2014 in review!

The WordPress stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for This Child’s Mom. Posting it here so I can reference later that people do actually relate to what I write… who knew?!

Thanks for reading my ramblings… and I wish you all a very happy 2015! 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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One Year Later

This morning, after a long night of us going to bed and getting back up again–times five, I’m reminded that for everything, there is a season.

This is the anniversary of the day we found out about Luke — December 3rd, 2013. The culmination of a very tough year, to say the least. Little did we know the next year would bring so much more joy than the last.

God is good all the time, and there are wonderful things in store, always, if you just hang in there long enough. And I’m beyond grateful for our sweet little man — sleep or no sleep.

He’s such a sweet little charmer, our Luke. He smiles all the time. He loves for people to get right in his face and talk to him, it gets him really excited and he starts “talking” back to you. He kicks up his legs and rolls to the side, and I think he’s now practicing that in his sleep because lots of times we hear a big “THUD!” on the monitor, and come in later to find him turned about 45 degrees from where he was, lol.

Luke and Santa 1 - 11-30-14

And what a growing boy! He gains about 3 pounds a month, weighing in at 16 lb 6 oz when we checked him at 3 months. Who knows what he weighs now! His next pediatrician’s appt is Dec 15, so we’ll see. That one is his 4 month shots, which kills me. I hated the 2 month shots. 😦

He’s been teething since 3 months, although it took me about a week and 1/2 to realize that it was teething and not just being overtired or something else. How do I know? Screaming for no reason (for an otherwise very happy baby), gnawing on everything, drooling, interrupted night sleep and naps, feeling a little warm here and there (although no fever), getting a little red in his diaper here and there (no real rash yet), etc etc. Plus J and I both teethed early, apparently, and genetics plays a part I hear. I hope we see a tooth soon, but I think it could be a few more weeks before those mean beasts erupt! Poor thing. The pediatrician said we can give him teething tablets or tylenol, so we’ve been doing the tablets, and they’ve helped some. I think as it gets worse tylenol will be good to have on hand for those rougher nights. Bless his little heart!

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And today — of all days! — Luke just laughed for the first time! He’s been trying to for months, giving that scratchy laughing sound (like Ernie in Sesame Street, for a comparison). But today I think he finally got it! I was finishing up nursing him and as he was just laying there looking at me, he did it. I teared up, and tried to get him to do it again so I could record it on my phone. He didn’t do it again (dang it!) but I’m on cloud nine now. What a special thing, to hear your child laugh for the first time.

I think I’m going to begin another blog sometime soon, something to jot down some thoughts on motherhood, record Luke’s milestones (since I never seem to have time to scrapbook them), and vent. I don’t really want to do any of that here. This is my place for William. It should be reserved for him. It’s the place where I poured out my heart about my struggles with miscarriage. I may still write here from time to time, but I don’t want to blur the two.

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I’m kind of rushing through this post so I can get back to work, so it’s not very eloquent, but I just wanted to provide an update on Luke. If/when I create another blog I will definitely post a link to it here!

Happy holidays, my heart is with you all.

November 4th

As Luke sits here in his swing beside me, fast asleep, I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come.

Today is November 4th, our first baby’s due date. Today would have been William’s first birthday. And yet, if he had been here with us now, Luke wouldn’t be. It’s a bitter trade, and you can’t really play the “what if” game in this matter, it’s just too much to bear. But still, it makes you think.

I miss my child so much. I think of him often.

Today is bittersweet. Loss is loss, no matter how many living children you have. I’m still sad. I still wish things had been different. But I love both of my babies equally, and I am beginning to accept how it all came together — even though it’s a trade no mother ever wants to make.

Luke is here. William is not.

I love this poem, the author put it so perfectly…

An Ugly Pair of Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.

Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.

Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some, have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some, have worn the shoes so long that days will go by,
before they think of how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

~Author Unknown~

I wear these shoes and always will, now that William is gone. I am forever changed by my loss. But I think of him and all I feel is this overwhelming love, after all that happened last year. I love him so much.

But I love Luke too. And I have the privilege of being Luke’s mother, here and now. So I just want to be the best mom to Luke that I can be.

And today, on November 4th…that’s enough for me.

I’ll always miss William. I’ll always protect his memory. And one day, when the timing’s right, I’ll tell Luke about his big brother. Because William will always be part of our family.

My sweet Luke

My sweet Luke

11 Days

**Warning: Pregnancy update.**

11 days to go and I am so ready. I’m not gonna complain, I’m actually one of those rare 9-months-pregnant ladies who isn’t really uncomfortable and desperate to get the baby out. I just keep doing things to get the house, my job, my life, ready…and I’m tired of doing! I’m on the cusp of the next chapter of my life, virtually 99% there, and I’m ready for it to begin. I want Luke here. I’m ready to be a mommy.

J says I should just rest, especially if I say I’m “tired of doing” constantly. But I can’t! I literally can’t. It’s like it’s ingrained in me to keep going. If I sit still I will see something else that needs to be done, or start thinking about things I can’t control (labor, delivery, family visiting…ahhh!). So I am still going. I told J that I just want an excuse to stop (although all I really mean by that is, I want labor to start), but he always responds, “you have one! you’re pregnant! rest!”. If he only knew what it felt like to be a momma. I think that’s what it is. It’s nesting, for sure, but it’s being a momma. I’ll never stop doing — for now, that means getting ready for our Luke. Soon, it will mean doing anything and everything in my power to protect Luke. It just is what it is. I have morphed into a mommy, and I’m loving it.

I think it just bugs me that everything else in life you can plan, you can predict…or at least you can have an idea of when something will probably happen. But this, this is out of my control (sounds familiar… just about everything in ttc and pregnancy is out of our control right?!). I can’t plan when Luke’s going to arrive. He could show up tomorrow, he could show up in 3 more weeks. So I am doing everything “just in case” he arrives tomorrow. Every day I operate like that. And by the end of each day I’m like, “let’s get this show on the road, already!” The docs think that Luke won’t be overdue. Of course they can never really tell, but at my 37 week appt (a week and 1/2 ago) I was dialated 2 cm already, and he’s been head down and very low since 35 weeks. So we’ll see! They did say that they really don’t want me to go later than a week past due, so it sounds like regardless, Luke will be here by the 23rd or 24th.

My oldest sister’s wedding anniversary is the 8th, J’s sister’s birthday is the 11th, my little brother’s birthday is the 13th, of course our wedding anniversary is his due date the 14th, and J’s dad’s birthday is the 19th. So I think there’s a chance Luke will be sharing a birthday or celebration with someone in the family!

I’ve been teary lately. Not sad teary, but wistful, sentimental teary. I honestly have been so far removed from what happened last year because of everything that’s going on now, so much that I haven’t thought of it much these past couple of months. But I’ve noticed that now that we’re thisclose to Luke’s arrival, I can’t help but think about William. Or just the realization that this is finally happening, and wondering what it would have been like if William had made it this far. I try not to think about it too much, because I don’t think it’s fair to my sweet Luke. But it makes me sentimental. And it makes me love both my boys that much more.

My sister found out this week that she’s having a boy. I am so excited for her, but also for my Luke! A boy first cousin close in age! Things seem to be going well with her, as well as my sister-in-law (although my sister-in-law has nausea so bad that she had to be admitted to the hospital this week for an IV with fluids! The baby is okay, though, so that’s what matters, but bless her heart she’s having a rough time). They are having a girl. So I will have a new nephew AND a new niece this December! It’s so much fun being an aunt, but I am just so thrilled for my Luke that he will have a boy cousin so close in age, and one that doesn’t live too far away (2 hours vs. the 10 hrs. it takes to get to visit my oldest sister’s kids!).

Okay, that’s a long enough update for now. Here’s some pictures!

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36w2d

These little shoes kill me!

These little shoes kill me!

36w2d

36w2d

Art that J made for Luke's superhero room

Art that J made for Luke’s superhero room

Thinking of everyone who is struggling with TTC, and for those of you that are in the delicate stages of early pregnancy. I’m praying for you all. I’ve seen so many posts lately with pregnancy announcements, and so many of you are making it to the second trimester and even anatomy scan with good news. I’m just overjoyed at how much God is moving in your lives! And I continue to pray for you all. Lots of love!!

An update, a name, a heart that’s about to explode

**Warning: Pregnancy update.**

Today I am 32 weeks, 6 days. I often look back, get wistful, and wonder how I got here.

The first trimester went by at a snail’s pace. I was worried every second of every day. I just wanted to close my eyes and get through it. When so many women want their first trimester to be over because they are sick, I just wanted it to be over so I could let out the breath I had been holding. I cried at my 12 week appointment when I heard our baby’s heartbeat, and I remember constantly thinking “if I can just get to 13 weeks…”.

From 14-22 weeks there always seemed to be something causing me fear or crazy discomfort, and my mind was never fully able to let go of worry, although the emotional burden that the first trimester carried with it was eased significantly. Now, these last 10 weeks have flown by. Other than the little guy sitting under my right rib and pushing it out (ouch!) and rolling around on and punching my crotch periodically (double ouch!), things seem to be going well. The crotch thing can be funny, even though it’s kind of painful, because I double-over in public and put my hand over it. People must think I just have trouble controlling my bladder. IF ONLY.

I’m measuring right on track, and at every doc appt his heart rate is at least 135 if not higher. I passed my glucose test. My blood pressure is consistently good. My weight gain is looking good (28-29 lbs so far), and I have no swelling (yet). I haven’t had any real constipation (recently) or hemmorhoids, and no yeast infection problems — both of which I have had problems with even in my non-pregnant state, so I feel pretty lucky and relieved! It’s hard to shave but anything involving bending over is getting difficult. I feel the baby move every day — big movements — and I gotta say, that’s a lot of fun. It’s an experience that is unmatched! He also hiccups just about every day, and I like to put my hand on my belly and guess where his head/bottom are based on the hiccup spot.

His “lego superhero” nursery is almost done (some pictures below). J has moved on to renovating the kitchen, which he won’t let me help with or even really be around because of the dust and fumes. It’s crazy at our house right now. I actually got up at 2am a couple nights ago to sleep in my car because I could smell fumes from the cabinet wood stain solvent all the way up the stairs and through the door! We’ve had two baby showers and we have one more in July, so we’ve gotten a lot of stuff we need. Currently I’m trying to read all the “intelligent” baby books I can get my hands on, for what that’s worth, and I’m washing the little guy’s tiny clothes. Let me tell you, folding baby clothes is probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.

Lego Superhero posters on the nursery wall

Lego Superhero posters on the nursery wall – these are actual tiny lego characters that J photographed with his DSLR camera

Our "lego" reminiscent nursery rug

Our “lego” reminiscent nursery rug

My old dresser that J sanded down and painted red for the nursery

My old dresser that J sanded down and painted red for the nursery

My belly is pretty big. I can still get out of my chair but a lot of times J will help me up. Up until last week I could still fit into a couple of my loose pre-maternity shirts but now, not a chance. I can’t lay down for too long without struggling to breathe fully. We’ve done the hospital tour and labor/delivery classes. I love our hospital — it’s small, but the labor and delivery rooms are huge, the nursery is on the same floor as the labor rooms, and they seem to be flexible with how you want your labor to go.

My sister and sister-in-law are both doing well — they are about 16 and 17 weeks along. My sister has had some scares with cramps and stuff, but everything seems to be okay. She has to have her cervix stitched in order to carry a pregnancy to term, so she got that done a couple weeks ago, and was on bedrest for a few days afterwards. But they are both doing great.

It’s so weird, I’m actually shocked that all 3 of our pregnancies seem to be viable. After losing my first, my sister losing her baby recently, my good friend losing her first 2 babies (all within 1 year), and reading so many loss blogs continually (I still read your blogs regularly even though I don’t always comment), my mind automatically defaults to assuming most pregnancies don’t last beyond 12 weeks, if that. I know that’s not true, in fact statistically it’s just the opposite, but I’ve noticed that’s how I think now. I operate under the assumption that it’s not really real until you’re at 13-14 weeks and everything is looking good. Which I know is also not true. But I don’t know how to adjust my thinking at this point. It’s kind of sad. At the same time, I’m glad I’m no longer one of those naive, innocent women who doesn’t realize what can happen and how delicate an early pregnancy — any pregnancy — is. For years I must have said things to or around women who have struggled with loss, not knowing how hurtful my thoughts or words probably were, regardless of the fact that I had no clue back then. So I’m glad I’m at least aware now. I think there’s probably just got to be a healthy balance in how you see it. Be realistic in how often pregnancy loss happens, but be realistic in the fact that statistics are in favor of most pregnancies continuing to term. Or at least, be realistic in who God is and what He can do, if statistics aren’t necessarily on your side.

Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now. That’s about it for my current update. And yes, my heart is about to explode! I’m so ready to meet my little guy. I just want to fly through the summer so I can look at him and hold him finally. Oh and we finally decided on a name…

Luke

Can you tell how much we like the superhero theme?? 🙂