Bliss

The best way to describe life right now is with the word BLISS. My pup, Hollywood, was found to only have a benign growth and has stopped having to wear his t-shirts as his wound is healing very well. And, even though I don’t know anything more about the placenta previa (next appointment is late this week), I feel calm and hopeful we will fall into the large percentage of situations where this takes care of itself.

So, for now, I am enjoying the longer days of sunshine. I am reading books, connecting with friends and family, and continuing to prepare for this little guy who is now over 24 weeks gestation. I cannot believe my good fortune to be able to spend this time with him!

I have written before about how I loved my time with Adam Gabriel. Even though he left before I was ready for him to do so, I cherished my happy time with him – and still think of him with an enormous open heart (sometimes it feels like a gaping wound but always it feels like infinite love). I think about him often while I prepare for this new little guy. I am so thankful to have had every day with each of them.

Also, I feel overwhelming love from everyone in my life. I genuinely feel like everyone is cheering for us to have the limelight right now. Everyone wants this little guy to come home with us. It’s like a giant prayer I feel as I walk through my days right now. We have so many supportive people in our lives that it is impossible not to feel so special. I know this little boy is loved a little more because he’s made it this far and all our loved ones are eager to meet him.

As Christians are celebrating the Easter season, I feel like I am identifying with the resurrection. It’s been a long few years – feeling like my forty days in the desert for sure – but now I am relishing in the belief that the tide seems to be spitting me back onto shore where I can rest for a bit.

So, in an effort just to give everyone a little update, I just wanted to write about enjoying a blissful period of gratitude. I am thankful. I am not taking this time for granted. Every tiny baby kick, every snuggle with Hollywood, and every day I have my health seems like the greatest gift.

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Lighter and Brighter

Having time to process the placenta previa concern, I am feeling so much better. I have heard many reassuring stories from readers and friends, and I am feeling so happy that it seems like this should be one of the things I don’t let myself worry about yet. And, by the time I should start preparing myself to deal with it, the concern likely will have disappeared! How wonderful! So, for now, I am skipping the gym and going on long, lazy walks, enjoying the birds chirping, the sun on my skin, and the warmer air that has just started circulating this area of the globe.

My dog, Hollywood, is wearing funny t-shirts everyday to protect his recent stitches. I think they are hilarious and he seems to enjoy wearing them. I think maybe they make him feel more human (he also loves when I put on his collars which supports that theory), or maybe he just enjoys the laundry smell that reminds him of home. Either way, I have also calmed down about his skin removal and will just have to wait and see what the biopsy results reveal.

Hollywood's tshirt

As a rule, I have noticed that pregnancy makes me calmer.I find myself more at peace and more able to let slights go. I think it may just be because I am so incredibly grateful for this gift of carrying a child. At 22 weeks, everything still looks and feels positive, which allows me to embrace my joy a little bit tighter.

So, even though the pounds on the scale are accumulating awfully fast, I am feeling light and healthy. My being is soaking in the goodness that is all around and growing inside of me, literally! The little guy is kicking all the time; my buddy, Hollywood, is back to himself and as sweet as ever; and I am getting to enjoy a time in marriage that is compassionate, considerate, and thoughtful.

Life is really good right now and that is something worth sharing. So many of us bloggers are writing – or at least started writing – because we had a lot to work through and we felt compelled to use a platform that could connect us to others that might understand our struggles. I hope people that find this blog because of my losses don’t stop reading before they see things turning more positively.

I am sure I have said it before, but I feel like pain and suffering are largely universal emotions, regardless of the actual circumstances that cause these feelings. Through all of my agony, numbness, and loss of hope while dealing with losing children, basically a career, and nearly my dog (my constant companion and source of love), I have somehow traveled to a place where the fog – the drudgery – has lifted and peace has replaced it. Even if you are fighting a different battle today than the ones I’ve described, please try to remember that this is just a season.

Wellness does return to us in many forms. We adjust and integrate our losses (time, opportunity, relationships, you name it), but we can move forward with more wisdom and compassion for others – and, maybe most importantly, ourselves.

Temporarily Off Cloud Nine

The last few months have presented so much hope and joy for me. I am still carrying this little guy at 21 weeks! I cannot believe it. I have started to embrace the process and even have set up the crib and painted the walls in Son One’s Son Two’s Son Three’s room. The room has gone through a lot of changes throughout the last three and a half years, but I am feeling more confident every day that the most recent changes will serve the long term purpose of keeping Son Three safe and warm. But, with all of these warm and fuzzy feelings, a little reality started to lurk too closely again this last week.

I had my official anatomy scan with the high risk specialists and let me say right away that Son Three looks beautiful and healthy. He is averaging in the 70th percentile on his measurements which makes sense because my husband and I are both tall people. Son Three was so busy moving it was difficult to get his measurements! But, to our relief and as far as the specialists can tell, he has all the good stuff he is supposed to have and he seems to be progressing with robust health.

The reality set in when they decided it was necessary to flag me for a possible case of marginal placenta previa. Knowing a little (but not a lot) about this immediately alerted my fear centers. After all, this is the specialist’s office where I have done two post-miscarriage WTF appointments to see if we could glean any insight into why I kept losing babies. And, here they were, telling me I had risk for something else that sounded less than ideal. All I remember is seeing those words, “placenta previa,” in my miscarriage research in the past, just like I remember seeing “ectopic pregnancy” before actually having what was suspected to be one in Fall 2014.

The ultrasound tech left and I tried to process her admission without melting down completely since the nurse practitioner was on her way back into the room. Choking back some tears, I told my husband not to try to comfort me right now; it was one of those moments I needed to NOT absorb everything I was feeling and just concentrate on being logical and listening to information.

For those of you who do not know, placenta previa is when your placenta is covering, partially covering, or marginally covering your cervix opening. If early and unwelcome bleeding doesn’t ensue and demand a trip to the ER, often a simple C-section can now relieve the concern for placenta previa. In most cases, the marginal diagnosis I am now being monitored for resolves itself on its own. In fact, some sources say 90% of the time this becomes a non-issue by the time for delivery. But, when you’ve fallen into that 10% or 1% or less than 1% category several times in past pregnancies, it’s hard to feel too assured by the statistics supposedly being on your side.

So, I am mostly concentrating on being logical. I realize that my placenta has high odds of moving up and away from my cervix as my uterus grows and, essentially, pulls the placenta up on its own. (I think I vaguely understand all of this, anyway.) But, of course after all of our trauma surrounding pregnancy, I find myself – in moments – angry, frustrated, and fighting a little of that exhausted/defeated feeling we get when we’ve been struggling in a battle for too long. I was highly aware that I had finally moved out of that way of being into a lighter, happier place, and I had no intentions of willingly going back to fear, grief, or sadness.

So, here I am…overwhelmingly grateful for Son Three…enjoying every kick and somersault he seems to be perfecting…and, also, finding myself detached from the process in some moments because that has been a survival technique I have instituted when trying to handle past losses. I am trying to remind myself that this isn’t a death sentence. It seems far from it, actually. And, after all my husband and I have been through, a C-section birth – or even an emergency trip to the ER with this little guy in a few weeks when he is viable – would be delightful compared to losing babies. But, there is that puny, fear-based, limiting voice that says, “Why me?” Why do I have to have one more challenge that the doctors classify as random or unlucky, but still an issue? Why do I have to go back to the specialist for extra monitoring with this fifth pregnancy?

And, to add another layer of drama and anxiety to my current feelings, my gorgeous, playful, everything-to-me, six-year-old pup has to get a spot removed from his skin and tested this week. It’s been almost exactly two years since we almost lost him when his stomach flipped, and I am just not ready to deal with losing (or almost losing) family members again this year.

So, this post ended up being more negative than I intended it to be. I really am still so joyful about my current situation and feel like these two worries will take care of themselves in the weeks and months to come. I know this is life. We get presented with confusion and fear, and we grow by integrating it into our lives and not forgetting how incredibly positive so many moments in our life are each and every day. I am going to have to commit myself to balance, letting myself feel joy, and limiting my dark concerns. Worry isn’t helpful anyway.