Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday the 13th is a Great Day!

We had a round of doctor visits on Friday. As many may know Friday the 13th is a good day for me, I have always had good luck – and holding its own, this one was no different.

Ryleigh’s update – they did her measurements and she is textbook perfect! She is 24 ½ weeks along and weighs 1 ½ pounds, J. Her bones are measuring on point, she is growing beautifully. The cysts on her brain is still there but it has not grown, which is good news. We will go in about 4 weeks for the MRI scan of her brain to see if it is pushing on anything that can cause issues long term down the road.  Her heart condition is obviously still there, but this visit there was NO new findings. We are happy about this.

Overall, even though momma has not gained weight and has managed to lose a little, doctors are not worries as she is still growing; mine is totally related to stress! I have to start fetal kick counts, as she is not as active as we would like, but other than that, she looks great. We got to see a little bit of her face on the u/s and she is soooo freaking cute!!! Precious, she was smiling in one. I will post one below. She was being camera shy though, she had her back pushed out and was in the pike position with her toes resting on her head on some of the shots, legs fully extended. Everyone chuckled.

She is our “Imperfect slice of perfection!”  I cannot wait to meet her!

Proud Momma and Daddy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don’t Blame Yourself

I can’t even begin to express the amount of blame that rests upon my shoulders. I can recall sitting at the table with my husband having our final conversation about whether to have another baby or not.  I had spent the few weeks leading up to that day poking the question at him every chance I saw an opening, I wanted a baby so badly, a girl specifically. I recall sitting there and finally saying, ”this is where I am at, so now the choice is yours, I want a baby and if you don’t then that is ok, but I want you to think about it.” I can also remember telling him not to let the first two years of sleepless nights, tantrums, growing pains, and of course, diapers dictate the rest of our lives. Gosh thinking back at that statement gives me chills as now it seems so small in comparison to what we will have laid in front of us!!! He sat there for a few minutes in silence, then proclaimed his desire to try for another baby, we were so happy. We did not conceive the first month but the 2nd month we were good to go.

I can recall watching one of our favorite shows, Sons of Anarchy, when I kind of felt queasy. It wasn’t something that was deserving of a mention at the time (or to hit pause on the show), but I decided during a commercial break to take a pregnancy test before taking any medications because we were trying, sure enough it came back positive! November 15th is when it became a reality – we were going to have a baby. My husband made me the most excited by his excitement, we both agreed we should have done this a long time ago but time got away from us, life snagged us. Needless to say I did develop a sinus infection that I could not take meds for. It was  small  price to pay for the joyous news I had been given the previous day.

I think back to the comment the doctor made a few weeks ago about the 45 day mark the heart’s truncus vessel divides, we now know hers didn’t, I try to think about what was I doing, what was I eating, did I take something?  I still try and find a place to lay blames ugly head upon. I think it is because of my age? Bad egg? Bad luck? I search for the answer that will never come. I can’t express the guilt I feel for talking my husband into having another baby – all I hear my mind say was – he only told you ‘no’ about 30 times…before the yes came. I feel bad for placing him in this situation, it hurts me to know that he will be hurt by all of this and it is my fault – or is it? I shared these feelings with him and he was firm in his reply – it takes two and I wanted her as much as you did, now that we have her, we will make the best of all this and she will be our imperfect little piece of perfection. Communication is so critical in these times. I love him so, while his comment made me feel better, it didn’t take away all of the pain.

In my efforts to lay blame and sink into a puddle of guilt, I managed to come up for air long enough to realize this is no one’s fault – it is but life.  I think Ryleigh is going to be so smart and beautiful in spite of her broken little heart. I think this will define her to a degree, but it will not rule her. I too have been defined by my childhood abuse – but it does not run or rule my life – it provided me the place to start from, to free my soul, and let go of my anger.

Now I can’t imagine life without her, she will be the final piece to our puzzle of life.  I think we have been given this tiny person to help give us purpose and greater meaning to life’s gifts.  Blame doesn’t live here anymore, because hope came in and kicked it’s ass out!

Just know if you are a parent seeking answers to this same issue, know that guilt is part of the healing process and it is normal, without it we have no reason of understanding. Before the guilt rolled in, I mourned the fact that I would not have the perfect healthy daughter, and that process had to take place.  This is indeed one of the most gut wrenching things a parent should have to go through and the fact that we are not even in the thick of it yet scares the hell out of me. The thought of living in 6-month increments has sunk in with a heavy weight, but I will not allow it to drown me.

No more than 110 days to go until she is here with us, I can’t wait to see her and smile at her.  She will be our sweet little mended heart girl.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quotes of the day...

Quotes for Ryleigh to live by...
When you were born you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Yet do not cast all hope away. Tomorrow is unknown.  

Holiday’s Have New Meaning

It has been a tough weekend for us; we found tremendous support from friends who had us over for Easter. My husband had the worst time of it; he explained that the holidays are tough and probably going to be tough. When she is born, we will be nearing our 8th wedding anniversary – wow, but Craig has been the love of my life for over 10 years now. I can’t imagine how holiday’s will be when she is here, but I told him next Easter she WILL be with us and she will be 9 months old! That is a comforting thought. I don’t know why I keep searching for a reason this is happening, but the only thing I can come up with is there isn’t a reason.  I am thankful that our marriage is as solid as a rock, and unbendable, we take all matters to heart and support each other 100%. No, we are not perfect in our own respects, but it helps to have a fireproof marriage and unconditional love.

I seem to be hit the hardest when I think about Ryleigh’s future, I can see the long-term picture, her prom, her first love, her first child, and I wonder will it all be as it should.  Will she have heartbreaks with boys and what will it do to her heart? So many unknowns, it is scary. Most people can only see to her delivery and first surgery, but there is so much more that will occur in our daily life that those not walking this path will never know.

Maybe I am emotional because I know we are about to begin another round of doctor visits this week and they are a high point of contention and anxiety for me lately. I talked with one heart mom who did not know if it was better not knowing before birth or knowing. I think knowing helps prepare for delivery but with that comes a lot of sad emotions and stress, not knowing means having a pregnancy that is full of joy and planning for the future, but leaves a bit of panic when the baby is born.  I get nervous when I think about the scans now. I am afraid they will see something else. It seems as we get closer, we are going to more and more specialists, which is fine as they are getting prepared to take the best care of her when she is born, but it doesn’t ease my anxiety at all.

I think the moral of this post is to share that you will have anxiety and you will have fear, but it is ok to have good and bad days and if you feel like crying let it out – trust me I try to hold it in and it backfires. Oh and try to stay away from sad songs on the radio! We went to the Clay County Fair this past weekend to see a young woman perform, she is a heart baby (well 19 now) and we got to meet her family. They have been a huge support for us; we have joined the local Mended Little Hearts support group and are excited to meet more families sharing this journey. Best advice I can give to others going through this is to get support from anyone that will give it. Gain knowledge and understanding, come to terms with the future, and most of all look at the positive side of it – these kids can be amazing in their own way.

Here is a photo of the young women we met – her name is Siarah and she is an aspiring country singer – she has a beautiful voice, and yes it was cold that night which is why we are all in sweaters!

Till next post…be well my friends.
Sairah, Lee Ann, Cael, and Craig