Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is all about love. Not just intimate love, but love in general. We can feel this deep passion for our family, friends, and even those who aren’t with us anymore.

When I was growing up, my parents never really put a ton of value in today. I always was told today was a ‘Hallmark’ holiday, which I’ve sort of just taken into adulthood. Even when I’ve been in relationships, I’ve always thought of today as cheesy with long lines to go to the movies and out to eat.

Two years ago, I felt a different kind of love on this day. I had Jensen moving in my belly and I wanted to celebrate him. He would always be my Valentine and I believed every year moving forward, we would be able to be together and have our day together. Much like it would be everyday, but maybe we would get dressed up. Last year, a bunch of us from all over the world got together and did a craft to honor our babies. It was so nice to be able to talk and create something with my hands. I definitely needed last year.

This year, the first thing I said when I woke up was, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day, Jens. I love you and you’ll always be mine.’ Then I felt bad when his little sister gave me a kick like, don’t forget about me, mom! Anyways, I’ve taken today to still recover from this sickness and just reflect on pictures, ultrasounds, and how much love I have for Jensen and this little babe.

Since I want to spread the love, I want to share Jensen’s little sister’s name with you all.

I hope you all are having a gentle Valentine’s Day and are surrounded by your loved ones.


Continuously on the Mend: Sickness, Anxiety, and Pregnancy After Loss.

**Trigger Warning – this post talks about pregnancy after loss.**

Well, my plan for posting and writing a lot during February sort of failed this past week. Unfortunately, I’ve been the sickest I’ve been in a while since last Tuesday. Actually, it kind of began after my glucose screening test and just continued to get worse. I’ve sworn up and down that the test is what jump started my sickness, but maybe that because I absolutely hated it.

The first few days I battled a nonstop fever. I had ice packets on my head and belly. It’s terrifying to think my body could overheat and the baby could get hurt. I also was thinking how if Jensen would be here, I wouldn’t be able to be down like I was. He would need me to be up. That fact hurt. I tried not to let it get me down and just focus on helping what I could. The fever finally broke on Friday (yay)! Since then I’ve not yet hit 100%, I can’t stop coughing and my lungs are over-producing phlegm. It’s been all so attractive.

My anxiety has been entirely too high. Not only with being afraid of the fever running to high to hurt her, I’ve been just in fear she’s going to die. Just plainly putting that out there. If I don’t feel her move every twenty minutes, I’m just laying here poking and shaking my belly. She’s probably really annoyed with me, but as soon as she moves I feel at ease. I will say the last two days she’s not ‘slowed down,’ but I feel like they’ve changed. Or maybe I’m paranoid because she’s definitely moving around in there.

With all the anxiety and sickness, I’ve been exhausted.

I’ve probably slept more this past week than I have in three months. Yeah, I’ve needed it. Rest and fluids are the only way someone can get over a sickness, especially when they’re not allowed to have most medicines.

Anyways, I’m veering off to mostly complaining about being sick now. I wanted to share something that happened today. When I woke up, I felt a lot better and could even breathe out of two nostrils. Yes, I celebrate any little victory. Instead of just sleeping the day away again, I wanted needed to be productive getting ready for the baby’s ‘sprinkle’ this coming weekend and organizing the baby stuff in her room.

A lot of Jensen’s things are being used by his sister. Literally the totes we filled almost two years ago have been pulled out and gone through. His swing and crib are up. All the diapers, wipes, and other necessities are in place for her. It’s sort of insane. Well today, I knew we were going through another layer of totes. This held his stuffed animals, baby book, and a little frame that says, ‘My First Year.’

Deep down, I knew we were going to come across these things eventually. I didn’t realize how hard the frame and baby book we’re going to hit though. The frame, which should be filled of Jensen’s progression pictures are empty. A year of photos that never came. I wish I would’ve thrown it across the room with all the stock pictures inside of it. They made me so angry. Then his baby book. Honestly, I didn’t look through it. I know how far I got and what came next. The last time I saw it was a few days before he was born, when I was filling it out and put it in a bag so I could take it to the hospital. It never made it there and it’ll continue to remain empty.

The juxtaposition of the emptiness of these memories and how full her room is just broke my heart.

It reminds me of how fragile the life growing in my belly is. How this time two years ago, I was full of hope and not even thinking Jensen could die. He had so many things as well, I never thought they would be packed away in totes and only being used, for the first time, by his sibling. I am so thankful for her and him, but there’s a huge chance that her things will be packed away too. Never used.

Today reminded me of that. I’m also reminded that pregnancy after loss is the second hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Each day I hold on to hope that she’s going to be here in a the blink of an eye and what happened to Jensen isn’t going to repeat itself. I tell myself every day that this is a new pregnancy. It does not erase my pregnancy with Jensen, but it doesn’t make it the very same either. I won’t lie, it is exhausting worrying that she’s going to die constantly and I get so angry knowing that I feel this way because my first child died. I would do anything to have the innocence I had with him.

That’s just not my reality though.

I believe she’s going to come out kicking and screaming with Jensen watching over us. I have to believe that. Every time I look in her room, I hope she’s able to use every single thing in there and learn what was her brothers too. With each of her kicks, I miss him even more.

I’m surviving this life and pregnancy after loss in the best way I can.

One of Jensen’s stuffed animals waiting to be cuddled by his little sister.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow I’ll wake up and feel even a little bit better. I have a big week coming up and want to share baby girl’s name with you all on Wednesday! That way I can call her by her name instead of a variety of nicknames. I also do want to share the nursery with you all and show how Jensen has influenced so much of it. We also have a 3D/4D scan coming up (after she didn’t cooperate during the last one). So a bunch to share concerning the baby, but a lot of it is intertwining with my grief and how closely their birthdays are going to be.

I just wanted to say thank you all again for everything! Hopefully this sickness will go away so I’m able to share some more What’s Your Grief Photo Challenges.

Twenty-Two Months.

Another month has passed; twenty-two to be exact.

When I woke up this morning, I felt the fifth. I know I’ve used that expression before, but all I kept saying is, ‘it’s Jensen day. It’s the fifth.’ Honestly, I thought this would pass. I wouldn’t even be telling people his age in months if he was here. Sometimes when I talk about him, I’ll say he’s almost two, yet when this day comes I could probably tell you the months, weeks, and days probably down to the minute.

His loss still feels so fresh.

Today, I checked the prompt for the What’s Your Grief Photo Challenge: pain. I’ve felt all types of pain since Jensen’s birth. Heck, I feel like I’ve been through all Dante’s nine levels of hell. When I read it, I didn’t want to focus on any more pain. Even though I tried my best not to focus on it, I was stuck at my three-hour glucose exam for Jensen’s little sister. I had to give blood four times, twice from both arms. It made me feel weak and sick to drink whatever they put in that. The three hours went fairly quick, but when I got home, I crashed on my couch after getting sick. I was in pain and usually on these days I celebrate Jensen.

In some ways I did. I told the lady working  and the other girl in the waiting room about him after they asked if this baby was my first. It stung. No, she’s not my first. She has a big brother in heaven who watches out and protects us both. I’ll never deny him, even if it would seem easier to random people. Somehow I would rather make every person in the world ‘uncomfortable,’ if it only meant for me to say his name. Maybe that makes me selfish, but that’s the only way I know how to mother my son.

Jensen’s absence has brought me so much pain and longing. I want to end the day focusing on what I wanted to give him: life experiences and love.

After I woke up, the first thing I looked at was the hands on my wall that we did on Jensen’s first birthday. I think the last time I shared them was that week. It forever shows me protecting him. Today, I felt like it showed me that he’s had my hand throughout my journey through hell and back. That he’s been right there through it all. It also has our family surrounding us. This reminds me that whenever I am drowning in pain, there’s hands reaching out to help me back up. To pull me out of the pit of despair. There’s twenty hands on the canvas today, but there’s two more inside of me, holding me up on another hard day.

Grief journeys bring their own individual pain and trials. In my twenty-two month journey, I’ve realized we don’t have to do this alone. Nor does the love and memory of those who have gone ever have to go away.

Hello February!

Since announcing my sweet, little rainbow almost two weeks ago, I haven’t had the right words to thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Each was read and taken to heart. They lifted my spirits and let me know how loved this baby, her brother, and I are loved. I am truly grateful for all of you for your constant support.

For February, I wanted to be able to write more and let you all know how I’ve been with my pregnancy after loss while preparing for Jensen’s second birthday and his sister’s birth. I found this photo challenge on Instagram and thought it would be perfect to take on.

Mood: tired and thankful. 

Today has been absolutely crazy. Throughout this pregnancy, I haven’t been able to sleep well at night through the morning. I cannot get comfortable and she moves all the time. When she moves, I always just pause so I can capture every moment. Jensen never moved as much as she does and I continue to cherish all those memories with him. If anything would happen to her, I want to be able to do the same.

Anyways, I had to go to a doctor’s appointment and felt the anxiety of it as soon as I woke up. It was an okay morning and I was trying to be positive before I went. This past Tuesday I took the glucose test and would find out if I passed or not today. Other than that, I just worried about hearing her heartbeat. Long story short, I found out I failed the one hour glucose test by a few points and have to go to the three-hour one… I was so angry. After I got back to my car, I just kept telling my mom I was fine when I had Jensen. I wasn’t even close to the number. Why was it different now?

Immediately after (and for three more hours), I pouted and felt like my body was going to fail her too. Of course, even if I would fail the three-hour test and would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I’d just have to monitor those levels. Logically I knew that, but hormones and the fear of losing her whipped around my head.

When I got home, I just kept thinking about the appointment and my reaction. I was so caught up on the negative that I couldn’t appreciate the positive. Her heartbeat was strong and I’m measuring right on schedule. She has moved all day and tomorrow I’ll be twenty-nine weeks. I made some tea, while I looked at Jensen’s pictures. If I had this type of appointment with him, I would’ve been so happy. So I decided instead of being upset by something I can’t even control, I wanted to be thankful.

I picked out one of my favorite mugs and saw this…

My whole world.

Yes, I am so tired. Tired of feeling so much worry and the weight of grief on my shoulders. I was tired of being angry today and honestly, I’m just physically tired in general.

On the other hand, I am so thankful that words would never be able to describe. Thankful for your support, the baby thriving in my womb, and the boy who I’ll forever carry in my heart.

Sharing a Little Secret.

I’ve tried to write and share this post countless of times. My anxiety, PTSD, and depression have kept me from saying anything before, but, I’ve come to a point where I feel it’s necessary to share to help my grief and what’s happening in my life right now.

For the past twenty-seven weeks, I’ve been keeping a secret from everyone…

Yes, you’re seeing that right. I am twenty-seven weeks pregnant, exactly, today. The past so many months have been mixed with mourning my miscarriage, living without Jensen, and trying to feel some sort of excitement for this little baby. I’m doing my very best, but it is so hard. There have been many things that have happened in this time where I’ve wanted to share, but have bit my tongue. As I’m getting closer, I feel as if I need an outlet to say what’s going on in my mind. Especially to other moms who have lost a child, moms who have lived through pregnancy after loss, and every other mom I know.

Although I don’t want to overload everyone with information so quickly, I wanted to share a little about the baby. SHE is a girl and I’ve known since around November to start buying pink. All of her ultrasounds have come back beautifully. The only ‘abnormality’ is her single umbilical artery, which is an isolated incident. She has been seen by my regular OB and the high risk doctors, which they are all ecstatic by her growth and how she’s doing. I’ve had nothing but positive appointments, which as you know, is a stark difference from my past.

She has a name that I will share eventually, just not at this second.

Her due date is three days behind Jensen’s, hello PTSD and reliving each milestone almost exactly the same days. She will probably be delivered around 37-38 weeks, depending on what’s happening then… Jensen was born on 38 weeks and 2 days… you can do that math.

I am happy and so thankful for her. She hears Jensen’s name multiple times a day and I feel his presence close by. I’m scared the same thing will happen again and it has seriously affected my depression, but I’m doing all I can to smile and enjoy everyday that I’ve spent with her so far.

This is an exciting and stressful time for me. I also know how triggering it is to see pregnancy announcements and hearing about other people’s pregnancy journeys. Any time I talk about her on this blog will have a trigger warning picture. I don’t plan on giving weekly updates or things like that, but I do want to talk about how this pregnancy is intertwining with my journey of loss and love.

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