Sunday, April 16, 2017

Struggling

So much I want to say, but honestly I'm struggling very much right now in a lot of different ways. I've had things I've wanted to post, but when I come to do it, I just sit and stare. I thought it was normal PP tired, adjust to two kids at home, etc. but it's a little bit more and it's hitting me more and more.

I'm safe, no worries about anything like that. I'm struggling though and even though right now I'm breaking down crying for a million different reasons, I know it's going to be okay and that I'll come out on the other side. I'll post when I can, as I am able to.

Thank you everyone who reaches out, who reads, who supports me, and who cares.

Happy Easter! Lots of love to you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chaseing Dreams (*warning-loss baby photo included*)

There's something I noticed almost the minute I set eyes on Anna. She looks almost identical to my oldest son, Chase. When I started this blog, I named it Chaseing Dreams because for years I'd dreamed of a son named Chase who had dark hair and blue eyes with curly hair. I remember visualizing him as early as high school.

For some reason it never occurred to me I'd have a girl. Like, never. Then when DH and I got married I was even more certain of this because there hasn't been a girl born in his family since the 1700s. We'd joke that his line had "no girl sperm" and that's why.

Of course, I was shocked to learn my oldest was a girl. It was quite the news in DHs family that someone was pregnant with a girl and now I've conceived 3 girls total and I get to raise two.

The name Chase was/is very special to me and yes, it's the name of a cat I had. Chase senior passed away September 26, 2011 at 17 years of age. This was more than just a cat to me, he was with me for a large part of my life where I struggled, grew up in a less than stellar home environment, and we were very close. I'd hold him and talk to him at night, cry while he purred, it's just hard to explain unless you've had that special connection to a pet and "get it". It was never an argument of if I'd named my son Chase, DH always knew.

Losing both twins was horrible, holding Chase in my arms, the Chase David, I'd dreamed about made my heart hurt in a million different ways. I know a childhood dream doesn't mean reality, I just couldn't believe this had really happened. After Emma was born and I was still briefly pregnant with him, I thought he'd make it. I really did. He'd beaten a 98% chance of being born with his sister. I became even more confident as I passed 24 hours (he was born at 26 hours).

Over the almost two years since the twins have been gone, I've pretty much accepted the sad truth, my sweet, precious kids, Emma and Chase, are gone. Most of you have followed me since around that time and know the journey my grief has taken.

In order to make this the first pic people see when they go to my blog (because many can't handle the sight of a sleeping baby) and to honor and show him off, this is the original Chase.  My sweet baby.


I was shocked at the emotion I felt when I first layed eyes on Anna. Like truly I'd been waiting my whole life to meet her and also the shock of realizing a few hours later how much she looked like Chase. I didn't even think about it or looked for it or anything, I was just looking at her and I saw my sweet son within her. 


Emma and Katie look just as alike to each other as these two do. So in a way it's comforting to see how my kids would've looked as they've gotten older, but at the same time it hurts my heart to think about them and wonder about their personalities and picture my 5 kids growing up together.

It's all a journey and Anna isn't Chase and not one kid replaces another. Not one kid is more important or special than another, but they are all different, all wonderful, and all loved. I'm so glad and honored that I get to raise Anna and see the amazing lady I know she is. I'm also grateful for my Katie who's struggling with adjusting a bit, but honestly, for a 3 year old, she's doing awesome. I'll be taking more pics this weekend since its a holiday. I'm also going to post a kind of day to day post about current triumphs and struggles. 

One more pic of my sweet Anna because I can't get enough of this gem.




The Announcement

I ordered Anna Belle's birth announcement earlier this week. I can't wait to get them and send them out. I think it turned out cute


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Anna Belle's Newborn Photos

Happy due date to me, lol!!  Today Anna would be 40 weeks, but she's shown herself more than ready for life on the outside.

She is very alert, eyes wide open, looks around. She can even hold her head up a bit and roll around. I better watch out, lol! She's so opposite of Katie and I love it. These girls are going to be my yin and yang and they complete each other.  I've also noticed that Anna is the spitting image of my oldest son, Chase. I always wondered what he'd look like growing up and I have a feeling Anna will give me that answer. 

Kate's had a hard time adjusting. She's had tantrums, regression in potty training, crying, yelling, pretty much acting out to the point where I have no idea where my sweet girl went. I've been patient, giving extra love, space from Anna, rewards for appropriately expressing herself, etc. Last day or two she's been doing better, I think she's starting to see that no one replaced her or is more important than her. It's going to be okay in time, this kind of landed on her from no where. 

Anna is so chill and lives with this half smile on her face. She cries if she's very hungry or has gas, and that's pretty much it. Otherwise she's very easy going, at least so far, lol. She's great with nursing and latching as well.  I was unable to breastfeed Katie and I had trouble producing for the pump, so it's nice to do better this time. The pump and I are still struggling, but since she latches and drinks, the pumped milk is just if I can't be with her and someone else needs to cover a feeding.

I have a root canal today for my mouth. Turns out my tooth was in a very bad place. It's infected, prior filling is leaking, and the cavity extends to the nerves. I'm terrified of the dentist and not looking forward to it, but I can't live on antibiotics and norco.

So, how about some gorgeous photos of my sweet and long awaited Anna Belle? These were taken on 4/1/17, at 5 days of age.






















This last one is special to me since all my kiddos are represented in it. My beautiful family!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Meet Miss Anna Belle

Without further adieu, I'd like to introduce the beloved, enchanted, sweet, and amazing Anna Belle!

Miss Anna Belle came rocking into our world on Monday, March 27th, 2017 at 6:12 am.  She is a tiny, but mighty 6 lbs. 4 oz and 19 inches long. 





The Birth Story

As you know, on Friday it was obvious some early labor had started. Over the weekend I had off/on contractions, cramping, and losing mucus plug here and there with a bit of spotting.  Nothing too exciting in my opinion and my only goal was to complete the nursery.  I got most of it done, I have a few touches before I post the pictures, but the important things were done and boy it looks good.

Not sure if I've mentioned here, but my tooth has been having a lot of issues. It's on the right side of my mouth and Sunday it was excruciating.  I even called the on-call OB who told me since it was the weekend there was nothing he could do for me. He had to personally write a script for any heavier pain med and there's no emergency dentist I could see. It was a miserable day physically. 

Sunday night I'm lying in bed trying to go to sleep.  I'd taken diclegis and was just praying for it to kick in.  As I'm lying there my water breaks, I'm like crap! I call hubby because he's upstairs and this even had blood on it, so I was kind of freaking out and ripping sheets off the bed, etc. Hubby is running around like crazy trying to gather things and I'm calling my mom to come stay with Katie.  I finally get to the hospital and checked in and I'm 5 cm and 80% effaced. Things just flew from then.  I got the epidural and even a norco for my mouth.  I had an amazing nurse and my sister, who's an RN, came to help and be there for support. 

My OB wasn't available and they were trying to stall labor as much as possible so he could make it.  He was doing a surgery and I needed to make it to 7:00 am.  Even with everything, Anna was like nope, ready or not, here I come! Also what was scary was around 5:00 am I started having issues. Every time I had a contraction, Anna's heartbeat went down. It was very scary as the nurse was moving me around to try and figure out what was happening and why.  I was lying there crying and praying that she please, please be born okay. 

They were considering just taking me in for  c-section, when the nurse wanted to check me and I was completely effaced and crowning. It was like whoa! And wondering how long I'd even been like that. More stalling as they are trying to get the on-call OB to come in to deliver. Finally, at 6:12 am, Anna made her debut into this world. Her cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times! This is why the heartbeat issues, it was essentially a noose.  I shutter at what could happen, but I'm just glad she's okay. Her apgars were 8 and 9. She was cold and needed to be warmed up, but otherwise no issues. No NICU, no nothing. In fact, she was born Monday and we were released on Tuesday evening.

Due to her small size her home outfit was drowning her, but seriously is she not the cutest?


Since Katie has some issues with medical stuff, plus I was having some of my own anxieties we chose to wait until we were home to introduce the sisters. I got home Tuesday after Katie was in bed, and so the girls met yesterday when Katie came home from Mother's Day Out.

We have some adjustments to do as Katie is learning she's not the baby anymore, but she loves her sister.




We're doing newborn pics on Saturday and right now it's just nursing  and trying to settle in. Anna is just the sweetest, calmest, and most awesome baby. We're so in love with her!

To everyone who's been there and continues to be there, thank you! I hope you're in love with Anna Belle as much as we are.

Friday, March 24, 2017

38 weeks, plus maternity pics

So, somehow I find myself at 38 weeks and still in denial that I'm actually going to have a baby. My body is telling me it's happening soon though.  For the last 48 hours I've had a very hard time eating any kind of food without my stomach feeling like it's being ripped out and I live in the bathroom. Everything pretty much hurts.

Had my OB appointment today and he could feel her head and sac of water. Also, I'm 50% effaced and dilated to 4 cm.  Guess I better pack that hospital bag and get my butt going on having things as ready as possible.

This past week has been hard, I've been struggling a lot with PTSD as the realization that I have to go to that hospital has been hitting me. I could use all the thoughts and prayers and hopefully everything goes smoothly.

My maternity pics came back.  Katie wasn't exactly cooperative during the shoot so I was a bit frustrated that day.  However, the photographer found a way to include Emma, Chase, and Ivy in them and it just made my heart smile and knowing that my babies really are with me always.  Sharing a few of my favorites here.


I love this one of Anna and I. It just feels very special.




One of the whole family where Katie is actually facing the camera and smiling (#threenagers)




I love this last one the best. These just really made my heart.


I guess we'll see if there will be a 39 week update or a baby instead.  I'll try to keep this updated.  Thank you all so much for all your love and support throughout the whole journey. Looks like I'm on the verge of a new chapter. Can't wait to meet and hold the long awaited and precious Anna Belle.


Friday, March 17, 2017

37 week appointment

I saw my MFM yesterday for my final appointment with her.  Anna Belle is as healthy as can be and her organs, fluid, etc all look fantastic.  However, she is most likely going to be a small baby, similar to her siblings.  I've started wondering if the fact that I have hypoglycemia contributes to smaller babies in the same way that women who get gestational diabetes tend to have bigger babies, but who knows.  Katie was born in the 4th percentile for her size (6 lbs, 11 oz. and 17.75" long at 39w6d), but her apgars were 9 and 9 and she was a very healthy baby (aside from reflux and GI issues as I've come to learn). Anna is bigger on the OB machines, but the MFM machines are better.  Her estimated weight yesterday was 6 lbs. 0z. She measured an overall 35w2d and in the 23rd percentile.

We talked about the fact that since about 16 weeks I've had the Braxton Hicks and that it's increased in intensity and frequency throughout the pregnancy.  I'm not going to lie, I hurt almost all the time these days. I assume most do, considering I'm early term. She said she recommends an induction at 39 weeks and would send a note to my OB, this puts me at the tail end of March.

Okay, induction.  I'm going to admit I'm torn. Part of me wants to let nature handle it.  Actually, most of me does.  It's not like going into labor has been a prior concern on my part, more like making sure it happens late enough. With this much BH I do wonder when I'd actually know I was in labor, but that's a diff story. I've never known when I was in labor.  I went to the hospital with PTL with Katie ONLY because coworkers were bugging the crap out of me because I was too uncomfortable to sit and was walking around and then my back was kinda sore too.  I'd also had nonstop BH so none of that had me running anywhere at that point. It was a good thing I did listen to them since I was completely thinned out and 4 cm at that point (33 weeks). Then I went to actually deliver her after my water broke. With the twins, I had no idea I'd be delivering them.  I had a fever and the BH seemed extra bad, since I was getting ready for the gender reveal I thought I better get checked out "in case" and well....  So, I dunno what to expect this time around. Of course I may not even make it to 39 weeks and then all of this is pointless.

So, why induce?  Frankly, I could care less about the pain.  Yes, it sucks. I don't want to do anything too early and possibly hurt this precious girl because I can't tough it out for another few days/week.  My concern is I'm terrified to enter that hospital and deliver. Like I freak out just imagining going in there.  I imagine it might be worse if I'm in heavy labor, my water is broken, and basically my sense of panic is heightened. Is that a good enough reason though?  I don't know.  I just honestly don't know. DH and I did agree that if there's no medical necessity, it def needs to be April and probably after the 40 week appt just to make sure she really is okay. I know with fertility treatments the margin of error is less, it's not like I'm guessing on when I conceived, but at the same time that first u/s had my edd closer to 4/10 and then the 4/6 date was based off IUI. I do agree with my OB that I shouldn't go beyond 41 weeks.

So, much to think about if I make it to my next appt with him on 3/24 and he'll also check to see how much progress I've made at that time. It's suddenly becoming quite real.

Nursery is coming along and once it's finished or near finished I will share pictures of it.

For now, it's the day I've been waiting for, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!!!!!