Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I saw this and it resonated

Today I was reading a blog and this quote was so profound, I have to share.

"We spoke of the fact that as mothers, humans, we refer to “losing” someone and the grief and longing, but, that our children are their own souls too, on their own journey, not simply something we “have” and “lose.” That we are spiritual beings in human form, as she stated, “a soul has passed through you, touched you – the longing is natural.”

It has been such a long time since I have posted. Life has been wonderful. My daughter is 6 and just finished kindergarten. My son is now 3 and is so funny! I feel blessed beyond measure every day. I still mourn my angel babies, Carter more than the others, right or wrong. It is hard to believe almost 5 years have passed since we lost him. Every time I see a young boy, about the age he would be, with down syndrome, I think of Carter and wonder what might have been. We are very open with the kids about him. We talk about him and answer their questions. Every time a butterfly flutters by, my daughter smiles and says "That's Carter saying hello!" The longing is so real. There are still moments where my arms ache to hold him and my heart longs to kiss him and see him. Longing is the best word there is to describe that feeling.

I continue to feel the sadness of infertility and miscarriage as others who are close to us deal with similar situations. I just want to be able to give them the happy end to their journey that we were so blessed to receive. I can feel their pain right down to the core of my being with each loss or each month they don't conceive. Friends and family with one blessing, wanting more or those who have no living children, but have experienced multiple miscarriages. That just seems unbearable to me. My heart aches for them and my prayers are with them. Once you have been there, I don't think it takes much to bring those feeling flooding back.

I always like to end my posts on a positive, upbeat note. I must say that most of the women I started following years ago have also had amazingly happy endings to their stories too! I am friends with some on Facebook, and the others, I check in on their blogs once or twice per year. The most promising thing to me, for those still struggling, is that most of these warrior women have achieved their dreams of creating a beautiful family! Even those who had little hope. So, if you are currently reading this in your own personal sorrow, please keep your hope alive! Much love and many prayers to you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

What a Year!

We have had quite a fun year! I haven't been blogging, I've just been enjoying my happy, complete family and I feel so blessed. Spring has sprung, and my little guy is almost ONE! Where did the time go!?! He is the happiest, and dare I say, easiest little baby. He is always smiling and giggling (his sister can bring out the best giggles). I have an amazing husband/daddy, an unbelievable daughter/big sister, and I'm still in awe with the little bundle who completed our family. Life is so, so good!

Little man is cruising like a champ these days and loves to be on the move. He likes to sit and look at books, play with his stackers, legos, weebles, and anything that makes noise. He is a little dancer and wiggles his tush to anything, but especially classical music and 80's stuff, haha! My girl is the most nurturing and loving little girl on the planet! She takes care of baby brother and helps me out a lot. She can not stop hugging him, kissing him, and telling him how much she loves him. In return, he adores her, and loves to lean in and give her big, wet, slobbery baby kisses. He hasn't started talking yet, but he's good at pointing to things to tell us what he wants. Teething is a challenge, but that's to be expected. He has been working on 4 new teeth the past couple of weeks, so we have had some sleepless nights and some clingy, whiny time. Clingy time is sweet and I try to remind myself how quickly this will pass, but let me tell you, 24lbs. in your arms for hours makes for some tired mama muscles! I'm gonna be rockin' those tank tops this summer ;) Diaper wrestling is in full swing. So far I'm winning, but little man is proving to be a strong opponent, and getting stronger every day. Big sister will be starting preschool this fall and is very excited! Every day she seems older and more mature to me. Daddy is finishing the kids playhouse this spring, and our daughter is so excited!

It's been a year of lots more medical stuff for me. I had an umbilical hernia after this last pregnancy and had to have surgery a couple months ago to repair it. It's healing nicely. I also had a return of the dreaded kidney stones and had to have a couple of surgical procedures for that, but luckily I'm finished with that now too. I finally feel like I'm getting back to normal after all these years of medical procedures and pregnancy related body stuff.

Both kiddos are healthy and doing well. We are still keeping an eye on little man's breathing. We need a follow up with his pulmonologist soon and hopefully he will be cleared. We still notice some tachypnia here and there, mostly when he's sick or he's hard at play, so we need to see if that's okay and "normal."

Our summer plans include our first trip with the kiddos to Disney World. The 4 year old is beyond excited (so is mommy)! We'll also spend some time at the beach. We are looking forward to a family vacation.

I think that sums everything up nicely. I just wanted to give an update for those who are wondering how things have been going.

In other news, I am helping a friend with a special project. I'm gathering fabrics (buying and taking donations) and she is sewing gowns to donate to hospitals for parents of stillborns. I love this idea and wish someone had treated me and my son properly after I had him. This will hopefully give other parents a keepsake that they will treasure and give little angels something precious to wear when they enter this world. These little treasures will fit 1-2 lb. babies. I love this idea and am so proud to be helping my friend out! I feel like I'm finally contributing a little something in our son's name.

I hope all of you out there in the blogging world are doing well! I miss you and need to catch up soon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have had one main purpose and one secondary purpose since starting this blog. My main purpose was to get it all out. To have a safe place to say what I was feeling and share what I was going through, in hopes that others might reach out to me and I wouldn't feel all alone in this journey. My secondary purpose was to be out there, sharing everything, no matter how "okay" some people thought it was, to hopefully help someone else feel not so alone. I have kept my blog fairly anonymous over these past couple of years, but decided to share a link to it on my facebook wall on October 15th this year for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. I'm so glad that I did. A friend of mine, whom I haven't seen in over a decade, reached out to me. She had recently experienced a terrible loss and it felt good that I could offer her some knowing words and a safe place to let it all out. We are all a part of this terrible club and we all handle the loss differently, but I find it so very important to give and receive support from women who understand fully what it means to lose a baby. As the holidays draw near, it can be extra difficult, especially when the pain of the loss is so fresh. I encourage anyone who is suffering alone or in silence to reach out to someone who understands. Feel free to message me - we can talk publicly or in private.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Capture Your Grief

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I remember my 4 angels today, as I do every day. They are never far from my mind and always in my heart.  I found this amazing blog and idea called Capture Your Grief. I just love this idea and although I have always been private with my photos, I think this is one place I will make an exception. I will update this post throughout the month.

Day 1. Sunrise

Day 2. Before Loss Self Portrait

Happy vacation days with my husband. Enjoying a romantic beach vacation and hoping we might come home with a little present.

Day 3. After Loss Self Portrait

This was a week or two after we lost our son (our second loss). I spent a lot of time staring out at the water.

Day 4. Most Treasured Item

The tree given to us in memory of our son. It is so special to me, especially when butterflies flit around it.

Day 5. Memorial

Our son's butterfly urn that rests on our fireplace mantel. Two of our other babies rest in a hospital memorial garden, while the other baby was too early to have a physical memorial resting place.

Day 6. What Not To Say

The most terrible thing was someone telling me not to share my miscarriages on facebook. She called them a dirty little secret and compared me sharing the loss of my children to someone sharing they had an STD.

Day 7. What To Say

Please say his name.

Day 8. Jewelery

My "mom bracelet" - the "It's a Girl" charm for when my daughter was born, the "Mom" charm for my first Mother's Day, the butterfly for my lost son, the birthstones for all my babies. I have since added an emerald for my rainbow baby and will be adding a silver charm for him soon as well.

Day 9. Special Place

The beach and the Don CeSar are my special places. A place to relax, recharge, and think in solitude. It's a happy place and I like to be somewhere that makes me feel comforted and wrapped in sunshine. This is that place for me. If I can't be there in person, I look at paintings and photos we have from past trips and picture myself there.

Day 10. Symbol

The butterfly. I have seen many butterflies at very special moments throughout my journey.

Day 11. Supportive Friends/Family

We have been very blessed to have a strong support system - friends, family, coworkers, nurses, bloggers.

Day 12. Scents

I can't think of one.

Day 13. Signs

The butterfly is the ever present sign from my angel babies. They always have perfect timing.

Day 14. Community

The only community event I have participated in has been the lighting of a candle on October 15th at 7pm.

Day 15. WAVE of LIGHT

Today is October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Light a candle at 7pm to help create a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours.

Day 16. Release

A wonderful online friend of mine has been such an amazing support through all of this. She lost her son right after I lost Carter. She had a balloon release and released one in his honor, filled with wildflower seeds. I don't know that I have ever been more touched by someone's thoughfulness before in my life. This is not my photo as I was not present at the event.

Day 17. Anniversary/Birthday/Due Dates


Day 18. Your Family Portrait

We feel very blessed to have a beautiful family. There will always be 4 little souls missing in our photos. Thank you to a dear friend for this treasured photo.

Day 19. Project

I needed to put together a memory book and box to look back on. I included pictures from my pregnancy and after the loss of Carter. I haven't put one together for the other babies lost, but I do have folders of photos on my computer for each of those pregnancies.

Day 20. Charity/Organization

Carter had Down Syndrome and that is likely why he died. A charity we have given to in his honor is the National Down Syndrome Society

Day 21. Altar/Shrine/Sacred Space

Planting his tree. This is our special place.

Day 22. Place of Care/Birth


Day 23. Their Name/Their Photo

I have one photo of Carter after he was born. It is a very personal photo that I don't share. I wish we had more.

Day 24. Siblings

My daughter is starting to ask questions now and tells me she's sad that Carter died. When she brings him up and asks questions I'm open with her and let her know it makes me really sad too. She has hugged me and wiped away the tears from my eyes. Such an empathetic little girl. I'm not sure what the proper approach is, but I think it's okay for her to know it makes me sad and that it's okay for her to be sad too. Our youngest is only 5 months old, so he doesn't know yet, but we will be open with him as well.

Day 25. Baby Shower/Blessing

We didn't have any baby showers for the other babies, but we did receive some cards and gifts when we announced the pregnancies.

Day 26. Their Age

4 weeks pregnant
16 weeks pregnant
9 weeks pregnant
10 weeks pregnant

Day 27. Artwork

This is obviously not mine, but it speaks to me so deeply.

Day 28. Memory

The most terrible memories from 3 of my losses are the moments I was told there was no heartbeat. It ruined ultrasounds forever for me.

Day 29. Music

Avril Lavigne Slipped Away is THE song for me

Day 30. Your Grief – Tell The World

Day 31. Sunset

There wasn't much of a sunset with the rain and clouds, but our sunset in the United States happened during trick-or-treat. Enjoying the blessing of my 2 living children.

*This project was created In Loving Memory of all the babies who died during pregnancy and the little ones that could only stay with their parents for the shortest of times. No parent should ever have to bury their child. We will speak about these precious lives. We will honour them. We will remember them.
Please share this project with anyone who you think it would help.
Love and blessings to you all.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Preschooler Questions

I knew the day would come when I would be asked by my 3.5 year old more details about the loss of her baby brother. I just didn't expect it to be so soon. Today I was rearranging the mantel and she started asking about the urn and why was it so special. I pulled it down and told her that Mommy had a baby in her tummy who was too little and not strong enough and he died in my tummy. She asked to see the ashes. At first she was confused as she looked at her very alive baby brother in his swing and asked if it was him, then I told her there was another baby in my tummy after her and before him (I decided not to go into detail that there were actually 4 other babies in my tummy in between. I figured that would get too confusing). She asked why he died and where he was, all the while I'm choking back sobs. I wasn't sure where to take the conversation...not sure what she could handle, not sure what belief system to set in place. We haven't dealt with death with her yet. We don't have a specific religious denomination that says in black and white what happens when we die. I consider our family to be quite spiritual, loving, and accepting of many beliefs and I want my children to find their own spiritual path as opposed to telling them what they should believe. I know what I believe and it is an ever evolving spiritual path. I'm not sure how to go about teaching spirituality in an open minded form and have struggled with it, and now I'm faced with it head on. I told her what my heart was feeling and in words I thought she could comprehend. I told her he's an angel and flew up to heaven, which is so high in the sky we can't even see it and beautiful like a park. I told her that every time I see a butterfly I think of him and I think it's his way of checking up on us to see if we are okay. She liked all of those things and was smiling as I told her about it. Bittersweet...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lost In Babyland

I have been absent from the blogging world since our little man arrived. I try to keep up a little bit and check in from time to time on everyone, although I have not been posting on your blogs or posting my own blogs. I'm just allowing myself the time to focus on some other things these days, but I have not forgotten all of you!

Our boy is 3 months old! He is my little chunky monkey who is the most smiley and happy baby I've ever seen. He loves to gaze into our eyes and have deep cooing conversations, blow bubbles, gurgle, chew and suck on his hands, and smile, smile, smile. We all love him to pieces. His sister is amazing and so nurturing and loving towards him. I just feel like the luckiest Mommy in the world. Of course she does have her moments when she asks me to put him down so that I can play with her, but that's to be expected. She loves being a big sister so much that she keeps asking me to have another baby! I don't think that's going to happen though. Although I'd love another baby, I don't think I can go through the heartache of another loss, so we don't plan to try again. We have been beyond blessed already.

I don't have much of an update on his lungs/rapid breathing. We have been to the pediatric pulmonolgist twice now. The first time he did a nostril/catheter test to make sure he had passages in his nostrils and we did a barium swallow x-ray to make sure everything was formed and working properly. Everything came back normal, although it did show some reflux. His reflux was continuing to get worse, so his pediatrician started him on Zantac a few weeks ago. We have see an improvement in his reflux and I think we are starting to see an improvement in his breathing *fingers crossed* - they did tell us that reflux could possibly be causing the problem. We do another chest x-ray in a month to see if his lungs are still hyper inflated. We'll see the pulomonlogist again in two months and if there isn't improvement we'll do a chest CT, which scares me because of anesthesia. Hopefully the Zantac will fix it all and we can move on without worry of lung/breathing issues.

I'm enjoying cloth diapering. Everyone told me it was addictive and they were right! I didn't do it with my daughter and I wish I would have, especially since she is STILL in diapers at 3.5! Unfortunately breastfeeding didn't work out. I was loving it this time around, but my milk just kept dwindling no matter what I tried. He got a breast milk/formula combo for quite a while, but he's now on full formula. I can't begin to say how sad I am about it and how much I miss bonding with him like that, but I did try my best. Our "little" guy is growing like a weed. Weighing in over 14lbs. now and already in 6 month clothing.

I'll try to update more often in the near future and share some fun and cute stories about the kiddos. There are so many! It's so much fun having two in the house and seeing them interact with each other. Loving them and loving my life so very much!

Monday, July 9, 2012


It's been two years since we first laid eyes on our sleeping angel baby boy. I miss him so much and wish he were here with us. I feel a bit numb about it this year, maybe because I have a new baby at home and I'm distracted...maybe because time starts to heal...maybe I am still trying to push it away because it's too painful. It tends to hit me at random times. I will be washing my hair in the shower and just start sobbing again. It hit me pretty hard right after our rainbow baby was born for several days, just realizing all the things I would never get to do with him and what we all missed out on. I searched the internet for poems that spoke to my heart when we lost him. Here are a couple that I found very touching.

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born, that something stopped my heart, I felt each tender squeeze you gave, I loved you from the start.

Although my body you can’t hold, it doesn’t mean I’m gone, this world was worthy not of me, God chose that I move on.

I know the pain that drowns your soul, what you are forced to face, you have my word, I’ll fill your arms, someday we will embrace.

You’ll hear that it was “meant to be, God doesn’t make mistakes,” but that won’t soften your worst blow or make your heart not ache.

I’m watching over all you do, another child you’ll bear, believe me when I say to you, that I am always there.

There will come a time, I promise you, when you will hold my hand, stroke my face and kiss my lips and then you’ll understand.

Although I never breathed your air, or gazed into your eyes, that doesn’t mean I never “was”…An Angel Never Dies.

-Author Unknown


No farewell words were spoken,
no time to say goodbye,
you were gone before we knew it,
and only God can tell us why.
It broke my heart to lose you,
but you didn't go alone,
for part of me went with you,
the day God called you home.
-Author Unknown


I did not see you close your eyes,
or hear your last faint sigh,
I only heard that you were gone
too late to say goodbye.
-Author Unknown


We love you little one and miss you every day <3 Every time I see a butterfly I know that you are there.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One Month Old

I can't believe how fast that first month went. He is such a beautiful baby and so very sweet. We started getting a few social smiles here and there a couple days ago. I just love seeing his sweet little face light up as he looks at us. We had his 1 month appointment and he is mostly doing very well. He's still in the 50th percentile. His weight is up to 9lbs 8oz and his length is 21 1/4inches. Everything looks and sounds good except his respiratory rate. He breathes rapidly (60-80 breaths per minute), mostly when he's awake but sometimes while asleep too. He doesn't have any distress and everything sounds okay, but our pediatrician sent him to Children's for a chest x-ray. The heart looked fine and the lungs were clear, but they were hyper inflated. She had us set up an appointment with a pulmonologist at Children's and we don't get in to see him until June 14th. So we are just waiting now (and worrying). Hopefully it's nothing more than exaggerated newborn breathing. It's difficult not to worry especially given our history, but logically, he seems like a very healthy little guy with this one little thing that isn't quite the norm, so I'm hoping all will be fine.

Day to day is filled with lots of feeding and lots of snuggles. He's a lot like our daughter was as a newborn and doesn't like to be put down. He wants to be held while he sleeps, which I am happy to accommodate most of the time. It does make it tricky to get food for myself, so I haven't been eating well. Good news is I've lost 20-25 lbs already. It's so funny, it never fails that both kiddos need something at the same time, so I'm learning how to juggle two schedules. Housekeeping has taken a backseat and our house looks terrible! I don't notice too much because I am too busy staring into my baby's baby blues (or the lack of sleep is making me too delirious to notice). We finally started really getting out of the house as a family last weekend, which was fun. A trip to First Watch, some shopping, a walk at the park and a stop for ice cream. It's starting to feel like our new wonderful normal. Breastfeeding is not going as well as I had hoped. My supply was terrible and I haven't been able to build it up. I'm still nursing some, but he's mostly getting formula. It's tough to not have some mommy guilt over that, but I know that he is getting the nourishment he needs with a bit of momma milk thrown in, so that's what is most important. Sleep is pretty good for an almost 5 week old. Last night he slept for a 6 hour stretch for the first time! Typically he wakes every 3-4 hours to eat, so we are alternating feeds and each of us gets a bit of a nice stretch of sleep. If he's still asleep when my daughter wakes up in the morning, I have her crawl into bed with me, turn on some cartoons and I take another little snooze while snuggling my princess with my handsome little guy in the bassinet beside me - it is a little slice of heaven.

My husband and I are celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary this week. I think we will likely be celebrating with our beautiful family of four. It took us a long time to get our complete family, so that sounds like a perfect way to celebrate to me!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm A Big Sister!

I am overjoyed to be able to post something as wonderful as this for my daughter! She is absolutely the BEST big sister that ever was. She is legitimately ecstatic to be a big sister. As we left for the hospital she kissed my belly and said "We'll see you soon, Sawyer" and my heart melted. She also told me that when I got home from the hospital my belly would be flat again and shouted out "Yay!" - maybe because that meant, in her mind, that Mommy would be able to get down on the floor to play again! The day after he was born she arrived at the hospital with her Grandparents. She was proudly carrying a big blue teddy bear balloon that said "It's A Boy" that she picked out at the hospital gift shop as she tiptoed in the door and cocked her head to get a first peek at her new little brother. She was wide eyed as she walked up to me to see him, wearing her "Big Sister" shirt. She asked to see his feet and hands, then looked up at me and said "He's beautiful!" - I was in a puddle of happy tears. I didn't expect that from a 3 year old, she is the sweetest little girl. She was so excited to get to hold him for the first time with Daddy's help. With each new person holding him, she wanted to explore his feet and hands, she has been fascinated with them for two weeks. After the visit, she got to go to the hospital cafeteria with Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa for lunch and I heard she got complimented by a stranger for how well behaved she was.

I ended up needing to stay in the hospital an extra day for a test for a blood clot in my leg (luckily, no clot was there), so my Husband had to run home to take care of a few things. He said when he got home she hugged him then ran down the hall saying "Where's my baby?" and she was so disappointed that Brother and Mommy were still at the hospital.

The following day we finally got to come home. She was waiting at the door as we came in and she was almost vibrating with excitement when she saw her baby brother. She checked him out, then started squealing "I'm a big sister now!!" It was like it was official in her mind now and she couldn't wait to scream it from the mountain tops! After getting settled in a bit, she sat down beside me, rubbed my belly and said "It's flat again!" (which it isn't, just more flat than it was), then she got a little grin on her face and said "Hello Nobody" to my belly, which had us all cracking up! Smart little girl realized there was no longer a baby in there.

The past two weeks have been mostly good. I have a lot of anxiety and worry that something is wrong with him. We had to have ultrasounds done on his kidneys and hips because of the single umbilical artery and the breech position. Luckily those came back completely normal. We have his two week pediatrician appointment today. He sleeps a lot, which I worry about even though the pediatrician says it's normal for some newborns to sleep 22 hours per day. My milk production is poor, so I'm hoping that will boost up. I started back on my anxiety medication and I'm hoping that will give me some relief in the next week or so. Right now I have some chest congestion, so I'm wearing a mask and trying to breast feed as much as possible because I can't even think about how worried I'd be if he caught this! I'm grateful my husband is home to help until Monday. Our daughter is adjusting well. Mostly all good things and she really loves to help and play mommy to her baby dolls and stuffed animals. Every once in a while she acts up a bit when she isn't getting play time with us when she wants. All in all we are settling into a little family of four groove and life couldn't be better!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Rainbow

My 37th week of pregnancy started out beautifully. On Tuesday, May 1st my husband and I had a couple of doctors appointments spread out, so we decided to make it a date day. He called and set up a pregnancy massage for me as a surprise. We started out the day at the OB's office. She was worried he flipped back breech because of how I was carrying, so she had me step into the ultrasound room quickly. Luckily he was still head down. My appointment was fairly uneventful. My group B strep test came back negative, height of fundus measured 39 weeks (she said he's all stretched out), a finger tip dilated and soft. Everything looked good and we were on our way. We went to lunch at our favorite restaurant, First Watch, then did some shopping. I got two more potential coming home outfits, one at Janie and Jack and another at a cute little boutique we stumbled upon. After some shopping we went to my NST. Everyone at both appointments kept talking about my version and all the "excitement," guess we were the talk around the office. Now that he's not breech, it's harder to keep him on the monitor, he kept moving away, she had to buzz him to get him moving, then he wouldn't slow down. It was one of my more stressful NST's and even though they let me go and said he looked fine, I was still a bit nervous after what happened last week. My ultrasound there looked fine, amniotic fluid at a good level, but my husband and I got really nervous when the tech who called us back was the hard pusher. She said she recognized us and I wondered if she had been told about my complaint. This time she pressed a normal amount and it didn't hurt at all. Next was dinner out, grilled shrimp at Chili's, then on to Becoming Mom Spa for my pregnancy massage and paraffin foot treatment. It was so relaxing. A huge storm blew in on our way there and we were both drenched by the time we made our way from our front row parking space. Neat thing about that storm, on the way home, we saw a double rainbow. That is the second double rainbow I've seen recently. I knew that had to be a good sign for our rainbow baby.

Wednesday was a normal day, nothing too terribly out of the ordinary. I continued to have contractions and I felt a little off both Tuesday and Wednesday (I was actually nervous I wouldn't make it to my massage because I'd go into labor). I was losing small bits of my mucous plug on Wednesday, which made me hopeful something was happening to help me go into labor before they induced me at 39 weeks. I also thought the exam from the day before may have stirred some things up and it wouldn't amount to much. I played with my daughter, did laundry, and had a typical day, but warned my husband it could be any day now, although I assumed it would be at least a week away. That night I went to sleep a little later than usual, woke up at 4AM for a typical bathroom trip, layed back down and waited for him to kick before falling back to sleep (my typical protocol). He wasn't kicking and I started to get really worried...after 15 minutes I woke up my husband and he got the doppler. I searched for his heart beat but didn't know where to look for it since he flipped, so I was freaking out more until I finally found it and felt him kick several times after about 45 minutes. It has never taken him that long in the past, so my anxiety was through the roof and I couldn't help but wish he would just come so I could stop worrying (which I know will never happen, I'm his Mommy, I'll always worry). Finally back to sleep around 5AM.

6AM on Thursday, May 3, 2012 I awakened to a pop, or a strong kick, I wasn't sure which for a moment, until I felt a familiar small gush of fluid. Maybe he just kicked my bladder, I didn't think I'd really have him this early - 37 weeks 5 days. I tapped my husband and said "honey, I think my water broke" and he helped me slowly get out of bed. More fluid gushed and was convinced it was my water, so I hopped in the shower quick while my husband made phone calls to his parents to come and watch our daughter, to my doctor who said to come on in to triage, and to my parents to come on down to the hospital. As I got ready I soaked two bath towels, but contractions weren't any different than they had been for the past couple weeks. As we left for the hospital I realized we had a 25 mile drive downtown in morning rush hour traffic and I was glad the major contractions hadn't started yet. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny May day. The contractions started to pick up a bit in the car and I started feeling light headed, so when we got to the hospital I had my husband wheel me up to the 9th floor in a wheelchair. I got checked into labor and delivery triage right away, leaking all the way, so it was kind of funny when they said "so, you think your water broke" to which I said "I'm sure of it!" I got hooked up to the monitors, had an exam (2cm dilated at this time), and a quick ultrasound to make sure he was still head down. All systems go, I was being admitted.

They walked me to suite 2, a nice big birthing room, hooked up my IV, and told me to walk the halls to try to get the contractions and dilation going. My parents arrived and the four (5) of us started walking. I took a couple of breaks to sit on the birthing ball, played Bananagrams, and then my contractions started to pick up a little bit around 11:00 or 12:00. At 11:30 I was still only 2cm and since it had been almost 6 hours since my water broke, we started a low dose of pitocin. At 1:30 the contractions were getting a lot worse, so I got an epidural. At 2:00 I was already 5cm dilated. I was really shaky after the epidural and really anxious, so the next couple of hours weren't the most fun. At 4:15 I was 7cm and they upped the pitocin a bit, telling me I'd probably be ready to push in about an hour. Then I started to feel the contractions again, even with the epidural. I had to breathe through them and asked for a bump up in my epidural meds. I wish I hadn't because it just made my legs completely numb but I could still feel major contractions in my stomach. At 5:20 I was 9cm and they told me to let them know when I felt pressure and needed to push. My contractions were coming with only a 30 second or so break in between. Sometime between then and 5:45 I felt the sensation of pressure and asked to be checked, I was 10cm and ready to push. He was face down, unlike my daughter, who was face up and it took me three hours to push her out. They called for my MFM while the resident and nurse prepped the room. It was SO hard not to push and to breathe through these intense contractions. I had to breathe through them for about 5 minutes waiting for my doctor and I was worried he would just pop right out! Once she got there I put my legs up in the stirrups and pushed with the next contraction, they could see his head, my husband peeked, I asked if he had hair and he said he did. Another contraction and some more pushing, they said I was doing great. I remember being worried that I couldn't hear him on the fetal monitor anymore, so I was determined to push effectively and get him here as fast as I could. It was only a total of 5 or 6 contractions, my husband said "here he comes!" and I felt him slide out, he cried within seconds and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. After my doctor cut the cord (my husband had zero interest in doing that with either of our children), they put him on my chest and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I was oblivious to the world around me where they were busy delivering the placenta and stitching up a second degree tear (I tore where I did with my daughter). His Apgars were 9 and 9. He weighed 7lbs. 8.8oz., 19.5" long and born at 6:11PM on May 3, 2012. He and my daughter are the most amazing, awe inspiring, loves of my life. I feel so blessed to be given these treasures and I will spend every day of the rest of my life loving them always and forever.

Welcome to the world, my beautiful rainbow baby