Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Christmas Gone

We made it through another Christmas. I have tried so hard to remember the true meaning this year. It was difficult but I do remember why we celebrate and I am eternally grateful for our Savior and His life. Christmas was good at our house this year. We spent some time with both Skeet's and my families and I really enjoyed watching my nephew open his gifts this year.

Christmas Eve we spent at my parents house with my brothers, Skeet's sisters and my sister and her hubby and my niece and nephew, and of course my parents. It was great to have everyone there and eat lots of good pizza. We took some pictures but I don't have them with me so I will share them later.

As I sat there watching Ayden and Jacie chase each other all over the house, the tears welled up and I couldn't hold them back. Someone was missing and it was so painfully obvious to me but it seemed like no one else noticed. I could almost picture my black haired little girl wobbling around and trying to keep up with the two of them. I wonder if she was watching and wishing she could be there too?
Then, Christmas morning, instead of watching my one year old tear into the wrapping paper (because I am sure that is all she would be interested in) Skeet and I drove out to the cemetery to visit her grave. We had to walk through probably six inches or more of snow to get to where she is and a lot of the cute Christmas decorations I had put out were completely buried. Her tree had been dug out and there were a few new additions from my parents and sister. I wanted to scream and cry out. I want to have her here so badly. But I held back because I didn't want Skeet to think that I had lost it. Instead I said a silent prayer and thanked my Savior for His life and death. Because of Him I will be with my daughter again. It is a bitter sweet thought but it gets me through each day.

Again I am sorry that I didn't get cards out to everyone this year. I hope you all had a very special Christmas and I wish you all the very best in 2009. Whatever you do tonight... do it safely! 2009 here we come!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An amazing Christmas gift


video


Yesterday I received a gift from an old friend. She and I have known each other since middle school but drifted apart for a few years. Just within the last year we began catching up and she asked my permission to work on something. I received the finished product yesterday and I have to say I am completely blown away.


Mari, Beckie, you will never ever know how much this song means to me because there are simply no words to express. It is the most beautiful and touching thing I have ever been given (next to my daughter) and it honors her so perfectly. I wish there was some way that I could repay you for this amazing gift.

I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.


Letter From Avery


Music, lyrics and vocals by


Marijeanne Burgess and Beckie Henrie

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Watching over you I feel to say


I'd do anything to take your pain away


But I made a choice, I chose you


So that now through Heaven's arms


I'll comfort you



I lived close to your heart


As close as I could be


I knew the sound of its beat


I know the song you sang to me


I feel no pain


Only peace


Let me share it with you


In this little Letter... from Avery



It wouldn't be easy, this we knew


Be He promised we could


help each other through


Though I wanted to stay, stay with you


Just for now through Heaven's arms,


I'll comfort you



I lived close to your heart


As close as I could be


I knew the sound of its beat


I know the song you sang to me


I feel no pain


Only peace


Let me share it with you


In this little Letter... from Avery



I live on


Closer than you think


Through Heaven's arms


I'll share His peace



(I live on)... close to your heart


(Closer than you think) As close as I can be


(I know your heart beat) I know the sound of its beat


(I know the song you sing) I know the song you sang to me


(I feel no pain, only peace) I'll ease your pain, share His peace


Let me share it with you in this little Letter... from Avery

Monday, December 22, 2008

Update

Well my last final went well. I finished up the semester with 3 "A"s and an "A-". So that is a 3.9 GPA which brings my GPA to a 3.59 over all. I was hoping to get a 3.6 but I guess that A- killed me!! I am trying to rest my brain a little and prepare myself for my next semester where I will have much harder classes and probably less time to do the work for them.

So immediately after finishing my last final we picked up my sister and headed off to Vegas! We were given a room on the Penthouse Suite floor of the Mandalay Bay. The room had an amazing view of the strip and we were on the 60th floor!! We immediately got ready and went down to dinner at the House of Blues restaurant. With a receipt from the restaurant you can line up early for the concerts in their venue. So we went to wait in line. It was crowded and Skeet and Charise both complained about having to wait. I think next time I need to take younger people with me or someone who appreciates Gary the way I do!! ;)

Once we got inside we had to wait some more. I insisted that we stay on the floor so it was just more standing in a crowd and waiting. I think we waited about 2 1/2 hours before the concert finally started. I will admit it was a long wait and my feet were killing me by the end of the night, but it was sooooo worth it! *Note to self, don't wear boots with heels if you are going to be on your feet that long* Gary put on an amazing show, like I knew he would. His mother was in the crowd and he dedicated a Christmas song to her. He sang "O Holy Night" and I have a new found respect for that song after hearing it in that deep voice of his!! I think Charise and Skeet had a good time too and really enjoyed the show. Well other than the dumb, slutty blond that kept pushing on Skeet and Charise's backs all night long trying to get in front of us. She did manage to weasel her way up for the encore after Skeet left to go to the restroom. I felt so bad because later on I found out that she had even pushed a little old couple out of the way to get up front too. I was so mad about the way she had been bugging Charise all night that when the concert was over I bumped her with my shoulder as I was trying to get out of the crowd. Next thing I know she shoves me from behind and is yelling that she will fight me. I couldn't help but laugh... I could tell she was totally drunk and as much as I wanted to hit her I said "Opps I must have tripped". Then I told her she wasn't worth it and called her a B&*%h and walked away. I still wish I would have hit her or come up with something better to say because I know that every person that was standing in that area all night would have cheered me on!! I took the high road, but I still think I could have taken her!!

The next day we went shopping and headed back home. Let me tell you though, not a good idea to wear the same boots shopping as you wore to the concert the night before. It took almost a week before I could walk in my boots again. My feet were so bruised.

Now I am frantically trying to get all of my Christmas stuff done in time. I had been putting so much of it off until after finals and I forget how much goes into Christmas. I am really trying to keep the right frame of mind for this special time of year but I have to admit I am a little excited for it to be over with. I want my house to be clean and clutter free and I want to be able to spend time with my family without worrying about all the things I should be doing at home. I only have a couple of weeks left with my sister and Ayden before they have to go back and Skeet will be returning to work soon. I wish I had planned ahead so that I could just enjoy my time with them now.

Also, an apology to everyone for the lack of a Christmas card from Skeet and I this year. I didn't get around to sending them and I apologize. Just know that we love you all and are wishing you the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years and all that good stuff. I promise I will try to be more on the ball next year! Also, here's to hoping that next year our card will feature a picture of a new addition to our family! I just keep trying to think positive.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Final.... s

Today I take my last final of the semester! I am so excited! I think that because this is my second attempt at college I push myself to do my absolute best. I mean come on.. I am 27 years old, I should easily be able to pull A's. Especially when I can only take 9 credits a semester. Well this last semester I only had 8 credits. 2 classes and 2 labs. I did Anatomy and an Anatomy Lab online and did Biology 1610 and the lab in the classroom. It kept me plenty busy and now I am down to my Biology 1610 final. My first final last week was my Bio lab final and I choked, bombed, crashed... well pretty much I disappointed myself by pulling only a 72%. I have not gotten that bad on a test...that I showed up for... ever!!

So basically I blame it on coming off all the hormones from my last failed fertility treatment. That has to be it because I looked at the test yesterday and I KNEW almost all of the questions that I missed and couldn't figure out why I would mark the answer I did! Luckily for me my awesome professor graded on a little bit of a curve and I still pulled an A- in my lab.

Tuesday night I took my Anatomy final. I went from using my book for all the assignments and tests to doing one big test from memory only. We had come to campus to take the final so I have been studying the material like crazy the past couple of weeks. When I walked out of that final I felt as though maybe I had gotten around an 80%. I think I still would have been able to keep my A so I wasn't too worried. Well I found out yesterday that I did much better than I thought. I don't know the actual percentage but it was over a 94% because I got an A.

There was no final test in my Anatomy lab but I know from my assignments that I got an A in that class as well. So I am up 2 "A"s and an "A-" and I have one final to go. I am unbelievably stressed but so looking forward to it being over. And best of all... we are leaving for Vegas as soon as I am done. We are going down to see Gary Allan in concert and finish up our Christmas shopping. I am really excited to get away and maybe party a little! Gary is really awesome in concert and even if he wasn't, he is really fun to look at!

My sister will be leaving Ayden with my mom and dad and she will be joining Skeet and I for a fun night in Vegas. Since Skeet will be there I won't be able to drool over Gary too much but that's okay... it will still be fun!
When we get home I will finally be able to start getting Christmas done. Also, my bathroom, bedroom and laundry pile are in desperate need of attention! I have put everything aside in order to be prepared for finals so I have a lot of catching up to do. I hope you all have a great weekend!! I'll post an update after the concert.

Monday, December 8, 2008

They're Here!

Ayden and Charise arrived last night from Philly. I went with my parents to pick them up in Vegas. Ayden was so happy to see Papa and Grandma! We get to keep them here for a month and we are sooo excited!
*Sorry about the bad quality photos.. it was the best I could get with my phone*

Aunt Candi

I am so proud to call myself an Aunt. I know I don't mention my nieces and nephews much but I love each and every one of them. I am so blessed to have so many amazing children in my life.
Tristan came first... he made me an aunt at the age of 15. Tristan Chad is my brother Jason's first born with his first wife. He has been spoiled from day one but you wouldn't be able to tell because he has to be the best kid ever! He is so sweet and patient. The boy has to be with 5 (almost 6) sisters! He is the only boy in his families! He is now 12 years old and we are all so proud of him.

Tristan on the climbing wall July 06


Maddie, Jacie, Tristan, and Kennedy July 06




Next came Madison or "Maddie". What a cute, chubby baby she was! She has such a sweet spirit and can always make you laugh. She is Jason's second born from his first marriage and is 9 years old! We don't get to see Maddie and Tristan very often because they live with their mom and sister but we look forward to the time we do get to spend with them.

Maddie and Kennedy
When Jason married his current wife, Sloane (Skeet's younger sister), she brought into our lives her beautiful and sweet daughter Kennedy or "Kenny" as we like to call her. She is also 9 and she and Maddie are joined at the hip when they are together. I have a feeling they will always be best friends.
Jacie and Skeet, July 07


Jason and Sloane's firstborn together is little Jacie, or "Jacie Bug". She is too cute and I think she knows it! She has a new baby sister coming in March and when you ask her what the baby's name will be, she answers "Baby Jacie". Then you ask her what her name will be if the baby has her name and she answers "Princess". She is definitely a princess too... you rarely see her without one of her pretty dresses on! Uncle Skeet adores her and she adores him.
Jason and Sloane are expecting another little girl in March, as of right now we are calling her Cameron.
Maddie, Skeet, Candi, Cayson, Kennedy, Tristan and Riley
Skeet's older brother has 4 kids. Three boys, Riley, Cayson and Shae, and one girl, Mika. We don't get to see them very often at all because they are currently living in South America. They are adorable kids and we miss them so much!
Skeet and Mika.

Ayden

Ayden is my only sister's firstborn. He is my little buddy and I miss him every day. He currently lives in Philly with his mommy and daddy while his daddy finishes dental school. Ayden is the apple of his Papa's eye and has Grandma wrapped around his finger too. And as the only other boy on my side, he worships his cousin Tristan. Ayden just turned two in October.

Skeet and James
Skeet's 2nd youngest brother, Whitney, has two boys. James and Austin. James will be 2 on the day after Christmas and Austin is almost 2 months. They are both adorable and so much fun to play with! They are very proud of their daddy who is currently serving in Iraq. We miss him and look forward to his return in March.


Me and baby Austin.


I also get to be called Aunt by a couple of other adorable children and even though they are not technically family I love them just the same.
Candi, Kadence and Carrie- July 07
( I was 5 months pregnant in this picture so please excuse the swollen face!)

Kadence is the daughter of Skeet's and my best friends, Matt & Carrie. She is adorable and incredibly smart. We don't get to see her as much as we would like but we love the time we do spend with her and her parents.
So I may not have my daughter to hold and cuddle but I do have quite a few cute kids to go to when I need some love! I feel so blessed to have them all in my life and I am so proud to call myself their Aunt Candi!








Friday, December 5, 2008

Some thoughts

I know my last post was kind of a downer. I am still trying to work through my issues but I am trying now to focus on the future. I have no idea what the future holds for Skeet and I. I have no clue what the Lord has planned for us. So now I am doing my best to just trust in Him that He will help me through whatever is to come.

I am scared... no terrified, to use my last two embryos. I want so badly to be pregnant and give birth to a healthy child just once before moving on to adoption. I don't want my only memories of pregnancy to be mostly of fear and sadness. It wasn't like that all the time, up until I was 20 weeks I was enjoying it very much, and I tried so hard after the news to enjoy my time with Avery but it was hard. It was so hard to talk to her, read to her, sing to her, and not think that it would be the only time I would have with her on this earth. So as hard as I tried to be happy... the sadness was always there.

I think people may be wondering why I am so against adopting because we keep trying so hard to get pregnant. Those mothers out there who have struggled with infertility before they had a child probably know what I am talking about. The miracle of carrying a child is indescribable and to finally have it after wishing for it for so long makes it so much sweeter. I really do hope that someday we adopt, but I know it will not be able to happen for a few years at least. I am not against it at all but I am stubbornly going to keep trying to get pregnant while we have a shot. This is why I am terrified to use our last two embryos. If it doesn't work then I will have to admit that it's over. It will be then that the idea of me being pregnant just one more time will be a long lost dream. This is something I am going to struggle with until it is all said and done and I can't change it.

I have been struggling lately with a lot of things that are wearing me out emotionally, mentally and physically. I have finals next week and my desire to get my GPA up has me stressed beyond comprehension. I have to have my application for the Radiology program in by January 10th and still have a lot of work to do before then and my GPA really needs to look good before my transcript gets sent out. I have this huge fear of not getting in and not knowing what to do with my life for the next year! Then there is the stress eating... I eat when I am stressed and I don't eat healthy foods. I eat chocolate and chips and cookies and anything that will add inches to my waist and thighs. So to counteract this eating I have been trying to work out which makes me tired... too tired to clean my house or study for my finals. Then of course there is the emotional stress of trying to decide what to do next as far as our family is concerned. How long do we wait before we try again? Is Skeet's work schedule going to interfere with any of our plans? Am I going to have to put it all off for months until we are both in a position where we can spend some time with the doctors? Most importantly, how much longer can I wait before I start going crazy? It all seems so trivial but that is what consumes me most days lately.

Does anyone out there watch Private Practice? I am a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy and didn't like Addison much while on that show but for some reason I followed her to her spin-off and have only continued to watch because I think Pete is pretty hot! Plus I like to see the sometimes silly fertility cases they portray on the show. This weeks show really ticked me off. They brought in a doctor to perform abortions in the same office that they do IVF and other fertility treatments. As a sufferer of infertility I know that if my doctor allowed women to have abortions under the same roof that I spend hours and thousands of dollars to try to conceive I would no longer be a patient of that doctor. It was ridiculous the way that some tried to convince others that it was perfectly okay. I have a feeling it will cause some problems in the future on the show but I don't know if I will be watching to find out. I don't usually get so worked up over make believe but I am appalled that the writers thought this storyline would be acceptable in any way.
If you can't tell I am not a huge fan of abortion. I just think there are way too many women out there waiting to adopt children, if a women doesn't want her baby what is 9 months to give someone a life and a couple their dreams? I understand that there are circumstances that cause need for termination but I believe that it is used too freely in our world today. I think the reason that I have such strong feelings is because my daughter was alive to me the minute her heart started beating and if anyone were to stop her heart intentionally, it would have killed her. I have two potential babies waiting for me and even though they are only a few cells right now, they could be an answer to my prayers. The thought of even destroying those embryos seems wrong to me.

I don't write this to cause an uproar or upset anyone. These are just my own personal feelings and I apologize if anyone is offended by them. I use this blog as sort of a journal and I needed to get some things off my chest. I promise that someday soon I will post something a little more cheerful. I know I will have to because my little buddy Ayden will be here this weekend and one hug from him will make everything all better (for a little while at least). I will post some pictures of how much he has grown.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To be thankful

It is always so easy to be thankful for the obvious things; your family, friends, home, health, job, religion, etc. I am thankful for all of those things. I have an amazing family. My husband is the love of my life and I don't know what I would do without him. I am so thankful to have a job and a nice warm home. I am thankful for the gospel, for its teachings and the blessings that come with it. I am so thankful for my daughter, for the things that her life taught me and for the love I still feel, and will forever feel, for her. I could go on and on.

I have to say that this year I am especially thankful for an anonymous person that gave us an amazing gift. One I would never have asked for and would never expect and I hope that person knows how much it means to me. I will never forget that act of kindness, and I hope that something truly miraculous comes of it.

For all the things I am thankful for there are some things that, no matter how hard I try, I just can't find a reason to be thankful for. In church last Sunday a speaker told a story about being thankful for our thorns. Of course it is easy to be thankful for the roses, the good times and the wonderful things we have and experience. But what about the thorns? The things in our life that hurt us but at the same time teach us something or help us to grow into a stronger, better person? Today I don't have the strength to be thankful for my thorns. Today I found out that yet another fertility treatment failed. This time it was an IUI, which we have never tried before. I thought that it had worked. I had convinced myself that our luck had finally changed, even my doctor seemed pretty confident that I would soon be announcing my pregnancy. But today I was told otherwise. It didn't work, there will be no announcement, there will be no August baby.

I know that God has a reason to put Skeet and I through all of this pain, I just wish I could know it now so that it wouldn't hurt so bad. As the time passes the aching of empty arms just gets worse. The absence of a baby's cry or giggle is so excruciatingly noticeable in our home. The hope that we will ever have another child of our own is fading away and despair is taking it's place. I am still working on finding a way to be thankful for these things. I will be the first to admit that I am the most imperfect person I know, but I do try. Sometimes trying just isn't enough. I know it's only been a year since we buried our daughter but it seems like an eternity since I held my daughter in my arms. When do you say, I just can't take any more disappointment? What is worse, the pain of a lifetime of empty arms or the pain of disappointment time and time again?

I know that we should start looking into adoption, but the cost of adoption is high and there is a high risk of disappointment in that as well. How do I know it won't be just as bad? We still have years before the IVF procedure is paid off and cannot even think about adoption until the debt is paid. So adoption is still a few years off. How do I cope until then?

I feel so lost, and so ungrateful. I feel like I am letting my Heavenly Father down because I am not thankful enough for EVERYTHING. I know He loves me and has a plan for me. I just need to figure out how to be thankful for my thorns.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I miss my sister!

My sister wrote the following story for her ward's Chicken Soup for the Soul in Philly. I am so blessed to have a sister like her. I look up to her so much and can only hope that I am as good of a mom as she has been to my little buddy, Ayden. (Who I get to see in less than 3 weeks! YIPEE!) Thank you Charise, you are the best!

The Perfect Mother

Growing up I always dreamed of being a mother. I would picture myself as a young vibrant woman with at least three kids. I envisioned my children all dressed perfectly, my home as immaculate, and I was in the best shape of my life while always dressed with style and flair.

We now fast forward to me at 32. I’m giving birth to my first child which in fact didn’t fit with my vision or plan. In my plan I should have had my first child nine years ago.

The day that my baby boy was born was amazing as it is with all mothers. But that night my son decided that he was not going to go to sleep unless his mommy held him and I finally had to beg the nurses to take him so I could catch at least four hours of sleep. At that moment I knew that my life has changed drastically.

Since that day my world has been filled with self doubt and disappointment. I found myself more sleep deprived then I thought was humanly possible. I had either spit up or snot in my washed three days ago hair. I was not dressed in style or with any flair. In fact I was lucky to get out of the sweats that I had become fond of wearing. And I definitely did not have a perfectly clean home all of the time. I started to wonder every day if I really was meant to be a mother. I loved my son with all of my heart but I kept comparing my real life to the one that I had pictured when I was young and naive. It felt like I was in a competition with my expectations of what I should be… a perfect mother and it was obvious that I was loosing.

A year after my son was born something happened that changed my outlook on being a mother. My younger sister got pregnant after trying for two and a half years and finally investing in the In Vitro procedure. This procedure took all of her savings plus some but we all felt that it was well worth it. We were all thrilled!
She had the most difficult pregnancy that I have ever seen.. She was sick and uncomfortable most of the time but she didn’t complain.

The day that she was to find out the sex of the baby brought the worst news ever. Her baby girl had a lethal disorder that would end her life as soon as she was born. With this news they gave my sister the option to abort the pregnancy. She would not even think of doing such a thing to her daughter because of her faith and knowledge of the gospel. I found so much strength and respect for her because of her choice.

She pushed through the sickness and fatigue and the day that her daughter decided she was ready to be born two months early, my sister tried everything to keep her from coming. The medication they gave her to stop the labor made her have dangerously high blood pressure and swelling which kept her immobile but my sister would suffer to the fullest just to give her daughter a fighting chance to live… even if it was for only a few moments.

Despite trying to stop the labor, she soon gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl that I have ever seen. Being there with her while she gave birth and experiencing the sadness and loss that was felt when that baby’s lifeless body was handed to my sister overwhelmed me. I was in awe as I watched my sister talk to her daughter about how brave she is, how beautiful she is, and that she is so proud of her for fighting like she did. She told her that she would see her soon in heaven. The room that was filled with sadness and loss before was now filled with the spirit and we all felt peace and hope.

At that moment I realized that it doesn’t really matter how perfect my home is or how my clothes or my hair looks. It doesn’t matter if were always right on schedule or if we look good to others. What really matters is that I was blessed beyond measure to have a healthy child to hold and to love. What matters is that I never take my son for granted and love him with Christ like love. My sisters love for her daughter lives on everyday and it is an example to me of what being a “perfect mother” is.


This is dedicated to Candice and to our angel Avery.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I remember...

There are a few things that I can still remember, that I never want to forget so I am typing them up in my little blog "journal".

The day I found out I was pregnant with Avery. I was waiting for a call from my Dr. in Las Vegas so when Dr. Sanders called me I was a little surprised. This is how the conversation went:
Candi "Hello"
Dr. Sanders " Hi Candice, it's Dr. Sanders"
Candi " Oh Hi!"
Dr. Sanders " I was wondering how everything went with the embryo transfer?"
Candi "It went great, I think, I am actually waiting to get the pregnancy test results today"
Dr. Sanders "Well it was positive"
Candi "It was?" (In tears)
Dr. Sanders "Yes, Congratulations, you're pregnant".

The conversation continued but that part is what I want to stay with me forever. We have been through so much with Dr. Sanders and to have him be the one to tell me that I was expecting was exactly how I would have wanted it.

Then, there was the first time I heard my baby's heartbeat. I was around 6 weeks along and we saw it up on the ultrasound screen, then we heard it... it was music to my ears. It goes hand in hand with the last time I heard her heartbeat. Luckily I can hear it anytime I want- we recorded it just before she passed away.

The next would be the day I found out about Avery's condition. Skeet and I went into our ultrasound thinking we would see our baby and find out the sex. Instead our life came crashing down around us. It was one of the worst days of my life but I still want to remember it because it was a very significant day for me. That is the day that I decided I loved my baby no matter what and as long as it's heart was beating I would do whatever I could to give it every chance to live while it was inside of me.

On to the day we found out our baby was an Avery. We were seeing the peri for another ultrasound and to discuss our amniocentesis results. I asked the tech if she could tell us what the baby was. She looked on the screen quickly and said, it's a girl. I didn't believe her... not even one bit, and I knew that the Dr. would be coming in to tell us that the amnio showed it was a boy in just a few minutes. When he came in and told us it was a girl it was such a bitter sweet moment for me. We were going to have a daughter... a sweet little girl, but we would have to say goodbye too soon. I had been keeping the name Avery in the back of my mind... just in case, so when we were driving home from our appointment and Skeet asked what her name should be, I told him Avery and he agreed. I wanted her middle name to be Grace, but neither of our families do middle names for girls so we decided against it.

Then the first time I felt Avery kick. It wasn't very hard and it took a couple of days before I felt it again but it was the most amazing feeling in the world.

The day Avery was born would have to come next. Another bitter-sweet day that I have shared with you before. It will never fall under the worst category. The day my daughter was born is one of the best days of my life for many reasons. I was lucky enough to hold her and see her beautiful face. I was fortunate enough to see my husband holding his first child. Also, the rest of my family and most of Skeet's were able to hold her and witness one of God's special miracles.

The worst day of my life, that I will never forget, is the day we buried our daughter. That is something no mother should ever have to do.

Avery's first birthday. My parents, grandparents, my sister-in-law, Syd, Skeet and I all went to the cemetery to honor my sweet girl. My mom had picked up a dozen balloons for me since I had to work all day and had not had the opportunity to get away to do so. They were multicolored but there were two pink balloons. My dad said a few words and I released the balloons. It was a cold, but clear day and we were able to watch them for a long time. When I released the balloons they were all tangled but as they floated away the two pink balloons somehow unwound from the rest of the group and floated off by themselves and the rest stayed tangled up in each other. It was almost as Avery had picked her two favorites and separated them. I know she was there with us that day, it is a day I hope to never forget.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dana Point Vacation

I am finally posting about our vacation almost a month ago. I didn't take very many pictures because I hate our camera. The one day I did get the camera out it was overcast so the pictures make it look cold outside but it was still pretty warm.
We started our vacation out right at the Caesar's Palace in Vegas. When we checked in they upgraded us to a studio suite.






We even had one of those tushy cleaners! This was one of two toilet rooms, yes we had 2... I repeat 2.... bathrooms.
We also had a walk through shower and a jetted tub but the pics didn't turn out.!


Here is Skeet trying to decide what to eat for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

AAAHHH that's scary! (me not him)

He got a great shot of me putting my very uncomfortable shoes on.





I wonder how much it would cost to live there?

Skeet on the beach

This is a view from the park just above the beach. It was so beautiful there.

So that's pretty much it. We really do need to start taking more pictures. We didn't do much, just a lot of relaxing and of course eating good food. We ate at The Cheesecake Factory twice and a few other places on the pier. It was a much needed break and we didn't want to come back but we had too much waiting for us. I couldn't miss more than a day of class so we only spent 5 days there. I wish I would have gotten pics of the beach house we stayed in... I guess I will make sure to do that next time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Skinny Me


I was going through some old photos yesterday and came across some that were taken when I lived in Dallas. I was so skinny back then. I know I will never look like that again, having babies and living with men will take their toll on a woman, but I would like to get as close as I can. Why does food that is bad for you have to taste so good?




I still have this outfit. I would never wear it now for many reasons, but the main reason is that I wouldn't be able to fit those pants past my knees and my spare tire would hang below the bottom of the shirt. I have to remind myself that when I looked like this I was a smoker, I worked out twice a day and went out dancing at least 2 or 3 nights a week. I ate mostly salads for lunch and skipped breakfast. My lifestyle was so very different than what it is now. However, I can't help but wish that my body still looked this way. I don't want that lifestyle back... I am way too old for that... but I want to be able to look at myself in a swim suit or even a figure hugging outfit and not be disgusted with what I see. I wish I could just love myself the way I am but when I look at photos of what I used to be, it makes it impossible.
My diet failed. It was too hard and messed with my ability to think or function properly. My school work was suffering and I was always upset that I couldn't eat normal food. I did lose 5 pounds however so I am still trying to eat good and be as active as I have time for. I think the that it is the best I can do right now.


Most of all I want my body to be as healthy as possible so that when/if we ever get pregnant again I will be healthy and I will be able to keep my child healthy (as much as is within my control).


For fun I am sharing some other photos from my days in Dallas. Most of the friends in these photos are friends from Utah. I must have only taken pictures when I had people visit me!

Kate, Shalon and me getting ready to go out on the town

Visiting my work place, I love the light effect in this pic

My sis, Me and Kate ready to go to the Yahoo Year End Party
My sis and I dressed up for Halloween ( I was a hula girl with a BIG butt)
Shalon, Kate, DJ (my little bro), me and my sis

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How we met

A lot of people have shared their story and for some reason I really like my story of how Skeet and I met. So I have decided to share.

I actually didn't get to meet Skeet when our "matchmakers" had wanted us to meet. You see, my older brother and Skeet's sister met and married in 2002. A month or two after they were married (Fall 2002) I drove home with my current boyfriend, Boots (don't ask), to attend a wedding in Las Vegas. We spent a couple of days in Cedar City before making the long drive back to Dallas. My brother and sister-in-law were upset that I was there with someone because they had wanted to set me up with her brother, Skeet.

I don't remember when I finally heard about their plan but my relationship with Boots didn't last much longer and I was single by the time I came home for Christmas. When I did hear of their plans to set me up I was not exactly excited. You see my younger brother and Skeet's other sister were already dating. I thought it was just too weird and was slightly relieved that I had dodged that set-up. However, when I returned home for Christmas I reluctantly agreed to go on a triple date with them and my sister and her (now ex) husband.

When I would come home to visit I would try to see as many of my old friends as possible so I had already set up dates for the 10 or so days I would be there. The day they decided we should go out on December 23. I had a day date to go snowboarding earlier that day and a date for Christmas Eve the next day, but in the moment I saw Skeet my desire to hang out with anyone else seemed to dwindle. We had a great meal at Rusty's and drove around to look at Christmas lights. All the while I was just trying to figure out why I was so attracted to this guy. Yes he was hot, very hot, and we seemed to talk easily but I have never been so emotionally attached to someone so quickly. When he put his arm around my shoulders later that evening as we were watching TV, I felt the tingle throughout my body. Then, when he kissed me goodnight I thought my knees were going to buckle. (Yes I kissed him on the first date, so what)

The whole next day I was in suspense. I didn't know if he was going to call. I didn't know if he had felt the same chemistry. All I knew is that he was all I could think about at the moment. By the time my date for that evening showed up I had convinced myself that Skeet could never feel the same and probably wasn't looking for anything serious. I mean come on, I did live in Dallas, he was probably just doing his sister a favor. So I tried to enjoy my time with my date and attempted to forget about Skeet.

Christmas Day came and went just as it always did. Much to my surprise Skeet called that afternoon to ask if I wanted to hang out after he got off work. I was planning on seeing a movie with my friend, my little brother and his friends and I invited Skeet to come along. That evening, before the movie, some of Skeet's family (he has 6 siblings and some where not in town) joined my family for Christmas dinner. Skeet was working that day at Brian Head (our local ski resort). I loved his family (still do) and found myself wishing that Skeet were there so I could see how he interacted with them.

We met up later and went to see "Catch Me If You Can". We didn't pay much attention to the movie and I knew then that Skeet had felt the same chemistry as I had. We almost acted as though we had known each other for months. We were very comfortable with each other. We spent most of the rest of my time home together, when he wasn't working that is. The day I left to go back to Dallas was terrible! I missed him before I even left. I couldn't believe that after only a few days it was so hard to say goodbye. I didn't know what the future was going to bring but we promised to call and email and we kissed goodbye. On my way out of town I silently made a decision... I would move back to Cedar.

In the next few weeks we spoke on the phone everyday. We emailed back and forth and sent each other pictures. Eventually we made plans to have Skeet fly to Dallas and drive back to Utah with me. In November I had moved out of my apartment, back in with my sister while I waited for a friend's lease to be up so we could get a house together. So I didn't have a lease to get out of and all of my stuff was in storage. My friend was more than understanding and my parents agreed to bring my things home when they visited my sister that spring. So it was decided, Skeet would fly out in February. We would spend Valentines together in Dallas and I would move back home to Utah. So the 6 or so weeks that we were apart we got to know each other over the phone. By the time he came to Dallas we were already talking marriage and had said "I love you" to each other.

Most of my friends in Dallas thought I was crazy. They didn't believe that it could happen that quickly, but being from Utah I knew that it happened all the time and wouldn't seem so strange to the people back home.

I moved back in mid-February 2003 and on May 10, 2003 we were engaged. We were married on September 27, 2003. I had one friend in Texas that stopped speaking to me because she thought I was making a huge mistake. She had dated her fiance for 5 years before they got engaged and I was planning on getting married just a few months after her. She told me my marriage would never last, we probably wouldn't even last a year. I know it's wrong but I smiled when I heard that she had gotten divorced a little over a year after she was married. Skeet and I are still going strong. Yea we have our problems, like any other married couple, and the fertility issues and death of our daughter have been tough on us, but I am still a strong believer that it's not about quantity it's about quality! I knew after our first date that we were meant to be together, and I still believe that with all my heart.

** I just have to add that my little brother and Skeet's other sister were married a couple of years later. It's a good thing we all get along so well! I love you guys!**

Monday, October 27, 2008

I got tagged... again

I feel like I may have already done this one at some point but I think it was in email form. So here goes...

4 things I'm passionate about:
1. My family, especially my daughter and keeping her memory alive
2. My school, I am obsessed with getting A's
3. Blogging
4. Skeet

4 words/phrases I use often:
1. Seriously?
2. School of Business, this is Candice
3. I am so sick of being fat (but then I don't do anything about it)
4. Skeet, don't forget your lunch (or your inhaler, or your phone... he is so forgetful)

4 things I want to do before I die:
1. Have another baby
2. Visit Andy & Clare
3. Be completely debt free
4. Graduate from college

4 things I've learned in the past:
1. Don't be quick to anger, you don't know what other people are going through
2. Forgive
3. Patience
4. Loved ones are the most important, make sure they know you love them because you never know when it will be too late.

4 things I currently want/need:
1. A's in all of my classes
2. $4000 to get pregnant
3. Admittance into the Radiology program
4. To lose 15 lbs.

4 places I want to see/visit:
1. Hawaii
2. Ireland
3. Italy
4. Philly & New York

4 favorite restaurants:
1. Cheesecake Factory
2. El Torito (the one at the Dana Pointe pier)
3. Olive Garden
4. Taco Bell

4 TV shows I can't live without:
1. Greys Anatomy
2. Private Practice
3. Samantha Who?
4. Desperate housewives

4 things you might not know about me:
1. I was a Hooter's girl for 8 months
2. I had braces for 6 years
3. I hate working out, actually I despise it
4. It may be cliche but I knew I would marry Skeet after our first date. (that story is for another post)

I tag... you know what, I can't do it. I don't want to tag anyone specifically. But I would invite any one who reads this to do it anyway and leave a post saying you did it so I can read yours!

I did it!

This weekend my new nephew, Austin, was blessed. He is a little over a week old and his father had to return to Iraq yesterday so they did his blessing on Saturday. I was scared of how I would react. Most of the time I can tell myself that I will be okay, that it won't be hard and I won't break down. But then, when the time actually comes I lose it. Well this time I didn't lose it. I was able to hold that sweet little boy and it didn't feel unnatural or wrong as it has in the past. He is so precious and honestly, I am so proud of myself. It wasn't easy though, as I sat there holding him, examining his tiny little hands and nose, I was overcome with sadness because I want so badly to have my own.

I remember holding my own child and knowing that she would not move, not open her eyes, not take a breath. But how I wished for all those things to happen. Now, a year later I sat holding this little boy who was squirming and yawning and who even jumped when I spoke to loud, and the ache in my heart and my arms to hold a healthy child of my own has intensified. No child will ever replace my Avery but my need to be a mother will never go away. Unfortunately we will not be able to use our last two embryos for a while. It is much too expensive and would be careless of us to use all of our savings for a cycle when the economy is so unstable. So I will have to wait until May, which seems like an eternity when you know its the only thing that might dull the pain. I just pray that I will make it through the next 7 months in one piece.

In the mean time I will be doing my best to get as close to my pre-marriage weight as I possibly can. I know after having a baby my body will never be the same but I can try. I started the South Beach Diet again this morning and the next two weeks are going to be hell for me. I remember the last time I went on the diet which was about 4 years ago, I lost 10 pounds in the first two weeks but I cried everyday because I had no energy. Cutting all sugars and carbs out of your diet is a lot harder than I ever expected. I spent a lot of money to make sure I had food in the house that I can eat and even bought some sugar free treats to keep myself sane, so hopefully I can stick it out. The first phase is the hardest so if I can just get through these first two weeks I think the rest will be much easier. My goal weight is 140 which is 5 lbs more than I was when I got married so I am not making it too impossible. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Attitude

So I have been thinking, with the very little time that I have to think right now, and I have decided I need to change my attitude. I know it's not my fault that I can't get pregnant or that my daughter died, but it's not anyone else's fault either. Therefore, I am going to do my best at not resenting or envying pregnant women or those with babies. I will be happy for them and will push my selfish feelings aside. I can't promise that the extreme, uncontrollable desire to have a child of my own won't go away. I am just going to try to be a better person. Yes I want to be pregnant, and yes I want no one else to be pregnant until I am, but I know it doesn't work that way. So today I am changing my attitude. I am smiling at those lucky girls that are expecting, and I am asking them their due date, and I am going to be excited for them and not try to avoid them at all costs. I may even hold a baby or two. (I have only held one since Avery)

I don't want my friends and family to be scared to tell me if they are expecting or to talk about their pregnancies or kids. I love their kids... all of them and I want to spend time with them. I don't want the people that I love to feel awkward around me because of my tendency to cry every time I think about how I could be entering my 2nd trimester by now. I just hope that people who know me can be sensitive to my situation and not make comments about how I should be glad I don't have kids or how I should be glad I am not pregnant because of what a pain it is. I can only hope that in my presence they will keep those comments to themselves, unless of course they want me to start in about how blessed they are to be able to hold their children and kiss them and hug them. How they should cherish those moments. Or how I would give my left leg.... and arm to be pregnant with a healthy child. (yea I know it would be hard to balance the belly but I would make do) Those are the things that are hardest for me to deal with, when parents take their children for granted. Or when they don't realize how lucky they are to conceive naturally and to give birth to healthy children.

We are still uncertain of what the future holds for us in the baby department so I may be belly less for a while but I will be making an effort to be a better person. I promise.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tag

Rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people & posts their names, then goes to their blog & leaves them a comment letting them know that they have been tagged & asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog.

10 YEARS AGO I...
1. Spent half of my days with my cheeks hanging out of a cheer skirt
2. Was driving my kickass GMC Jimmy, I miss that big piece of crap
3. Still believed that I would never drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes
4. Could still fit in a size 5 (Oh those were the days)
5. Was dating the Cedar High Wrestling State Champ for 189 lbs. Man was I cool

5 THINGS ON TODAY'S TO DO LIST...
1. Go to class
2. Do my homework
3. Pick up some milk and Skeet's inhaler at the store
4. Clean my bedroom enough that I can walk from the door to my bathroom without having to step over anything
5. Do at least one load of laundry

5 THINGS I WOULD DO IF I WERE A MILLIONAIRE...
1. Do as many rounds of IVF as it takes to have a baby
2. Set up some kind of charitable agency to help others have babies
3. Travel
4. Pay cash for a new house
5. Buy my hubby a new truck

5 PLACES I HAVE LIVED...
1. Cedar City
2. Mesa, AZ (for 2 weeks)
3. Sacramento, CA (for 1 week)
4. Addison, TX
5. North Dallas

5 JOBS I HAVE HAD...
1. Hostess and Waitress
2. Presser at the dry cleaners
3. Associate Systems Engineer
4. Ophthalmic tech
5. Office Manager

Now I have to tag people... I have never done this before so I hope I don't make anyone mad.
Shalon, Amy G., Amy W., Clare and Mari

The days after

The days after Avery's birth were really tough for me and I am sure for all of my family. But for me I was suffering with high blood pressure, a fever of 102 and pulmonary edema. My lungs had fluid in them and it made it very hard to breathe. If I were able to get rid of the chills and the body aches and the pools of sweat that I was constantly lying in, I wouldn't have been able to sleep anyway because if I got too horizontal I wouldn't be able to breathe. The few times that I did drift off I would have detailed dreams about my little girl. Awful dreams that stuck with me after I awoke.

About a month before Avery was born I went and bought a blessing/burial dress for her. The smallest size I could find was a 3 month dress. It was beautiful but I knew that even if she went full term, the dress would still be way too big for her. So when she was born 8 weeks early and so incredibly tiny I had no idea what to do. My amazing mother and sister volunteered to find a doll dress pattern and sew a dress for Avery to be buried in. They stayed up very late and struggled with a satin-like fabric to make the dress perfect. And it was. They met us on Monday to meet with the mortician to discuss Avery's burial and they had the dress. It was absolutely gorgeous and complete with a pink bow and a cute little bonnet. I will be forever grateful to them for doing that for me and for Avery.

We picked a date for the burial, Wednesday October 17 at 1:00 p.m. It was going to be a small service with just family invited to attend. When it was time to pick a casket I started to panic. Was I really going to choose a box to bury my child in? A mother should never have to do that. But, I knew that I needed to make this decision. I needed to be as involved as possible in this process or I would regret it later on. So we were led into a room full of caskets... big and small. They only had one for infants and the minute I saw it I knew it was perfect. It was white with daisies carved into the top and sides. It was probably one of the more expensive selections but I didn't care... it was perfect for my little girl.

Then, it was on to the cemetery. We had to pick a burial plot. By this time my hugely swollen body (I was huge because of the high blood pressure) was starting to hurt and I just wanted to go back to bed but I made myself get out of the car and go inside. As we were waiting for someone to help us my mom told me that my grandparents had offered one of their plots next to my cousin Nate. I immediately felt relief. I was so worried that my Avery would be out there with a bunch of strangers. Now, she would be next to Nate and someday, my grandparents. A huge load off of my mind so I went to wait in the car while Skeet and my mom took care of the details.

After everything was done I went home and wrote Avery's obituary. Another one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.

On the day of her burial my sister came to help me get ready. I am so lucky to have such wonderful family to take care of me. I will never forget all they did for me during the hardest time of my life. I couldn't fit in any of my clothes and I wanted to cry when I couldn't even fit into my shoes. I ended up in a mismatched outfit and I couldn't even zip up my skirt. I had gained more weight since Avery's birth than I did throughout my entire pregnancy. All of the water I was retaining was taking it's toll. We drove to the cemetery and as soon as I saw the hearse the tears started to flow. I watched as the father of my child carried her casket to the grave site.

The service was beautiful. My sister, father and father-in-law all participated and said beautiful things. I never stopped crying, and I will never forget that day. Earlier I had been to see Dr. Sanders and he said that if my lungs still had fluid in them I would probably be re-admitted back into the hospital. I would have to go for an x-ray after the service. My temp was still around 102. After the service and the luncheon I went home to lie down before going to get an x-ray. I had asked my dad, father-in-law, and my brother to give me a blessing before I went home. I slept for about an hour and when I woke up I was soaking wet but I knew that my fever was gone and I could already tell that I could breathe better. I knew then that everything would be okay.

Losing a child is the worst pain imaginable. I would never wish it on anyone. However, the things that I have learned and the way that Avery's life has changed me is something I will never regret. This past weekend as I was standing with my husband on the beach, watching the waves at sunset, I felt cheated. I felt that our family vacation should have been just that- with the whole family. I should have been chasing my little one year old around on the sand, trying to keep her out of the freezing cold water. I don't think that the feeling of being cheated will ever go away. I think that I will always feel like a part of me is missing. I just have to try to keep going every day.

I realized something else while I was away. If Avery had been able to live with her condition I would have been able to accept it and embrace it. Now I resent it. I resent the condition that took her life, that kept her lungs from developing, that broke her little bones and caused her pain. Maybe someday I will feel differently but today... well it's just not fair!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2007

Saturday October 13, 2007

I was woken again around 2:00 a.m. by the nurse trying to find Avery’s heartbeat again on the monitor. She searched for quite a while but couldn’t find the right spot. Dr. Sanders walked in an interrupted her attempts. They lifted the blankets that covered me and saw blood. He told me that it was time to push. I had no idea how I was going to manage that when I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body. Skeet was still snoring in the corner and I yelled at him to wake up…. Snore, so I yelled again…. Snore. I started to scream at him now. Dr. Sanders told me to calm down and walked over to wake Skeet. The nurse had gone out to wake everyone and tell them it was time. I was hyperventilating so they put an oxygen mask on me. Charise came in and I saw my mom hovering by the door. I asked the nurse to page Dr. Dowse and she said that they had done so already, but he wouldn’t be coming, he was not on call and his PA would be there instead.

Before I knew it they were telling me to start pushing. I tried my best but couldn’t tell if I was even doing anything. It was about this time that I started wishing I had been tough enough to go without the epidural. Sometime while I was pushing Dr. Dowse’s PA snuck in. It seemed like hours had passed. I pushed and pushed but didn’t feel like I was helping Avery come out at all. Then Dr. Sanders said to give it one more big push. I felt something tug and then heard a gush of fluid hit the tub on the ground. It was 3:17 a.m. and Avery was out, there was nothing but silence. I looked up to see Dr. Sanders and the PA in the corner looking for a heartbeat. More silence. I couldn’t see Avery very well the way he was holding her. He then went to lie her down and came over to tell us that there was no heartbeat. He believed that her heart had stopped within the last hour. I began to sob. Out of pain from my broken heart but also because I was relieved that I didn’t have to watch her suffer or struggle to breath.

He started to tell me everything that was wrong with her. Her head was misshapen, her arms and legs short and her hands and feet misshapen as well. Worst of all, because her little body had become so swollen, her skin had torn on her neck and one of her arms because the delivery was just too hard on her. I was scared, terrified. I knew I wanted to see her but I was so afraid of what I would feel when I did. Finally the nurse said very quietly, “She is beautiful”. I told them to give her to me. They wrapped her up in a towel and put a beanie on her head. When they placed her in my arms it took my breath away. I could see nothing wrong with her. She was perfect. My sweet little baby girl was absolutely perfect. She was also so very tiny and fragile. I held her and I rocked her as I cried. By this time all of my family and Skeet’s family were in the room watching me as I held my daughter.

My dad and Frank (my father –in –law) came over to me, placed their hands on my head, and gave me a blessing. As tears rolled down my face and fell onto my daughter I felt peace. I knew that she was happy and that everything was just the way that it should be. Dr. Sanders got out his camera and started to take pictures as Avery was passed around. I first handed her to Skeet. My heart broke again as he carefully took her tiny body in his arms. His face looked so broken. I had never seen him like that. She looked even smaller wrapped in his big, strong arms. I could tell right then and there that they would have had such a special relationship. She would have adored her daddy so much. I watched the faces of my parents, my siblings, Skeet’s parents and his siblings as they held this special little girl. I was so proud, she was so beautiful and I could tell that I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Finally, they handed her back to me and everyone started to say their goodbyes, preparing to leave Skeet and I alone with our daughter. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Skeet leaned over me and said that he wished he had gotten to see her eyes. I couldn’t help but agree. As grateful as I was that she did not have to suffer, I wished that we had been able to see her open her eyes and look up at us. To be able to hear us as we told her one last time how much we loved her. All I could do was kiss her forehead and tell her how proud I was of her, she had been so strong and fought for so long. I told her I loved her and that I always would.

As I held her a social worker came into the room and sat down. I wanted to scream at him to go away, to let us have our time alone with her. But he stayed for what seemed like hours. When he did finally leave my arms were shaking and I felt sick. I knew it was almost time to say goodbye because I barely had the strength to hold on to her anymore. I wish I could have held on to her for longer. I wish I could have told her again and again that I loved her but I knew it was time. I said goodbye and kissed her again. Then, I handed her back to Skeet. He was going to take her down to the nursery. It was much easier to hand him to her and I was so thankful that he had offered to do that. It would have made it so much worse to hand her over to a stranger. I watched them walk out of the room and that was the last time I saw my daughter.

Skeet came back and the nurse followed a few minutes later to give us Avery’s measurements, 2 pounds 9 ounces and 13 inches long. I laid back and closed my eyes and imagined my daughters face and how it had felt to hold her… and then I slept.

I woke a few hours later and they moved us to a more isolated room, one they called the Jacuzzi Suite. It had two beds and a jetted tub, but was not much nicer than any of the other rooms I had seen. Most of the rest of the day was a blur. I had Skeet call my boss to let him know what had happened and that I would be taking my 6 weeks of leave. We had a few visitors and we met with the mortician. I swear I felt it the minute he took Avery’s body from the hospital. It was like he had taken a piece of me with him. We told him that we would meet with him Monday to make the arrangements.

My niece Madison was baptized that day. I felt so bad that we missed it but everyone stopped by after the service. I wasn’t really up for visitors but I tried to put a smile on my face and be strong for the kids. I sent Skeet home to sleep. There was no use in him being here, I could have gone home but decided to stay one more night. I don’t know why I decided to stay but I think it may have had something to do with leaving that hospital with empty arms. I had gone in with a baby and would leave with a hole in my heart.

I asked for more pain meds and a sleeping pill and I slept.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 12, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

I remember waking a few times through out the night. My nurse decided to let us sleep although she checked us out around 4 a.m. We woke around 7 a.m. and headed home. I was so glad that my head didn't hurt anymore but we were both still exhausted, so of course when we got home we went back to bed. I woke up again around 10 a.m. and I could hear that Skeet was in the living room watching TV. I got out of bed and was surprised by the sensation like I had just wet my pants. It seemed so strange because I hadn't felt like I had to pee that bad, and my bladder hadn't been that hard to control up until now. I had a feeling it may have been something else but didn't want to jump to conclusions. I changed my clothes and went out to join Skeet. Another day off work, the third this week, and I felt incredibly lazy. But that didn't stop me from making myself comfortable in the recliner and watching a little TV as I tried to decide if I wanted breakfast.

We had an appointment scheduled today with Dr. Dowse (a local pediatrician) to discuss our birth plan. I had asked Dr. Sanders to set it up because I wanted to make sure that, even though we weren't taking any action to keep Avery alive, we were going to do everything possible to keep her out of pain and I wanted to give her any chance at life she could possibly have. The appointment wasn't until around 3:30 p.m. so I had time to be lazy. I started feeling contractions again not too long after getting out of bed. I started timing them hoping that they wouldn't get too regular. They didn't seem to have a pattern so I brushed them off as braxton hicks.

When I decided to get up to shower and get ready for our appointment I felt the wetness again. This time I was sure I hadn't peed my pants, I could swear I was leaking amniotic fluid. Fear twisted my stomach into knots as I called Dr. Sanders office for the third day in a row. I knew what they were going to say but felt myself tense anyway as they told me to stop into Labor and Delivery. We decided to get through the appointment with Dr. Dowse first and then run by the hospital on our way home. I brought our hospital bag, just in case, hoping I wouldn't need it.

We waited for an hour in the "healthy child" side of the waiting room at the ped. office. I began timing my contractions again and noticed they were coming every 10 or so minutes. I started to imagine trying to stop the labor again, would it really be the best thing to do? When we finally spoke with Dr. Dowse he was very understanding of our requests. He promised that he would be there when Avery was born to do everything he could for her. He asked how much longer we had. I told him she is not due until December 7th, but when I told him I may be leaking fluid he said he might see us much sooner than December. We said our goodbyes and I breathed through a contraction as we walked out to our car.

At Labor and Delivery they took me over to the delivery side of the hallway (we had been in the post delivery side our first two visits) and asked me to get into a gown. They hooked me up to the monitors and did a test to check and see if I were in fact losing amniotic fluid. I knew both of my nurses, one I had gone to high school with the other was the daughter of an old boss. They were great, very friendly and kind. They said that from what they could see, I was not leaking amniotic fluid but they would not know for sure until the results got back from the lab. The lab called not too long after confirming that it was not what I had thought. I was a little relieved although I was still having contractions about 10 minutes apart. I decided to get up to pee in case they hooked me up to an IV and the second I stood up a gush of fluid was all over the edge of the bed and the floor. I freaked out and ran to the bathroom. I didn't know if I should sit on the toilet or stand in the tub. So at first I sat on the toilet thinking that maybe I had just lost all my bladder control. But when the fluid kept coming I moved over to the tub. Every time I thought that it had stopped, and tried to step out of the tub, the fluid would start running out again. Finally, one of my nurses brought me some of their beautiful hospital panties with a big diaper-like pad and I was able to go lay down again. Of course, they re-did the test to check for amniotic fluid but we were all pretty certain that this time my water had completely broken.

Dr. Sanders showed up just in time to tell me that the test had come back positive. It was time and Avery was going to be here soon. I called my family, Skeet called his and I began to freak out (in my head) all over again. I am so not ready for this... it is too early and I can't say goodbye yet.

Avery was really hard to keep on the monitors. They would find her heartbeat, but minutes later she would move and it would disappear. We could hear her moving around and I could feel her nudge me every once and a while. Her heartbeat was strong staying between 150 and 135 bpm. The nurse brought us a recording device so that I could record the sound of her heartbeat, to keep forever. Charise was there by this time and helped me out. The first time we did the recording she had held it too far from the machine and we could barely hear it on the playback. The next time we turned up the sound and she held it right up to the machine. It worked perfectly. I was so glad to already have something to remember her by.

Skeet's parents drove over from Panguitch as soon as we had confirmed that Avery would be born here in Cedar City. Valley View will not usually deliver babies under 34 weeks, anything under 34 weeks is usually sent to St. George so I was a little panicky, but Dr. Sanders had made special arrangements for us so that we could have him deliver our little girl. When they arrived Skeet's mom brought me a beautiful baby blanket that she had made especially for Avery. I couldn't believe how beautiful and perfect it was. She thought we might want to bury her with it but I wasn't ready to think about that yet.

An ultrasound tech showed up to do an ultrasound and check Avery's position. Of course she was still breech. She had been curled up in my pelvis for weeks now and I hadn't felt her flip at all so it didn't surprise me. Everyone gathered around watching Avery move around the screen and listening to her heartbeat.

As the contractions got worse I was so glad to have Charise there to help me breathe through them. They didn't want to do my epidural until I had dilated to a 4 or more so I breathed through the pain. I could feel them getting more intense but didn't want to ask to be checked because it was incredibly painful when they did and I wanted to avoid any more pain. Finally they confirmed I was at a 4. It was a slow process because Avery was breech and she was incredibly tiny so there was nothing really there to cause dilation. The anesthetist came in and did a wonderful job on the epidural. It barely hurt at all and I laid back anxiously awaiting the relief. I waited and I waited. I pushed the button to get another shot of the drugs but still every contraction just seemed to get worse... I didn't feel any relief at all. They called the anesthetist and he said we just needed to be patient but as the pain continued to get worse my nurse (a new nurse now) insisted he come back and see what was wrong. He apologized over and over when he realized he had forgotten to turn on the pump. As soon as it was on I began to feel my legs go numb. Within 30 minutes I was numb up to my chest and was finally able to relax.

Everyone looked exhausted but no one wanted to leave, fearing they would miss Avery's birth if they did. I heard from Charise that everyone was trying to sleep in the waiting room. Skeet decided to pull out the couch bed and try to get some rest and I decided I may as well too. It didn't look like she was coming anytime soon and I was totally okay with that. I finally drifted off only waking when the machine would take my blood pressure, when they would find Avery's heartbeat if she moved off the monitor, and when they would come to check for dilation. The epidural had slowed down the dilation so they gave me meds to try to get it going again. I have a feeling it's going to be a long night.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 11, 2007

Thursday October 11, 2007

This morning I woke up feeling nauseous. I guess it is better than having contractions and being in labor, but I thought that the nausea was supposed to leave with the first trimester. No such luck for me but you take what you get. They discharged me around 9 a.m. Skeet had been in earlier but had to run to his office. I had driven myself to the hospital yesterday so he didn't need to be there to drive me home. I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for the nausea and the pills that would keep me from going back into labor, and I headed home. I was told to take the pills every few hours so I planned on staying home from work all day today too. This, I was not to upset about, mainly because I still felt very sick to my stomach.

I laid on the couch all day, doing nothing but watching TV and sleeping. I couldn't really eat or drink anything because of the nausea and the heartburn. Skeet had taken the rest of the day off to spend with me, it was nice to not be alone. Around 5:00 p.m. I felt a headache coming on. I know I am not allowed to take anything but Tylenol and I wanted to avoid even taking that but eventually I had to. The pain was becoming unbearable. I put an ice pack on my head and tried to drink some water. The pain kept getting worse and I didn't know what to do. I felt as though I might die if it kept progressing. Finally I put a call in to Labor and Delivery to see if they had any suggestions. They said they would page Dr. Sanders and have him call me.

While I was waiting for Dr. Sanders to call the very little that I had drank and eaten all day decided to grace me again with it's presence. Something was very wrong and I was very scared. When Dr. Sanders finally called me back I explained what was going on and he suggested we go come back to the hospital.

Neither Skeet and I were very happy about returning to the hospital after having left only that morning but I was sure I would die if we didn't. I probably wouldn't have but it would have been a miserable night. So back we went and they hooked me up to an IV. I had no signs of labor but they told me I was most likely dehydrated. They began to pump fluids into my body and gave me an ice pack for my head. Poor Skeet is exhausted and it looks like we are going to be here for a while.

At around 10:30 p.m. Dr. Sanders brought the nurses, and Skeet and I, a yummy chocolate shake that unfortunately I couldn't really enjoy, but Skeet loved his. I took a couple of bites but the heartburn was back in full force and my head was still throbbing. My nurse, Teri, decided to give me something to calm my stomach. I think it was a trick because the minute I swallowed that nasty stuff, I immediately threw up. But, it did make me feel better. They decided to give me another Ambien and Skeet is all set on the pull out bed, it looks like we may be here for the night.

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10, 2007

Wednesday October 10, 2007

I woke up today not feeling quite right. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was but something made me want to stay in bed. So I called Tami and told her I didn’t feel well and wouldn’t be in until later this afternoon, if I came in at all. I stayed in bed as long as I could stand but with my stomach protruding as much as it is, I couldn’t find a comfortable position. I am 31 weeks along, 32 this Friday, but I only look like I am between 25-28 weeks so I really shouldn’t complain. Avery must be tiny but Dr. Sanders isn’t worried because we shouldn’t expect that she, or I, will get very big with her arms and legs being only half the “normal” size.

I finally got out of bed around 11:00 and started getting ready to go into work. This is when I realized that I was having cramps but they were mainly in my back. They didn’t feel like contractions, I have been having Braxton hicks for weeks now and the cramps are nothing like those. I thought about lying down again but didn’t think it would help at all. So I called Dr. Sanders office. When I told Carrie, my favorite nurse, about the cramping she suggested I stop into Labor and Delivery to get checked out. I really wanted to avoid going there, especially because Avery isn’t due for another 8 weeks, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I finished getting ready assuming that I would be headed to work in no time.

I put on my new black maternity tee from Old Navy and some capris, no need to get dressed up for only a few hours of work. When I looked in the mirror I thought once again about how I didn’t look like I was 8 weeks away from having a baby. Brushing it off, I headed to the hospital.

So far I had been lucky enough to avoid Labor and Delivery although I had spent some time in the ER and MedSurg after my tube ruptured at 11 weeks. As I walked through the hospital doors I tried to remember the last time I had been to Labor and Delivery. It was almost a year ago when Charise had Ayden. His delivery was so scary but thankfully everything had turned out okay. Unfortunately no one believed that ours would have even a similar outcome.

When I explained to the nurse what was going on she led me into a room to strap me up to the monitors. I was pretty excited about this because Avery hates the monitors and I feel her move a lot when they are attached. Today however, she was sort of quiet, only a few kicks and nudges. Her heartbeat was strong and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I am not ready to let go yet. They did however find after a few minutes that I was having contractions and they were pretty regular, probably 8 minutes or so apart but not very strong. I started to panic a little bit. They called Dr. Sanders and I called Skeet. Skeet left work early to come and hang out with me and my mom showed up a few minutes later.

Dr. Sanders came in and confirmed that I was having labor pains and wanted to know what we wanted to do. They could try to stop the labor and we could keep Avery with us for a little while longer, or they can let it go and there would be a good chance I would deliver her in the next day or so. I opted for them to attempt to stop the labor. I know it isn’t likely that she will survive long after birth but I want to give her every chance she can to live. And like I said before… I’m not ready to let go. I can’t even explain how uncomfortable the process is when they stop labor. They stick pills in places I never want anyone to even look at, and they give you shots in the arm that hurt really bad! As embarrassing as it is, it worked. My contractions began to slow down and eventually became nonexistent. By this time I was in a gown and hooked up to an IV, I didn’t think they were going to let me go anywhere any time soon, and I was right. Dr. Sanders wants to monitor me overnight and pending any complications, they will let me go home in the morning.

I told Skeet to go home and sleep, he isn’t going to do any good here and if he ends up having to work tomorrow he will hate me for making him sleep on that stupid pull out bed. Before he left they gave me the results of the Fetal Fibronectin test. It is positive; there is a very good chance that Avery will be born in the next couple of weeks. They may as well have punched me in the gut too… I could barely breathe. I did keep it together for Skeet though, I didn’t want him to see me freak out and insist on staying with me tonight. He needs his sleep and I need time to think it all through. For the past 3 years all I have thought about is having a baby and now I am so close but it is nothing like I thought it would be. There is a very good chance that once my baby is born, she will stop breathing, her heart will stop and I will have to watch her die. I don’t know if anyone can be prepared for that. Luckily, they have given me some Ambien to help me sleep, and everyone has gone home. Maybe I will get some sleep tonight after all.

As I was experiencing everything on this day, I had no idea that half way across the world a beautiful baby boy was being born. Theo Dungey passed through this life peacefully on Wednesday October 10, 2007. Theo we will always remember you and we love you. To Andy and Clare, I wish that I could take away the pain that you are experiencing today. However, I am so thankful to have found you and to know that Theo and Avery are together, watching over us. I love you guys!!