Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post 114...Puffy

The further along I get in this pregnancy, the hotter and puffier I get! I just went for my usual walk around the neighborhood and before I know it, my feet feel hot and tight and my wedding rings don't fit. Every now and then I have to take my rings off before they feel too tight around my finger. Luckily the puffiness seems to subside fairly quickly, but in the mean time, it's not the most comfortable feeling. I am glad though that I can keep up with my walks. I'm even able to still go on the long walk to the grocery store and back. I just can't do it as often as I used to and I have to go much slower than before. But I can still do it!

I can't believe tomorrow is already June 1st! In just a matter of weeks we'll be getting the cerclage out and we'll be all the closer to Andy being out in the world with us. I am so excited and terrified all at the same time. Although we're very much ready, there is still so much to do to prepare for his arrival. And even still, no matter how much I do, I still don't feel 100% ready, but I don't expect that I ever will. I keep worrying if I'll be a good enough mom, or if my husband and I will ever have a moment to just relax once he's here. Everyone keeps telling me to get as much sleep as I can now before he comes, reminding me of how exhausted and scared I'll be. So many people keep telling me of all the aches and pains I'll feel, how I won't get any sleep, how I'll have to listen to the baby crying 24/7, how he'll poop all the time, and how I should pray to God he doesn't get colic! No one is telling me how amazing it'll be to have him here with us. And honestly, even though I'm fully aware that it will be a difficult transition, hearing nothing but horror stories and "realities" is starting to make me feel really scared. I really hope that I will be able to handle it all while keeping my sanity in tact.

Last Saturday was really fun though. We got to have our maternity pictures done by an old friend of mine. We've known each other since we were babies, and she did the pictures for my wedding too. I am super excited to see how the maternity pictures turned out! She said that we should get the CD of pictures in about two weeks. I was also really happy that the sun decided to peak out just in time for our photo shoot so we were able to get some of the pictures done at a local park nearby. I think those will turn out really cute! The other exciting part is, my friend will also be doing our newborn pictures for free! So probably within the first few weeks after Andy is born, we'll have her come back over to take some pictures of him. I can hardly wait!

So other than being puffy and a little more tired these days, all in all I'm doing pretty well. Even though I am getting extremely nervous for the day Andy will be born, I am also beyond excited to have him here!--Not that he's not here right now, but you know what I mean.--This coming weekend we've still got lots to do to get ready. Since we don't know how soon or late he will come after the removal of the cerclage, we're preparing for his arrival for the earliest date possible. We've got the car seat to install, the hospital bag to pack, a few more items to get for the nursery, we need to go through the list of local pediatricians and sign up with one....

Let the count down begin!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post 113...Birthing Class

Friday was the one year "birthday" for Joey Jr. So to celebrate his birthday, we went out for his favorite: cheese burgers and butterfinger blizzards! Those were the two things I craved the most while I was pregnant with him so it just seemed right to have it for his birthday. When we came home from his birthday lunch, we lit his memorial candle, put on his song "The Crow & The Butterfly" by Shinedown, and looked through his memory box. It was an extremely emotional moment for my husband and I. We cried as if we had just lost him. And we smiled and hugged each other, thankful for the influence our son had on our lives.

Later that evening, we went to the first day of our three-day-weekend birthing class. I was nervous to go, not sure how much the birthing class would bring back memories. But I knew that there were things I had to learn for birthing a full term baby, and I knew that I had to keep moving forward in preparation for Andy. The class was held at the hospital where we delivered Joey Jr. and where we will be delivering Andy. It seemed like I had been there all week after going in twice before this week for different reasons. But I was glad to be coming as a visitor this time and not as a patient.

It was funny being surrounded by other pregnant couples. Since I have been pregnant, we haven't been around anyone else that is pregnant except in passing. It was fun to feel like I fit right in with my big belly. Plus it was really nice to have some social interaction! Since I haven't been working for the past year, it gets kinda quiet and lonely here at the apartment. So to have a class to attend and people to socialize with, I quickly became more and more excited. The first day of class focused primarily on birthing plans, including a tour of the labor and delivery rooms. Up to that point, I was doing really well with focusing on this pregnancy and not getting too swept up in past thoughts. But once we entered the labor and delivery room, I was overwhelmed. I held tight to my husband's hand, trying to keep the room from swaying. I felt hot and light-headed looking down at the bed that was oh-too familiar. All the other moms-to-be in the class looked nervous as they imagined the labor that lies ahead of them. I looked nervous as I thought back on the labor that was behind me. The pain of future labor doesn't bother me as much as the pain of the past. But as we left the room, I did feel a little relief that I was able to face that fear of the labor and delivery room and conquer it. It's better that I got it out of the way now rather than dealing with it during labor again. Now when I go in to deliver Andy, I can say: "the last time I was here was when we had that fun class."

From there on, the class was great! We learned so many new techniques for helping me through labor, plus we got to learn a good deal about newborn care for those first few weeks. We got to practice swaddling, diapering, bathing the baby, dressing the baby, how to take care of the umbilical cord, circumcision care, feeding the baby, and more! We even got to bring in our car seat and practice buckling in the baby! We learned great stretches I can do to make sure Andy is facing the right direction for labor, as well as tips for handling contractions. We got to learn a lot of the anatomy and medical understanding behind labor and delivery, as well as what to expect with my body before, during, and after labor. It was such a fantastic class and I really feel a lot more confident about going into birth and taking care of Andy as soon as we take him home.

I was sad to leave the class though. It was surprising how hard it was for me to be done with it. Not only was it the end of my much needed social interaction, but I felt a sudden fear of flying solo. Having the class meant having a professional there to ask questions and show demonstrations. It meant having other moms to talk with and share worries with. Now that the class is over, I'm suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling of handling a newborn by ourselves! Luckily the teacher gave us her contact information and said we could contact her any time with any questions. Plus the mom's from the class now have a Facebook group that I joined for Eastside mommies to connect and get together to support each other. So all of that helps ease the fear. But still, after going to the class, I have such a crazy mix of excitement and fear going on. I keep wondering if I'm ready and yet wanting the day of delivery to be here already. I keep worrying if I'll be a good mom or not, having ridiculously exaggerated fears. In fact, after class one day, I wanted to practice swaddling again. But when I couldn't swaddle the stupid stuffed animal just perfectly, I started to panic, thinking: "if I can't swaddle this damn stuffed animal, how am I supposed to swaddle my son?! What kind of mother can't swaddle her own son?!" Of course, I know it's normal to have those kind of freak-outs and worries. But knowing that still doesn't bring me much peace of mind. I guess it's just one of those feelings I'll have to deal with until Andy is here and I realize the world isn't ending if I have to redo a swaddle. Hey, and if anything, I'm not going at this alone. My husband seems to have swaddling down. So where I might not do so well, I at least have a partner in all this. I just have to remind myself of that from time to time.

Anyway, I loved the class and I'm really glad we took it. But I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty for taking it too. Now that it has been over a year since we had Joey Jr. I can't help but feel a little guilt that we're moving forward. We celebrated his due date, we had his memorial, we celebrated the holidays with him, and we honored his birthday....now what? I am so extremely happy that this pregnancy is going so well, but it's odd now to think that I have carried Andy longer than Joey. The time I was pregnant with Joey has now been surpassed and it's an odd feeling. For the first time since January, I am no longer overlapping pregnancy times. And in a way, I feel guilty that we're still moving forward. Andy is still here with us and we're preparing for his arrival. I knew that this day was coming, where we would continue on past May 20th (or at least I had hoped for it), but now I can't help but feel a little bad that we are. Not that I wanted anything to happen to this pregnancy! I am more than grateful that Andy is still with us! I guess I just feel bad that I couldn't give that to both my sons. Now, after passing one year, I know that the pain of losing Joey will fade more and more. And soon we will have little Andy here to love and watch grow; I feel all the more guilty. I am so excited for Andy but I feel like I'm saying to Joey; "sorry but we're moving on. We've got a live child to be with now. We've already celebrated you. It's time we move on to our new son." That's not at all how I actually feel, but I can't help but feel like that's what I'm doing.

I have so many mixed emotions. Happy, sad. Excited, nervous. Confident, scared. Supported, lonely. Shameless, guilty. And on and on the list goes.....is this what it is to be a parent? To be full of emotions and absolutely confused?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Post 112...A Year Ago Today

Today is a hard day.

It was one year ago today that we found out we were losing our son, Joey. Although tomorrow is his actual birthday, today holds a lot of meaning for me. I will always remember that indescribable feeling I had when the doctor told me that there was nothing they could do to save our son. The embarrassment and hatred I felt towards myself for having an incompetent cervix, the condition that was costing us our son's life. The fear and desperation I felt, trying to find answers that didn't exist. And the incredible sadness that took hold of my entire being in that moment. But there is one thing that I hold onto the most about this day, the one thing that was both comforting and torturous throughout that impossible day one year ago: feeling Joey kick.

It still brings me to tears now just thinking about it. As I feel Andy kick, I am reminded all the more of those last few moments with Joey. He was born on May 20th, but May 19th was the last day he was alive. I remember crying each time I felt his little kicks that day, realizing that it was the last time I was ever going to feel them. I wanted to hold on to that feeling, to freeze time and be with him for as long as possible. I wanted him to keep kicking and to prove the doctors wrong. And yet, each kick tortured me to the core. It was like a final touch of my son's life, pleading to stay here. I wanted him to stop and yet, I would've given anything to keep his strength up, prolonging his life for even just a moment longer. But as the kicking began to settle down, until I couldn't feel them anymore, I knew then that Joey was gone. Suddenly, I felt so alone. I knew that I still had to pass his body out of mine the following day, but for that moment, a year ago today, he was still inside me.

So although we will be celebrating Joey's birthday tomorrow, honoring the life of our beautiful baby boy; I will always feel a deep connection to today, the last day I got to carry him inside me, the last day he was alive, the last day I got to feel his sweet little kicks of life.

I love you Joey, and I still miss you with all my heart. But thanks to you and what you taught us, your little brother Andy will continue to carry on past this day. And because of all the lives you touched in your short time here, you will live on forever. My dear sweet boy, my little Pickle...you will live on forever.

Joey at 19 weeks, 6 days

Joey's urn.

Joeybear we got from the hospital the day Joey was born. He's wrapped in the blanket I had made for Joey.

Post 111...Back to the Hospital

After our scare on Sunday, I was really hoping I wouldn't have to go back to the hospital until the day we were going to deliver Andy. Sadly, that wasn't the case....

On Tuesday morning, we went in for our final Eastside ultrasound. Once again, they checked my cervical length and the condition of my cerclage and everything looked fantastic. We talked about reasons for the spotting that occurred on Sunday, but again, we were left assuming that it must have been due to Andy kicking at the stitches. The doctor then suggested a few stretches I could do to encourage Andy to flip back around. Although I'm not eager to have major rib pain again, I'd gladly take it over spotting again. So as soon as we got home, I tried out the stretches the doctor recommended. It's an awkward movement where I have to get onto my knees and try to touch my chest to the floor. Not only does it make me stick my butt way up in the air, but it makes it tricky to breath when my big pregnant belly is pressing up on my lungs. But I tried it nonetheless. Afterwards, I was a little queasy but I hoped that it would get Andy to flip around.

But as the day went on, my queasiness didn't stop. As I tried to unpack some of Andy's new gifts, the nausea started to get worse and worse. I thought perhaps I was just trying to do too much, so I sat down to watch a few shows on Netflix. But the nausea still didn't stop. Before I knew it, I was running to the bathroom, violently throwing up. At first, I wasn't too concerned. I had something similar happen a couple of times before in the second trimester when I either got too hungry, or tried to eat too fast. But this time, after getting sick, I didn't feel relieved like I did those other times. In fact, I still felt horribly queasy. In attempts to settle my stomach, I tried sipping some water while eating a banana. But about an hour later, I lost it again. At that point, I started to worry. So I called my Obgyn and talked to the nurse. She was very concerned to hear how much I had thrown up and was worried that I would get too dehydrated. She advised me to try sipping some Gatorade to see if I could at least keep some fluids down. But if I were to throw up one more time, she told me to go to the hospital so they could hook me up to an IV and make sure the dehydration wouldn't cause any contractions.

Well, sure enough, not even an hour after talking to the nurse, I threw up again. So off we went, back to the hospital for the second time this week. At that point, I was so severely dehydrated that I could hardly stay awake. All my energy was gone. But the scariest part was that, because I was so dehydrated, I was actually having some mild contractions. So the nurse quickly hooked me up to an IV and gave me some medicine to help settle my stomach. We were there for several hours before I was able to keep down two crackers and a few sips of water. Since the vomiting and the contractions had finally come to a stop, the doctor gave me a prescription for some nausea medication and sent me home to rest. From what the doctor concluded, I had contracted a nasty virus that has been going around and, unless I developed a fever or started having any diarrhea (I know, it's not a pleasant subject), it should pass within a day or two. So we picked up my prescription and went home.

I only threw up one more time that night about an hour after we got home. I spent the whole night sipping Gatorade in between nodding off from time to time. And by 5am, I was finally able to eat a piece of toast. It was the first thing I was able to keep down since noon the previous day.

I am happy to say that, two days later, I am now medicine free and I have been able to keep all my food and drinks down without the lightest bit of nausea! I'm still trying to get myself back up to the level of hydration that I was at, but for the most part, I'm pretty much back to normal. Andy has been happily kicking away (although I think the little bugger is still feet down!), and I am gradually getting my energy back.

With any luck, after this last hospital trip, I won't have to go back to the hospital until the day Andy is born. Right?...Do you hear me universe?....No more hospital trips until the baby is ready to be born....after he's full term! Oh which reminds me of one last thing. We scheduled out the day that we will have my cerclage removed! On June 23rd, so about five weeks from now, we will be full term and having the cerclage removed! After that, Andy could come any day. Five weeks seems so close and yet so far.

Post 110...The Baby Shower

It was Sunday the 15th, the day of our baby shower, and nothing went as we expected. After having some breakfast and playing around on my laptop while waiting for my husband to wake up, I went to the bathroom and was shocked to see that I was spotting. In near panic, I checked myself several times and sure enough, with each wipe, I saw the toilet paper tinged with blood. As calmly as I could, I immediately went to the bedroom and woke my husband up. As he got dressed, I called the on-call doctor and we headed to the hospital. Before we left, however, I went to the bathroom one more time and was slightly relieved to see that the bleeding had already stopped. But I still wasn't about to take any chances.

As soon as we got to the hospital, they hooked me up to several machines, monitoring my heart rate, the baby's heart rate, as well as a machine to monitor if I was having any contractions. My heart rate was initially rather high, mostly because I was really nervous, but after awhile, it calmed back down. The baby's heart was nice and strong, and the doctors were happy to report there were no contractions. The doctor then did a pelvic exam to check my cerclage as well as the length of my cervix. Both of which looked great. Finally they ran an ultrasound to make sure the bleeding wasn't caused by the placenta possibly detaching early. But the ultrasound also came out clean, showing the placenta happily in place. After monitoring me and Andy for several hours, the doctors finally concluded that there were no signs of pre-term labor and that the bleeding must have just been a result of the stitches being irritated somehow. By 11:30am, they gave us the okay to go back home.

I'm still not sure what caused the irritation to the stitches. We haven't had any sexual activity that could have caused irritation, and it's not like I was inserting anything up there. My best guess is that the baby might have kicked the stitches during the night, causing some bleeding to occur. Andy had been moving a lot throughout the night, a few times kicking me really hard to the point of it actually hurting. Plus our latest ultrasound had shown that he had flipped around to where his feet were resting right at my cervix. Yet, whatever the cause was, the doctors advised me to keep an eye out for any other symptoms, to refrain from any sexual activity (including orgasming), and to lighten up my activity a bit more.

After spending the morning in the hospital, we got home just in time to shower and get dressed for the baby shower. Luckily, the baby shower went flawlessly and turned out to be amazing! Our parents put on one hell of a baby shower! We had nearly 50 of our friends and family members there to celebrate baby Andy. From old high school friends, to new co-workers; we had an amazing turn out of love and support. There was delicious food including a complete burrito bar and an adorable cake. And the whole theme of the party was baseball, which is all too appropriate considering my husband played baseball for several years. There were fun games, including a Mario Kart Wii tournament, and a mountain of wonderful presents! After such a stressful morning, the baby shower gave us new hope and excitement for the coming of Andy.

That night, after piling all the presents into Andy's room, we spent the evening hanging out with two of our closest friends, watching the season finale of Survivor while eating the leftover chips and salsa from the party. It was a great way to unwind from a very busy, very emotional day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Post 109...Things that go bump in the night

The further along I get in this pregnancy, the more challenging everything becomes. It used to be that if I dropped something on the floor, I could easily bend over and pick it up. Not anymore. Now, even if I try to do my sumo squat, reaching the floor has become a mission impossible. I even need help at times getting my socks and shoes on! It's not just the giant protruding belly that limits my mobility, however. It's also the fact that Andy likes to wedge his little feet strategically under my ribs, making it all the harder to move around without feeling a painful jab or kick that leaves me flinching.

Don't get me wrong. I am extremely excited that we are this far along. And I love how active Andy has been. I love nothing more than to see my tummy rolling with activity as soon as my husband starts to read Andy a story, or watching Andy and his dad play "tag." But as much as I love to feel Andy moving around, it can be a little hard to enjoy when he's waking me up at 4am as he body-slams my insides! I've noticed he's already developed a bit of a routine with his activity. The times he seems to be most awake is between 9-11pm and 4-6am. For awhile, I was almost regularly being woken up around 4 or 5am from Andy wiggling around. And I've come to find that, when I am feeling hungry, Andy will wiggle all the more. So at 5am, when I feel Andy jumping around, usually it's because I am starting to get really hungry at that point. I've tried to ignore it and just wait until breakfast so I'm not eating too much. But that resulted in more demanding kicks that rocked my whole body! At 5:30am, I ate my yogurt of defeat.

For the past few nights, however, the biggest trouble I have been having is leg cramps. They happen from time to time, and usually I can stretch my leg while still lying down and the cramp will subside quickly. Not last night. Last night I had the worst charlie horse of my life! From the middle of a sound sleep, I was jolted awake from my calf muscle cramping up so severely that I couldn't even straighten my leg. Gritting my teeth and moaning with pain, I tried to stand up and force my leg straight. With much effort and shaking, my leg finally gave in and stretched out in relief. I flopped back on the bed in exhaustion. Before lying back down, I stretched my legs a few more times, had some water, and tried to go back to sleep. After an hour of wrestling with a stressed and restless mind (focusing entirely too much on Joey's up and coming birth/death day), I finally drifted back to sleep. About an hour later, my other leg seized up, causing me to fly out of bed once again. Needless to say, I am one tired and sore lady!

I've heard before that leg cramps become more common the bigger the baby gets, but last night was ridiculous! Tonight, I plan on drinking more water, having a banana or two for some potassium, and I'm going to take an Epsom salt bath before bed. I've also been stretching my legs and keeping my feet elevated today in hopes to relax the muscles a bit more. Perhaps it's time I start to slow things down a little. When I went for my walk today, my hips felt achy as my legs were on the verge of cramping up, my fingers started to swell in the cold air, and my tummy felt sore and stretchy. Not to mention my back is really starting to ache more and more as my belly pulls my low back into a curve. I've been trying to keep active throughout my pregnancy, going for daily walks and keeping on my feet for the majority of the day. But perhaps it's time I take it easy and cut back a little. My body seems to be yelling at me, and I don't think I can stand another night like last night! It was literally a wake-up call.

Post 108...Mother's Day

After the whole crib fiasco which, believe me, escalated into way more drama than I ever anticipated; I am happy to report that everything worked out for the best. Since I barely made it through last week with my sanity still in tact, I don't really care to re-live it again for the sake of my blog. Let's just say that emotions from both sides of the family were on high. There were a few days of conflict between the families, and then, with much relief, all was quickly resolved.

On Thursday, my dad took me out to do a little crib shopping, as promised. It didn't take us long to fall in love with one. It was a sturdy crib that could convert into a toddler bed as well as a twin size bed for future use, and it was a beautiful cherry-wood color. My dad looked up at me and smiled. "What do you say we get a crib today?" I was over the moon! I knew that we were going to look at cribs, but I had no idea we would be buying one so soon. Not only were my parents getting me a new safe crib for my son, but I was going to get it in time to still set it up for Mother's Day!

On Saturday, my mother-in-law gave us Joey's mattress, along with a Mother's Day gift to me of new sheets for Andy's bed.

It was a dream come true! On Mother's Day morning, my husband assemble the new crib. When it was all together, we placed Joey's mattress in the crib and it fit perfectly. For a few minutes, we stood there arm in arm, crying and smiling. We gently took Joeybear (the teddy bear that we got from the hospital the day Joey was born), and placed him into the crib. Everything felt so right. With my keepsake necklace of Joey's ashes around my neck, and little Andy kicking in my tummy, I felt an overwhelming joy to be celebrating Mother's Day with my boys. I didn't feel ashamed. I didn't feel guilty. In the arms of my husband and in the company of my sons, I felt at peace. I felt like a mother.

I was also greatly touched by a gift I received on Mother's Day from a woman I don't even know personally! She is a client of my dad's and, after hearing the story of our pregnancies, she decided to make a baby blanket for Andy. How amazing is that? Someone I don't even know and yet, she reached out to us with kindness and helped to make my Mother's Day all the more special. My heart goes out to her and her wonderful generosity! The picture below is of Joe holding Andy's new blanket.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Post 107...Cradling Heartache

Last year was the first time I celebrated Mother's Day. I felt a bit odd doing so since I was only pregnant. Since I hadn't really had to do much mothering, I felt like I didn't deserve to celebrate quite yet. But nonetheless, my family still bought me Mother's Day gifts. My husband surprised me by taking me to the jewelry store and buying me a beautiful pearl necklace. My in-laws took me to buy some new maternity clothes. And my parents surprised me with a crib. So although I felt a bit odd celebrating the holiday, it was a big turning point in the pregnancy. It was the day I realized I was a mom. As I ran my hands along the smooth edge of the crib, I imagined looking down at my sleeping baby, excited with the realization that our baby was on the way. For that blissful moment, I was a mom-to-be with nothing but hope and excitement for the future. I had no idea what was coming in just two short weeks to follow...

After the miscarriage, the crib remained at my parent's place. I couldn't bring myself to look at it after losing my son. I felt so angry at myself for feeling so blissfully happy on Mother's Day. I felt like I had been so ignorant, celebrating before I had done my job successfully.

The next time I saw the crib was at Joey's memorial. After decorating it with his things, we gently set Joey's urn in the crib where he stayed until the end of the day. When all the candles had gone out and the guests had said their goodbyes, we gathered up Joey and his things and went home. The crib stayed behind.

Since then, the crib had stayed in my parent's attic, awaiting the day it could be used again. But with Mother's Day coming up again, I wanted to bring the crib out of storage and set it up on Mother's Day. I still don't feel like I deserve to celebrate Mother's Day. I couldn't even do the most basic of motherly duties and carry my baby full term last time. And this time, even though I am successfully carrying Andy, I still feel hesitant to celebrate before the job is done. But in spite of all that, I still wanted to at least set up the crib on Mother's Day to recognize that we have come full circle. It was my Mother's Day gift last year and, since we're further along now in the pregnancy, I felt it was safe enough to finally bring it home and set it up. It was the last thing that belonged to Joey that had yet to be brought home, and I wanted desperately to share it between my sons. In a way, it was my way of keeping a little piece of Joey close to his brother. And as hard as it is to be reminded of the loss, I wanted to set up the crib again as a way of closure. The crib had become a symbol of new beginnings, allowing myself to once again feel that blissful hope and excitement about our baby on the way.

In order to have the crib in time for Mother's Day this weekend, I asked my parents if we could pick it up early. So on Sunday, when we were visiting my in-laws, my mother-in-law and I stopped by my parents place to talk about more baby shower plans, and to pick up the crib. Since the crib was a bit too big to fit into our car, my mother-in-law agreed to keep the crib in her car over night and drop it off on Monday, yesterday. So yesterday, I eagerly awaited the arrival of the crib, anxious to finally have it come home. It was the last part of Joey to come home to us, and the first big part of Andy's room to be assembled. But on her way over to our place, my mother-in-law called my husband. I could tell by the tone of my husband's voice that it was not good news. After getting off the phone, he told me that his parents had done some research on the crib last night (his parents being very particular about user ratings and safety regulations for anything and everything that they buy, which can be both a blessing and a curse). From what they found, the crib had been recalled by the factory due to safety issues. The crib wasn't safe to use. I immediately burst into tears. The one thing I wanted to do for Mother's Day, the last part of Joey to come home, the symbol of new beginnings for Andy...all of it suddenly taken away. All evening I cried. Once again I was being asked to let go of a part of my son. Even though I knew in my heart that we couldn't use a crib that wasn't safe, I was angry and upset that I had to let it go. I was angry that my in-laws felt the need to look into it, feeling like they didn't trust what my parents had bought for us. But what could I say?...Their research proved to be right. It was hard to let go of my family pride and realize that my in-laws were just trying to do what was best and make sure everything was safe. But I still had a hard time letting go of the hurt feelings. All the sadness of our loss resurfaced along with my anger at myself for getting so excited for Mother's Day again. Last night, I tried to sleep with tears in my eyes, hugging around my little Joeybear that I got from the hospital the day Joey was born.

Today I had to make the difficult call to my parents telling them why we can't use the crib they bought us. It was hard to hear the sadness and embarrassment in my father's voice. I don't blame them at all and I wanted so badly to use the crib they bought us, but what else could I do? I knew they would eventually find out, and since we'll be seeing them on Mother's Day this coming weekend, I didn't want to face questions about how setting up the crib went. So what could we do? Family pride set aside, the research had been done and we couldn't argue against the results. I knew my father was hurt that my in-laws felt the need to double check his work on buying us a crib, although I don't think my in-laws meant to be hurtful. But when it came down to it, we were glad that we at least found out before it was too late. Plus, in the grand picture of all things, if needing a new crib is the worst thing we're dealing with right now, I'll gladly take that over another premature birth.

Well, shortly after talking to my dad, he called me back and said he would like to buy us a new crib to replace the old one. He looked up the safety reviews online and found a few top brands and he wants to take me shopping to get one. So this Thursday my dad and I are going to get together and look at a new crib for Andy. And to feel like there is still the connection between the old crib and the new one, we will be using the mattress from the previous crib so my boys can at least share that together. I am extremely greatful for my parent's support and understanding in all this. This whole thing has been very emotional. If I cry anymore, I think my eyes will swell shut!

I may not be able to set up the crib for Mother's Day, which I'm still feeling a little blue about, but at least we'll know that our son will have a safe crib. And honestly, I'm still fighting the feeling that I don't deserve to celebrate Mother's Day just yet. So I guess I feel like it's sort of justified that I don't get to do what I had originally wanted to do anyway. I don't say that to guilt those around me into doing what I want. I say it because I still feel shreds of guilt for not being able to hold on to little Joey. My body allowed our son to die, so how could I possibly celebrate being a mom? I realize that this time is different, but until Andy is here in my arms, healthy and happy, I don't feel like I've earned my keep just yet.

So even though I don't get to set up the old crib, I suppose the symbolism and message is still there: I'm saying goodbye to the past, and welcoming in new beginnings.