This blog is just about my life and mostly revolves around my son, Jamie. This blog is a combination of everything, whether it may be a new recipe I tried, a good freebie I found, something funny Jamie said, or feelings I'm having about life in general. There's little rhyme or reason. I'll never win any blogging awards, but I enjoy writing about our lives and I mostly do it for my son. It's so easy to forget moments over the years. I've got all these little tidbits of our life in print and I hope that someday Jamie can enjoy them.

I called this blog Mother of Life, Mother of Loss because of my issues with pregnancy loss and the joy of finally bringing this wonderful person into the world. Truly, I feel the pains of loss, but you won't see too much of that here. I am blessed and I am, above all else, a mother of life.

After all the years of infertility and loss, Matthew and I were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. We were pregnant with twins, but unfortunately, Baby A could not stay with us. Baby B grew into a healthy and happy baby girl that we named Bella Marie. We are so blessed to have two beautiful children.


Friday, June 26, 2009

The Night Life






McKalah came over for a little while tonight. The kids enjoyed chasing fireflies and stargazing. I didn't notice in the dark that Jamie had wet his pants. I guess he was having so much fun he didn't want to stop to pee.

Is Our Baby a Girl?

The kids are apparently sure that this baby is a girl. Jamie says the baby's name is Jen and McKalah wants me to name the baby Bella. I'm afraid that Jamie won't get his wish with the name Jen, it's not on our list. Bella is actually a distinct possibility. The moment she said it, I thought, hmmm, that is pretty.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fun in the Sun
















Goodbye My Tiny Miracle

Baby B

Baby B & the final pictures of Baby A

Baby B & the final picture of Baby A

You were with us such a short time, but I know we will think of you often.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Done With HCG

My hcg level on Monday was 54,000. Today it is 59,486. I no longer have to go every other day to have my levels checked. I go back a week from today on July 2nd for my first "real" appointment. I'll get another ultrasound when I go. It will be the first time that Matthew and Jamie get to see the baby, except in the pictures. I wonder if you'll still be able to see Baby A. It's awful because I kind of hope you can. I don't want him to be gone.

I'm having a little bit of trouble right now because I don't feel pregnant. I have quite a bit of cramping and sharp pains. Matthew said that happened when I was pregnant with Jamie, but I don't remember it. I remember feeling a bit crampy around four weeks and thinking I had a failed cycle.

I really can't wait until the first trimester is over. I really think I'll be able to relax a little bit once the cerclage is placed and I'm past the danger zone for initial cerclage complications (ruptured membranes, infection, etc.).

I'm not at home right now. When I get home I'll put up my ultrasound shots from Monday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quick Update

Baby A did not have a heartbeat today. Baby B looks good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Is One More Miracle Too Much to Ask For?

My hcg is 43,143.20 and my progesterone is 29.6. That progesterone level is awsome. The hcg level rose even less than it did last time. I'm sure that this means that my tiny little Baby A is gone, but I can't stand having this up in the air until July 2nd. I begged for an ultrasound. She said that it was so close to the last one that we wouldn't see much different. I told her that I just want to see if there were still two. She said that the ultrasound tech would be there on Monday and when I come to have my levels run again she would try to get me a scan if they weren't too busy.

I really wanted them both. I really feel that it's already over for Baby A, but miracles happen, so if you could just say an extra prayer for my tiny little baby, maybe God will give me one more miracle.

Worried

I don't think that my hcg results today were very good. The progesterone was very good, but the hcg level did not rise all that much. I wonder if Baby A is gone.

hcg 38,284
progesterone 22.6

I'm going in to have it checked again in the morning.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweet

Jamie was so sweet this morning...

Jamie: "Mommy?"
Me: "Yes, baby."
Jamie: "Are the babies still in your tummy?"
Me: "I hope so."

I tried to keep the fact that there were two under wraps a little, but he caught on fast.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fetal Heart Rates

I didn't ask what the the fetal heart rates were when I was at the appointment, but it's been on my mind today. I finally called and asked the nurse to look for me. Baby A's heart rate was 115 and Baby B's heart rate was 121.

hcg and Progesterone Levels

Quick post to log my first hcg level and progesterone level.

hcg 30,938
progesterone 20.1

My progesterone looks good. The hcg level doesn't mean anything until I have it run again, which I have to do tomorrow. I wish my OB wasn't so far away from the house.

Cautiously Optimistic

The appointment was strange. I set off early because I am notorious for getting myself lost. I did actually get a little lost, but quickly found an alternate route without setting myself back too much and without any panic.

I had convinced myself over the course of my restless night that this was an ectopic pregnancy. I'm having some sharp pains and in my world an ectopic pregnancy would be the worst case scenario. I could imagine seeing a beautiful little heartbeat and discovering it was located in a tube and would have to be removed. I'd have to kill my living little baby. I couldn't imagine anything worse. To say that I was pessimistic about the outcome of my appointment would be an understatement.

We got to my appointment about half an hour early, but that ended up being a good thing since both the kids and I had to use the restroom by the time we arrived. I was called back almost as soon as I completed the paperwork to update my file. I was taken straight back to the ultrasound room. They didn't want me to take the kids in under the circumstances and I reluctantly left them in the waiting room.

The tech inserted the wand and immediately a sac came into view. A immediately saw the flicker on the screen. It registered in my head before I heard the words, "There's a heartbeat." I'm not sure what I said, something small and ineffectual like, "Oh, good." I didn't respond at all like I thought I would. I didn't cry. To be honest, I felt kind of numb. Don't get me wrong. I was happy, but I didn't have the outpouring of emotions that I expected.

The tech started exploring, searching for the areas that caused me pain. The baby came in and out of view. She took repeated measurements. I watched on the large flat screen in front of me. She turned on the sound and the heartbeat was measured. I listened to the rapid beating of my baby's heart. She stopped and moved around, then turned it on again. Again I listed to the rapid beating heart. When she was done she told me to relax a few minutes while she went to see if the doctor wanted to see me in the ultrasound room or if he would like for me to go on in to another room. I lie there, just kind of blank. I stared at the still image on the screen in front of me.

She came back in and said that he would see me in an examination room, but she wanted to talk to me about the findings before I went out. "There are two." She explained that she didn't want to show me during the ultrasound because one was much smaller than the other, but that they both had heartbeats. I didn't respond at all. She showed me the ultrasounds and explained what I was seeing. Baby A was smaller and didn't have much fluid in his/her sac. Baby B looked great. There is no way to predict what will happen. I might miscarry Baby A or he/she might absorbed (become a vanishing twin). I might go back next time and find that they are both fine.

No tears. No reaction. I stared blankly as she spoke. I can't even remember if I was thinking anything. I just nodded in recognition of her words.

"There's also a fibroid tumor. That may be what's causing your pain." Fibroid. I know what that is. Generally harmless. Check. She might have said more. I don't know. She popped her head out the door, "Do we have a room ready for Laura?" No. I was sent back to the waiting room. Two sets of eyes met me. Dynisha, who knew what was going on, looked at me expectantly. I smiled at her and sat down. I showed her the pictures the tech had picked out to give me. "This is one baby and this tiny spot here is the other baby." Dynisha squealed, "Twins! There are two?!!" Suddenly I noticed that the waiting room was full and all eyes were on us. Smiles passed around the room. "Shh, calm down. I don't want you to get too excited," I told her, "Baby A is very small and might not make it. We'll have to wait and see." At this point Jamie's attention was drawn. "This is your baby brother or sister." I told him. "I don't like boys," he said, "I love sisters." He examined the pictures, trying to figure out where the baby was. I told him the baby was in my tummy like when Hayden was in Aunt Rachel's tummy. He got that and then was disinterested and went back to playing.

Dynisha continued to babble on excitedly until they called me into the back. This time I took the kids with me. Dr. McCauley came in. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again." I told him. He smiled. We chatted briefly about Jamie and Matt and my friend Geri, who was his patient as well during her pregnancies. He told me everything looked good. He did a small internal exam, still trying to ascertain the source of my pain. We're still unsure.

He started to say that Baby A was smaller. I finished his sentence for him. "It might not make it." I finished it wrong. He said something about it possibly catching up by my next visit. He said something about me not being so frightened. I had problems in the past, but I had two heartbeats. He sounded like he wasn't worried at all about Baby A. I said, "I'm cautiously optimistic." That's my new catch phrase.

Prenatal vitamins, a dozen vials of blood, results in the morning, cerclage at twelve weeks... the rest is a blur.

I checked out. My next appointment is set for July 2ND. I recognized the nurse behind the counter. I have a picture of her hold Jamie just weeks after he was born. This is surreal. I didn't think I'd ever be back here.

We all had to take a restroom break again. I tried to decide how to tell Matt. He was anxiously awaiting my call. I had promised to call as soon as I knew anything. I wanted to tell him immediately. It was almost an hour drive to get home. That would be a long time for him to wait to hear something. But twins. How could I give him this news over the phone? I couldn't. I wanted to show him the ultrasound picture. I thought about how to tell him on the drive home. I thought of some cute things to say, but when I finally arrived I blanked. He looked terrified when he saw me. I felt the blank expression that was still on my face. I probably looked sad. He would expect me to be smiling and jumping for joy if there was a heartbeat. He rushed out the office door to greet me. "There's a heartbeat." I said, handing him the ultrasound pictures. Relief washed over his face. "Actually, there are two heartbeats." I told him. His eyes got big. I pointed out the babies and explained the situation with Baby A. Matt was so excited he barely registered the customer that was in his lobby. He stared at the pictures in dazed amazement. Soon he was bragging to the customer about his twins and showing her the ultrasound. As soon as she was out the door he called his mother. Dynisha was upset because she wanted to tell their mother. Matt told her, "Too bad. She's my mother, too, and I want to tell her." Then he started compiling his mental list of who to call. I guess we're not waiting to tell people. Just as well. I can't keep my mouth shut either.

I can envision Baby A being absorbed as I sit here. I don't want anything to happen to him/her. I want them both. I spend a lot of time praying, which much more resembles begging God. I don't know how I'll survive the two and a half weeks until my next ultrasound.

I've gone through the day in a daze. It borders on emotionless. To say that I'm emotionless is not correct, though. I'm really excited. I'm really scared. I'm just not responding for some reason. Maybe this is shock or it hasn't really sunk in yet. I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel disconnected right now.

Jamie kissed my tummy earlier. That did make me smile.

Though googling is generally a bad idea in these situations, I did. Actually it was a little comforting. I found lots of stories of one baby being much smaller and both surviving. I even found stories of only one having a heartbeat during the first ultrasound and the next ultrasound both babies being fine. I did find stories of vanishing twins, too, but there were more about miracle babies than vanishing twins. Cautiously optimistic. Cautiously optimistic.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bump, Bump... Bump, Bump





We have a heartbeat. Actually, we have two heartbeats! I'm abut 7 weeks along with twins. Baby A is smaller and doesn't have much fluid around him/her. We're not sure how Baby A will do. I'm praying for the best. I can't believe this.




Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Miracle




Today I'm praying for a miracle.
My period is late. That's not unusual for me. I had been thinking about buying a pregnancy test, but had been resisting the urge. It's always a waste of money for me. Last night when Matt called to see if I needed him to get anything on his way home, I asked him to pick up the cheapest pregnancy test he could get. He bought a dollar test. I immediately went to the bathroom and took it. It turned positive the moment my urine hit the line. I was floored. I told Matt. To make sure he went to the store and bought another test. It came back positive immediately, as well. I must be between 7 and 8 weeks pregnant. I've been cramping and I know my odds. I don't make babies. I make angels. Even so, I really want this baby to stick. I couldn't sleep last night. I just kept begging God to let me keep this baby. I wish it wasn't the weekend. I want to go to the doctor. I want my HCG level taken. I want my progesterone taken. I want an ultrasound and see if there is a beating heart. There probably isn't, but I want to know now.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Little Pigs

The kids wanted me to record the little dance they made up. Please excuse the mess they've made in the playroom. It's atrocious, but the kids are adorable! I had to share.

video


Low Carb Crock Pot Chili


This recipe made everyone in my family happy, low-carb dieter or not. This is kind of spicy. I love spicy foods. If I'm not cooking for the kids I will add even more red pepper, but I don't want to burn the kids up. This is how I prepared it tonight for the family...

  • 2 lbs of ground beef

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper (to cook with meat)

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper (to add to pot)

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 1/2 medium size onion (chopped small)

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)

  • 6 oz can of tomato paste

  • 1 quart water

Brown meat with 2 teaspoons of red pepper. When done, drain fat from meat and put the meat in the crock pot. Add remaining ingredients. This needs to cook at least four hours on high. You can simmer it all day on low if you want. In my book, the longer the better. I just didn't have time to cook it so long today.

This recipe has less than 30 carbs for the entire pot. It is another one of those recipes that you can have your fill of without too much concern.



Walking, Sprinker, and Sun, Sun, Sun.





Ugh, I'm a little toasted today. Jamie and I walked to the store to get some laundry soap and tomato paste. It's about a mile and a half from the house. Then I decided to treat him and we walked to Jefferson Fountain Restaurant, a small local diner, where he had a corn dog and fries and I had a hamburger. I bought him a hand dipped mint chocolate chip ice cream cone on the way out.

Jamie was complaining that he wanted to go home. He was over all the walking. Two to two and a half miles is a pretty long distance for a little guy, I guess. I decided to stop by my mother-in-law's house and see if we could get a ride home. We stayed to visit for about an hour and then Matt's aunt brought us home. Dynisha wanted to come, too.

I had picked up Jamie some water balloons at the store while we were there. I helped the kids fill up about a dozen of them and they had a water balloon fight in the back yard. When the balloons ran out they wanted to play in the sprinkler. They got popsicles while I set it up. What's better than playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer day? I was tempted to play myself. I bet that cold water would feel amazing on my burning back, but I figured the last thing I needed was more sun.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Graduation













Jamie graduated from preschool today. In some ways it seems that the five months passed by very quickly. In some ways I can't believe he was only in school five months. It feels like he was there the whole year.

McKalah graduated today, too. They had their graduations at different times, but I went to both. I got plenty of pictures together. In thirteen years I might very well be taking pictures of them together again at graduation. If James doesn't move out of Oak Ridge they should be in the same graduating class in High School. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is only a heartbeat away.

It's funny, the first day I took him to preschool I cried. As I left the building for the last time, I cried, too. Jamie hugged and kissed his teachers. I was surprised because he doesn't really hug and kiss anyone besides Mckalah, Dynisha, and Brianna and Mommy, of course.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Low Carb Spinach Cheeseburger Quiche


I said I wanted to try this recipe with spinach and I am so glad I did. This is my new favorite dish! My husband loved it and he won't eat cooked vegetables. This was so beyond fabulous, even he couldn't resist. I also replaced the half-n-half with heavy cream & only used half an onion to reduce the carb content. I'm not sure what the net carbs are. I didn't count with the changes. It's really low, though. I could eat the whole thing and not mess up my diet!



1 lb. lean hamburger meat
1/2 onion (chopped)
4 slices of crispy cooked bacon
3 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup heavy cream (should have 0 carbs)
8 oz, shredded cheddar cheese
9 oz. fresh spinach
garlic powder to taste
pepper to taste

Brown hamburger meat in skillet with onion. Remove and drain excess grease. Mix in a food processor with bacon using the S attachment until all clumps are broken up and it is a fine, consistent mix. Press into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan or casserole dish.



While cooking the hamburger meat, steam the spinach for about 10 minutes. If you don't have a steamer, you can boil it. I prefer steaming vegetables. Chop it up a bit when you get it out. It will break up when you blend it anyway, but it helps to get it started.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine eggs, mayonnaise, half-n-half, shredded cheese, spinach, garlic powder, and pepper in a mixing bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into pan on top of the hamburger meat. Bake 40-45 minutes or until top is browned and set. Cool 15-20 minutes before slicing.