Tuesday, April 24, 2012

18 months

This morning I woke up at 2:00am. I couldn't breathe. I was up until about 4:30am, until I finally fell asleep playing Sudoku on the iPad. Being short of breath of nothing new- trying to take a deep breath with two people living inside is no longer a luxury I have. But usually once I'm asleep, it's not a problem. I don't wake up because I can't breathe.
But after being awake for about 15min this morning I realized why I was up... because I was up at the exact same time 18 months ago. I was up with a chubby little girl with a slight fever. I was up getting the last smile that I would ever get from my daughter...

I was talking on the phone with a lady today that is possibly going to be our post-partum doula and had mentioned that I had nursed my daughter for about seven months. I had already mentioned Max and of course, she was surprised to hear that we also had a daughter... I told her that Ellie had passed away last October. And she said, "oh so right after you found out you were pregnant." And then I realized that I couldn't say last October anymore. Because its been TWO Octobers since she died. I was shocked. How could that be??

How have we been living for 18 months without her? That's twice as long as she was here for... How could life have changed this much and Ellie not be here to be a part of it??

Even after 18 months, I still wonder what the hell happened to our lives.

It's been 18 months and I still don't know how we got here...

This video was taken one week before she got sick... I don't watch videos of her a whole lot- it just hurts too much. And this one definitely brought tears to my eyes immediately. She's so real. And so Ellie. The chubby feet and ankles. The crazy hair. Her voice- it breaks me into a million pieces. The way she bounces on her tummy and puts her face into the carpet. I wish I could breathe it all in. I want to reach into the screen and grab her out...

Missing you so much Peanut. I can't believe that you aren't here with us getting ready to meet your little brother and sister. Maxer has been looking at your picture a lot lately and I think he misses you too. We love you so much!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Update

Just a quick little update on these two little ones...

We are currently at 34 weeks and 5 days. My doctor is very pleased that we've made it this far and says now that anything else is just icing on the cake!

I had an ultrasound today and each baby passed their biophysical profiles with flying colors at 8/8. They are also measuring in at 5lb 4 oz a piece!

Little Bo-Peep is still breech and they aren't expecting her to flip since there is very little room left. I decided against a breech delivery for her or for taking the chance that she will flip after her brother has cleared out, and very reluctantly agreed to scheduling a c-section. They have agreed to give me an ultrasound when I go into labor or before the scheduled c-section, just to make sure that it's necessary.

Things are pretty much ready for the babies to get here... just a few more things that need to be handled but nothing major. Which is good because I have very little energy to deal with anything! Thankfully we've had a lot of help from our moms and grandparents! Hauling around 10.5lbs of baby is a lot more work than I thought and most days I feel like I've run a marathon after getting up to refill my water!

Just a couple more weeks and these two can feel free to make their entrance!

I know stripes aren't a good look on a gigantic pregnant lady, but clothes that fit are few and far between... but here's a few pics...

Seriously, when did he get so big??!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Max's Photo Shoot

We had Max's three year pictures taken in the fall, but we weren't ever able to get the pictures from the photographer- GRRRR! So, we needed to get some pics done before the babies arrive. A nurse that I used to work with has started a photography business and I was excited to have her come out and get some (or try to get some) pictures of Max. He wasn't super cooperative and definitely received more M&Ms than he would have otherwise, but she got some good pictures...

A typical Max expression
An M&M break

Trying to convince him to take some more pictures

BTW if there are an twin cities people that need some pictures taken, check out Bri at Bri-licious Photography!

Thanks for the pictures Bri! We'll see you when the babies get here!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Their Big Sister

We are nearing the 18 month mark of when Ellie left us, I'm pumped full of pregnancy hormones and these babies could arrive at any minute. If I survive the next five-ish weeks without a complete nervous breakdown- I'll be surprised...

I've been having several dreams with Ellie in them- Ellie as a two year old, Ellie as a baby, Ellie at a nine months, Ellie but not really Ellie- just the idea of Ellie. As any other parent who has lost a child knows, these dreams are bittersweet. A dream of Ellie is like the best gift ever, especially one where she is doing something I was never able to see her do- like walking. But waking up and realizing that that quick dream is all I get, breaks my heart every time. Its not fair. I should get more than a dream. It's hangs with me all day long and it weighs me down.

Going through all of the baby stuff has also been a very hard and exhausting trip down memory lane. Fleece footie jammies, pacifiers, bouncy seats and even little tiny diapers are chalk full of memories that I didn't know I still had. I am more thankful than I could ever express for these memories but they hurt. It's hard to explain but Ellie almost seems to have become a dream to me. I feel like without getting to hold her, touch her or smell her, memories are harder to hold on to. And all of these baby things make her so real to me. She was here. She used those jammies, she loved that nuk. She was here and all of these things, hold these pieces of her that I don't have anymore.
Ellie- one day old.
I find myself tearing up at little girls again and trying to catch my breath thinking of the little girl that should be cuddled up with me. I MISS her. I miss getting to be her Mommy. I'm back to feeling like something is always missing. Sometimes I get in the van and try to remember what is missing and finally I realize its my daughter. I have left a child behind and I can't go back and get her. It leaves me anxious and on-edge.

My gigantic belly is apparently an "ask me about how many children I have and how old they are" cue for complete strangers. I know these people mean well, but they have no idea how much pain and anxiety they are causing. I don't want to get into it with a complete stranger but on the other hand, I will not deny my daughter. So I lie. If people ask, I say I have a 3 1/2 year old, and a 2 year old. Which only leads to the next annoying statements... it's either, "Oh how blessed you are!"- which is true- we are. BUT my daughter is dead- so please add that into your excitement equation... OR "oh my goodness you will be busy!:- which is also true. BUT my daughter is dead, so I won't be as busy as I should be. I've found that the best approach is to be rude, and irritable with whoever the poor checkout person or fellow shopper is and they won't really make small talk with me. Or don't leave the house. Honestly, there are days when I would rather stay home than go out and deal with these questions because they make me feel awful and sad and angry.

I find myself worrying about how I am going to react to having two babies in the house. We don't in any way view them as a replacement for Ellie. We do hope that there are little things that Ellie's little sister does to remind us of her, but have never once thought of her as some one who will make up for what we are missing. I worry that all those little noises babies make, their funny faces and the way they snuggle up into your neck will bring back to many of those lost memories of Ellie. Memories that I so want, but will rip my heart apart as they come flowing back. It's confusing... wanting every tiny piece of her that I can get, and not wanting all the sadness that goes along with knowing that those are all I get. Memories.
I don't want people to think that just because the babies are here, that all of our sadness is gone. We are still grieving. Knowing that these two will never get to meet their big sister adds a whole other piece to our grief. The excitement of family pictures, first holidays and celebrations will be tempered with sadness. It will never be like it was if Ellie was still here.

Two little lives are about to join us, while one is forever missing. It's amazing. It's heartbreaking. And I'm not really sure how to make sense of that...

"Celebrating" Easter...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Still Cookin'

Thankfully, I was only on bed rest for 4.5 days! I went to see my regular OB and she decided that bed rest was probably a bit of an over reaction on the part of the clinic. Unfortunately cervical checks are not an exact science and everyone can have a slightly different opinion of how far someone is effaced and dilated. When my regular doctor checked me, she didn't think that anything had changed and that I was exactly where I should be for someone who is carrying multiples and on their third pregnancy. Dr. C told me to just take it easy, but that I could go back to "normal" life.

I can't even tell you how relieved I was when we left that appointment. No one seems to think that I am at any more risk for preterm labor than anyone else! Today I am 31 weeks and 4 days, and we are only a few days away from reaching our first goal of 32 weeks!

This past Tuesday I had the first of my weekly growth scans and was shocked to find out that the babies were each 3lb and 8oz! That's seven pounds of JUST baby! If I had the ability to jump up and click my heels I would have! And both are head down (for now anyways)! I really, really hope that they stay this way because I really don't have to have a c-section. During the ultrasound both babies were head down and facing each other and as hard as the tech tried, neither would cooperate for a good picture. We did see that Bo-Peep already has some hair and per her usual, kept kicking the ultrasound tech during the exam! I think she's gonna be a stinker!

A few people that have had twins said to be prepared when weeks 30-32 arrive. I've been told it's like getting hit by a Mack truck. And they weren't wrong. I am so tired. More tired than I have ever been. I can't hardly breathe, my muscles are sore, achy and tired like I've run a marathon. I love that the babies are so active but they move so much and take up so much room in my stomach, that it makes me want to puke! I want these two to stay in for at least four more weeks, but I fear how I will feel as they keep getting bigger.

Mentally, I feel like a wreck! I actually asked the doctor the other day if there is anything they can do for "baby brain" because I am so, so stupid lately! I can't think. I can't remember anything. I feel like I'm very much in our little world and that's it. I feel between getting ready for TWO babies (which is still an idea that I can't really grasp), taking care of Max, feeling awful and the stress of another holiday without Ellie, I don't have the mental or emotional capacity to deal with anything else. Dealing with our lives in this house takes up everything. It's a very weird and disconnected feeling. Maybe it's just my body and mind's way of preparing for whats to come... I don't know. So if I seem like flake lately, that's why.

With that said, I don't feel like being a part of any sort of Easter celebration this year. I don't want to deal with another holiday without Ellie. Any thing that takes any sort of effort on my part, seems exhausting. I'm supposed to having a "low stress" existence according to my doctor... [insert laughs here]... I don't think that's really possible but I think laying low is the best way to play the only major holiday we got with our girl...
There's more I was going write. And I had planned on writing something a little more profound or even something that just made a little bit more sense, but let's be honest- it's 9pm and I'm tired!

I have another appointment tomorrow along with a growth scan and biophysical profile scan. Hopefully they will get a couple good pictures and I'll be able to share those.