Tuesday, September 25, 2012

15 weeks!

Well... we made it out of the dreaded first trimester!  WOOHOO!!!!  And baby seems very happy and content to continue gestating in my womb.  :)

I started to feel little tiny flutters... at ELEVEN WEEKS.  Crazy.  I am pretty sure that my placenta is posterior this time (based on that first ultrasound) which may explain why movement is more noticeable.  (I had anterior placentas with the other two kiddos).  The flutters were very tiny and sporadic, but now, at 15 weeks, they are much more noticeable.  What a tremendous relief to feel!  I am in heaven!  :)

I am also definitely showing.  To the point where strangers mention the baby belly.  People are already starting to rub my stomach, too.  I am in maternity clothes and have been for weeks.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to grow another healthy baby.  I can't tell you how devastated I was to think that I was ending my fertility with two back to back losses.  It was heartbreaking.  This joy-filled pregnancy has definitely been a huge comfort to me.  I still think of my miscarried babies, but the grief is no longer the focal point of my thinking-- now, it just plays in the background as part of my life story.  It is something that has changed me and shaped me.  I hope for the better.

Here is a sweet little video of  my three children:


Monday, August 6, 2012

IBCLE (and other news)

Well, I finally took the IBCLE to become an international board certified lactation consultant.  All I can say is:  WHOA!   It was such a strange exam... and hard for me as a nursery nurse to understand what answer they were looking for at times... as a newborn nurse, I would definitely choose one answer, but as an IBCLC, should I choose this other answer?  Anyway, it was really tough and I did not feel much relief after the exam was over.  But they make us wait an agonizingly long time before we find out our exam results.  So... I'll let you know in OCTOBER if I'm an IBCLC or not (gulp).

In other news.... I am thrilled to say that I am expecting a precious little baby to make his or her appearance sometime in March 2013.  I am thrilled and nervous... but I admit, I'm much less anxious than I was expecting to be which is a BLESSING.  We had an ultrasound last week and the little wombling was looking great, with a steady 144 bpm heart rate.   :)   This is my FIFTH pregnancy (holy cow) and I have to say.... I really hate the first trimester.  haha.  I am thrilled to try again after my horrible losses of last year.  Hopefully baby stays sticky!

I am exhausted, in part because it has been CRAY CRAY at work!  I don't know what happened... but it has been a full on baby boom the past few days.  Our NICU is PACKED and closed to new admissions (they are transferring high risk moms to other hospitals) which has never happened before.  We are getting delivery after delivery.  I'm working longer hours and I totally feel like a zombie this morning.

My awesome son turned FOUR years old yesterday as well.  Four years of motherhood!  I can't believe it.  He is such a sweet kid, and I just love him.  So much has happened in the last four years!  This is the first year that I've been able to strictly celebrate HIM and his life on his birthday, and not reflect on the traumatic labor and c-section that brought him into the world.  In fact, I didn't even think about it, which is a surprise and a relief.  I had to work on his birthday (boo) but I had a lovely morning and afternoon with my snuggly guy and we will have a party next week.  The poor kid had a kind of lousy birthday last year because I was in the hospital and recovering from my hemorrhagic miscarriage.  So, we're going all out for him this year.  He deserves it, he is a great kid!

Life is good.  :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Two Years Old!

My victory baby is 2 years old today!  Happy Birthday, little one!

When she was born, I told myself that I wanted to nurse her for 2 years.  We did it!  And I doubt there will be any weaning any time soon!  I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said "Oaks" (her word for "milk") and patted my chest.  Haha.  She has already nursed 3 times today.

I am studying (or should be studying) for my IBCLE which is July 30th.  It seems fitting that I'd still be lactating while studying for my lactation exam!

Friday, March 30, 2012


Last weekend, we packed up our family and headed north 2.5 hours for my cousin's wedding. We decided to make a fun family trip out of it instead of trying to cram 5 hours of driving round trip into one day. My amazing husband discovered this random little farm bed and breakfast... it was wonderful! My kids loved getting to collect eggs, feed chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, and ducks, and we all loved petting the beautiful draft horse. Breakfast was awesome and included organic ingredients fresh from the farm.

What was interesting was chatting with our host, Elizabeth. She is a pretty interesting lady! A yoga instructor with 5 adult children and a bunch of grandkids now, she runs the farm with her son and completely runs the B&B. She had several of her children at home back in the 80s. Of course, as so easily happens with me, our conversation turned to birth.

Several of her goats are pregnant and due to deliver soon. She told me a story about a goat birth a few years ago-- the mother delivered and everything seemed fine. Elizabeth ran to town to do a few errands and when she came back, it appeared like the mother goat was still laboring. Suspecting a surprise twin, she rushed the goat to the Vet. By this time, the mother goat's cervix had mostly closed, so she was given hormones to induce labor. By the time the baby goat was born, he needed lots of resuscitation to get him going. The mother was so traumatized by the birth that she COMPLETELY rejected the baby. Bonding was fine with the first baby, but she wanted nothing to do with the second baby.

Amazing, huh? Do you think the labor induction artificial hormones had anything to do with that bonding??

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Well... It's finally here. Today, Valentine's Day, is Samuel's due date.

It's so interesting to me that I've been waiting in anticipation for this day like I would have if I was still pregnant with him. I've been counting down.

You see... I've been expecting today to be a REALLY hard day. Even way back in August, just after we lost him, I commented to my midwife that "the due date is going to be so so so hard." She just said: "Sigrid... but you're going to be a totally different woman in February. Just take each day at a time."

Wow, she is such a wise woman!!! Getting through each day on its own has been how I've survived the last 6 months.

Research shows that the most intense grieving happens in the first 6 months after a loss... and well... it's now been 6 months! It does seem to be a little easier to breathe... to smile... to laugh... to feel joy in my heart.

I feel like a veil has been lifted from my eyes and I can see vibrant colors again. I feel like a fog has been lifted from around me and the air is sweeter. Life is still tough. I still cry. I still get jealous, especially now that other women are delivering their babies that are the same age that Sam would be. But... joy isn't impossible anymore. It's a reality of every day now. I am overflowing with joy about my beautiful kids and my amazing husband. They are so sweet, and I think God has given them a special sensitivity toward me these past few months. They know that I need desperately to laugh and have fun. They know I need extra snuggles. God created them to be just right for me. They are my perfect little support group.

I am going to spend some time today thinking about my babies-- Sam and Marah. Thinking about what it would have been like to have a new baby in the house now. But then, I'm going to get up, kiss my kids, eat some chocolate, praise God for the blessings I do have and how he has been shaping me, and then dream about the future. Not about what could have been or even "should" have been, but what promise I do have for sure... hope of heaven. That one glorious day, we will all be reunited. We will have no tears, no heartache; only overwhelming awe for the intense holiness of God. Everything will be just right.

Happy Valentine's Day to my sweet babies. Thank You Jesus for choosing me to walk this path-- to shape me and change me and to make me stronger. I know you love me and I love you, and you work all things for good for those that love you! I hold dearly onto that promise!

Much love in my heart today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Our health system received a grant to train 20 new IBCLCs (international board certified lactation consultants). This is something I've always wanted to do, so I applied for the class and got accepted. I will take 30 hours of in-class education and 60 hours of on-line education, then I will sit for the exam in July!

It's going to be a lot of work, but I am grateful for an opportunity to learn and grow in my profession. It's nice to be doing something for myself now, especially as I'm coming out of such a difficult season.

It's so nice to have goals and to have something to work toward!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Second miscarriage

I never really discussed the details of my second loss here... so... here's a little bit of what happened:

It was VERY different from the first loss. (http://glorybirthing.blogspot.com/2011/08/miscarriage-part-1.html)

I found out I was pregnant 3 months after I lost the first baby. It was November 4th. I took a test because I was starting to feel pregnant. I estimate I was about 5 or 6 weeks already (by LMP). I immediately just started shaking when I saw that pink line. I was crying. Sobbing. Anxious as all get out. I called my husband. I e-mailed my midwife. And then I prayed.

I read my Bible Study for that day. We were discussing the wilderness that God led the Israelites through after the exodus from Egypt. I was totally in a wilderness season at that time... depressed. Totally immersed in grief. Feeling like my life was interrupted completely. Well... 3 days into the desert, the Israelites ran out of water and they were feeling thirsty. God led them to a spring of water. It seemed like the answer to prayers! Yes! Thank you God for this beautiful Oasis! Maybe this second pregnancy was an Oasis in my wilderness, the answer to my prayers.

But I kept reading... the name of the water spring was Marah, which means bitter. The water was poisonous! Undrinkable! God brought them to this spring of water when they were thirsty, but they could not drink it!

I immediately thought: "This pregnancy is going to be bitter." I knew in my heart that it wasn't going to last.

My husband had come home from work and he took me out to dinner to celebrate the new pregnancy. We came home and took the kids for a walk around the block. As I was pushing the stroller over a little bump in the sidewalk, I felt a gush of fluid come out of me. "Oh no!!!" I thought. I didn't say anything... We came home and I went straight to the bathroom.

Sure enough... I was bleeding.

I was brokenhearted. Devastated.

I told a select few people about the bleeding for prayer support. I was horrified by the reactions I got from some people: "well, you are not healthy enough for a pregnancy! You should have waited longer... are you even allowed to get pregnant so soon?"

Oh my word! I was reaching out for support and instead I found judgment. In fact... I was being BLAMED for this. I felt more alone than ever. I felt like I was getting kicked while I was down. I fell further and further into depression.

For two whole weeks, I didn't know for sure if I was losing this baby or not. I was continually bleeding (moderately) but I FELT pregnant. Like MAJOR morning sickness. Exhaustion. I let myself hope, just a little. TWO WEEKS. It felt like an eternity. I couldn't celebrate a pregnancy. I couldn't mourn a loss. I was in this limbo in between. And it was awful. I kept reading that Bible Story... God led the Israelites to a bitter spring (an impossible situation) so that He could work a miracle and reveal his glory. He turned the bitter water sweet. I prayed so hard that my bitter pregnancy would turn sweet and that God would work a miracle in me!

I asked my midwife to send me for blood work and a sonogram. Turns out: my HCG was low and falling... there was only a gestational sac. Non-viable pregnancy.

I came home that day, totally deflated. An hour later, I found out my grandfather died. Life is so hard sometimes! This was 11/22/11.

I wondered... why did God not work out that miracle for me? What did I do wrong? Why is he allowing this? Am I never to have more children? I was so angry. Confused. Bitter. Lonely.

In my Bible Study, the author told us: you can pray for your specific miracles... God can answer that prayer or do something BETTER.

I am holding onto that... that God will do something even BETTER in my life. Eventually. In HIS timing.

All in all, I bled on and off for a month and I felt pregnant that entire time. That was the hardest thing... going through all those hormonal changes and feeling first trimester yuckiness without the promise of new life inside of you. It was really really tough.

I named this baby Marah Faith.

I'm getting better. Slowly but surely. The fog is lifting. I'm starting to feel His JOY inside me again which is just amazing. I know that God is shaping me. He is turning me into something useful and beautiful and significant. It's hard to see right now, but I know he has BIG plans for me. He loves me!

I'm casting my cares on Him. I know he cares for me.