close to holding my baby boy. But as I think back to the day I found out he was a "He" I can't say I didn't feel a little cheated. I think I was expecting another girl mostly because I had been pregnant with a girl before we lost her unexpectedly. I know Willow could never be replaced, but I assumed this baby's sex would be the same.

Ironically, when I found out I was pregnant with Willow, I felt a little disconcerted when I found out she was a girl. I wasn't praying for one sex or another, but just knowing at that time, that I wouldn't have the chance to have another boy was a bit of a let down for me.

Either way, it has taken some time to embrace this baby's sex. Of course I wanted him healthy. That was the most important thing. And I was glad he was here, but it seemed that everything about a boy made things more difficult. Where he would sleep (he will initially share a room w/ his sister... which is pink by the way). Picking a name has been a challenge. However, the most disappointing part of delivering a bouncing, baby boy are the clothes! I know, they are just clothes. But why must everything be blue and have tiny footballs on it? So, I've been on a quest. Although Packer pajamas may not be avoidable, I will try to dress my baby boy as fashionable as possible. In the meantime, I found these at Baby Gap!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

40 Days

My pregnancy ticker is reminding me I have a mere 40 days to go! Can you imagine? It seems like I have been pregnant forever... or at least a year. If you read my previous post this pregnancy combined with my previous pregnancy (RIP Willow) equals a total of 55 weeks of pregnancy, minus a 7 week hiatus. People ask me if I'm ready for it to be over, and I joke back that I can't wait! But truth be told, as much as I want to hold my baby boy in my arms, I'm not sure if I am ready for my pregnancy to end.

Weeks ago when my back/ hip/ leg pain was at it's worst I probably was ready for it all to be over with. But with every kick, jab or squirm I feel I feel a bit of sadness knowing that it's all about to come to an end. Since this is my last pregnancy I want to cherish the last 40 days of this pregnancy, which comes with lots of pros.

For 40 days I can wear elastic-waist maternity pants (which I absolutely dreaded in the beginning), I can be proud of my protruding belly, and my penguin-esque waddle. I can eat whatever I want, whether it's an extra helping of mashed potatoes or a piece of chocolate cake. And best of all I have a loving husband and caring son that dote on me and help out without complaint. Not to mention all the chores I get out of doing right now.

However, Baby Boy will need to meet the rest of the world very soon now. I can't wait to meet him and Olivia is absolutely anxious about his pending arrival.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pregnancy After Loss

It is so important to be understanding of the complex emotions of a subsequent pregnancy or raising a subsequent child after a loss. Just because you are thrilled that the bereaved parents are either pregnant again or have thankfully welcomed a healthy child into their lives, do not assume that they have “moved on”. There are many juxtapositions that can accompany a subsequent pregnancy and/or child:

- Joy vs. sadness.

- Excitement vs. worry.

- Gratitude vs. anger/grief.

- Being thankful for this new baby vs. still wanting their missing child.

- Being appreciative for being pregnant again vs. thinking about how this new baby and the timing of the subsequent pregnancy “should have never been” if the previous child had been okay.

- Trying to be hopeful that everything will be okay vs. being filled with anxiety and fear at every moment that something could go wrong.

Be aware of these feelings and ask the bereaved parents how they are doing both emotionally and physically during this process. Even once a healthy child has been fortunately brought into this world, there are usually bittersweet emotions that are tied to missing their child that died. In fact, some bereaved parents note that their grief takes on an entirely new meaning once they see and hold their healthy baby: it makes what they lost all the more tangible.

DON’T use any of the following statements in reference to the a subsequent pregnancy or a new baby:

- “See, this was the child you were meant to have.”

- “If not for your loss, you would never have had this perfect baby.”

- “If you are patient, everything works out for the best.”

- “Now you know there was a reason for what you went through.”

- “All of your worrying was silly – I told you everything would be fine with this one.”

- “Try not to think about that baby and focus on the one right in front of you.”

* In one way or another, all of these comments CAN trivialize the child who died, the depth of the loss, and/or the difficult process of healing.

.. Thanks to Sari for sharing this with me. Although Willow is no longer with us, she can never be forgotten. She will always be my third pregnancy; Olivia's little sister. Willow is always going to be our daughter and as much a part of our family as Terrell. I still feel much pain over the loss of Willow. Carrying this baby in my womb does not erase that pain.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I want to remind everyone of the "Follow" gadget on my page. This will allow you to get updates from my blog. This will be especially handy when the baby decides to arrive... you can be one of the first to know.

I know a lot of my readers may venture here from other websites, including I know how hard it can be read about another mom's pregnancy journey after suffering a loss. Believe me, I've been there. But as a mother who has lost a baby, I could use the support of my fellow baby loss mamas. As I approach my due date, I still feel scared, unsure and anxious. And carrying this baby does not make me miss Willow Rose any less. I often cry for her because I miss her terribly.

And as always, comments are always welcome.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

31 Weeks

Another Pregnancy Quiz as I approach my 8th month!

How far along: 31 weeks.

Who knows: I thought everyone did. I was surprised when a coworker just realized yesterday that I was expecting.

Symptoms: BACK PAIN!... it radiates through my right buttock into my right leg. It's pretty miserable.

Total weight gain: Not much actually.

Maternity clothes: Do they make maternity shoes?

Stretch marks: I can't tell whats new and whats old.

Sleep: I'm exhausted! Sometimes I think I may have to tape my eyelids open. However, I can't sleep at night due to the back (leg, hip) pain. I'm now taking TylenolPM for a little bit of shut eye... between bathroom breaks of course.

Best moment last week: Picking up my maternity belt from the physical therapist. I am not pain-free, but even 10% less pain is better than nothing.

Movement: Lots of movement. His schedule has changed and I'm worried he may be a night owl.

Food cravings: Cereal, chocolate, yogurt with strawberries and granola.

Belly Button in or out: IN!

What I miss: Being able to walk without looking like a penguin... being able to walk period! Sleep! High heels.

What I am looking forward to: Next week's appointment where I will beg (maybe bribe) my Dr. to induce me early or schedule a c-section!

Milestones: There is an end in sight.

How is daddy? The other day I called Daddy from work. He was at home watching TLC's A Baby Story. He told me all about the episode and expressed his fear. Never mind that I'm the one who has to deliver this baby!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You Do the Math

I've been thinking about how long this pregnancy has seemed to carry on. Which brought me the beginning of this journey. When I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) only 7 weeks after I lost Willow, I vowed that I would not waste my energy worrying. Of course that was easier said than done. When I managed to approach my 2nd trimester without a mental breakdown I was quite proud of myself. But I felt I was slowly losing hope when I lingered around the 21 week mark, when I lost Willow. With God's strength and my husband's support I made it to 30 weeks!

Now that I'm nearing the end of what will be my last pregnancy I have a mixed bag of emotions. I still won't feel safe until this baby has arrived safely from my womb and I am holding him in my arms. And who am I kidding, even then I will worry! I also feel sadness that this will be my last pregnancy. The last time I get to feel baby ninja kicks in my ribs. The last time I get to eat ice cream without feeling guilty. But I'm also anxiously anticipating the arrival of this baby boy just to have some relief from this terrible back pain. The pain associated with this pregnancy has made it one of the worst pregnancies I've experienced (except for losing Willow of course). I thought I was so lucky when I didn't experience nausea for the first time out of all my pregnancies. What I wouldn't give for some vomiting if it meant I could actually walk without pain again. But as I sit here and feel a little sorry for myself (as my husband cooks his 7th meal straight, along with a special dish for me to take to work tomorrow) I remind myself that this is no normal pregnancy. I almost feel as if I've been pregnant for a lifetime. So I did some math.

30 weeks pregnant, currently
7 weeks between this pregnancy and when I lost Willow
21.5 weeks pregnant when I lost Willow...

So I've almost been pregnant a total of 50 weeks, which is a little over a year. No wonder why I'm a little miserable. I plan to breastfeed a minimum of 6 months which also means I haven't had a drink in a little over an eternity! Just some food for thought.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Natalie grant held

I'm Not Alone

I just wanted to take the time to mention a very important website I recently discovered. has become such a part of my life. I can't believe there hasn't been a website like this before. It's sad to read everyone's story regarding their loss. Everyone's story is so different, but then again it's the same. We are a community of women... mothers, fathers, aunts, grandparents who have lost a child. The loss is not less significant because it happened during the third trimester, the second or just days after finding out about this tiny being growing inside.

A part of my healing process has been to talk about Willow Rose and her death. I know it makes some people uncomfortable, but some have embraced my courage. Some have taken the opportunity to ask questions. Some feel more comfortable to share their own story. I'm so thankful to be able to share my journey with others, but saddened by their losses.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's In A Name

It's been frustrating trying to come up with a name for our baby boy. Who by the way, just might end up being referred to as "Baby Boy" if we don't agree on something soon!

Terrell was named by his "sperm donor"... long story. Basically, I was 15 and his father chose the name. If I got a do-over I would name him something else. Maybe something that wouldn't get him confused with the Sr. who has quite the record.

Olivia was the name of my Cabbage Doll and I always knew I wanted a girl named Olivia. I never knew that every other person would name their girl Olivia since 2007. But I still like it because it's classic and not trendy. Besides she has lots of nicknames to go by.

With our last pregnancy Will fell in love with the name Willow. We knew it wouldn't get the popular vote so we hid it. I didn't want to tell anyone because I didn't want the negative comments, which are so easily dished out when it comes to naming OUR baby. Sadly, Willow went to heaven but she took her name with her; Willow Rose Wardlow.

Had we been pregnant with a girl this time, I feel that we would have pinpointed a name by now. For some reason, it's harder to pick a name for a boy. Now that we got passed the "Willie Jr" discussion (thank God) we have to choose something quickly.

My List:
Maximilian... Has been my top pick forever. I do understand it's a BIG name for a baby. But I'm okay with Max. BTW, Damn you JLo for stealing my baby name!

Gabriel... Archangel Gabriel. What's not to love? Except that it's high on the Top 100 list. Something I want to avoid since the Olivia situation.

Xavier... Another name I've loved for a long time. Until I did some research and I found out that the correct pronunciation (even in the US) is "Zayvier". The X is not pronounced.

Tomás... The reason why I like this name so much is because it is a Spanish and Irish name AND if the accent is over the "o" it is Scottish/ Gaelic. Wardlow is a Scottish last name and I am Hispanic. The downfall is, I think people will just refer to him as Thomas or worse, Tommy!

Jadon... But is it too popular? Too similar to Aidan? This spelling is from the bible.

His List:

Sean... Will seems to love it. I just don't get it.

Ian... I am pretty sure Will got this name from the books about a cartoon pig named Olivia. Her baby brother is named Ian. I definitely am not a fan.

William... Im ok with William. What I don't like is it's too popular (#8 on the Top 100 List) and I fear his family will just call him Lil' Willie.

Max... I prefer my pick, Maximilian, but I'm okay with the nickname Max.

Maxwell... Another Scottish name. Im actually liking this name more, although it's not a top pick of mine.

Darryl... Oh hell no!

I'm sure this debate is going to last until the last minute. Either Will is going to have to give in or he will have to sign all the paperwork while I'm drugged up before we come to a decision. I feel like there may be another, perfect name that's out there. One that we haven't discovered yet. In the meanwhile, I'm still taking suggestions. Just be nice!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Friend or Foe

Over the past couple of years I had a few childhood friends locate me. Sure, I had some friend requests from middle school, even elementary school friends on But I've also had a friend find me through search websites. Recently, I had a friend drop by my Mother's house hoping to find me. It makes me feel warm and cozy inside that someone thought of me enough to track me down. I guess I was a good friend after all.

These friends from the past made me reflect on all the friends I've had over the years. But I've reflected on the "Best friends" I accumulated along the way. I had middle school best friends, high school best friends, best friends among dozens of sorority sisters and adult best friends. Currently, I think my only best friend is my husband, Will. I guess that's not a bad thing. He's seen me at my worst and he still loves me. Nobody knows me better than the man that wakes up next to me everyday.

Having Will as my BFF is not horrible, but I miss that female companionship. A comrade to shop and gossip with. Someone who is there to listen when I want to bitch about my other BFF (Will). I once had a friend like this. I held her hair when she puked. I gave her advice when she was arguing with her boyfriend. Hell! I even introduced her to her boyfriend. Things went sour for whatever reason. I'm not sure why.

Breaking up with a BFF is like breaking up with a boyfriend. I hear about their life through mutual friends like I catch up on my gossip through TMZ. People notice that we aren't tied at the hip anymore. Awkward questions are dodged as I try to pretend it's no big deal or the breakup was mutual.

It's harder to swallow when there wasn't a blatant wrong doing. Nothing to pinpoint when and where things went wrong. No argument or blow-out. That makes things more complicated.

I've made several attempts to mend the broken relationship with no success. So I made the decision to move on. But every once in awhile I yearn for my BFF. And what's worse than name calling, back-stabbing and gossiping is saying nothing at all. Especially when you've heard through the grapevine that your ex-BFF is suffering.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pain Pain Go Away

I've come to realize the pain I'm feeling is a little more serious than I cared to admit. It's time I stopped denying it and did something about it, although it may be too late.

Early in my pregnancy I realized I didn't have the right to complain about pregnancy symptoms. A baby loss mother expressed her opinion that those who are able to conceive don't have anything to complain about. As if I should be happy enough that I was able to produce another pregnancy (regardless of the outcome of my previous pregnancy or the struggles I went through to get pregnant in the first place.) Nothing else should matter.

This statement has been embedded in my brain. When people asked in passing how I was doing I would simply smile and say fine. I was pregnant again! Without help from fertility meds, without timing intercourse down to the day... hour... minute. I was pregnant even though my last baby had died inside of me. That was enough for rejoice right? No need to mention the nausea, the headaches, the back pain, the constant nagging fear that my baby could be taken again. Without so much as a warning; a cramp or a bleed. No need to mention the lack of sleep because nightmares of demons sweeping my baby away. The inability to wipe without inspecting the tissue for blood. Who cared about all of that. I was pregnant and I should shut up and be thankful for what God has given me (even if it is only temporary.)

Recently I realized I shouldn't have to suffer. I shouldn't feel bad that I was able to conceive (and so quickly, without trying) after Willow died. I shouldn't carry the burden of guilt for all those women who suffered a loss, or were never able to conceive in the first place.

Guess what? My back hurts. The pain is tremendous. Radiating down my right buttock into my leg. I walk with a limp. Kind of like a waddling duck with a limp. 2 months of chiropractic care couldn't help. Dr.s shrugged their shoulders and spoke highly of post-pregnancy care or surgery. I recently visited a highly recommended physical therapist. She was clearly upset when she explained that she could not help me. Possibly a re-injured herniated disc caused by pressure or movement from my pelvis. My only option is "pain management". They seem to think Vicodin is safe during pregnancy. And a "Wheelchair is not such a bad idea" or "Bed rest." This scares me. So I take Tylenol, attempt to do my therapeutic exercises and try to smile and keep my mouth shut. No need to complain that it takes me minutes to roll out of bed, just to use the bathroom. Nobody wants to hear about my husband helping me put my pants on or that I can't take my daughter to the park or walk my dog. I will just suffer in silence and pray to God that the moment I deliver my healthy, baby boy this pain leaves me along with the placenta.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pee in a Cup

Today I had another Dr. appointment. It seems I'm spending every Friday afternoon with someone in the medical field. What's more fun is I'm always dragging Olivia along since she attends daycare at my job and the Dr is close to my house (halfway across town). Olivia is astonished that I have to pee in a cup at every visit. In her loud toddler voice she questions my intentions... "Mommy, are you going to pee in that cup again?"... "What are you going to do with the cup?"... "Are you going to wash your hands?"... Now mind you, this conversation occurs in the waiting room. I hear snickers behind me as I try to shush Olivia.

By the time I get to the bathroom to leave my sample I have to pee so bad I feel like I may not make it. But not only do I have to encourage Olivia to hurry it up (because she always has to go potty right before me!), I have to write my name on the plastic cup AND peel away the wrapper from the tiniest wet nap in the universe. So I can provide a "clean" sample. It all seems like a very cruel joke.

Recently Olivia had to visit her pediatrician for a possible UTI. Thank goodness everything turned out okay (just some summer chaffing.) You can imagine her surprise when she had to provide the urine sample this time. This simple task made her day. My day, however, began like this...

Olivia woke up and immediately wanted to pick out her outfit for the day. She chose a beautiful blue... princess dress! Complete with plastic, princess high heels. Never mind that it was 90 degrees outside and she may have to return to daycare depending on the outcome of her visit that day. After much debate (damn, she's good) I convinced Olivia to wear a different dress that was pink and cotton. Who cared if it had 5 layers of ruffles and took 15 minutes to iron! Since it was pink, Olivia had to find her pink high heels that took a half hour to locate. At this point I didn't care if she wanted to wear her Hello Kitty rain boots. We had an appointment to make, and I was losing this battle quickly. After several attempts of getting her braids "just right" (Olivia's request, of course) we were finally out the door.

Olivia got many compliments on her high heels. I just smiled and grit my teeth. Come on people! Please don't encourage this behavior! I tried to help Olivia hold the plastic cup to catch the sample, but Ms. Independent HAD to do it by herself. When she clearly wasn't catching anything I had to reach in and help. Then we washed our hands for several minutes. I stopped only to swat her hand away from her prize urine sample as she tried to admire it.

Even though she kept asking to use the bathroom, the Dr. gave her a clean bill of health. Later I realized, she just wanted the chance to pee in a cup again. At least she didn't get all dressed up for nothing. Ugh!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Only A Mother Could Love a Face Like That

Newborn babies aren't cute. We've all been in that situation when a coworker comes back to work to show off her newborn baby, just weeks after delivery. She parades them around from cubicle to cubicle and everyone (especially non-mothers) are forced to oooh and awww over the wrinkled little being.

As a mother I thought my babies were the most beautiful babies when they were born. But as I look back to their hospital photo shoots, I'm glad my babies outgrew the little old man/ woman stage. It's like Benjamin Button. But I still think my kids are adorable and once I give birth to this baby boy I will be at work to show off my handsome little "old" man!

That being said, last Friday I had my first glimpse of my little guy in 3D! I was expecting a normal ultrasound that day with the Maternal Fetal Dr. So you can imagine my surprise when the tech pushed a button and suddenly we were looking inside my womb at a moving and yawning baby. It was pretty cool... for about 10 seconds, then panic set in. Our baby looked like a demon child!

I think the tech sensed our shock because she agreed that babies are cuter in 2D at this stage because their lack of fat (you're telling me!) When we were scheduling our next appointment the tech stopped by to be sure we took our 3D pics home. Will and I were just hoping to leave that memory behind. You know... what happens in the ultrasound room, stays in the ultrasound room!

I'll be the first one to admit, this baby looks scary (in 3D), but I guess I'll sleep in peace knowing his 2D picture of his profile is freaking adorable. I'll forgo 3D images for now and wait for the real thing. But in the meantime, here's a photo of our worst nightmare!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Say A Little Prayer

I have a friend who is suffering from cancer. Since his initial surgery to remove the tumor, new tumors have emerged as well as cancer cells within his lungs. After celebrating the birthdays of his 3 beautiful children; Gio, Niko and Lila this weekend, he had to return to the hospital. The tumor that was against his spine was preventing him from walking. Although the Drs were able to remove some of this tumor, they tell him his new situation is inoperable and giving him radiation and chemotherapy may be his only options.

My heart aches for Pepe, Gina and their entire family. I can only imagine what they are going through. They recently purchased a house prior to Pepe being let go from his employer.

Will and I went to see Pepe in the hospital today. He had just gotten out of surgery and although he never opened his eyes, he recognized Will's voice immediately. We held his hand and just talked. I know that Pepe is definitely loved and has a great support system (I can tell from the gang of people waiting to see him at the hospital).

The entire situation made Will and I think about how to support someone who is going through something like this. What are the right words to say after someone is told they have 6-12 months to live? Will and I determined that we are not experienced in this situation and we may NOT say the right things, but it's better than saying nothing at all. Gina and Pepe have always been good friends to us and we plan to be good friends to them. A prayer is said everyday (sometimes more than once). I have no choice but to believe in miracles!

Friday, June 25, 2010

23 Week Quiz

As I approach 6 months (and my third trimester) I thought I would do another quiz. So here I go.

How far along: 23 weeks today (my ticker reminds me that the baby is now the size of a papaya).

Who knows: Everyone! I'm actually surprised when people say they had no idea. It's kind of obvious.

Symptoms: Just back pain... Well I shouldn't say "Just"!

Total weight gain: I don't ask, they don't tell!

Maternity clothes: Yeah, pretty much everything.

Stretch marks: Nothing new!

Sleep: As I approach my third trimester I've noticed the sleepiness creeping back. I also toss and turn due to the back pain and having to pee twice a night doesn't help. I like to think of it as practice to prepare my body for whats to come!

Best moment last week: Will felt the baby move for the first time! I went in to work a little later that day and we just laid in the bed talking. Then the little one started kicking like crazy! It's such a great milestone and it doesn't get old, even for my fourth pregnancy!

Movement: Lots! Everyday. Dr says this is because my placenta is on my back wall.

Food cravings: Varies from day to day.

Belly Button in or out: IN!

What I miss: Zumba! I loved to workout @ the Y, but the Dr hasn't cleared me for any type of exercise. I have been considering an Aqua Zumba class though.

What I am looking forward to: Next week's growth scan. To see how much weight this baby has gained. Although I'm not looking forward to ALL the Dr appointments. Between my regular OB and the Fetal Maternal Dr, I'm going to be at the Dr's office twice as much.

Milestones: We got to found out the sex last month.

How is daddy? Will is very overprotective. He wouldn't even allow me to bowl. He finally admitted that we already lost one baby, he's afraid to lose another. It's kind of sweet.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Diego is the new man in my life. Actually he's been around for awhile, but I have just realized how important he is to me. He never judges me. He keeps me warm at night. And he's sensitive to my needs!

Obviously, Will is jealous of my relationship with Diego. And I have to admit, it's a bit awkward with Diego sleeping between me and Will every night. Protecting me like the border patrol.

If you haven't figured it out yet, Diego is my maternity pillow. He has tried his best to keep me comfortable through the night. I don't know how I would sleep without him! I love him so much I decided to name him after all of these years. I had Diego since I was pregnant with Olivia, but didn't realize his worth until my pregnancy back pain made sleeping impossible.

As much as I adore Diego, I do miss cuddling with my hubby before drifting off to sleep. This is impossible now because of my fluffy barrier. A couple times per night while rolling over, with my pillow tucked snugly between my legs, I've smacked Will in the face. However, Will tolerates Diego regardless of his hatred for him. Besides, he knows better than to mess with a pregnant woman!

We are going to the Dells this weekend and you better believe Diego will be coming along!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Girl or Boy???

What's your guess?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

10 Months

I'm almost at the halfway point. 5 months and 5 more to go. (You did know women are actually pregnant for 10 months not 9, right?) I'm also in the midst of the period in which I lost Willow. I have a lot of mixed emotions regarding the fast approaching anatomy scan. The 5 month ultrasound! The BIG one, where the tech confirms if it's a penis or vagina. The last 5 month ultrasound I went to I was ecstatic. I had already been told by the tech that my baby was a girl, but that didn't curb my excitement. I laid on the table quietly as the tech explained that she would do the "boring" stuff first since my darling hubby was late. I glanced over at the screen once and saw my baby's profile. The tech was uneasy and wasn't allowing me to see the screen. I could tell immediately something was wrong. She quickly printed some images. She wiped the gooey mess from my stomach and told me she would be back after showing the Dr some things first.

Not long after she abruptly left the room Will came bursting through the door with CD-R in hand. Anxious to see his baby girl. I began crying. Will couldn't understand why I was crying. I tried to explain that something wasn't right. Ultrasound techs don't run out of the room like that. The tech returned and asked us to follow her to the Dr's office. That's when I lost it. I sobbed because I knew at that moment she was gone. I blamed myself. How could I not know my baby had died inside of me?

These emotions are going to be strong and raw when I lay down on that table and wait to see my baby's beating heart on the screen. I could care less if my baby is a girl or a boy. I just want to see their tiny little heart beating away!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I thought this would be the day that I would celebrate being a Mom to my three beautiful children. But one is missing and now I'm pregnant with my fourth. It's only been five months, three weeks and five days since we said goodbye to Willow. We knew we wanted to try again to have a baby, but we didn't know when or how (considering my battles with infertility). We never thought that within two months I would be pregnant again. Without trying, without fertility meds, without even thinking about it. We are very excited, optimistic and full of hope. But losing Willow is always going to be on our minds. Even though another baby is coming and Willow won't be here, she will always be with us. So this Mother's Day I will be celebrating with my wonderful husband and my 4 beautiful children; Terrell, Olivia, Willow and "Pumpkin".

Monday, April 26, 2010

14 Week Quiz

How far along: 14 weeks today

Who knows: Everyone! Even Lili knows she's going to be a BIG sister.

Symptoms: Nada.

Total weight gain: I think I lost weight even though I haven't had any nausea. There's just something about being pregnant that makes me eat healthier.

Maternity clothes: Yes. It's much more comfortable.

Stretch marks: Nothing new!

Sleep: Still tired, but I've regained some of my energy. However, due to my back pain I have a hard time getting comfy at night... even with my pregnancy pillow.

Best moment last week: Nothing baby-related, but we moved Olivia into the bigger room and she's sleeping in her big girl bed. Will moved the crib in there too in case we have a baby girl on the way (then they will share a room). We will have to wait and see though.

Movement: Sometimes I think I can feel something. Or maybe I'm nuts.

Food cravings: Strawberries w/ Nutella and steak!

Belly Button in or out: IN!

What I miss: Cappuccino and Coke (I'm trying to not drink any caffeine)

What I am looking forward to: The anatomy scan June 4th!

Milestones: Can't wait to hear the baby's heartbeat again next week.

How is daddy? He is busy turning down every baby name I come up with. For some reason we only debate about girl's names. I don't know what that means though.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Have You Heard the News?

My pregnancy news is just about common knowledge now! Will and I have been telling close friends and family these past couple of weeks and I posted a message on this week. That was the easiest way to get the news circulated. Most people have been very supportive, so I feel good about sharing.

Today was my first appointment with Dr. M. I basically picked my Ob-Gyn from a list of Doctors on a sheet of paper. I was most nervous that we wouldn't click, but I don't have those fears now. Dr. M. was very personable from the moment I met her. She shared a lot of information about herself and her personal life. After my experience with my last Ob-Gyn, personality ranked pretty high on my list of requirements. I assume she's qualified enough to deliver a baby, but honestly when I'm in labor I could care less if the janitor delivered!

We didn't get to see our little Pumpkin this time, but the Dr. found the heartbeat right away on the doppler which made my day. When I was 17 weeks pregnant with Willow the Dr. couldn't find the heartbeat, so I had to have an ultrasound which detected the heartbeat almost immediately. But as we all know Willow passed between that time and 21 weeks. I know I can't compare the two situations, but I am feeling optimistic about this good, strong heartbeat.

I've included a picture (of an actual book you can buy) that I posted along with my pregnancy news on My husband's name is Willie so it was kind of funny!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It's been 14 years since my husband and I made it official! I'm not talking about our wedding anniversary, but another important date. It was March 17th, 1996 when my hubby and I decided we would be together and we have been ever since. Even after all these years I can't imagine being with anyone else. I absolutely love Will with all my heart. I still look forward to him getting home from work every night. He is my best friend in this whole world! It may be hard to believe but he never complains, he is always willing to help around the house (often cleaning the entire house on his day off), does the grocery shopping, starts my car in the winter and is the BEST dad any kid could ask for. He's loving, caring and never selfish. I'm probably the luckiest girl on this planet. Happy 14 years, baby!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Will and I had our first ultrasound on Thursday. I was so nervous I was shaking. Will did a good job trying to keep me calm. The staff seems to get a kick out of Will every time he comes to visit... Mr. Personality!

I knew since I was only about 8 weeks along that I would get to be more acquainted with the "hoo-ha wand". Which means a vaginal ultrasound. Yay me! I forgot to mention this to Will. Even after I removed my pants, he never thought to ask why I was getting undressed. Will positioned himself at the bottom of the table and he sat in the chair. There were two monitors in the room. One for the patient to view and one for the Dr. I told Will that I wanted him to sit next to me and he said he would move to that chair when they came back. Well, Dr. H and Nurse J returned and asked me scoot my butt down to the edge of the table. I gave Will the stink eye, but he still didn't budge from his prime seating. Finally I yelled at him, "I want you over here!" I giggled and explained that I know we've been married for over 9 years, but I wasn't comfortable with him looking straight up my va-jay-jay while the Dr. molested me with the happy stick. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of this. It wasn't until this point did Will realize what type of ultrasound I was really having that day.

Dr. H seemed very pleased with Pumpkin's size. The heartbeat was 150 and we even got to hear the lovely swish swish sound. It was music to my ears. Of course I cried tears of joy and hope, but they were still tainted with fear. Will kept asking the Dr if she only saw one (she did). And he seemed to get a big kick out of the Dr referring to the yolk sac. So he keeps referring to the baby as "Yo" now. We will return in 2 weeks to check the growth of the baby and determine a due date based on the baby's size. Then I may have one more ultrasound before I'm released to my OBGYN (who I haven't even found yet!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pregnancy Quiz

I feel like I have to guard myself in case the worst happens, but on the other hand I don't want to remember my pregnancy as being a miserable and stressful 9 months. I have to remind myself (sometimes several times a day) "Worrying will not change the outcome". I religiously check the toilet paper for blood each time I wipe. I panic with every twinge of pain. I can't even tell you the last time my hubby and I have done the deed, for fear it will cause a miscarriage (poor hubby). I know it's silly, but I just lost a baby a few months ago! The pain is still fresh in my mind. I pray to God everyday that he will not allow that to ever happen to me again!

I feel like I am testing my luck by getting so excited about this baby growing inside of me, but I saw this quiz on another blog so I wanted to give it a try.

How far along: 7 weeks today

Who knows: You do! We haven't made an official announcement, but we plan to after next week's ultrasound. My mom and BFF know and a few of my ex coworkers. I'm not very good at secrets.

Symptoms: Nausea (more so when I allow myself to get hungry) and headaches. The same symptoms as my previous pregnancies sans the tender/ sore breasts.

Total weight gain: I haven't weighed myself and I don't want to right now since I didn't lose all the weight from my previous pregnancy!

Maternity clothes: I'm not wearing any maternity clothes yet, but I did buy some shirts recently from Old Navy.

Stretch marks: Nothing new!

Sleep: By 9 o'clock I can barely keep my eyes open, but my previous 2 pregnancies I was much more tired. I'm wondering if it just hasn't hit yet.

Best moment last week: I don't think there was any. I started a new position at work, so I have lots of training classes, applications to learn and coworkers to get to know. My grandma passed away and my friend had brain surgery. But if I had to pick something, I would say Olivia deciding (for herself) that she will go on the potty now. All the candy, stickers and bribes didn't work. She just started going on the toilet and has been going since Wednesday. Ha!

Movement: The baby is the size of a blueberry, but I have those feelings like a butterfly is tickling my insides.

Food cravings: Varies, but I've been thinking about fresh fruit lately!

Belly Button in or out: IN!

What I miss: Cappuccino and Coke (I'm trying to not drink any caffeine)

What I am looking forward to: My ultrasound March 11th!

Milestones: Hoping to hear the heartbeat next week.

How is daddy? He is so excited about the baby and is looking forward to the ultrasound next week. Although he is usually guarded and doesn't allow himself to get too excited about things, I can tell he is hopeful that this pregnancy will go as planned. He's already planning and figuring things out.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Abuela's Gift

My Abuela died in her home in Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15th. I didn't receive the news until Tuesday, the day my pregnancy was confirmed by Dr. H. She was 99, so it wasn't a complete shock. I can't help but think of the Circle of Life (can't you just hear the Lion King song now).

Since my initial visit to the RE my Beta numbers have increased nicely. However my third blood draw indicated that my progesterone had dipped a little. My Dr considered my progesterone "borderline" and immediately put me on a progesterone supplement. Of course it must be a vaginal supplement because nothing that has to do with pregnancy can be easy for me.

Since my Dr routinely schedules only 3 Beta checks, every other day, I haven't had an opportunity to have my levels checked in over a week. As much as I HATE needles, I appreciated those updates for reassurance that everything is going well. That's why I welcomed my first bout of nausea. I know it seems crazy, but once I got that familiar nauseous feeling and slight headache I welcomed it, knowing that it meant this wasn't all in my head. This little bean inside of me is growing! And right now, we are referring to this little baby as, "Pumpkin" due to the EDD being in October. We are looking forward to our first scheduled ultrasound, Thursday March 11th!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

V Day!

I had a huge surprise today when I took a home pregnancy test on a whim! I didn't take the test because I felt pregnant or even thought that was a possibility. I took the test because my period was late and I knew the Dr would request I take one or two before prescribing Provera to bring on another cycle. We were scheduled to begin Clomid/ IUI cycle this month and I was getting antsy for the process to start. So you can imagine my shock when I got two blue lines on my pregnancy test. I was in disbelief. I wasn't going to mention it to Will, because I thought it had to be wrong. Then the other test from the pack was a dud. So I knew it had to be a mistake. I debated back and forth through the evening on whether or not to run out and buy another pack of tests. It didn't take much convincing before I headed out into the chilly night to grab another pack of tests.

3 tests and 1 blood draw later, it's been confirmed! So far the stats are as follows:

What is the HCG level? 104
What is the Progesterone level? 12.1
How far along am I? 5 weeks
What is my due date? October 22nd, 2010

I go back to the Dr this Thursday to repeat the blood draw. Hopefully we will see my beat numbers go waaaaaaaay up!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Zzzzzz. I've been suffering from insomnia lately. I haven't been able to pinpoint the root cause of my sleepless nights, but I'm hoping to get a full 7 hours sleep soon. So please be patient with any ramblings in this blog!

I had my follow up appointment with my RE, Dr. H on Thursday (sans dear hubby). Will was instructed to drop Olivia off at daycare and meet me at the Dr's office, but somewhere between home and the Falls, he forgot where his final destination should be, so he went to work instead. Anyone who knows my husband would not be surprised by this.

Our next course of treatment will be 100 mg of Clomid, HCG trigger shot and IUI. For all my fertile blog readers out there, IUI is basically artificial insemenation (Will's boys of course). The Clomid is taken prior to the IUI to help induce ovulation and the HCG trigger shot is to help mature my eggs. Since the IUI is painless and not much different from a regular pap, I'm most concerned about the trigger shot. Especially since I will have to rely on Will to do the deed. This is the man that was balled into the fetal position while I was getting poked, over and over, for my IV. Apparently I have "little" veins and they "roll"! Besides, something just doesn't seem right about giving a woman drugs that cause MAJOR mood swings, then arming dear husband with a needle.

This is all supposed to start our next cycle, which should be sometime after V-Day! Besides the hefty price tag of $1,500 I'm really excited about this next step of our journey. The amount of money will be well worth it if it works out for us! Wish us luck!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today I had my HSG and my uterus shape looks good and my tubes are all clear. A HSG is a test where dye is inserted through a catheter into the uterus to view the shape of the uterus and make sure that the fallopian tubes are not blocked.

Now, can you picture me in a hospital gown that could barely cover Paris Hilton, with my tush hanging out the back and socks and tennis shoes on? It was quite a site! Why wouldn't I feel uncomfortable. Then I had to lay down on the cold, hard xray table with my vajayjay airing out in the open in front of the Radiology Techs, my Dr and the Radiologist. I don't know what I was more afraid of, the pain or losing my dignity. I guess during that moment I was more afraid of the pain because I lost my dignity between the births of my children! I'm happy to say I have no blockages and it wasn't nearly as painful as I had expected.

What's next? Dr. H. wants Will to have another sperm analysis since his last one was from a year ago. Will isn't too thrilled about this request. That's just too bad though. I've been filled with gut-wrenching meds, poked and prodded and all Will has to do is make love to a cup. I'm sure he will survive.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Letter to My Daughter

Dear Willow,

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. The day I delivered you is forever etched in my mind. I cradled your tiny body and wept as I tried to memorize every feature through the rain. I dream of who you would have been had you been given the chance to live. Would you be outgoing like your dad, look identical to your big sister, look up to your big brother, or be stubborn like your mother? I yearn for you everyday as I count down the days to your due date. Only you're already gone. I try to be strong during the day and I cry myself to sleep at night. Your Daddy tries to comfort me, the only way he knows how. I will never forget the sadness in his eyes as he rocked your limp body as if you were still here with us that night.

All I have to hold on to are crocheted clothes and my memories of your too short life. We tried so hard to conceive and we were elated once we knew you were coming. Your father called you Willow before we knew you were even a girl, but he had a feeling.

I'm sorry if I did anything wrong. I'm so sorry I didn't always remember to take my prenatal vitamins and for drinking too much caffeine. Most of all I regret not knowing something was wrong until it was too late. Knowing you could have passed away weeks before is the worst feeling I have to carry with me. I have so much guilt even though the Doctor said nothing could have been done. It was my job to protect you.

As we try to conceive another baby I want you to know, that NO baby will ever replace you. We want YOU to be here with us. Please look after your little brother or sister and help them make it to us safely. Your brother Terrell is very sad you are gone and misses you very much. Olivia is very young now, but we will make sure that she knows she has been a big sister for a long time! We will always honor and remember you and I can't wait to hold you again in heaven.

Love you always and forever,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trying Again

2010 has taken an interesting turn. Sorry I haven't updated in awhile. The entire family was sick and we possibly had a strain of H1N1 invading our house! I'm finally starting to feel better, but Terrell and I still have a nasty cough and sore throat that has come and gone for almost 4 weeks now.

Beginning in February I will start training for my new position as a Merchandise Specialist in the Buying Office. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is a position I have had my eye on for some time now. I felt it was time to take a leap and I'm glad I did.

I had my appointment with my new Reproductive Endocrinologist on January 6th. Dr Hayes seems very down to earth and I feel like this may be a great relationship. After reviewing my chart, she has decided we can start trying to conceive as early as February. Dr Hayes is starting by having some bloodwork done and an ultrasound. I will go back on the 25th for the dreaded HSG. HSG or hysterosalpingogram is a test where dye is injected into the uterus and xrays are taken to make sure both fallopian tubes are clear. I've heard it can be very painful, but I'm hoping it's over quickly and both tubes are open! Beyond this I'm not sure what Dr Hayes' plan of action will be. Although I'm thinking Metformin + Clomid. We shall see. Now that we are trying to conceive again my days will be counted as DPOs (days past ovulation). TTC, OPK, BBT, TWW, HPT, BFP... here I come!

On that note, I'm missing Willow a lot lately. I feel sad as I get closer and closer to my EDD (estimated due date). I also feel like we are betraying her by trying to get pregnant again. We know we cannot replace Willow, but we are praying for another baby to fill our empty arms.

Friday, January 1, 2010

20 Wishes

1. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to mention my baby. Just telling me you don't know what to say is okay. Sometimes I just need someone to listen.

2. I wish that you wouldn't make it awkward for me to talk about my baby. Just because I cry doesn't mean I don't want to talk about her.

3. I wish you wouldn't forget my baby. It's okay to bring her up more than once. She's on my mind everyday.

4. I wish you wouldn't think of my baby as one bad memory. I have many good memories of all the days I was pregnant. All the love I feel for my baby could never be considered a bad memory.

5. I wish you wouldn't pretend my baby didn't really exist. She was very real.

6. I wish you wouldn't assume I should be over this. Grief is very personal and everybody handles it differently.

7. I wish you wouldn't think that just because I'm having a good day that I'm "over it". I may smile and laugh and get through the day, just to cry myself to sleep at night.

8. I wish you wouldn't avoid me. Isolation only makes things harder to deal with.

9. I wish you would be patient with me.

10. I wish you would call my baby by her name, Willow.

11. I wish you wouldn't put a time limit on my grief.

12. I wish you would understand that although you may not have had the chance to see my baby, she is very real. I felt her, I smelled her and I held her.

13. I wish you would remember important dates such as her birth date or my due date. I will be thinking of her a lot during these days and I would like to know you have not forgotten.

14. I wish you would understand that losing my baby has changed me. I will never be the exact same person I was before.

15. I wish you wouldn't "remind" me that I have two other children. I know I have two children that I have already been blessed with, but I want my third baby as well. My children are not interchangeable.

16. I wish you wouldn't tell me about your neighbor's sister's best friend who lost 20 babies before carrying one to term.

17. I wish you wouldn't think that giving me "space" is the answer. You may be my only support system.

18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women and newborns is uncomfortable to me. The truth is, I feel jealous.

19. I wish you wouldn't say "It was meant to be" or "She's better off now". I don't think of it that way. I think my baby would be better off with me. That's how things were meant to be!

20. I wish you would understand that just because we are trying again doesn't mean we are trying to replace our baby. There is no guarantee that we will get pregnant again. And if we do, we will be anxious as we approach every milestone... second trimester, the date we lost Willow, etc... We will remain hopeful, but we will still fear that something could go wrong again.