Saturday, December 24, 2011

2 years

I can't believe that 2 years ago you entered in to our world. The story bears repeating--we went to see the OB at the beginning of December because we had been trying to get pregnant for a while and unfortunately it wasn't happening. She told us to start using an ovulation kit and just a couple of weeks later we were taking a pregnancy test that showed that we were pregnant with you. We were sooooo excited and could not wait even a day to tell our immediate family. We went to Grandpa and Grandma Bulthuis' a little early for Christmas and told them that they would need 8 stockings next year instead of 7 (it breaks my heart that there are still only 7 even with the addition of Gloriana and Bella and that there really should be 10). It took Grandma a second to get that we were telling her that we were pregnant and then she started to cry. Daddy even told the Krooswyk family the night we opened presents with them even though he doesn't like telling people that early. We thought that we were getting the best Christmas gift ever. You are one of the best Christmas gifts we just wish that we would have had the chance to unwrap and get to know you a little bit more. We are so thankful for your life even though it was so short. We have learned from your life that pregnancy does not always end with a happy ending. We know that life is precious and each day is not guaranteed to us and that we must appreciate each day and the people that are in our lives. I'm so thankful that I was able to feel your kick and that your daddy and big brother, Josiah were also able to feel them. We have such beautiful memories of our pregnancy with you. I'm so thankful too that you were able to give me one of the best gifts by being able to deliver you naturally instead of a c-section. Your life has also given us a chance to learn more about perinatal hospice and we hope to soon be able to share that gift with other families in our local hospitals.

This Christmas has given me a different perspective. We have been talking to your big brother, Josiah that Christmas is not about presents and family parties but the most important thing about Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Tomorrow morning as we celebrate Christmas with Daddy and Josiah we will be having a cinnamon cake that we will be lighting with candles and then singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. I can just picture you and your siblings up in heaven gathered around Jesus and singing Happy Birthday to Him and that brings me such comfort.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hardest part of loss

The other day I was coming home from work and I called to talk to Tim and Josiah. I could hear Josiah crying in the background and when he finally got on the phone he said through the tears that "he missed the baby". My heart broke for my little guy. He is the one that I feel so bad for--he is madly in love with babies, he loves to be with people, it would be so good for him to have a sibling, etc. When I got home from work I could still hear him crying. :( As I held him in my arms--I reminded him that our baby is with Jesus now and how lucky our baby is to be up in heaven rocking with Jesus. I showed him the picture that we have on the fridge of Jesus holding a baby and was also able to talk to about how our babies will be celebrating Jesus' birthday with Him in heaven this year. It's so hard for our family to lose another baby but it is such a comfort to know that our baby is with Jesus in heaven!

Pictures of Hats

These are some of the hats that my mom and I have made. I think that they are the cutest things ever :)

The hat on the right was the one that Virgina wore when she was born. The hat on the left was the one that I made that would fit a baby that was under 2 pounds.

This hat is on the Comfort Bear that we received from Sufficient Grace Ministries--this would fit a baby that is 4-5 pounds.

This is the doll that we received from Aunt Lynne to help us remember Virginia with--this would fit a baby that was 2-3 pounds

Perinatal Hospice

We have felt that there was a need for a perinatal hospice in our area for a long time. When we lost our daughter, Virginia in May of 2010 we relied heavily on family and friends that had gone through similar losses and then we also were connected with a Christian perinatal hospice in Rockford (The Haven Network). It meant so much for those people to walk alongside of us in our journey. They walked alongside of us before Virginia passed by providing support over the telephone. When we delivered Virginia, they were willing to come up and take pictures of her, etc. After we lost her they continued to provide telephone support, they sent us Mother's Day/Father's Day cards, they remembered her birthday and due date. They have also walked alongside of us during our 2 miscarriages as well.

I recently had another miscarriage and was talking with the OB about the need for a perinatal hospice in our area and he agreed. I'm going to present him with my ideas for what the hospice should look like. My vision is that the mission would say "walking alongside of families as they journey through miscarriage, stillbirth and neo-natal loss". I would love to be available to these families when they receive a diagnosis, during the delivery and afterwards.

During the delivery would be the time that we would present the memory boxes filled with all of the donations (my most treasured items are the items we have from Virginia's birth--blanket, outfit, etc). I would also like to be able to take pictures for the families (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is great but they don't have a photographer close to us and they don't take pictures before 25 weeks).

This is all in the brainstorming phase right now but these are the items that would be great for donations:

CD’s for pictures

Preemie hats

Memory boxes

Picture frames

Blankets (anything over 20 x 20)

Restaurant gift cards

Footprint/Handprint molds

Books on pregnancy loss

Picture books

Handmade cards for special events (birthdays, due dates, Father’s Day/Mother’s Day)

Stuffed animal

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Storm produces hope

Today has been a very rough day. My 18 month old niece Bella had a cochlear implant done on her right ear and I think the stress of that in combination with the miscarriage was too much for me to take. I was having such a rough time. I'm not one that cries often and I just could not stop crying.

I had to go to the OB and was hoping to go back to work tonight but I was a basket case. He told me that he would not clear me for going back to work tonight and that he didn't want me going back until after Christmas but I talked him into letting me go back on Sunday.

ON TO THE GOOD NEWS: In the midst of the tears, I told him that I thought we really needed a perinatal hospice in our area. He said that he agreed and that when I get past this a little bit to call him and we could talk about it. I went home and started brainstorming about what I wanted it to look like and was so excited. I know that God does bring something beautiful out of the hard times that we go through in this life--so hopefully that's what this is. I've always felt like my calling was to be able to minister to people in the hospital setting and this would be perfect for me.

The other good news was that I was able to bring in something (I think it was the baby but we will see) to the dr. for testing. So we will see what happens with that.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reproductive Endocrinologist Appointment

I had an appointment today with a reproductive endocrinologist up in Orland. I was kind of nervous about the appointment especially after filling out our life story :) It's such a hard place to be in because we desperately want another child but we're not sure if we would be able to handle the pain of another loss. We are hoping that if we receive some testing we can find out if there is something that can easily be corrected or if Josiah was our miracle. The appointment was very overwhelming. The dr. did not want to make many suggestions about what could be causing the 3 pregnancy losses but would rather do all kinds of tests and then meet with us to discuss the results. Mainly the tests would be labs and ultrasounds so not really a big deal besides the expense. Thankfully my work insurance covers the diagnostic tests but once there is a diagnosis then we would have to foot the bill. In a way I really want to find out if there is something wrong as this could affect Josiah and his future family.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good News/Bad News

The last couple of days have been ok--I've still felt a little queasy and have been having some horrible headaches but it was nothing compared to this weekend.

We went to see the OB today to try and figure out what our status was and when I could go back to work. He did an ultrasound and said that he did not see the baby but could see quite a bit of "tissue" left in there. He said that he would not be surprised if I would have some heavy loss yet ahead of me.

We were obviously disappointed that we were not able to see the baby and have the baby tested but ... Since we won't be able to find out the gender we have named the baby Faith. We know that God is with us through this and that our faith will carry us through these trials. We were so thankful for this baby and the baby will always be a part of our family.

I have a necklace that I was given by my sister when we lost Virginia. Then, my friend Cindy gave me the handprint charm which we used when we lost the last baby. This weekend we were able to get a little angel charm to remember this baby. It helps so much to have a reminder of my 4 little ones around my neck.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Round 3 (Monday)

The morning started out a little bit scary as I was a little nauseous but I've been trying to be careful getting up walking around.

Thankfully my mom stayed overnight which alleviated some of the anxiety just knowing that she was here. My friend, Cindy came over too with her 3 youngest which was good for us too to distract us from everything that is happening. Josiah loves their family and had such a great time holding the babies.

The main reason we are chronicling what is happening is because we start a journal the day we find out that we are pregnant and then when we find out that we have lost a baby it's hard to keep writing in there--this helps to be able to write it down and then at some point in time we can put it in their journals or somewhere else.

If anyone does read this blog, we just want to thank you all for the love, encouragement, prayers, cards, etc. During these painful times of loss, each one of you that walks alongside of us is being the body of Christ and we appreciate it more than words can say. When we seem to be at the lowest in the terms of our loss, we receive a phone call, a package in the mail, an e-mail etc. that just reminds us that we are not alone and we love each of you sooo much!

Round 2 (Sunday)

Sunday morning Tim was able to take Josiah to church--Josiah is going to be in the Christmas program at church and he needs to get used to singing in front of people :) He knows 3 of the 4 songs but we'll see if he performs in front of an audience.

At about 2 pm I started to have some pain in my back and I was concerned that it was starting again. Thankfully, I called my mom and asked her to come out because we really need Tim to keep working. From about 5-7 was pretty rough as I was experiencing a lot of loss. It was really scary and I wasn't sure if I should go to the hospital or not. I spoke with the OB but he wasn't really a lot of help. I also spoke with our person at The Haven Network and she was able to reassure me that it was going to be ok. I finally was able to calm down and hang out on the couch for a while. I still was a little bit concerned but thankfully it all started to slow down a little bit.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What a night

Last night I was going to try and start the cytotec but I was still scared. It's so hard to know what to do when your OB tells you to take it but then the warnings from the pharmacist and the company that produces the medication says not to take it after 8 weeks to induce labor as it can cause a uterine rupture. Plus my OB did not prescribe any pain killers besides Ibuprofen which did not even touch the pain that I had been experiencing. So after many phone calls with family we decided to wait with the Cytotec.

I have been in pain since Thursday but the pain was coming much faster starting around 8 pm. Thankfully my sister in law called at 9 pm so that helped distract me for a half hour. Then Tim got home and I started walking the floors (I told him that I was probably going to make a hole in the floor). I was in sooooo much pain and was not getting a break in between the pain. Tim called the OB and begged him for a pain killer but he said that the Ibuprofen would be enough (unless these doctors have gone through this--there is no reason I should not have a pain killer, people who give birth to healthy babies have pain killers). I was in a state of panic from about 10-12:30 since I couldn't find a way to alleviate the pain. In that moment I was pretty much praying for an end to it all. If we are ever blessed with a healthy pregnancy I should be a rock star :) At about 12:30 I sat on the couch and was able to calm myself down a little and I was getting a break in between the pain and then at about 1-1:30 we fell asleep. I don't think that everything is done so we'll see what the next couple of days bring.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

So confused

I hate having to make such important decisions. I still have not started the Cytotec because I'm scared to death but we really want to get this baby delivered so that I can get back to work (this time off is all unpaid which is not good for us). The scary thing with Cytotec is that I took it with Virginia and it was extremely painful. All I have been given at home is Ibuprofen. Plus, I read the pharmacy sheet and it said after 8 weeks this medication should not be given to induce labor as it can cause uterine rupture. The baby was measuring between 9-4 and 9-6 on Wednesday. I've been reading some of the user reviews on the internet and it is so scary. Then, I talked to the dr. and his words weren't comforting either. I know that the Bible says that God won't give you more than you can handle but at times it seems like He's tiptoeing on that line. It's enough that we had to lose the baby--it would be so much more helpful if my body could just let go of it without medicine :(

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Favorite Picture

Tim took this picture today and I absolutely love it, even though it is bittersweet. I wanted another picture while I still have the baby inside of me. I decided to have the ultrasound picture with me and Tim got it really up close. I love too that you can see the Mom of Angels bracelet that I am wearing. I know that I will treasure this picture forever!


I don't think that I'm strong enough to do this.

Yesterday I went for the follow-up ultrasound and they said that the baby looked perfect but unfortunately he or she just didn't have a heartbeat. You can see the head on the left, the body and the arms and legs in the obvious places.

I'm starting to have some cramping and pain but I'm supposed to be starting the Cytotec today. (This is the medication that I had with Virginia). I'm just not sure if I'm strong enough to start the medication myself to expel the baby from my body. The baby is supposed to be inside of me growing--it's just sooooo sad. Plus I am scared of the pain (it's better than the alternative of the D&C) but they are predicting that it's going to be worse with this baby because we are 2 weeks further along. The baby is still measuring between 9 weeks 4 days and 9 weeks 6 days. With the last miscarriage the baby was measuring at 8 weeks 1 day and then was gone inside of me for over 2 weeks which makes the baby smaller.