Friday, October 26, 2012

The Hard part of Life

Five years ago, if you asked Scott and I if we wanted children, we would have given you a very non-chalant answer. Probably something along the lines of, "Well, maybe? I mean, if it happens, it happens." Like I said, non-chalant.

Then it happened. Yep, we are fully aware how it happened, we just didn't really think it would happen. We were on our honeymoon, what are the chances of getting pregnant on your honeymoon? Apparently, the planets were aligned and there must have been a high tide or something. Six weeks after our honeymoon, I felt bizarre. I thought being married was making me crazy until Scott suggested I take a pregnancy test. I did, it was positive, and we freaked out a little bit.

We scheduled an appointment and realized that not only were we going to be adapting to married life, we would also be adapting to parenthood. We walked into our first appointment at 9 weeks with excitement and nervousness. How can you prepare for the first time you see your baby. At that appointment, as the tech pointed out our little fish, Scott and I held hands and also our breath. She took pictures and measurements that we didn't know held heartbreaking news. I wanted to lay there and watch our little baby for hours. We met with our Dr. after the u/s. As she walked in, she said she wanted to talk about genetic counseling. My heart plummeted as she said those words. I looked at my husband and his face was like a stone wall, not betraying how he was feeling.

As she spoke, it was as if I lost conscienceness. We had just seen our healthy looking little baby on the big screen, so what was all this genetic stuff she was talking about? She referred us to a genetic counselor and scheduled us an appointment for the very next week. She spoke about the nuchal thickening on the back of the baby being of a size that caused her concern. This was the first time Scott or I had ever heard the phrase cystic hygroma. She spoke of the thickening not only being behind the neck, but the entire length of the baby. This led her to believe the baby could have 1 of many syndromes, ranging from Downs to Turners to Noonans. Not information that is easy to process when you are 1) still getting used to being married 2) still adjusting to being pregnant 3) and learning your honeymoon baby had abnormalities. Abnormalities became a word that over the next few weeks, I learned to detest hearing.

As we walked out of her office, we were in shock. We decided not to tell our families immediately of our discovery because we didn’t want anyone to worry. Plus, we didn’t have a lot of information. This is where we made a huge mistake, we googled the limited information we had. I looked at images of children with noonan and turners syndrome and I cried. I was terrified. And I was devastated. Yes, I asked what we had done to deserve this. It felt like punishment. My "new" husband and I cried ourselves to sleep. The "honeymoon" was officially over.
At our genetic counseling appointment, we first had a 3D ultrsound. Once again, there I laid staring at what appeared to be a healthy baby. We heard the heartbeat and the baby even kicked like it was playing soccer. The u/s tech was very informational. She pointed out the thickening that was causing the concern. There it was, stretching the entire length of our baby. The thickening had already grown since our first u/s the week before. She was honest, telling us the situation did not look good. The cystic hygroma had something called hydrops in it, which are formations inside the thickening. She has never seen a baby with this condition survive to full term. The counselor came in and asked us a million questions regarding our health and the health of our immediate families. There is zero mental or physical impairments with anyone in our families. We have an absolutely clean family history. So why was this happening us. I wanted to shut my eyes and go back to our wedding day that wasn't so long ago. We were so happy and care-free. We were no longer that happy and care-free couple.
We wanted information and were desperate to get it. We wanted to know what we were dealing with. We kept asking if this "abnormality" could correct itself.  Miracles happen everyday, right? When they offered us the CVS (chorionic villus sampling) the following week in Louisville, we jumped at the chance. On our way there, I puked in the car. I thought it was nerves. Once we were at the Dr., they had me drink a lot of water, as it is easier to take the CVS with a full bladder. After I drank the water, I puked it up while laying on the drs table. After profusely apologizing (they were very nice about it) I had to drink more water. The test itself did not hurt. I felt a little stick and it didn’t take that long. Scott had to leave because he began to feel a little sick. They were able to get the fluid they needed and said it went according to plan. As we got home that day, my husband and I both came down with the flu. A severe flu. Both of us. We laid on the couch and shared a puke bucket. What a crappy day. It was the worst day of our life, so far.
48 hours later, we got our results back. The baby was absolutely free of a chromosomal abnormality and it did not have downs. So what did this mean? Basically, we could slightly narrow down what was going on with our baby. All factors were pointing to turners or noonans. This also meant Scott and I are free of abnormalities that we could pass to a fetus. The % of this situation happening to us was less than 1%, yet here we were.

Between visits we would pray, search the internet for answers, stare off in to space, and question "why." We finally gave our families an abbreviated version of what was happening. We could barely speak of the fear and heartbreak we were going through, much less tell it over and over to everyone. Trying to tell you mother her unborn grandchild isn't going to make it is gut wretching. Imagining that you won't be able to hold your own child, kiss it good-night, or sing it lullabies is even worse. Talking to our baby hurt my heart. Did he/she know that they were sick? Did he/she know that we loved it and wanted it to survive worse than we ever wanted anything in our live?
Our next u/s was scheduled soon after as they wanted to monitor the thickening. It was that day, there was no longer a healthy heartbeat. After everything we had learned and been through, here we were. A D&C was scheduled the following day. They put me out and I don’t remember anything from it. Thankfully. I woke up and our baby was gone. I knew our baby was now abnormality free and had gained wings and a halo.
The Dr. reassured us that this type of thing should have never happened to us. And the chance of it happening again was impossible. We will never understand why it happened or even what exactly happened. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever been through. Newlyweds shouldn't have to say good-bye to their baby. No one should have to say good-bye to their baby.

Two months later as Scott was making dinner, I took a pregnancy test just because there was one in the cabinet and I wanted to see what happened. Well, you know the rest of that story, we had our "Rainbow Baby" - The storm (the loss of our newlywed baby) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm clouds might still be overhead as the family continues to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.

We didn't talk about our loss to many people. The pain we felt was like having our hearts ripped out every minute of everyday. I didn't want people to feel sorry for us and I didn't want to talk about it. Having Paisey did not replace the feeling of loss for our first baby, but I also know if our first baby hadn't been chosen to become an angel, Paisley wouldn't be here.

And now the question looms...."Are you going to have more children?" If we hadn't lost our first baby, if my pregnancy with Paisley hadn't been "high risk" with 7 weeks of living in the hospital, I would probably already be carrying our next child. But, as life has happened, we aren't and never will be that couple that are naive in regards to pregnancy. We can't and will never have a happy and care-free pregnancy. We lost that ability a few years ago. We know the pain with having an abnormal u/s, we know the pain of hearing the phrase, "your baby most likely isn't going to make it," we know the pain of watching your Dr. tell you the baby is gone, we know the pain of hearing that the pregnancy is considered "high risk," we know the fear of moving our lives in to the hospital because our baby has "minutes" to live if I were to go in to labor. We know to much. We know more than a couple should have to know.

We also know the relief that come with hearing our baby take his first breath. We know the love that passed from a mother to their child within the first few seconds of meeting. We know the peace that falls over us as we lay our baby in their crib at night and kiss them goodnight. We know how much we love being parents and how our lives are forever better because of our little guy.

This is what makes the question "Are you going to have more children?" impossible to answer. Do we want to, yes. Are we scared? Terrified.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogging From My Phone

He loves fall decor!
Boo for my laptop still being trash and a new laptop has yet to be ordered.  I guess Apple is about to come out with a new laptop and my husband really wants to wait and read some reviews on it prior to us possibly purchasing it.  I love that he is so thorough when it comes to researching high dollar purchases, but at the same time, JUST GET ME A NEW LAPTOP (please)!

So, since composing a blog on my phone is a pain and I can't be in pain and compose a thought provoking blog, I'll provide you with a snippet of day to day life on our plantation.  Without further ado:

Outside my window...are the most beautiful yellow and orange leaves still hanging on to the tree.  It's been so windy lately so they are constantly throwing dancing shadows inside on the carpet.  Paisley likes to stand in the sunbeams coming in and watch the dust that floats through the air glimmer in the rays. 

I am thinking....about so many blogs I want to compose...yet lack of time and proper computer makes it hard to do. 

I am thankful loving husband and healthy baby boy.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, I am getting a jump start on being thankful for all I have been blessed with. 

In the kitchen...dinner is cooking! Tonight we are having seasoned baked chicken, long grain rice, and cooked carrots.  For dessert we are still enjoying my pumpkin cookies.  I also have a skillet soaking in the sink that has now been soaking for 4 days.  I scorched a beer & cheese soup mixture and that black scorch isn't going anywhere. 

I am wearing...Express jeans and a polar fleece zip up.  It's chilly enough that polar fleece feels perfect!  I should have socks on because my feet are frozen, but I never think to put on socks for some reason...

I am creating...P's Halloween costume!  He is going to be Pinocchio! I sewed the German inspired shorts and little black vest today.  Tomorrow I should finish the hat and bow.  It is so cute and it feels so good to be back at my sewing machine.

I am going to...The zoo tomorrow!  We are meeting a friend and her daughter that we haven't seen in awhile and I'm excited to see them!  On Saturday my mom, sister and I are headed shopping at a nearby outlet mall.  It's about 3 hours away so I am leaving P with his dad.  Sunday Scott and I are taking P to Holiday World for their Halloween event.  Who said stay-at-home moms actually stayed home??

I am wondering...How to un-scorch that pan in my sink.

I am reading...Nothing. I love to read, but I just haven't had time to lose myself in a book like I used to. 

I am hoping...That 2013 brings some exciting changes to the Fisher Family!

I am looking forward to...Celebrating the holidays with a busy toddler!  I can't wait to shop for him, cook up holiday meals and sweets, and make family traditions with my little family.

I am hearing...The 5 o'clock news and waiting to hear the backdoor open (meaning Scott is home from work)

Around the house...My baby is napping, dinner is cooking, the house is festive with Halloween and fall decorations, the sun is pouring in our western facing windows giving the house a beautiful glow.

One of my favorite things...Having the patience to wait for the perfect man, having parents that taught me how to make a marriage work, the faith to survive a loss and dangerous pregnancy, the ability to spend my days caring for our little one, the love I give and receive each and every day. (yeah, that was more than one favorite thing, but I couldn't narrow it down)

Someone woke up on the happy side of the tent!
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Friday, October 5, 2012

On the Go!

Fall is in the air and I'm ready to break out my leggings, suede boots, wool coat, and mittens.  I am beyond over the warm, muggy Indiana air and am ready to bury myself into a pile of fleece blankets with a raging fire roaring to life in front of me. Instead of "tornado warnings" I'm ready for blizzard-like conditions that threaten to shut down school corporations and cause Scott to disappear in to a sea of white with snow shovel in hand.  I'm ready for all the goodness that comes along with this time of year, and we have a lot of goodness heading our way!
Bull Island attire included rain boots
In the past month, we've been up to some exciting events around the Fisher Family Household.  Early in the month, Scott and I went to a 40th Anniversary of Bull Island party.  What is Bull Island you ask, read the real story here;  I swear I was born during the wrong time frame.  I would have loved to have been in the mix of music goers (of course I would have kept my clothes on).  Even a cool mist falling from the dark sky didn't stop Scott and I from dancing to "Witchy Woman" or "Take it Easy."  It had been awhile since we let loose on a dance floor (or in a grassy pasture) and it felt good!

Mouth open kind of excitement
Little P got to experience Holiday World for the first time!  Holiday World is the first theme park opened in Indiana and has been around since my mom was a little girl.  Many of the rides were too big for a little Dumplin, but we did get to ride the carousel which he loved.  He would wave at Scott every time we went past him and he'd occasionally squeal super loud while waving his hands all about.

The weather was perfect and we were able to spend some time in the water park.  Paisley had zero hesitation about plunging head first in the water.  We let him play until his skin shriveled up like a prune and he was shivering from the breeze.  I had pulled him out of the water and sat him down to get dressed and he took off running back to the water.  Oh that little fish...

Just a little Fish
He enjoyed the garden tub and bubbles
September was my birthday month and it was quite the celebration!!  Over my birthday weekend, Scott whisked the Dumplin and I away to Bloomington for some rest and relaxation!  Scott booked us a room at the Wampler House, a beautiful bed and breakfast.  When we arrived, there was a cake stand loaded down with chocolate covered strawberries in our room. Scott told me to eat a couple, then I needed to head downstairs for a hot stone massage. *swoon* My husband knows how to please me!

Scott and Paisley played while I relaxed.  After my massage, we got dressed and headed downtown for dinner at the Irish Lion.  It was good and I am always in the mood for pub food!  After dinner we got ice cream at the Chocolate Moose.  It may have been the best ice cream ever!!  It was such a nice night that we walked around until Paisley feel asleep in his stroller.

Someone only had eyes for the cake
The next birthday event came a few days later at my parents house.  My mom always makes the most incredible dinner for the birthday boy or girl.  I love any and all celebrations at my parents house.  There is something special about "going home."  I love every minute my son gets to watch the interaction between his Momma and Auntie, and Momma and Nanna, and gets to see the love our family shares. 

The final birthday celebration was with my group of fabulous friends.  3 of us share a September birthday so the group gathered at RiRa's, an Irish pub (can you see a theme with the Irish pubs?).  It's always a good time when you gather 7 girls to share stories and plan for the future. 

Girls whose names begin with "K"
Other events this month included our niece's 5th birthday.  It blows my mind to think that in her life, she has never known her Uncle Scott without me being in his life.  I like that.  I've been around longer than she has been alive.  Just another example of time flying.  Mom, Rhea and I had a yard sale this month!  While some people dread, maybe even hate having a yard sale, it is a yearly event that I always look forward to!  It's a morning that us 3 girls get up early, I will grab a bag of donut holes for the group, Mom will get the coffee brewing, and we will spend the morning sitting out in the cool morning air, eating, drinking and swapping stories.  Oh, and occasionally we will sell and item or two.  While getting rid of old items and making some extra cash is nice, spending the morning with "my girls" is the best part. 
Enjoying the New Harmony festival
We caught a festival in the nearby town of New Harmony.  Paisley got his first taste of apple cider, which he loved!  He also had his first serious fever.  After spending the evening at a family reunion in Lincoln State Park, he had a horrible night with a burning fever, but no other symptoms.  Scott got kicked to the couch for the night and Paisley slept next to me.  I kept a cool rag on his head all night and was constantly giving him juice from a bottle.  He hadn't used a bottle in months, but I figured since he was laying down, a bottle was the way to go.  Amazingly, I was completely calm and kept focused on keeping him hydrated and cool as could be.  After 24 hours the fever was gone and he was a happy baby. 
Hours before the fever hit
Other events coming up is the First Annual Fisher Family bonfire!!  And of course Halloween!!  My blogs will be a little slower coming as my computer is on the blink! Between catching a virus and old age (my computer, not me) it is a little testy these days.  My keyboards works 1/2 the time and the Internet works 25% of the time. patient and I will will return soon enough.  Hopefully....with a new computer!

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