“Do you have any kids?”

I keep finding myself at a loss for things to write… and while I definitely don’t condone just writing for the sake of it, I just wanted to chime in with another quick update.  I apologize that  I haven’t been terribly active lately, but between nausea, fatigue, and trying to wrap up schoolwork, I’m feeling pretty exhausted.  My mind has been pretty quiet at a result, and I’m kind of just coasting through the days.  I really can’t wait for my energy to pick back up, whenever that happens to be.

I’m now 13 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy with our second baby.  On Thursday, it will be 6 months since Brock’s birthday, and I will also be 14 weeks pregnant.  It’s hard to handle because now that I’m not afraid to let my pregnancy be common knowledge, I keep getting sucked into the same awkward conversations with people.

Person, after finding out I’m pregnant: Oh, congratulations!  How far along are you!

Me: about 13 weeks.

Them: Do you have any other kids?

Me: Yes – one.

Them: Boy or girl?

Me:  Boy.

Here’s where things get tricky.  Some people stop there.  Others barrel on and say…

Them: How old is he?

Me: He would be six months.

Sometimes they get it – but most of the time, not so much.  Some people give me this look of bewilderment and go, “Wow, you’re going to have a lot on your plate with two little ones at home!” and most of the time, in situations like that, I feel the need to correct them.  I had this awkward moment at a volunteer event where I had to shake my head and say, “No, he would have been… but he passed away.”  The girl asking questions felt so bad and I, in turn, felt bad for putting her in that situation, but after much soul searching, I have decided I can’t feel right about lying about my son.

So, regardless of who asks me, when they ask if I have any kids, I say yes.  Because I have a son.  He passed away, but he still existed, and he still deserves to be acknowledged.  With more time, I might change how I handle these situations, but right now I just know I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention him.

With this said, I’m kind of living in active fear of Mother’s Day right now.  I can foresee it bringing up a whole bushel of resentment and bad feelings because I know I should be celebrating it with my baby, but I won’t be.  I have this odd feeling that most people I know probably don’t really consider me to be a mother, and I think that being overlooked on that day is just going to rub even more salt in the wound.  Then again, I have another three weeks until we get there, so hopefully it won’t be as bad as I’m expecting.

Fingers crossed, anyway!

A Quick Update

It’s been a while since I posted anything, so I thought I would just stop in with a few updates.  I have had a long, hard couple of weeks with support groups galore, a bunch of frustrating things happening in my personal life, and – what I think was stressing me out the most – I spent the last week or so quietly waiting for a bunch of testing that I had scheduled for the 10th at my new high-risk hospital.  After those meetings, I fell violently ill to… something (most likely food poisoning) and I’m still working on recovery now.

Anyway, I’m here to report the good, so let’s move on to that!  I really liked everyone at my new hospital and received a lot of good news yesterday.  Let’s go down the list in order:

Appointment #1 (hematologist):  I’m not sure if I mentioned this previously or not, but I had some postpartum testing done that suggested I might have some problems in this subsequent pregnancy with blood clotting issues, but after talking with a hematologist, she doesn’t really think it’s likely to present any kind of problem.  Because the testing was done so soon after my son’s stillbirth and the deficiencies I had are often flagged as low during pregnancy, it’s probable that they were red herrings and aren’t actually typically low; if that’s the case, I likely won’t see any complications at all.  I’ll get extra monitoring in case, but at this time she doesn’t think we can expect it to cause any problems.  Works for me!

Appointment #2 (High-risk OB):  I really liked the OB I was referred to after Brock passed, but my new high-risk OB is amazing, too.  She is incredibly sweet and empathetic.  Her nurse was stellar, too.  We had a long discussion about what happened in my last pregnancy, my concerns moving forward, and our planned course of action from here.  We’ve already scheduled several appointments and ultrasounds in advance, including some special additional testing for things like placental health (@ 23 weeks) and, thus far, are thinking an induction at 38 weeks will be best for my sanity (and will give me some time between my new baby and Brock’s birth so that I can celebrate them separately).

Perhaps the best news I got in that appointment?  We are still waiting for Brock’s autopsy, and my high-risk OB conceded that while it’s pretty likely that his cord was the reason why he passed, she would feel more comfortable having the results in case it gives us any more information to go on, so she’s sent a request to the facility where he was autopsied to request that they expedite the results.  Since I am pregnant again and the information from his passing might help us keep an eye out for issues with the new baby, it makes perfect sense, and I’m really excited by the prospect that we might have the results soon.  It has been almost 6 months since he passed, and I would love the closure so I know how to move forward.

Appointment #3 (NT scan): I really liked my ultrasound tech. He had some kind of delightful European accent and let my husband join me in the room for the full ultrasound, which we both enjoyed.  Baby K was extremely active, wiggling around like crazy and giving the guy a hard time on getting the shots he wanted.  To the best of my knowledge, baby looks healthy and like s/he is right on track.  NT measured 1.0mm and s/he was 54mm long (a far cry from the 7mm that they were 5 weeks ago!).  The only point of the meeting that disappointed me was finding out that I have an anterior placenta… again!  I really hated the reduction in feeling movement that it caused last time, and I was hoping I would me more fortunate this time.  Oh, well… can’t win ’em all.

The hospital charges $30 for a DVD with the ultrasound photos on it, which was an expense I couldn’t justify.  The tech let my husband grab a shot on his cell phone, though, which I am extremely grateful for.  Here’s my chunky litle guy/gal…

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All in all, I’m feeling very optimistic about things.  Unfortunately, while recovering from this nasty bug and also feeling typical pregnancy nausea, I’m also feeling pretty icky these days.  I’m going to go rest up in bed.  Until next time! ❤

Do I Wanna Know?

I spent about 4 months of my first pregnancy with Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” stuck in my head for a really strange reason – I couldn’t decide if I wanted to know what gender our baby was going to be, so every time I asked myself if I wanted to know, the song, naturally, jumped into my head.  It’s not even a song I’m particularly fond of, so I don’t really know why the connection was so strong, but it was.

The problem really laid with the fact that I wanted to go Team Green – I didn’t want to know what gender he was until we met because I thought it would add to the fun of the experience, and I wanted to try and maintain neutrality in everything I bought and decorated – but I was alone in this desire. Everyone who I told that I didn’t want to find out basically told me that I had to know for the first one.  It was my first baby, and the people who wanted to buy me gifts and throw me showers felt then need to drown me in gender appropriate clothing and gear.

This was particularly funny to me later on when I didn’t actually end up having a shower at all; I had one awesome little ‘sprinkle’ hosted by a friend that provided me with some clothes, books, diapers, blankets, creams, and other knickknacks, but we ended up needing to buy everything else, with exception of the stroller, for ourselves.  I think I actually preferred it this way because I was able to make sure that I got all of the important, big-ticket items in neutral colours and prints so I would be able to reuse them comfortably with our future kids… not that having a playard with a blue monkey print would have prevented me from using it for a girl in the future, but you know.  Anyway, that is neither here nor there.

So, I catered to everyone else’s will, and we found out.  I had been hoping for a girl, and when I found out that he was definitely a he, I was briefly disappointed.  I feel bad about my short-term regret every day, like it made me less worthy of him, and later struggled with feeling like I’d deserved to lose him because I’d had the audacity to ever be upset about his gender.  How obnoxious of me.

When I found out we were expecting again, one of the first things I started wondering about was the same thing all over again – did I want to know this time around? I pretty immediately decided that, no, I didn’t.  And, this time, I have the strength to tell people that it’s my decision to make and I don’t particularly care if they appreciate my choice or not.  It’s kind of ridiculous, but I feel like I didn’t have a lot of control over my last pregnancy, and I had a bad habit of bending to the whimsy and requests of others.

The only person whose opinion I cared about, of course, was my husband.  I told him I did not want to know this time and asked if he cared.  He waffled slightly, but came around when I gave him my reasoning.  What do you want, a boy or a girl? I asked him.  A baby, he replied.

Exactly.  In the wake of our loss, a lot of things that mattered before don’t matter now.  Things like gender won’t impact how much we love our child:  all we want is a happy, healthy baby.  I will have plenty of time to appreciate his/her identity and uniqueness later on, and even then, I don’t want it to seem like I am more or less proud of him/her and what they achieve because of their gender.  Gender stereotypes seem more and more silly to me as time goes on, and getting an early start on being accepting of whatever my child wants to do, regardless of what gender it seems to ‘fit’ into, seems like it can only be a good idea.

Everyone who I have told this time around has, so far, been perfectly respectful of our choice.  Since I am high-risk this time around and will have a lot of ultrasounds (probably as often as biweekly in my last trimester), I am prepared for the possibility of finding out accidentally (either by seeing something telling or by having a tech slip up and tell us accidentally) but the plan, presently, is to not find out.  I hope that I don’t find out and can have the discovery add to the inevitable excitement of his or her delivery, but I will be happy with whatever I get at this point as long as there is a healthy baby at the end of it all.